It's fair that I should explain myself.
First, I want to be clear: this column is not meant as an attack on Ellis or his columns.
It is, however, a response to a number of things that I've read in them, statements from various authors. Since we are not allowed to have dialogue with the authors in the context of those columns, I've opted to use my own soapbox (graciously provided by Jun) as a vehicle to let some of my feelings out in the form of questions.
Also I can't connect to the questions:
They seem to point to a kind of "political/social" or "conflict-managing" or "peacemaking" Aikido? Is this existing in the US?
Yes. But it is not unique to the US. Aikido is not aikido if it is stripped of its politcal/social relevance, or its conflict-managing and peacemaking aspect. And, I will add, it is not aikido if it is stripped of its martial aspect.
As to the Void, I will (yet again) quote O Sensei, who reportedly (and in translation) said
Except for blending with the void
There is no way to understand
The Way of Aiki.
If you have not linked yourself to true emptiness,
you will never understand The Art of Peace.
I consider these things to be solid, practical recommendations by the Founder. I do not agree (or understand) everything O Sensei said, and I mistrust those who say they do. But in this case, I think there is something worthy of careful consideration.