I’m feeling scoured out by this election. Maybe you can relate.
A little while ago I saw Rick Santorum on TV – that’s former Republican Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania – excoriating the president for his baseless claims of voter fraud and declaring that “no elected Republican” would back Trump up on this. That calmed me a lot.
And I thought about this book I’m reading, CLIMATE: A NEW STORY by Charles Eisenstein. Eisenstein’s words sing like revealed truth to me. He thinks environmentalists and liberals make a terrible mistake by focusing so singularly (almost exclusively) on global warming and on carbon emissions. He points out that the entire planet is one living, interrelated entity, that we need to honor it as such, that all ecosystems affect each other in countless ways, and that carbon is only one element of a very complex and dynamic planetary system that includes wetlands, forests, coral reefs, and oceans, and the health of all depends on the health of each, and that rather than trying to reduce our climate crisis to measurable levels of carbon and declare war on carbon, we would do better to protect and restore ecosystems all over the world, and as a matter of fact if we do that, we will reap the benefits of atmospheric carbon reduction and climate stabilization … among so many other things.
But I digress. The reason I was thinking about the book is that early on in it, Eisenstein talks about something he calls “war mentality.” If only “they” would listen to “us,” all would be well. If only we can get rid of X and establish Y, things would be okay. If only the Democrats could win majorities in all branches of government and vanquish the Republicans, we’d start to make things right. And so on. He makes the case that this kind of thinking reinforces a “story of separation” that we’ve all be indoctrinated into — and that in this regard, people on the political left and political right share far more assumptions than they realize. Very foundational assumptions.
So I thought about this tonight with regard to Republicans and Democrats. (Spoiler alert: I’m a Democrat. A shock, right?) And after watching Santorum, I thought, Wow, this is the first major expression of national unity and bipartisanship in the post-Trump era – Democrats and Republicans standing together for the integrity of the election and insisting that all votes should count! And when Biden is finally declared the winner after all the votes are counted, other prominent Republicans will pile on too! How beautiful is that going to be?
As commentator Gloria Borger pointed out on CNN, if Democrats were stealing this election, wouldn’t they have done far better across the board? It has been an extremely disappointing election in so many ways for Democrats, most notably with the Senate races we lost that we expected to win. But we too will stand with the integrity of the results! Let us all agree – both Democrats and Republicans – that what happened happened!
A first grand move in the direction of reestablishing a shared reality, post-Trump!
I was stoked about this until I read that Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz have gotten on Fox News and backed the president. So Mr. Santorum was sadly mistaken.
It sticks in my craw. What despicable shameless bastards these guys are! What bootlicking crud balls of human garbage. What spineless contemptible creeps.
And as for Trump himself, I watched his speech today. He looked to me like a cross between a creature out of a Bosch painting and a wicked Dr. Seuss character. It was like looking into the face of Hell. I was grossed out and freaked out. (No, I wasn’t stoned; that was my “unaltered” reaction.) I scarcely see him as human anymore. I perceive him as some kind of empty hollowed-out husk, possessed by vile demonic energies.
So, getting back to Eisenstein’s thesis, it seems I’m still at war. Because if I were not at war, I would not respond to the sniveling sickening disgusting Republican senators Graham and Cruz with such uncompromising revulsion. In fact, I might even own Trump as a twisted lost brother.
I do believe the hard work ahead involves seeing hatred for what it is, in me, and in “them.” When we hate each other, hate wins. I think those guys are behaving hatefully. But what does that mean exactly?
Maybe it means they are doing the best they can, coming from their own ancient and obscure wounding.
Frankly – and this may be controversial – I’ve long suspected that Trump was a victim of violent, humiliating childhood sexual abuse. Just a gut feeling. Not that it matters really. He is who he is. He is what he is, for reasons unknown to me. Maybe just bad luck of the genetic draw, though I don’t really believe in coincidences. Or I should say, I don’t believe in randomness.
I believe, as Eisenstein so passionately and eloquently posits, that EVERYTHING is purposeful and alive, including rocks and raindrops. I’m not kidding.
I’m not going to try to love Trump, or Graham, or Cruz. Maybe, just for now though, I don’t have to pour any more fuel on my inner fire of loathing, because it hurts my heart. I think now is the time to take care of my heart. I hope you take care of yours too.
Let’s all live from our hearts and take care of each other’s hearts in the unknown times to come! As of this writing, they haven’t called the presidential election yet.
Fingers crossed. Heart open. Sending love.