Choice in November 2016 Election – Rational, Emotional, Radically Irrational – Insights from the Wilderness #255

Choice in November 2016 ElectionIt looks like we are going to have a choice in November 2016 election between rational, emotionally irrational or radically irrational. But I’m not talking about the candidates. I’m talking about you and me; the ones who will be going to the polls to vote for the nation we want our children to inherit. But trust me, this will not be another same old, same old article urging us to vote for one candidate or another. This article is going to offer a choice few are talking about.

So fasten your seat belt.

Choice in November 2016 Election

To begin, we first need to address a few significant realities.

The first significant reality is the lack of recognition many Americans have for the pain, frustration, alienation, powerlessness, humiliation, poverty, and most of all, the lack of hope so many American’s are experiencing today. We think the election is about Trump vs. the Democratic candidate. It’s not.

  • It’s about the lack of opportunity and economic security, the lack of self-determination, and the financial and educational roadblocks limiting the middle-class in America the conditions necessary to create the life they would like to create.
  • It’s about the anger and frustration, so many Americans feel about the self-serving politicians, and the broken political system that has sold it’s soul to the multinational corporations and the 1%.
  • It’s about anger and powerlessness, so many Americans feel as the world moves deeper and deeper into chaos.
  • It’s about our greed based economic model and a workplace that embraces and encourages that economic model by rewarding manipulation and control. For generations of Americans, the workplace has been creating aggressive, competitive, self-focused, narcissistic personalities who struggle every day to “get ahead”. For generations, our educational system has been focused on teaching the skills needed to be “successful” in that competitive economic system.
  • It’s about a workforce that returns home at the end of every day emotionally exhausted only to face more frustration when they fail in their attempts to create loving, long-term cooperative relationships with family members, and friends… using the competitive skills and what’s-in-it-for-me conditioning of their workplace.
  • It’s about the ideologically gridlocked political system that has so many Americans angry and fed up with a government shut down by rigid, black and white, political extremism.
  • It’s about the frustration and powerlessness so many American’s feel as they struggle to create a sense of meaning in their lives… in the midst of a self-focused, violent, global human culture that has become so insensitive to the needs and suffering of others.

Bottom line: Americans are angry, and they want change.

The second significant reality that needs to be addressed is the frightening vision for America’s future being created by some of our ideologically rigid politicians. They are taking the American political system into territory reminiscent of Germany in the 1930’s. We are on a very slippery slope and in danger of walking down a very similar path. The Germans too were angry and without hope. They too searched frantically for an “enemy”; a scapegoat they could blame for their frustration and anger. In Germany, it was the Jews. German politicians beat the drum for a future of ultra-nationalism and solidarity; pledging to restore Germany to greatness.

The German nation was enticed by the power of hateful rhetoric, prejudice, intimidation, and the promise of a future of meaning and hope. A Germany restored to greatness. Today, America’s scapegoats are the poor, the immigrants, the Mexicans, and the Muslims. Many of our current political candidates are using the same hateful rhetoric and prejudice to advance the cause of ultra-nationalism and America’s “return to greatness”. Like I said above, we are walking on a very slippery slope.

Bottom line: Like Americans today, the people of Germany were angry. They were without hope. They felt powerless. They were frustrated. The wanted a future they could believe in. They wanted change.

The third significant reality is the rapidly growing American fascism of hate rhetoric, racism, and prejudice resoundingly extolled by the disaffected religious right, the Islamaphobes, and the immigrant bashers. When you add in the roughly 700 groups comprised of angry, white, ultra-nationalists, hardcore rightwing extremists, and radical anti-government second amendment supporting “patriot” groups that openly embrace this growing hate rhetoric, the potential for chaos and disruption in America is very high. When we add in the more than 300 armed, radical anti-government militia groups, the potential for chaos and disruption increases even further. The wildlife takeover in Burns Oregon was a good example of the armed militia and their beliefs about federal government “tyranny”.

In Germany, Hitler had the backing of the Brown Shirt storm troopers to enforce his radical views. They were the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party. They played a significant role in Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Their primary purposes were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, and disrupting the meetings of opposing parties. He was aided in part by his willingness to incite violence in advancing his political objectives. This paramilitary wing eventually became the SS.

Bottom line: America is on a very slippery slope. Many people are angry and feeling powerless. Many of them have little to lose. The chaos in the MiddleEast is a good example of the fragility of human civilization. When a nation abandons the rule of law, chaos is always ready to step into the void. America would not be immune to this historical reality.

Your Three Choices When You Enter The Voting Booth

As voters, I believe we have only three choices when we enter the polling booth in November. We can embrace rationality, emotional irrationality, or radical irrationality. Let’s take a closer look at the three choices.

Choice #1 – Rational: We can take the rational approach and assume that everything will work out just fine. It always does. After all, this is America. What could possibly go wrong? Besides, it doesn’t really make any difference who gets elected, the checks and balances built into our government will not let any one person or political party have too much power. Life will go on regardless of whether I vote or how I vote. The rational approach is similar to an ostrich with it’s head in the sand. It prefers to ignore reality. Assuming they bother to actually show up and vote, a large group of voters will vote rationally. I refer to this group as the “ho-hum” group. Their motto is “whatever”.

Choice #2 – Emotionally irrational: We can take the emotionally irrational approach and simply give into our anger, frustration, and sense of powerless and follow the path Germany took. We can vote for the candidate we think will bring America back to greatness. We can project our anger onto the scapegoat “enemies,” we can build walls, blame the Muslims, blame the lazy who choose to live in poverty and live on the handouts offered by our government, blame the greedy wall street bankers, the multinational corporations, and the 1%.

The emotionally irrational approach is essentially one of anger at just about everything and everybody. We’re America; we can go to war against anyone who looks like an “enemy”. We can carpet bomb terrorists, shut down government handout programs, and reverse the affordable care laws. Everything is messed up anyways… so we’ll just be angry and act out our anger on whoever is “other” or different from us. Most of them are terrorists anyways. So good riddance. You bet I’m going to vote!!!!!!!!!!! I refer to this group as the “ideologically rigid return to greatness” group. Their motto is “we’re American’s, we’re #1, we can do whatever we want.”

Choice #3 – Radically irrational: If we really want to be totally and radically irrational, we could choose the most irrational, crazy, insane path imaginable.

  • We could embrace our interconnectedness with the rest of humanity and begin to build more intimate and compassionate relationships with those who are suffering from poverty and hunger.
  • We could bring justice to those who have been displaced and ravaged by the violence of war and never-ending bombs.
  • We could embrace the laws of nature that we see in the natural world and begin to offer others the benefits that would result from living a life of “mutual benefit” for all living beings.
  • We could bring light and compassion into the world.
  • We could build bridges rather than walls.
  • We could acknowledge the fact that our bombing has destabilized much of the world and created entire populations of homeless, starving people.
  • We could acknowledge the simple reality that most of the wealth and resources of our planet are used to support our Western way of life.
  • We could acknowledge the simple reality that until all living systems on our planet share equally in the distribution of our planetary resources, the idea of a “peaceful” world will continue to be an illusion.
  • We could embrace morality and voluntarily begin to share our wealth with the less fortunate.
  • We could ensure that the world’s homeless have a place to live.
  • We could ensure that the world’s hungry have food to eat.
  • We could ensure that the children of the world could go to school.
  • We could ensure that quality healthcare could be offered to all third world, emerging nations.
  • We could do all these things voluntarily because we know it’s the right thing to do.
  • It’s radically irrational, but it’s what nature does every day……and we know in our hearts it’s the right thing to do.

This radically irrational approach will be a long time coming. It will require a voluntary transformation in human consciousness…..a transformation in thinking from our current self-focused “i” to a collective focus on the whole, the “we”…….a sense of mutual benefit for the rest of creation. In the meantime, we can vote for those candidates that most reflect this radically irrational approach.

We can begin to manifest these values in our day-to-day lives.

We can begin to create this new worldview from the bottom up, and stop waiting for the wealthy and the powerful to give up their power and wealth. That will never happen. Radical change happens from the bottom up, not from the top down.

I refer to this radically irrational group as the compassionate “yes we can” group. And yes, of course, we will vote! Their motto is “yes we can create a world of mutual benefit for all…..and we are rapidly running out of time to get started”.

So yes, vote in November, but let’s stop waiting for the change we know in our hearts is the right thing to do. I know it is radically irrational but I believe the future survival of our species will be determined by how quickly we can become radically irrational; how quickly we can embrace the interconnected unity and oneness of all of creation; and how quickly we can let go of the so-called “rational” anger and revenge so prevalent in our world today.

As I said in the title of this article…..it’s our choice. Our call.

If not you and I, then who. If not now, then when?

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