Most Americans agree on one thing – that the stakes are extremely high for the outcome of the U.S. elections coming up on November 4. I’m reading many articles about the probability of widespread violence around the election. This is unprecedented in the 250 year history of this country.
As I wrote in my last blog there seems to be an extreme experience of polarization within our society that this election is intensifying. So many people have very strong beliefs and versions of reality that appear to be in extreme opposition to the other side. The two sides can’t even agree on a set of facts to debate about – kind of like living in different worlds, and that may be the way it is. There is so much rhetoric flying around about multitudes of issues and alleged disclosures of truth and exposes of corruption and evil.
I believe that most of this rhetoric is more of a smokescreen than facing and discussing the real underlying divide in our country. Here is what I think this election, and our polarized divide is REALLY about if you look past the rhetoric and blow this smokescreen away.
I will admit that I don’t really like either choice – Trump/Pence or Biden/Harris or the parties they are affiliated with. I wouldn’t have chosen any of them. It seems that our corporate-ocracy will not allow anyone who is really original, inspiring and with a meaningful plan for reforming our broken systems to get nominated to run for President. So it can be tempting to just throw up our hands and turn away from the drama of this election because it all basically seems so dismal. But my gut tells me that is not the thing to do – that I and each of us who cares about each other and our Earth need to stand up and be counted. So given this situation, or however each of us perceives it, how can we make a clear and informed choice NOT based on our lower nature of fear, projection and polarization?
First of all everything in the Universe operates according to Law. Science, and physics in particular observes and studies these universal laws – the way things are. When it comes to human experience there are laws also that supercede the statutory laws we create. The 10 Commandments were an early expression of laws that govern human behavior. The first 5 commandments are religious ones about relationship with God as it was understood in ancient times. I believe those can and should be updated from the dualistic view of humans and God that they represent. The second 5 commandments govern human behavior. They state that killing, stealing, cheating, bearing false witness and coveting what is not yours creates added suffering and separation from our God-self, and so are not part of living within the virtue of Divine Law.
To me morality is even simpler than the 10 Commandments. Any action or experience that RAISES my energy vibration and puts me more in resonance with pure love is GOOD. Any action or experience that LOWERS my energy vibration and makes me feel more separate from pure love, and therefore in some form of FEAR, is BAD. So doing any of those prohibited actions in the 10 Commandments tend to put me more in the lower vibration/fear/separation experience. Each of us has been discovering the truth of our morality for ourselves.
So a fresh and very useful way to look at the Presidential election coming up is this – the election of which candidate – Biden or Trump – is more likely to INCREASE suffering on the planet, and which choice is more likely to DECREASE suffering? This is a deep question and one I hope you won’t jump to a conclusion about based on past beliefs and biases.
I will be voting for Joe Biden because I believe that his election has the potential to REDUCE some forms of major suffering and the re-election of Trump will almost certainly INCREASE it. Here are the top reasons to back up this belief:
Reason Number One
Biden and most of his supporters are committed to take strong measures to protect our environment crises and address man-made climate change. Trump has clearly done everything he could to remove and roll back environmental protections during his administration and will continue to do even more of this if re-elected. Again, as of this week he has again denied the reality of climate change, even in the face of unprecedented international evidence that it is ramping up rapidly.
Trump represents a system often called “neo-liberalism”. This is totally different than what we call being political liberal. Neo-liberalism is an old system that gained major traction during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Neo-liberals believe that promoting the continued growth of profitability for big corporations through unregulated capitalism is the highest good and ANY MEANS TO ACHIEVE THAT IS JUSTIFIED. The worst nightmare for neo-liberals would be to acknowledge the reality of man-made climate change because this blows a big hole in their cherished belief in unlimited business growth at any cost. Acknowledging the urgency of addressing climate change and environmental pollution has to lead to intelligent regulation of big corporations to stop them from contributing to pollution and environmental degradation. That is like death to neo-liberals. Yet many enlightened analysts have demonstrated that pro-actively addressing climate change using new technologies and partnership between business and government can create added wealth and lots of new jobs. It’s mainly a matter of the willingness to change old ways and adapt – quickly. If corporations were compelled to do that they would find ways to do it.
It can be argued that Biden is also in bed with neo-liberalism through his past championing of big banks and other corporations. Yet as I stated earlier he and the Democratic party will do way better at facing and addressing our environmental crises, and failure to do that is the greatest evil of neo-liberalism at this time.
What seems ironic and paradoxical to me is that so many people who consider themselves to be conservatives and against big government and “the deep state” support de-regulation policies that give giant corporations and their lobbyists much more control over their lives and well-being. Is there something wrong with this picture?
Climate change has already created massive levels of increased suffering all over the planet in the form of super storms, killer heat waves, more severe droughts, food shortages, increase in deadly diseases and massive wildfires. Scientists say that all this will only get progressively worse and worse unless there is an urgent international action to address it. Although we have retreated from promoting democratic institutions in recent years the United States still has the power to be a leader in international global issues like this. So a vote for Trump is a vote for moving in the wrong direction on our environment, and hence massive increased suffering.
Reason Number Two
We need to acknowledge that the forward-facing United States is a multi-cultural country. The percentage of non-Caucasian people is trending upwards. The USA was founded with an economy that partially depended on enslaving people of color. Police departments in many areas were originally created to capture and punish runaway slaves. Even though African-American people have gained much more economic opportunity and freedom from enforced segregation over the last decades there is still loads of harmful discrimination and violence directed toward them. There are similar situations for our Native American population and other minorities. There is still a widespread pay gap between men and women in the U.S. and violence against women is still rampant. The dark underbelly of institutionalized racism, sexism and white supremacy in the USA must be faced and resolved in order to reduce suffering in our country. This is a difficult process because these attitudes are so deeply engrained in us.
Trump has done a valuable service by inviting the white supremacists out into the open so we can really see what they stand for and make an informed decision if that is what we want to support, even tacitly. Trump is now running on the old platform of “law and order” which is code-speak for continuing white supremacy. He is banking on stirring up more fear among suburban White women about Black people moving into and ruining their neighborhoods in order to help put him over the top in swing states.
Biden and his administration are more likely to move American in the direction of addressing racial injustices, or at least not inflaming them further as Trump has been doing. Biden has experience reaching across the aisle to work with Republicans during his long career, and if elected he will likely try to find more common ground between the parties.
Based on these two points alone, I believe that, given the choice between a Trump administration and a Biden administration, that the first will significantly increase suffering by further inflaming racial tensions and the second is less likely to do so, and is more likely to open the way for seeking new, more cooperative solutions. So a vote for Trump is a vote for increased strife and suffering in this regard.
Reason Number Three
I realize that there is a great deal of controversy and dis-information going around about COVID-19 and what we as a society need to do about it, and how to get our economy back on track. I agree with some of the conspiracy theorists who believe that the mainstream media has failed to represent all parts of this vital discussion and have unduly emphasized the drug-based medical/vaccine route as the #1 solution to the epidemic. But the question here is this – to what extent is Donald Trump responsible for the amount of suffering and deaths associated with COVID in the USA? I believe that it is fair to say that he is responsible to a significant extent. He deliberately downplayed the risk of the disease when it first hit the USA last winter even though he acknowledged that he knew how serious it was. Vital months went by without the leadership needed to nip it in the bud. The epidemic would have happened with or without Trump, but it sure seems that there have been huge amounts of human suffering and economic devastation that could have been prevented if he had acted courageously and decisively last winter and since. We will never know how Biden would have handled things last winter if he had been President, but we now have to choose who we will vote for partially based on who we believe can be trusted to provide the best leadership through what lies ahead. That could include resurgences of COVID and even more deadly pandemics.
Again, I am not saying these opinions because I believe Biden, Harris or the Democratic Party to be virtuous or free of major stains and shortcomings. I see plenty of those! I am saying it because this is the choice we have, and electing Biden is the only way to remove Trumpism from the top leadership of our country. The movement toward environmental cleanup, racial justice and reducing the control of white male patriarchy is already underway. These are inevitable directions during the raising of consciousness that is now happening. We have a lot of say about how dark it will have to get and how profound the suffering will have to be before we change. I know that many spiritually-oriented people choose to tune all this out because it seems so uncomfortable and “lower vibration”. I think those of us on spiritual paths have the responsibility to be involved in what happens to our country – as messy as it is. Bringing your Light and consciousness to these 3-D struggles is a valuable and much needed service.
I love Swami Beyondananda’s quip: “I can guarantee you that peace is coming to the Earth. I just hope we humans are around to enjoy it!”
Here is an important and relevent point about free will. None of us can really change our overall destiny path. There are some things we need to do to complete ourselves that we don’t have much of a choice about. The only free will we really have is how much we PROCRASTINATE in following our soul path. That we can choose. No matter how much we deny or put off following our path of light sooner or later each of us will need to return to it and complete ourself.
It’s the same way with the United States of America – there is a long-term, upward path of awakening consciousness we are already on. Our choice this November is whether we go with these inevitable evolutionary changes OR try to hold onto the old order of environment-be-damned patriarchal control a little longer. If we choose the second we will experience most painful and costly consequences.
Real life is not black and white. Real human experiences are full of nuances and shades of gray. Demonizing the other side is a very harmful, de-humanizing experience for those getting caught up in it. We need to look at the urgent choices facing us and make grounded decisions based in what is.
It is good and important for us to make our most informed choice and vote in the upcoming election, not expecting purity or exceeding virtue from either side. We are facing a crisis in this election due to the fact that Trump has repeatedly stated that he may not accept the results of the election if he loses. It seems that he and many of his followers are making huge efforts to keep him in power through many forms of voter suppression. Between this and all the dis-information and highly engineered emotional manipulation on Facebook and other social medias flying around it can be very hard to see clearly. It is the duty of each one of us to vote our conscience anyway and do what we can to help ensure fair and free elections.
In this post I have presented another way to look at the decision of this election in the light of basic ethics of human life. What do you believe about this?