"Behind every soulless heel is an unhealed soul."
-- Swami Beyondananda
Even in the darkest of times, it's always amazing to me how the Universe's Sense of Humor emerges to illuminate just about any "shituation." Here is a case in point.
Toward the end of September, there was a lot of buzz going around regarding the "blood moon tetrad" as an indicator of the "end times". Out of curiosity, I tracked one of the links to the Book of Revelations, and there I found a quote that stopped me in my "tracts":
"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (I Cor. 15:51-53).
Never mind that this is from a website called Rapture Ready. There are many, many other sites that offer variants of this quote, indicating that a sign of End Times is "the last trump shall blow."
Now many reading this might be saying, "Okay, we all know Donald Trump blows, and the blowhard is blowing even harder. So what?" And what about this "incorruption" the Bible is talking about? It's good to know the dead are incorruptible ... it's those very live Congress members we're concerned about.
As for the "End Times", I prefer "apocalypse" -- which means, "the lifting of the veils." As unworkable structures fall away, and as the "yarn" keeping them in place unravels we have the opportunity to learn and transform. How well we do this in the coming months will determine whether the Trump will be blowing "Taps" for our experiment in self-governance, or "Reveille" for an awakening political spirit.
So, let's part the Irony Curtain, and as unappetizing and frightening as it may seem, let's have a look at our political system "naked."
Ready? Open your eyes, and close your nose -- we're going in.
The A-Hole That Crawled Out of the FOX-Hole
I am reminded of a poignant moment that to me represented the end of the Republican Party as an organization with any integrity whatsoever, that had the likes of Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and even Barry Goldwater flipping in their crypts. It was during the concession speech John McCain delivered in 2008. There were McCain's old school Arizonian supporters looking down their patrician noses at Sarah Palin, ever ready to steal the scene. They knew they were looking at the "future" of the Republican Party, given over to the smallest of minds and the most shrunken of hearts.
That Donald Trump has been the front-runner in the Republican presidential race is a completely "natural" and understandable result of the Republicans becoming the party of "selfish-righteousness" over the past 35 years, somehow weaving a contradictory narrative that incorporates Creationism and Social Darwinism. And to facilitate cultivating both meanness and ignorance, they've had Fox News (and let us remember that in numerology, F-O-X is 6-6-6). They have "succeeded" beyond their wildest nightmare in activating their "base" by activating the basest of values: Fear, ignorance, prejudice, and rigid adherence to obsolete and obsolethal principles.
So the bad news is, at most recent check 65% of those who call themselves Republicans, support Donald Trump's "solution" to ban Muslims from entering America. (Hmmm ... imagine if the Native Americans played their own Trump card 300 or 400 years ago.)
The good news is that 65% of Republicans represent between 25 and 30% of the entire electorate. Which means there is only one thing (other than the Republicans' supernatural powers to get voting machines to flip votes) standing in the way of a resounding defeat for Trumpism in 2016 -- the Democrats.
The Democrats -- A Wolfowitz in Sheepowitz's Clothing
Now let's be clear. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats haven't sold their soul to the devil. They're too equivocal for that. They merely "rented" their soul. The presumed front-runner, Hillary Clinton, carries the baggage of being a neocon fellow (I mean gal) traveler, a Wolfowitz in Sheepowitz's clothing. And while they stand in contrast to the Republicans on cultural and social issues, the Democratic Party "leadership" is still in the pocket of the banksters, big agriculture, the drug companies and the military industrial complex.
As purported defenders of the middle and working classes, as designated mitigators of the excesses of capitalism, the Democrats have fallen, and seem unlikely to get up. With the very notable exception of Bernie Sanders, the Democrats' brand since the Bill Clinton era has been, "We're not as bad as those other guys."
And while the Millennials came out for Obama and his message of hope and change, they are not as willing as older folks to once again settle for the lesser evil. They are waiting for the greater good, and will stay home unless one appears. (Of course, Trump may impose such a clear and present danger that enough people will say enough to the Republican Party and finally drive a stake through their heartlessness.)
So aside from the prospect of Donald Trump single-handedly destroying the Republican Party, where IS the hope?
From Identity Issues to Identical Issues
If the Republicans have devolved into the party of selfish-righteousness the Democrats have become the party of selfless helplessness -- apparently well meaning but inept at courageously standing up for any principles (or perhaps even having any principles at all). The Democrats' idea of "taking a stand" is refusing to call Islamic extremists Islamic extremists. (I have long believed that political correctness dating back to the late 1970s and early 1980s is how "the right got right and the left got left." But that's another blog post.) Their political strategy has been to focus on cultural issues and "identity issues" and ignore the big fat elephant (and donkey) in the living room -- the American empire, the corporate state, and pay-to-play government.
The great potential of the Bernie Sanders campaign is to shift the focus from identity issues to identical issues -- issues like climate change, clean air, water and food, and economic "thrival" that impact each and all of us, regardless of gender, skin color, religion and the political tribe we identify with. That's why I am hearing from Tea Party Republicans who will vote for Bernie, as they recognize that none of the available Republican candidates are free enough from the power of money to truly be populists. They know the Republican establishment will never enact the kind of tax reform that will prevent the wealthiest from dodging taxes (see this article in the New York Times this week).
So ... next time we hear the Trump blaring forth simplistic misunderstanding, willful ignorance, and demagoguery (pointing fingers at "dem, dem, dem" and never "us") let's take it as the clarion call to gather the 65% or 75% or 80% of us who want government of, by and for the people where the government does OUR bidding and not the bidding of the highest bidder. And next time we hear "oh, Bernie can't win", let's remind ourselves that really Bernie can't lose, because a sleeping giant -- aka "We the People" -- has been awakened.
And as Swami tells us, either we will have an awakening -- or we will have a wake.
So, may the Trump blow "Taps" for the rule of gold, and "Reveille" for the Golden Rule, and may 2016 be not just a leap year but a Quantum Leap Year.
(Coming in next post: One Republican I WOULD Vote For)