Hope is a Decision—Now More than Ever.
November 8—the last post here before this one. Recognizing that Biden had won the election. Biden the healer of the cultural and political divide. An effort that I am determined to participate in.
As I said then, it would be difficult. Even more difficult than I expected. Not due to the resistance of ordinary folks, but to all those members of the Trump Cult.
My natural inclination is to simply say:
Get over it—he lost!
But they won’t buy that. They have drunk gallons of his Trump Kool-Aid and believe in him with all their hearts. The election was rigged and stolen from him.
They also believe one or all these options about COVID-19:
- It’s a hoax
- It’s no worse than a cold or at worst a flu and people get over it
- Masks are worse than useless—they are an infringement on one’s freedom
- Likewise, social distancing and closing bars, restaurants, gyms, etc.
Worse, they make death threats against even Republicans who won’t help Trump in reversing the election results through whatever means he and his associates try. Somewhat skilled attorneys withdrew after winning but one of 38 plus cases. Leaving semi to unskilled attorneys to continue frivolous lawsuits that judicially speaking ought to incur sanctions against them or referrals to the bar for misconduct.
Those are the facts. But what will I make of them? Will I deplore those who fall for the lies? Pity those who may die of COVID because of him? Many probably have already. Statistical analysis suggests surges associated with Trump rallies and in those parts of the country where votes for him were higher than for Biden.
Trump didn’t bring the virus here. He did mock those who took it seriously. They accepted his direction on this and other things. He didn’t suffer physically, so far, for his dismissal of the virus. His supporters have found his assurances persuasive—he is their political messiah. Republican elected officials, in fear or support of Trump, continue likewise to follow the same patterns of COVID oblivion—even as they or their constituents succumb to the virus.
Should I sink into the pit of hatred, vitriol and derisive attacks on those who offer death threats even to fellow Republicans who don’t support Trump in overturning Biden’s victory. NO! If I do, I can’t help heal the division. I must accept their humanity and, from my faith perspective, their inherent Buddhahood.
Yes, a difficult proposition. Whether you who read this find the principles, the concepts or tenets, of Buddhism persuasive, you still may find it difficult to accept the humanity of the Trump faithful if you are not among them. That’s the challenge if we are to get beyond the present turmoil.
We have an economy in tatters. Sickness and death confront us at the hands of an unthinking enemy we call coronavirus, COVID-19 or more formally–SARS-CoV-2. We have a would-be autocrat striving to milk the last bit of financial fortune and power from his tenure in the White House. Even he has a Buddha nature. Even he has a shred of humanity within his angry and hate-filled heart. It’s barely visible, but it’s there. As much as I have demonized, satirized and condemned him on this blog, I know that to be true. Still, he must pay for his crimes and suffer the effects of the karma he has created. He already has, at the hands of the voters. Beyond that, there are legal and financial perils ahead that he will likely face.
In the meantime, we must rescue and rehabilitate America from the harms he has inflicted. Reestablish a rule of law. An independent Justice Department. Oversight of the actions of the Executive Branch—which, according to the US Constitution is subordinate to Congress. The latter makes the laws, appropriates the money and declares war. The President and those in the administration implement and enforce those laws. He and the rest of the Executive Branch must yield to the scrutiny of how well and how lawfully are executing the laws passed by Congress that give him authority to act.
America has barely—and not yet completely, escaped becoming a dictatorship. Aided and abetted by a GOP controlling the Senate. There is lots to do. But political reforms are just treating symptoms. The underlying disease is what must be addressed. A disease of Us and Them.
That’s enough for now. We will be making updates as often as we can. Not so much on what politicians and ostensible national leaders are doing. No, on what’s happening among the populace. Who, myself included, are reaching out and making connections with the other side.
As Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address, we need a
“new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Had Trump won, those famous words might very well have been for naught—due to Trump’s intentions and those he put into his second administration.