A very mixed post today. A very long post today. Bear with me as I cover
- Progress and obstacles to getting out the Eagle Peak Annual
- Trump and the GOP
- Creating value from chaos—not being provoked into a responsive rant
- Saving America
Well, the Eagle Peak Annual is moving along—ponderously slowly. More obstacles arise when one is striving to accomplish a thing of value. So it goes for one who lives the life of a Bodhisattva—dedicated to leading others to enlightenment.
I had my annual Medicare wellness visit on Tuesday. Tests were all great. HDL cholesterol is outstanding and LDL is low. Perhaps it’s something untested or a medication that could/should be stopped or its dosage reduced. As it is, I sometimes (over the past two years) have as much as three or four good writing hours a day. Other days I may have an hour or less.
Non-creative tasks or chores are possible. Walking the dog, sweeping and vacuuming. Even financial entries on Quicken or the spreadsheet—a mental subroutine, as it were. I have prevailed upon my primary care physician, who is now aligned with me to solve the problem. He and I will be victorious! I have too many books to write before I die.
Meanwhile, Donald “Biff” Trump and the KK-GOP conspire to cause a reactionary rant. That won’t help. It just feeds into the mindset of them and us.
Send her back his supporters yell at his North Carolina rally. He, them and the GOP persist in an effort to destroy America. I can’t abide that.
So, instead of working on the Annual, I must now work on yet another response to all them.
That, after returning from the vet to get my dog an antibiotic shot and some pills for a gastrointestinal ailment.
Obstacles! One cannot allow them to defeat progress.
Yes, I AM calling out the GOP. They are reincarnations of the Know Nothing Party members from the 1850s. They are reincarnations of the enablers of Adolph Hitler—who promoted his rise to power as an expedient. Hitler had ten times as much charisma as Trump. Watch Leni Reifenstahl’s Triumph of the Will–which G. Gordon Liddy showed at the Nixon White House as leader of the Plumbers.
Laws were passed giving Hitler autocratic power. Would the GOP do that for Trump? Probably, if they had a chance–but they don’t, NOW.
In the run-up to his reelection campaign for 1972, Richard Nixon came up with the Southern Strategy. Very conservative Southern Democrats became Republicans. Nixon won reelection in a landslide—then he was impeached.
Trump is worse, of course than Nixon—as far as criminal offenses go. He’s also not nearly as smart as Nixon.
Nixon was an anti-Semite. Trump is fine with Jews. He hates Muslims (except rich, nation-leading ones like MBS who might spend money at Mar-a-Lago or his golf courses, etc.), Mexicans, people from s-hole countries and other non-whites.
During the Vietnam War era, the bumper sticker for the right was America, “love it or leave it.” The response among antiwar people during Vietnam, was “change it or lose it.”
The Vietnam experience, Nixon and Watergate ineluctably led me to Buddhism. From the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin and the SGI, I learned that to change the world, I must change myself. Read the book, Waiting for Westmoreland—you’ll understand.
Trump recently invoked the memories of love it leave it. In his warped mind, he equates criticism of his policies as hatred of America. He, of course, is NOT America. He doesn’t care about America–he cares about money and adulation from fans.His values are not those of American democracy. His policies are racist, misogynistic, sexist, etc.
Pundits or analysts offer an armchair diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder for Trump. Yes, but that’s not the whole story. How about the Dark Triad?
The Dark Triad personality is one that combines narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. A Psychology Today article from 2013 says the Dark Triad is:
“Defined as a set of traits that include the tendency to seek admiration and special treatment (otherwise known as narcissism), to be callous and insensitive (psychopathy) and to manipulate others (Machiavellianism) . . .”
They also note that: “Researchers are finding that the Dark Triad underlies a host of undesirable behaviors including aggressiveness, sexual opportunism, and impulsivity.”
Wow, sounds like him, doesn’t it? Check out the 12-question test in the article to confirm the diagnosis. But does anyone really need to identify Trump’s problems?
The real problem is that his behavior and actions are not only condoned but endorsed by the Republicans. A party that destroyed the hope that the election of Barack Obama engendered. A party that is OK with the rollback of regulations that would protect America from dirty air, dirty water and a sooner devolution into economic chaos (see the deficit increase their tax cut wrought) even as they deny the Climate Crisis.
So, are more rants needed? Hell no! More protest marches? Hell no! More sit-ins at Congressional offices? I marched in countless protests to end the Vietnam War. Nixon and his supporters were unmoved.
What does work? Voting?
Democrats took over the House by 40 seats. That’s not enough.
What then? The Senate and the White House? That’s not enough either.
No, the ill-fated strategy of the Vietnam War was winning the hearts and minds of the people. The Vietnamese people. America didn’t succeed at that. For good reason.
This time, it’s the hearts and minds of Americans that need winning. The Americans who are misguided and deluded by the Dark Triad Trump and the Neo-Nazi/KKK/Know Nothing-Republican Party. Those who believe that immigrants, non-whites and of other than Judeo-Christian beliefs are the problem.
We must create value—not simply respond to insults in kind. Which it may read like what I am doing descriptively about Trump and the GOP.
If we hold hate in OUR hearts and minds, we cannot change America. We will lose it.
In Buddhism, we understand that our karma—the results of our words and deeds creates effects we would as soon not endure. We have the President we have through some horrible collective karma as Americans. A very large, very hard pill to swallow. You may well not believe that.
Buddhism is not a turn the other cheek religion. It’s OK to send bad people to jail. It’s OK to impeach presidents or to vote them out of office. It’s not OK to physically attack them. We can argue with them–show them and tell them the error of their ways.
So, we begin by changing ourselves and by so doing, changing them. It’s not enough to blame or hate them. They are human, if mistaken and misguided. I can hope and imagine that the GOP as it is now known will fail as a party or be reconstituted with more principled and morally correct members. But that’s not MY job.
We must create value in the workplace, on the highway, in the neighborhood, at home and in school. Sit with the other. Talk with the other. Aid and give comfort to the other. Don’t just castigate those whom we hold responsible for the ills of America–despite the distinct possibility our assessment is correct.