Oh what a political year. It reminds me of the Billy Joel song in the early 90’s “We didn’t start the fire.” So much has changed in the world since those lyrics have been sung. It reminds us that what is everlasting is not hate, rather it is grace.
The great people of the world who have made positive change always gave people a sense of aspiration. They fought the feelings of the time and rose above it all, fought hard to inspire with novel thoughts, earned revolutionary human achievements, and were models for societies that prospered from them.
Hate is a powerful emotion. I would argue it might be the most powerful emotion of them all. It is easy to hate. Think about it? If you are not feeling good and feel someone has harmed you, many emotions may hit you all at once. It might be sadness, lack of empowerment, disappointment or fear. What rises to the top, though, is hate. Why is it so, and why do many people take advantage of that hateful feeling for their own narcissistic and warped self-interest.
This year in politics has been most unusual. Every political rule has been tossed aside. Words and innuendos that would normally kill a candidate only makes them stronger. And why not think that way? I think it is fair to agree that our political system is stuck in the mud and does not work. We have been in a rut for the last 25 years where civility is a dying notion. More people, as a result of natural cumulative forces, have been drawn further and further apart as the government has not been responsive to the people, thus creating extreme bases on both sides of the aisle who pour gasoline on extreme ideas.
The slow creep of frustration in our lives is just ripe for a message of hate. We had Adolph Hitler rise due to the perception by the majority in Germany that their lives were getting harder and did not understand the real problems to deal with it. Along came Hitler, a person with sensational hate, and since hate is the easiest emotion to poach, rose up as a leader that the masses thought would change their lives. Even the thought of murdering so many people in cold blood was a means to an end. This guy (I like to call him the ultimate loser….now Trump would HAVE to agree with that) was throwing rib steaks and chocolate cake to the hungry. They devoured it with all the trimmings that went with it. So what if the rib steak came with too much fat on it? Eat around it! So what if the chocolate cake had 10 pounds of butter and sugar? Sure tastes good right now compared to the stale cookies with the smallest maraschino cherry in the middle! Finally, so what that this diet would eventually kill everyone due to not having a healthy side dish like cauliflower, kale, or even whole grain rice? Nah….we are looking at the steak and cake with the eyes of a lion!
Oh are we all suckers for hate. Look at ISIS. Pretty much every rational person of any religion has discredited this terror group and its methods. Chopping off people’s heads, throwing gay people strapped to a chair from a high building leading to a horrific death, drowning and lighting on fire good people who do not accept their message to a tortured death, raping and selling Christian women and children into slavery because they would not convert, and the list goes on and on. Now I would say that these evil people who have joined this barbaric cult were probably not all bad people maybe 25 years ago. Maybe, just maybe, they had the same personality traits that exist in all people around the world, but needed a motivating spark to act on and rationalize their decisions to join this group. In fact, they might have been no different if we rewinded the clock back 25 years ago when they were held back by the status quo of the ‘strong men’ who ran the Middle East with an iron fist. Sure these tyrants were bad people. Sure they had authoritarian power that would cause pain to most of their society. But in return, they gave a semblance of peace to the masses and privilege to the aristocracy and true supporters of their regimes. Those times were not good, but if we look at them with the benefit of hindsight, one can say those were the ‘golden ages’ of the Middle East, only by comparison. For it is not what they had or did not have then, it is that they demanded a change and hate was the easiest force to succumb to. Heck, it couldn’t possibly be worse than Saddam Hussein, Bashar Al-Assad and Muammar Gaddafi? It just was impossible to even think so, and if you did, you were branded as a loose cannon with insane thoughts.
Welcome to today’s politics in the USA. Yes! Sing it now altogether with Donald J. Trump!
“We’re not gonna take it,
No…we ain’t gonna take it,
We’re not gonna take it….anymore!”
You feel good now? I don’t heeeeeeeeaaaarr yoouuuuuuuu? I said do you feel good now! Hell YESSSSSSS!!!!! Chant “USA, USA, USA!” Here comes the caveat – He means those who chant USA in his head for sure are white men, preferably of christian origin. Let’s be brutally frank here. We all know that is probably his imagery. Unfortunately, that imagery train left the station in 1955!
Ok. Let the emotions subside. Let’s all take a deep breath. Dare I say smack yourself in the face? Wash your mouth out with soap and water? Maybe, even maybe, look in the mirror and look deep inside your soul? If you do, you might not like like your reflection. My friends, I think most of you are better than accepting this new form of leadership.
I always say that you cannot have it both ways. I say it not because it is a cliché, but there are truisms that transcends societies and human nature. I do not think that you would accept the notion that we can pollute our rivers with lead, garbage, human waste, and mercury and accept to have clean drinking water? Pick one please. You either prefer to dispose of your garbage in the river because it is convenient and cheap or you prefer to take care of your health to live maybe 20 more years. I think the answer is quite obvious, but we can all agree that the results are mutually exclusive. Or, if we put it in a political framework, you cannot say that you respect the disabled, but then mock them for the world to see? If you want that both ways, then you are choosing to overlook almost all other things that make you a dignified person with compassion so that you can have another thing that you may want more (or think you will get more).
Donald Trump is pulling the greatest con game ever. I have to admit that I have not seen a person as successful as he in brainwashing more people into thinking what they really want he is preaching. He does this with – a new term I am now creating – ‘slight of mouth.’
For entertainment purposes, I love it. Give me the popcorn with salt and butter, a 32 ounce Coca Cola, a side of Guacamole and chips and an oversized fluffy sofa with a log fire crackling. Try to imagine this….a tap dancer with a two-sided face (trying to have it both ways and “attempting” to con everyone) playing three card monte on a table at the same time. Quite a remarkable spectacle. HERE HERE!
Let’s do word association. Before we play, you must promise to keep an open mind and not think of the anger you might be feeling right this moment. Ok? Alright, here we go:
Aristotle, Jesus, Thomas Jefferson, Lord Buddha, Mikhail Gorbachev, William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, Pope John Paul II, John F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks, Sigmund Freud, Mother Theresa, Thomas Edison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Princess Diana, and finally George Washington.
As you see, I did not put Barack Obama on this list. But truthfully, does anyone think of Donald J. Trump when you mention these names? I hope not! However, one can be sure that there is one person in his mind that does – Donald J. Trump. Look out for the dangers of a narcissistic leader.
And that is the thing my friends. It is not the anger in his voice, the marketing behind his brand and the most ugly visceral words he says that are directed to attach itself to the worst demons in our minds. The list of the great people I mentioned were statesman, visionaries, and inspirational leaders that literally transformed the world all for the better. That is what we always should strive to achieve.
Being mad about today’s politics should not allow hateful con men to do anything to attain the highest office in world. Although most people JUSTIFIABLY do not like the status quo, I hope this blog showed that change just for change sake is never the right solution. Listen to the words, follow the con, and look for the motives. He represents America in a positive way no more than Stalin changed Russia for the better.
We are greater than this. We are Americans. If Lincoln and Jefferson were able to hear this type of leader we might pick, they would be rolling around in their graves. Let’s pick leaders like them and continue to hold America to its true exceptionalism and traditions such of graciousness, humility, strength through actions and not words, and embracing others from different races, gender, religions and cultures. Now that is what America really is!