What If Trump Wins?
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
I have been consumed by the horrors of our imploding democracy, and so I asked.
Mahatma Gandhi: In these days of burgeoning unrest and its attendant violence, we see a vacuum being created at the top - not just of America but in other democracies everywhere. Fostered by the discord and distrust that has been facilitated by the modern system of instant and worldwide communication, we are faced with problems not unique to nation states, particularly those striving for representative government, but different in degree in that the means for coping with these insidious attempts at disinformation have not yet come to maturity.
The world is going through an almighty shift. The internet revolution is the beginning of much that can be used for good or evil, and balance between the two has so far eluded our grasp. This is not surprising. We have had very little time to assimilate the new technology let alone to come to a consensus about the safeguards that must be put in place and yet still protect the free and open exchange of information
Truth is not a unilateral concept. Many times it is in the eye of the beholder. Its reporting, its interpretation, and its presentation are all affected by its relationship with the world it purports to describe. And yet there are unilateral means of determining who and what is giving us an accurate version of events - at least according to the lights of a given reporter.
It behooves us all to question everything that we hear, check our sources, consider our own biases and those of the reporter and then make our decisions accordingly. We are being taught by stringent necessity to be skeptical and to think for ourselves. We are not the first people to be led by the misperceptions of our leaders, but we are the first to have a veritable smorgasbord of viewpoints coming at us in an electronic blizzard.
Ann: I agree that it would be wonderful is this transition will teach us to think for ourselves in a more independent fashion, but I wonder about the desires on the part of many – and I count myself as one - to have a leader before whom we can relax constant vigilance because we believe in the integrity and judgment of that leader.
Mr. Gandhi: Yes, Ann, this is all very well, but even those we trust make mistakes - mistakes of culture, of heritage, and of conditioned thinking. What is needed here is a great leveler, something that brings us all back to basics, to our common humanity, to our sense of decency and concern for others because we can see that every other person carries the same burdens that we do.
I am sorry to have to say that that great leveler is suffering, and suffering has today been brought to bear in the modern world by famine, flood, fire, and disease and the opportunists that arise accordingly. All of these are being inflicted upon us now. No one is spared. However difficult, not to mention traumatic, it is to try to crawl our way through the destruction of habitat, cultures, and political systems, this is a necessary tearing down so that rebuilding can begin anew.
I ask that each of you walk through these times with that understanding. Each person who carries the vision of a new society where community, mutual concern and connection with Spirit will drive the creation and operation of a new way of being with each other.
I know that many of you are terrified that the current president may win re-election and destroy what is left of your American democracy. I do not see that happening, but whether he is re-installed or not, the tearing down process is progressing inexorably to make space for the new way.
It is this way that we must focus on, not the particulars of each presidential poll or election result. It is this way that is our salvation, a way that will be practiced by an increasing segment of the population as our vision clears and we distinguish the stark contrasts revealed by those who would lead us back into exploitation of our fellows.
This time there is additional reason for hope. Consciousness is present and growing and will not be denied. Black Lives Matter, the Green Revolution, the movements for universal health care, education and decent living conditions, just to name a few are leading the way.
So do not let yourselves become despondent. Nonviolence rooted in kindness, implacable vision, and restraint will inevitably will win the day. So what if a battle is lost? The final victory is assured. It will take time. You must have patience and perseverance. Look neither to the left nor to the right when presented with one outrage or horror after the other. Simply keep to your path.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
August 7, 2020