Sunday, February 9, 2020

At Peace Despite Politics

                                                                                              written 2 February 2020
                                                                                          published 9 February 2020

            The last day of January, we drove over to the Colusa Wildlife Refuge, celebrating Lynn's birthday by watching migrating birds roosting in the wetlands.  The entire day was a lovely immersion in "being", watching thousands of birds existing in cooperative harmony. We arrived home before dark, after a soul satisfying day.
            And then we watched the news of the day. 
            The day before, I foolishly hoped the Senate might really investigate the president.  Last summer Republican Senators had questioned the Ukrainian aid hold up, and it was possible a few would vote to hear from witnesses.  But Senate leader McConnell, with control of mega-donor campaign funds, allowed no deviation, insisting party was more important than country, truth, or even the rule of law.  "Might makes right", and "Those that have the gold, rule".  
            Trump's defense team kept shifting their narrative, originally denying the process was valid, then denying that anything happened.  They finally acknowledged the charges were real, but proclaimed there was no crime.  Trump’s attorney Alan Dershowitz, argued that “if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment”.
            Trump has proclaimed that he is the only person who can solve the problems of our nation, so his reelection is, by definition, of public interest.  Therefore, soliciting foreign involvement in our elections, and withholding Congressionally approved funds, both a violation of the law, are fine since the president thinks it will help his reelection.  
            My mind churned.  
            Emboldened by his "acquittal" in the non-trial, what else might mad King Trump try?  If Republican voter suppression and Russian election meddling aren't enough and he appears to be losing the election, will he cancel the vote?  America did that in Vietnam in 1955 to avoid an unwelcome outcome, why not here?  If the Democrats in the House get too worked up, why not just suspend Congress?  Who would stop him, Barr's Justice Department?  
            As you can see, I dove deep into the black pit of despair that is always lurking deep within; not my favorite place.  I went to bed Friday night and slept fitfully.  A few hours later, I was wide awake, and decided get up and to sit meditation.  I recommend meditation to everyone.  It really does help, especially in these chaotic times.  I was able to step back from attachment to day to day drama and rest in a larger context.
            Trump and his Republican followers are just playing out the traditional pattern of dominance that has disrupted the world for millennium.  They are not the problem, just visible symptoms of the fiction that we are not all connected.  But that fantasy is bankrupt, coming to its natural conclusion. A pattern is unfolding of a New Earth, an evolution of human consciousness which knows and experiences the connection of all life.  This unity reality is unaffected by the insane fiction of domination of one part over the rest, but endures until the fiction exhausts itself.  We are experiencing that exhaustion as economic inequity, homelessness, plagues, species extinction, and massive refugee movements driven by climate collapse.  We are entering a new era.  
            In addition to getting calm, I got clear on how I will vote this election.  I supported Bernie in 2016, and have his bumper sticker on my car this time.  But in 2016, he was a lone voice for an alternative to the status quo, while this time his message generates prime time discussion, and some of his "radical" perspectives are now voiced by most of the democratic flock.  Speculation on "who can beat Trump?" dominates the discussion.  But the Senate vote showed me I must express my deepest yearning in the face of apparent tyranny, undistracted by electoral calculations.  Bernie is not perfect, but for decades, he has consistently spoken to the necessity for inclusive solutions, the very antithesis of the current paradigm, which is why he threatens corporate Democrats. 
            As relatively conscious individuals, our obligation in each and every moment, is to hold our own awareness of that connected unity, which is powered by love and gratitude.  This is the tipping point, and we are alive today to help make it so.