The issue of buddha is so beset with confusion that we need to start over. That restart has happened, but we need to start over from that. We cannot deal with a buddhism that rejected modernity to the point that it seeded fascism and worse. All these bright buddhists are going to run out of gas because they have been put in an untenable position. But one easy answer is that buddhism sneaked into modernity with an amusing stealth. You can see it even in Schopenhauer whose thinking laid an invisible foundation.
But the jig is up for the older era and its religions, and this is playing itself out now.
I would like to think that Gautama at least saw the future and tried to sink his own religion as ‘his’ creation with a ‘gotterdammerung’ that will force to a new era to recompute.
In any case modern american buddhists aren’t really in the Gautama sangha anymore and this is good. Oblivious to their own ‘buddhism’ they are like birds unwittingly carrying a seed that will disperse to…buddhist yankeedoodle as a culture ‘weed’/wildflower…