The Long, Hot Summer of 2016

With full knowledge that I’m stating the obvious, I must say things seem bad lately. Early in June, while watching the European migrant crisis and Republican presidential race unfold, I told a friend I thought this could turn out to be a long, hot summer.

In June there was the Orlando nightclub massacre, the murder of British Labour party politician Jo Cox, and the Brexit vote.

July has been extra bad. In the United States, Alton Sterling and Philando Castille were killed by police. Then police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were killed. In Cleveland last week Trump moved the country toward banana republic status, and this week Philadelphia is tropical.

In Europe, there was the coup attempt in Turkey, with monstrous retaliatory violence reported, the Bastille Day massacre in Nice, the shooting in Munich, a suicide bomber in Ansbach, Germany, and an elderly priest killed in northern France.

I don’t see relief coming in August. The presidential campaign will only get hotter. The Olympics look on track to be a shambles: a public relations disaster for Brazil and a literally sickening experience for the athletes. And I don’t expect an end to the violence.

So I conclude that I was, unfortunately, right. Even though July is not over, we’re definitely in the Long, Hot Summer of 2016, reminiscent of 1967.

But I don’t want to just list awful events and leave. But then I don’t have the solution either. However, I’ve long thought that incremental solutions ultimately work better than drastic ones, no matter how impatient we feel when things are bad. In other words, evolution is better than revolution. In someone else’s words,

We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know you can count me out.

Take it from there and apply as appropriate.