From everything we’re reading these days, it appears that it’s crunch time for the human race. Yes, it’s true — the headlines are screaming! They found a heretofore unexamined knife at OJ’s old Bel Air estate. We’ve stumbled upon a visceral reminder of that moment when reality lost all meaning, when the shiny and the salacious lured our sensibilities like the Sirens, sucking our brains into first contact with national obsession and reality television. Frankly, my dears, it’s been downhill since.
It seems clear — at least in the reality community — that either we get on to ourselves at last, take responsibility for one another and our endangered planet, or slip on the great cosmic banana peel to dissolve into a mere footnote of galactic history. Watching what passes for political debate these days certainly encourages that fear, but let’s not lose our minds just yet. These junctures don’t sneak up on us as much as we pretend they do. So let’s not turn our heads this time, let’s look this demon squarely in the eye. We can’t lick it until we do.
The debates are pathetic. Dick jokes and preening, childish taunts, lies and misrepresentation of facts, simplistic rhetoric that drives the nail of denial into the American hide, all serve to turn the conversation even more bitter and divisive, and surely less rational in a time of crisis. Back in 2011, I wrote that I was tired of dick jokes in a piece titled “Guns And Penises” (Anthony Weiner commentary) and sadly, not much has changed since. We were already in No Man’s Land then, looking out across the lawn at Russia through Sister Palin’s eyes. Another of those iconic stumbles the right embraced in order to feel better about its diminished world view and lack of education.
We deserve our current political drubbing, thanks to the technology that has given so many of us the right of opinion along with anonymity. We’ve become accustomed to shotgunning cruelty, bigotry, and crudity without so much as a gasp of self-disgust. Every time we refuse to confront this vicious behavior, we inadvertently approve it with our lethargy. Worse, entrepreneurs keep thinking of ways to improve on its callousness, improving profits and ensuring new forms of cultural obedience.
Former ABC News Anchor Ted Koppel recently chided Bill O’Reilly on his ineffectual interviewing of the Donald, and defined our current ‘fair and balanced’ journalism — rightly, in my opinion — as a black hole of misinformation. O’Reilly told Koppel that Donald was not an easy interview and asked how Koppel would do it, which got this response:
“You and I have talked about this general subject many times over the years. It’s irrelevant how I would do it,” Koppel replied. “You know who made it irrelevant? You did. You have changed the television landscape over the past 20 years — you took it from being objective and dull to subjective and entertaining. And in this current climate, it doesn’t matter what the interviewer asks him; Mr. Trump is gonna say whatever he wants to say, as outrageous as it may be.”
As we’ve noted in regard to the astrological imperatives, there’s real business for the nation to deal with, but it’s desperately trying to come in second to entertainment value. The press has abdicated its responsibility to inform the electorate, trading ethics for ratings. CBS’s CEO, Les Moonves, is gleeful about how Trump has pumped up profits, never mind how he’s dumbed down American sensibilities, saying, “Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now?…The money’s rolling in and this is fun. I’ve never seen anything like this, and this is going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”
So the distractions keep coming, turning us away from actual issues that are important, like water in Flint and nuclear poisoning and genocide and dark karmic purge. Only you and I can insist that what is truly imperative on the planet take center stage. If not us, my dears, then who?
As I write, I’m listening to Cruz trash Trump today as someone supporting the liberal corruptions that have turned Washington into a cesspool of special interests [sic] calculated to wound and victimize the poor disenfranchised (Christian) white man, who is the natural, rightful leader of all superior civilization. Who on CNN is questioning the racism at the heart of that statement? No one.
While infamous Klan chief David Duke might not agree with such a Trump assessment, Donald probably doesn’t care what Ted has to say, since his numbers are so ‘yuge,’ and besides, his rhetoric is always just part of the initial negotiation. His plan is to rule the nation much as he did his reality show. We’ve seen it before, and we gave it a thumbs up.
Oh sure, it will eventually come apart at the seams, but this was successfully worked out decades before by OJ’s Judge Ito, giving him eight months of daily headlines and face time, mugging to a camera he allowed in the courtroom for the first time in 1994. Similarly, Donald’s patented declaration — “You’re fired” — is all he finds necessary to assert his authority as supreme leader, and that’s how he sees himself. He reiterates it when he explains how the military would break international law if he directed them to torture and kill family members of American enemies. “If I say do it, they’re gonna do it. That’s what leadership is all about.”
No, Donald, that’s what private ownership is all about. You get to bully and demean your employees who are desperate for your approval, but not the national citizens who consider you only as viable as the result you produce. Donald Trump is no politician, has no respect for constitutional legality, and — SURPRISE! — that’s evidently exactly what some of us are looking for. It’s easy enough to figure out why. The government that the right wing was assured would fail them has done so, and the Koch brothers are laughing all the way to the Caymans. We knew the pitchforks would show up eventually. What part of our political history in these last few decades made us think they’d have the presence of mind to point them at those who did the actual damage?
If the Pubs have lost control of their party, it’s simply because they’ve sunk into the dark mire of their own deepest fears and tweaked psychology. When FOX News teemed up with the evangelical movement to tell us that the answer to America’s moral decay (as evidenced by the stain on Lewinsky’s blue dress and Bill’s cigar) was to be found in a C minus student — someone with little intellect, no curiosity, and the barest understanding of political science — the rubes all cheered at the thought of a guy just like them one-upping the arrogant leftist [sic] elite.
They canonized the dimwit who wanted to rule by gut instinct, a man with a consciousness so adolescent that he readily handed out derisive nicknames to people he disliked, even finding humor in calling his Machiavellian political adviser, Karl Rove, “Turd Blossom,” while smirking, chimp-like. The right all celebrated Dubya as a real “he man” president — one who spent over a year’s vacation time in a hot patch of Texas whacking brush in photo ops because he was afraid to run cattle — while refusing to count the cost of his failed war, the financial meltdown that is still driving the angst of glaring inequity, or the rise of ISIS as a direct result of American hubris.
Yes, Donald deserves a tad of credit for calling him on it, but not when his national security plan is just more of the same. Are we a nation of self-pitying drama queens, that we determine that what we need is more of THAT? More self-interest, more strong man bullyism and might-makes-right? More stern daddy tyranny that can allow us to pretend safety, to sink back into a long-gone comfort zone that won’t threaten us with the sharp reality of scientific fact and existential threat not covered in the Bible and ultimately solved by Jesus arriving from the clouds?
Frankly, of all the politicos on the right, Trump is one of the least unstable (I include Kasich, but he’s as deluded as the rest when you get down to cultural issues). Trump’s just a plutocrat, born and bred, nothing else worth noting and as arrogantly tyrannical as the big boss can get. There IS no Republican candidate who is not a radical capitalist (and only one Democrat, for that matter).
Cruz can’t knock back the rise of white supremacy; he’s crazier than Trump, and the Donald’s followers aren’t interested in theocracy. Rubio can’t take him because he still thinks inside the box of his party affiliation, too eager to get his big boy pants on and gain conservative legitimacy. Romney can’t stop him because Romney is every bit as much a snake oil salesman on his own turf — ruthless, misogynistic and authoritarian, as ordained by his priesthood and the morphing of his socialist religious underpinnings, now replaced by the zero-sum game of ‘prosperity theology’ and financial winners and losers.
Which is not to say that the Donald is ready to step into the Oval Office or even win a national contest. Don’t let your fears get the best of you. He has no coherent policies, his opinions are written on the wind, his financial record is just beginning to surface for a thorough vetting, and his blatant racism leaves no room for the necessary votes of anyone brown, black, or in between to support such a national leader.
As with OJ, we’re still just avid wrestling fans and reality TV watchers, spun up in the theatrics of the bloody glove and gory spectacle — as Cuba Gooding, Jr., has suggested following his performance in the OJ made-for-TV movie — that repeated football injuries rendered the likely suspect brain compromised. Just as OJ thought he was above race in 1992, Donald thinks he’s above charges of corruption — or perhaps that’s just the inherent narcissism of the Drumph moniker.
Donald is a joke. The monster — as Koppel suggested — is our fear and loathing of losing some imaginary power base over people and things that go boo in the night. The monster is our eagerness to capitalize on someone’s fear for short-term profit and self-interest. The monster is a profound lack of faith in our own ability to live life as decent neighbors and citizens of the world’s most visible democracy, and now we must work tirelessly to remediate that failure because we dare not look away.
We have a choice to hide or cower, to hate or demonize, to pick the strong man (who will ultimately fail us) or to cope on a different level. If you’re not one of those people who find this side show provocative and terrifying, addictive and near-apoplectic, then how to make it through a day of high camp and hysteria from your fellow humans, lost in what Eckhart Tolle calls “unconsciousness?” If I’m describing you, then it’s your job — if you accept — to practice consciousness.
You’re the ballast, you’re the steadying presence at the center of the hub, you’re the witness to the events swirling around you, but you’re not their victim. You’re aware, which is “enough” to change the energy of this spiritual experiment, and the more you trust your ability to hold the center, the more it holds.
Tolle recently put out a little clip about what those in the East call the “ego-gi”: the instructive appeal of the most egomaniacal among us who have risen in power to make their unconsciousness painful for both themselves and for us, and largely inescapable. Not a stretch to think of Trump on this one, but not just him — all things that seek to minimize us with thoughts of dread and littleness that steal juice from our authentic selves and create doubt. The Old Paradigm depended upon it.
The unconscious ones are the teachers, the gurus. They’re big and loud, worrisome psychic vampires, taking our energy of fear and rage, until we realize that that is exactly what they’re doing. That only happens as we catch a glimpse of our own behavior in them, the mirror into our own dysfunction and pain. The learning curve of our lives can be tracked back to those who confound us.
Yes, something’s changed in these last months, we’ve come to a tipping point, but this is no time to lose heart! Over and over again these last few weeks, I’ve found that there is only one path forward for all that seems to be overwhelming me, and causing angst to those around me. Stand up to it. Say no. Refuse to cooperate with what you know is wrong. Anything other than that will steal your power, take your peace, and rob you of your confidence, which Tolle calls “faith.”
Tolle tells us that faith is not belief. It has no story that requires reinvigorating or defending, it requires no rationale or reinforcement. It is simply an internal ‘knowingness’ that there is a right place deep within us, a place where there is no fear. We know from within that internal space when something is in alignment, we FEEL when something is as it should be, and it is, essentially, a part of our beingness. It is our authentic soul power, uncompromised. We must practice that presence, develop it as the Light unfolding within us, in order for it to grow stronger.
We must stand in the power of our center and refuse what is no longer of service to us all. When we practice the Presence, our own world comes to balance and we assist those around us to find theirs. This is not news to you, you would not have read this far if it was. You know what you have to do, even though you didn’t think it would look quite like this when you agreed to come help lift this age. If the center is to hold, my dears, it will be because we did not lose our faith to make it happen.