Marc’s Meditation on Trump
Here’s something I believe. If I want to be an agent of peace in this world, I can’t hate anyone. I cannot carve out exceptions to that rule.
Of course, even as I’m glued, like millions of other Americans, to the story of what is happening with Donald J Trump and his indictments and his court appearances and the 2024 election and so on, the much, much larger story is that our planet is burning.
She’s burning and burning.
And perhaps if justice demands that Donald Trump should be punished for his many crimes against humanity and against the United States (and his lifelong career of recklessly and remorselessly inflicting hurt on countless individuals), let’s not feed the demon within him with our hatred. He is as innocent as any of us in his essence. The demon that possesses him and has possessed him his entire life and has swallowed up his soul feeds on hatred. Let us not feed it.
Let us instead count the ways that we are indebted to Donald Trump for showing us so clearly our wounds and our weaknesses, and that so many millions of our brothers and sisters in the United States have been in so much pain and living with so much hopelessness that even if they know the truth, they might say “I don’t give a shit about global warming. Fuck that. I have no hope. I have no reason to live. Nobody feels my pain. Donald Trump knows it though. He knows it. He addresses it and he speaks for me.”
Because their own lives feel so hopeless and they are carrying so much hurt, they don’t even care if Trump is lying to them. They may know that too. He’s lying to them, but at least he sees them. He sees their raw naked wounds and their shame and self-loathing and their core wounds are the same as his own, billionaire though he may be (or not); that is the truth of him. He is a walking talking husk, spiritually bereft, bankrupt, left out in the elements to freeze or fry. (And as for the other millions of us – those not under Trump’s spell — he taunts us with his lies, sticks us in the eye with all his outrageous lies, partly because he knows we hate him, but they’re also frantic lies to which he clings as a life raft.)
Donald Trump has made us aware of the vast, vast numbers of traumatized, desperate, screaming-in-pain fellow citizens we share our country with.
So if he should go to jail, let’s not send him off with feelings of hatred or schadenfreude. Let’s commit ourselves in our hearts to wishing him peace. Let’s send him off with prayers that he should find his own essence in his heart and that he should discover the true source of peace, which is not in power or control or adulation or fame or conquest, but deep within.
Mixed feelings here. I love the essential thought… that he’s in essence “innocent” (as are we all) and that millions of people feel he truly sees their pain.
I can’t quite get on board with the “no schadenfreude” exhortation, though. While “he sees our pain” truly moves me to more compassion, who am I to not have pain too? Trump’s words and deeds have caused a lot of us a lot of it, needlessly, heedlessly, and wantonly, and I’ve felt it. I try to be a good person but I’m not a hermit or a saint.
It feels like too much to ask. What, no schadenfreude? I can’t help feeling it, even though I also know that the feeling is of no consequence to the course of (we hope) justice, or to the deep essential human-ness of everyone, even Trump. (Well, that’s why I’m against the death penalty, too.)
I wouldn’t send him off with feelings of hatred. If he were to be sent to prison, I’d send him off with feelings of relief and gratitude. Relief that he could at last be out of sight, out of mind. And gratitude that our system of justice did its job for our democracy at last. Hatred would be the least of it. But a bit of schadenfreude might creep in, and I’m OK with that.
I think the empathy you express with Trump’s followers is beautiful, and the point of it to me would be to enhance our (“our,” sounds kinda privileged, huh?) compassion for these folks, and not to sweep them or their needs and concerns under the rug, but to really address them. Which actually I think Biden is trying to do, with infrastructure and union jobs and pushing American manufacturing and fair wages and even rural broadband.
I love the insights about Trump and his followers, but don’t tell me to be perfect!
Actually, Susan, once again, I have to agree with you.
I wrote my little piece under the influence of plant medicine, and perhaps I was in touch with some “purer” part of myself. But on a strictly human, day-to-day level, I imagine that if and when Trump goes to prison, a little schadenfreude may creep into my soul as well.
Not that I think that’s an especially “good” thing, but I agree it’s a natural human thing, and I’m imperfect too. Who are we to aspire to perfection?
So. No schadenfreude prohibitions from me. I retract that imperative!
… And, while we’re on the general topic, just for chuckles, here’s an oldie-but-goodie from youtube: If Trump Drank Ayahuasca.