The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story

Source:      http://charleseisenstein.net/hategriefandanewstory/

The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story

Normal is coming unhinged. For the last eight years it has been possible for most people (at least in the relatively privileged classes) to believe that society is sound, that the system, though creaky, basically works, and that the progressive deterioration of everything from ecology to economy is a temporary deviation from the evolutionary imperative of progress.

A Clinton Presidency would have offered four more years of that pretense. A woman President following a black President would have meant to many that things are getting better. It would have obscured the reality of continued neoliberal economics, imperial wars, and resource extraction behind a veil of faux-progressive feminism. Now that we have, in the words of my friend Kelly Brogan, rejected a wolf in sheep’s clothing in favor of a wolf in wolf’s clothing, that illusion will be impossible to maintain.

The wolf, Donald Trump (and I’m not sure he’d be offended by that moniker) will not provide the usual sugarcoating on the poison pills the policy elites have foisted on us for the last forty years. The prison-industrial complex, the endless wars, the surveillance state, the pipelines, the nuclear weapons expansion were easier for liberals to swallow when they came with a dose, albeit grudging, of LGBTQ rights under an African-American President.

I am willing to suspend my judgement of Trump and (very skeptically) hold the possibility that he will disrupt the elite policy consensus of free trade and military confrontation – major themes of his campaign. One might always hope for miracles. However, because he apparently lacks any robust political ideology of his own, it is more likely that he will fill his cabinet with neocon war hawks, Wall Street insiders, and corporate reavers, trampling the wellbeing of the working class whites who elected him while providing them their own sugar-coating of social conservatism.

The social and environmental horrors likely to be committed under President Trump are likely to incite massive civil disobedience and possibly disorder. For Clinton supporters, many of whom were halfhearted to begin with, the Trump administration could mark the end of their loyalty to our present institutions of government. For Trump supporters, the initial celebration will collide with gritty reality when Trump proves as unable or unwilling as his predecessors to challenge the entrenched systems that continually degrade their lives: global finance capital, the deep state, and their programming ideologies. Add to this the likelihood of a major economic crisis, and the public’s frayed loyalty to the existing system could snap.

We are entering a time of great uncertainty. Institutions so enduring as to seem identical to reality itself may lose their legitimacy and dissolve. It may seem that the world is falling apart. For many, that process started on election night, when Trump’s victory provoked incredulity, shock, even vertigo. “I can’t believe this is happening!”

At such moments, it is a normal response to find someone to blame, as if identifying fault could restore the lost normality, and to lash out in anger. Hate and blame are convenient ways of making meaning out of a bewildering situation. Anyone who disputes the blame narrative may receive more hostility than the opponents themselves, as in wartime when pacifists are more reviled than the enemy.

Racism and misogyny are devastatingly real in this country, but to blame bigotry and sexism for voters’ repudiation of the Establishment is to deny the validity of their deep sense of betrayal and alienation. The vast majority of Trump voters were expressing extreme dissatisfaction with the system in the way most readily available to them. (See here, here, here, here) Millions of Obama voters voted for Trump (six states who went for Obama twice switched to Trump). Did they suddenly become racists in the last four years? The blame-the-racists (the fools, the yokels…) narrative generates a clear demarcation between good (us) and evil (them), but it does violence to the truth. It also obscures an important root of racism – anger displaced away from an oppressive system and its elites and onto other victims of that system. Finally, it employs the same dehumanization of the other that is the essence of racism and the precondition for war. Such is the cost of preserving a dying story. That is one reason why paroxysms of violence so often accompany a culture-defining story’s demise.

The dissolution of the old order that is now officially in progress is going to intensify. That presents a tremendous opportunity and danger, because when normal falls apart the ensuing vacuum draws in formerly unthinkable ideas from the margins. Unthinkable ideas range from rounding up the Muslims in concentration camps, to dismantling the military-industrial complex and closing down overseas military bases. They range from nationwide stop-and-frisk to replacing criminal punishment with restorative justice. Anything becomes possible with the collapse of dominant institutions. When the animating force behind these new ideas is hate or fear, all manner of fascistic and totalitarian nightmares can ensue, whether enacted by existing powers or those that arise in revolution against them.

That is why, as we enter a period of intensifying disorder, it is important to introduce a different kind of force to animate the structures that might appear after the old ones crumble. I would call it love if it weren’t for the risk of triggering your New Age bullshit detector, and besides, how does one practically bring love into the world in the realm of politics? So let’s start with empathy. Politically, empathy is akin to solidarity, born of the understanding that we are all in this together. In what together? For starters, we are in the uncertainty together.

We are exiting an old story that explained to us the way of the world and our place in it. Some may cling to it all the more desperately as it dissolves, looking perhaps to Donald Trump to restore it, but their savior has not the power to bring back the dead. Neither would Clinton have been able to preserve America as we’d known it for too much longer. We as a society are entering a space between stories, in which everything that had seemed so real, true, right, and permanent comes into doubt. For a while, segments of society have remained insulated from this breakdown (whether by fortune, talent, or privilege), living in a bubble as the containing economic and ecological systems deteriorate. But not for much longer. Not even the elites are immune to this doubt. They grasp at straws of past glories and obsolete strategies; they create perfunctory and unconvincing shibboleths (Putin!), wandering aimlessly from “doctrine” to “doctrine” – and they have no idea what to do. Their haplessness and half-heartedness was plain to see in this election, their disbelief in their own propaganda, their cynicism. When even the custodians of the story no longer believe the story, you know its days are numbered. It is a shell with no engine, running on habit and momentum.

We are entering a space between stories. After various retrograde versions of a new story rise and fall and we enter a period of true unknowing, an authentic next story will emerge. What would it take for it to embody love, compassion, and interbeing? I see its lineaments in those marginal structures and practices that we call holistic, alternative, regenerative, and restorative. All of them source from empathy, the result of the compassionate inquiry: What is it like to be you?

It is time now to bring this question and the empathy it arouses into our political discourse as a new animating force. If you are appalled at the election outcome and feel the call of hate, perhaps try asking yourself, “What is it like to be a Trump supporter?” Ask it not with a patronizing condescension, but for real, looking underneath the caricature of misogynist and bigot to find the real person.

Even if the person you face IS a misogynist or bigot, ask, “Is this who they are, really?” Ask what confluence of circumstances, social, economic, and biographical, may have brought them there. You may still not know how to engage them, but at least you will not be on the warpath automatically. We hate what we fear, and we fear what we do not know. So let’s stop making our opponents invisible behind a caricature of evil.

We’ve got to stop acting out hate. I see no less of it in the liberal media than I do in the right-wing. It is just better disguised, hiding beneath pseudo-psychological epithets and dehumanizing ideological labels. Exercising it, we create more of it. What is beneath the hate? My acupuncturist Sarah Fields wrote to me, “Hate is just a bodyguard for grief. When people lose the hate, they are forced to deal with the pain beneath.”

I think the pain beneath is fundamentally the same pain that animates misogyny and racism – hate in a different form. Please stop thinking you are better than these people! We are all victims of the same world-dominating machine, suffering different mutations of the same wound of separation. Something hurts in there. We live in a civilization that has robbed nearly all of us of deep community, intimate connection with nature, unconditional love, freedom to explore the kingdom of childhood, and so much more. The acute trauma endured by the incarcerated, the abused, the raped, the trafficked, the starved, the murdered, and the dispossessed does not exempt the perpetrators. They feel it in mirror image, adding damage to their souls atop the damage that compels them to violence. Thus it is that suicide is the leading cause of death in the U.S. military. Thus it is that addiction is rampant among the police. Thus it is that depression is epidemic in the upper middle class. We are all in this together.

Something hurts in there. Can you feel it? We are all in this together. One earth, one tribe, one people.

We have entertained teachings like these long enough in our spiritual retreats, meditations, and prayers. Can we take them now into the political world and create an eye of compassion inside the political hate vortex? It is time to do it, time to up our game. It is time to stop feeding hate. Next time you post on line, check your words to see if they smuggle in some form of hate: dehumanization, snark, belittling, derision.., some invitation to us versus them. Notice how it feels kind of good to do that, like getting a fix. And notice what hurts underneath, and how it doesn’t feel good, not really. Maybe it is time to stop.

This does not mean to withdraw from political conversation, but to rewrite its vocabulary. It is to speak hard truths with love. It is to offer acute political analysis that doesn’t carry the implicit message of “Aren’t those people horrible?” Such analysis is rare. Usually, those evangelizing compassion do not write about politics, and sometimes they veer into passivity. We need to confront an unjust, ecocidal system. Each time we do we will receive an invitation to give in to the dark side and hate “the deplorables.” We must not shy away from those confrontations. Instead, we can engage them empowered by the inner mantra that my friend Pancho Ramos-Stierle uses in confrontations with his jailers: “Brother, your soul is too beautiful to be doing this work.” If we can stare hate in the face and never waver from that knowledge, we will access inexhaustible tools of creative engagement, and hold a compelling invitation to the haters to fulfill their beauty.

Image: Creative Commons – picture by Abhi Ryan

Trump won’t prosecute Hillary: politics in the Matrix

Politics in the Matrix: Trump won’t prosecute Hillary Clinton
By Jon Rappoport
“If Donald Trump can help her [Hillary] heal, then perhaps that’s a good thing to do.” —Kellyanne Conway, former Trump campaign manager
Donald Trump achieved two great things in his presidential campaign: he stopped Hillary Clinton from occupying the White House, and he ran against the media by attacking them mercilessly.
Everything else is up for grabs. We will see.
Already, he has made some “errors.” The appointment of Mike Pompeo as CIA director is a bad move. Pompeo, as a congressman, introduced the Dark Act, which now prevents the states from requiring GMO labels on food. And he favors the death sentence for Edward Snowden.
Multiple media outlets are reporting that Trump will not attempt to prosecute Hillary Clinton. This is on the level of lowering the window shades for a vampire as dawn breaks. Hillary was certainly guilty in the email case, and the Clinton Foundation is a pay-for-play money laundering operation of global proportions—a private and parallel State Department, in which cash is the only standard for “diplomacy.” And these charges are mere low-hanging fruit on the Clinton crime family tree.
Pursuing justice is supposed to be a Trump hallmark.
Politics in the Matrix is a tap dance and a shuffle. Deals and compromises are made all the way along the line. Washington and its media allies suck their very life juices from those deals. Like some fungus, they thrive in the dark every-day corruption of This traded for That. In many ways, Trump exclaimed he was above the game. The deals he was going to make would all be on the side of benefiting America—so he has a price to pay for asserting he was most definitely a different character on the political scene.
That unbridled assertion was what drove huge numbers of people to show up at his rallies all over the country. They wanted an outsider who had a serious ax to grind with Washington and the media. They wanted him to be angry and outraged—because they were, too. They didn’t want a great healer, because justice comes before healing.
Many of them had felt the effects of Globalism and its grotesque trade treaties. They were out of work, and he was going to bring back jobs. But that wasn’t their only motivation. They knew their jobs had been stolen by anti-American elites, and they wanted the sword of justice to fall on those elites. They knew Hillary Clinton was an arch-Globalist.
For these millions of Trump supporters, forgiving and forgetting and moving on isn’t presidential. It smells bad. They were never part of the glazed-over New Age crowd, and they aren’t now. The cheese-glob “coming together” isn’t in their lexicon. They don’t view anger as a character defect or a “compensatory” response that traces back into early childhood. They want bad people to pay for their crimes.
Hillary Clinton would be at the top of their list. Helping her heal is a sick joke. They want her in prison where she belongs. They know her constant vapid calls for “national unity” during the campaign were a straight-out con, a cover for her lust for power.
They see nothing redeeming about her. It’s simple: she fights the good and embraces evil. Therefore, she should be punished.
Doing so would set an example and a course for the Trump administration: we don’t back away, we don’t back down. We aren’t separating “campaign talk” from presidential action. We’re not trying to make that phony distinction.
If Trump prosecuted Hillary to the full extent of the law, then of course the owls would come out hooting: he’s vengeful; he can’t let go; he’s mean; he’s spiteful; he’s a cruel sadist; this goes beyond any civilized sense of propriety befitting a real leader.
Yes? And? So?
So what?
Is Trump the same man now that he was when he was campaigning?
Even asking that question seems naïve, because of course we know all politicians rearrange themselves after they win a victory. But Trump portrayed himself as very, very different. He stood on that difference. He celebrated it. He reveled in it. He took great pleasure in it.
Now, he has to pay the price.
His supporters don’t want to hear some garbled nonsense about how prosecuting Hillary would create a giant distraction from the job of leading the country. Trump’s whole campaign was a distraction from politics as usual. That’s what gave him strength.
Prosecuting Hillary Clinton now would be counter-intuitive and outrageous, and therefore it would be the most Trumpian thing Trump could do.
It would give him more support from his millions of people.
And it would be right and correct and it would deliver justice where justice has been needed for a very long time.
And when the whole host of sordid details about Hillary’s crimes came spilling out into the light, people who pride themselves on being in the camp of the “beautiful and virtuous” would realize who they have been defending.
It would provide a valuable lesson, and the price of admittance to that show would trump the decades of waiting America has endured in the case of The People vs. Hillary Clinton.
This case has now been canceled.
Donald Trump achieved two great things in his presidential campaign: he stopped Hillary Clinton from occupying the White House, and he ran against the media by attacking them mercilessly. Failing to prosecute Hillary is not a great thing. It is a very bad thing.
Coda: I sense there may be a little side-op here. Trump’s special advisor and inside man, innovator, media-attacker, and Breitbart editor, Steve Bannon, most certainly opposes the move to let Hillary off the hook. Is this a signal that Steve is out of the loop, or out altogether? He’s the most dangerous threat to the big media oligarchy.

Electors Flooded With Nasty Calls and Death Threats: “Demand Electoral College Switch to Hillary”

threatening-phone-call-wikipedia

This article was written by Paul Joseph Watson and originally published at Infowars.com.

Editor’s Comment: The blowback from Team Hillary, over their rage and anger at losing the election continues to build, and it is reaching an unsettling point. All sides seem determined to drag out their differences into the street, but not before first attempting to overthrow the electoral college.

Since the election, people have been lobbying – or bullying – individual electors in various states, and have left angry, threatening messages and worse. Ironically, those who have threatened violence and attempted to insist on altering the results of the election are trying to convince the electors that Donald Trump is unfit to be president because of his divisive and offensive comments, and his tendency to attack various groups.

More Electors Get Death Threats From Hillary Voters

by Paul Joseph Watson

 

A member of the electoral commission in Texas says his colleagues are getting death threats as angry Hillary supporters ramp up the pressure before electors cast their vote on December 19th.

http://www.nbcdfw.com/templates/nbc_partner_player?cmsID=401825475&videoID=e9dtKCmiTV5h&origin=nbcdfw.com&sec=news&subsec=local&width=600&height=360&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shtfplan.com%2Fheadline-news%2Felectors-flooded-with-nasty-calls-and-death-threats-demand-electoral-college-switch-to-hillary_11212016&ourl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shtfplan.com&lp=1&random=mzv03x1twthd7fhcl3di

Continue reading

 WHY PALESTINE?

Tales from the Conspiratum

The subject of Israel and Palestine is a complex issue. Especially if you are not from there. If you are from there, you probably have your ideology set in stone in your mind. In other words, depending where you were born, you are either an Israeli or a Palestinian.

For us goyims all we can do is study the story as it enfolds. Of course, a good grasp of the history is fundamental to appreciate what is going on. As such, I liked what James says below. I won’t correct or edit the text. The point is that it might ignite a conversation on the subject, and personally I am eager to comprehend the real totality of the problem.  Lou

James Anderson

Nov 21, 2016

James Anderson's Profile Photo

WHY PALESTINE?
Palestine was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 and remained under the rule of the Turks until World War One.In the peace…

View original post 763 more words