Saturday, November 19, 2016

Now That The Election Is Over … (Part 2)

Last week I wrote: “During the campaign, while Hillary and her many messengers spoke TO fear and spoke ABOUT fear, Trump and his minions spoke the language OF fear, anger and hatred. That resonated in a visceral way with the “left-behind” that none of us comprehended. It solidified the promise of votes for him, regardless of his vitriolic campaign and message.” I have had several questions from subscribers asking, “What now?” or “What do I do now?” or Is there anything you can say to help me put this into the framework of my spiritual growth?” I will respond to these issues from the perspectives of AA wisdom, an understanding of history, as well as from A Course in Miracles (ACIM).
Let me state that in my opinion the issue is not simply Donald Trump. He is merely the newest (and most prominent?) face of the Alt-Right and Conservative movement over the past decade. He began in the Alt-Right atmosphere with his Birtherism conspiracies. He has maintained this affinity for these conspiracy-laden and truth-be-damned preachers to their millions of followers. Keep that in mind.
Let me paint a verbal image for you. Sometimes to treat a boil you have to lance it. Often, as well, you have to allow the boil to get large enough to lance. Maybe that’s where we are – waiting for Trump and the Republicans to complete their plans for America: a desire to repeat George W. Bush’s economic, tax, regulatory and military agendas based on valued conservative principles (which caused our financial meltdown in 2008); voter restriction laws; a roll-back of social policies (especially a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions in the area of reproductive biology); LGBTQ rights; draconian Gerrymandering to ensure election victories; and moving the philosophy of education from “teaching how to think” to “teaching what to think.”
All of this, including Trump, are the issues that bubbled up in this election.
To take AA seriously and truly desire to stop drinking, all of us have had to hit our bottoms. Epitomized in the description of the difference between religion and spirituality: “Religion is for those who are afraid of going to Hell. Spirituality is for those – like us – who have already been to Hell and don’t want to go back.” In short, we have to hit bottom before we can begin the climb back to sobriety and sanity. One of the promises that comes true when working AA’s Steps in total honesty is that we will become aware that, no matter how far down the scale we have fallen, we will discover that it allows us to share that experience and hope to help someone else.
So, perhaps, we are hitting bottom, we can lance the boil, and we can begin to heal. However and more specifically, what is it we can do and what must we watch out for? We must accept what is happening -  which means to be aware of what’s going on without fear; staying informed without fear; speaking out without fear.
In this vein, I received from a friend this missive from Dan Carter, Professor Emeritas, Educational Foundation, University of South Carolina, who writes opinion pieces for the NYT on-line publications: “Above all, Trump grasped the fundamental weaknesses of our current political culture. He has repeatedly bullied opponents and lied with the kind of brazen disregard for truthfulness, and for civilized norms of political debate, that would have left Joseph Goebbels gasping in admiration.  He may be totally ignorant of critical issues of public policy, the constraints of the constitution and the challenges of world leadership, but his years as a television salesman (of himself) allowed him to understand that most of the media—particularly the broadcasting and cable networks—would simply broadcast these lies in the name of journalistic objectivity, the more outrageous the better.   And in a political environment in which complex issues are reduced to 30 seconds of: “She’s a liar”/“No, she’s not”/ “She’s a crook,” “No she’s not,”/  democratic debate was reduced to the 140 characters of the tweets he used so effectively…. 
“In the coming weeks, the chattering classes will endlessly explain what has happened either by pointing to the weaknesses and miscalculations of the Clinton campaign or the grievances that Trump so successfully exploited.   Reporters and pundits will parse the exact meaning of his appointments.  Does naming GOP Party head Reince Priebus chief of staff indicate a conventionally right-wing course?  Or is the appointment of white supremacist Stephen Bannon as chief counselor the real key to understanding his coming administration? 
“Priebus and his like will become “steady hands” and Bannon will be transformed from an overt racist and anti-Semite into a “right wing media provocateur.”  We will all analyze Trump’s tweets and contradictory statements like Roman seers poring over the entrails of dead chickens, breathing a sigh of relief when he decides to deport only two million Latinos instead of eleven million and pushes through some flim-flam healthcare fig-leaf to justify the destruction of the Affordable Care Act.
“And step by step we will normalize Trumpism.
We cannot normalize this ugliness and hatred: The tweets; the misinformation; the use of the Alt-Right communication network (websites, papers, radio talk shows, etc.), and the continual disdain for all legitimate media. All these may become normalized – candidates for office will try to emulate what Trump did; more fake news sites, websites, and other forms of media will proliferate. This will cause the final blurring of the factual truth (who do you believe: Breitbart News and Rush Limbaugh or the Washington Post and Time magazine)?  By the time that happens our democracy, based on an educated populace, may be beyond redemption. Based on history this is how the gradual normalization of ugliness and fear will happen.
Another friend sent this to me from Colin Tipping: Radical Forgiveness – Finding Peace, Love and Acceptance; Institute for Radical Forgiveness Therapy & Coaching, Inc. – on how to deal with Trump and the Republican’s victory: “The trick is to be totally into doing what you feel is the right thing to do, while at the same time knowing that destiny is being fulfilled somehow and that our actions are all part of the karmic dance.… In other words, by all means, take action to do your best to be rid of Trump and all he stands for. However, if you do it, while at the same time, finding love in your heart for him for waking us all up from the dream of separation, your actions will have enormous power to raise the consciousness of the planet….
“This may well be the beginning of the great BREAKDOWN that we have known must necessarily precede the BREAK THROUGH into a new and higher consciousness. "Thank you, Donald Trump, for being the one to play that role.… This is our big chance to wake up, shift our perception and leave this false reality behind. Let's go for it!
We must be alert and aware to the normalization of ugliness and hatred. We must speak out.
I hope this helps.
As I’ve stated before, “I have to understand, on a visceral level, who the “Me” or “I” really is when I am speaking or thinking. The “I” that says to myself, “I really need a newer, more reliable car” is a different “I” than the one that says to Spirit, “I can’t do this anymore; help me perceive things the way You see them.”
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening to me and getting to know me – warts and all. As always, feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.

#3 Nov 2016
Copyright 2016

PS: I will be unavailable during the Thanksgiving week. There will be no message.

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