Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Elections & the Common Good

Elections & the Common Good 


An Interview with Notre Dame's John I. Jenkins
Earlier this week, Commonweal contributing editor John Gehring spoke with University of Notre Dame President John I. Jenkins. The conversation touched on the tone and tenor of this year’s election, speeches given at Notre Dame by President Obama and Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, and why New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan was the best thing about this year’s Al Smith dinner. This interview was conducted by email.

John Gehring: Now that we’re nearing the end of a presidential election what is your assessment of this very intense and very unusual political season?
John Jenkins: No doubt the campaigns have reflected some anxiety, anger, and resentment in the nation at large, and we must try to understand these attitudes in the electorate. But rather than trying to understand and rise above them, as leaders should, the campaigns have often simply channeled these negative emotions. This has made the substance and tone of much of the discussion not only unpleasant and uninspiring, but the acrimony and divisiveness are not healthy for our democracy.

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