Election 2020

Election 2020

I’ve been sitting with my thoughts regarding Elizabeth Warren’s exit, these past few days.

With yesterday being International Women’s Day, I’ve been contemplating her exit even more.

Donald Trump is a symptom of bigger-deeper issues, but I also recognize the poisons he represents: a neglect of intellect and learning, an apparent abhorrence for truth and knowledge, a seeming disgust towards the “other”, male toxicity and aggression, and indifference to suffering.

For me, Elizabeth Warren represents the antidote: a female teacher, who presents well thought out, nuanced, strong progressive plans that address suffering, and who can be fierce without aggression. I posted this a while back on Twitter before she dropped out, lamenting that our final two candidates were white males who at times are aggressive. I stated it would be refreshing to have a female President. I was promptly chewed out by a verified journalist and Bernie supporter for being sexist and ageist.

Apparently, I’m in the minority, viewing Elizabeth Warren and the antidote President. I fear we have missed the boat on this one, learning little from 2016. I don’t see the antidote in our remaining two candidates.

Though Joe Biden may bring stability and I believe truly means well, it will be stability of a former status quo, one that continues to in many ways abandon the most vulnerable. It is immoral for pharmaceutical companies to make hundreds of millions and even billions as profits each year, as many of our elderly family and neighbors choose whether to purchase food to eat or prescriptions for needed medicines, not able to afford both. It is immoral that people – especially children starve and are homeless. The status quo is not working and Biden, in all likelihood will continue this and not address this. The increasing gap between the wealthiest and the working class falling deeper into poverty is immoral. Money making money, to just sit there making more money, while people starve, get sick and die is immoral. Biden has to be open to addressing these issues. We are going to have to unify.

Don’t be afraid of the term “Democratic Socialism.” It could just as easily be called “European Capitalism.” It isn’t Communism.

Though Bernie Sanders has vision and has energized the needed motivation to change this status quo, addressing these moral issues that I most align with after Elizabeth Warren, his campaign and movement contain within it a toxicity that needs to be exorcised. I have experienced it firsthand in 2016 and in this most recent campaign. To be clear, I believe the motivation behind the movement is one of compassion, and I think Bernie’s motivation is one of compassion. I have many beautiful, open-hearted friends who are Bernie supporters and have kept their kindness intact. However, there is an underlying anger at the current injustices (and rightly so) that isn’t being transformed by a significant portion of the movement and is instead being transmitted to anyone who doesn’t fall right in step, often being birthed into aggressive attacks online, even towards other progressives. This is harmful and toxic. Again, this isn’t from talking points given out by the “establishment” “the elite” or the “mainstream media.” I’m getting this from firsthand experience and from friends’ firsthand experience – from real people and often verified surrogates, not just Russian bots. This is driving many people who could be allies in this movement away. We are going to have to unify.

So we are left with two candidate who on each side have fervent supporters who have declared they will not vote for the other. Great. I’ve interacted with some folks who would rather the whole system burn down. Some of them stayed home or voted for Trump in 2016. Unfortunately, the whole system burning down isn’t fast like they want, it is slow, painful and cruel especially for the most vulnerable who already have it pretty bad in many cases. I wish people understood that there will be no progress if Trump is re-elected, for the next four years and possibly much much longer. I’m not convinced he will leave office. He loves hoaxes and even if he loses whether by a little or a lot, I’d expect the Justice Department will investigate the hoax, the meddling or whatever story he manifests. If he leaves, he faces possible indictments – what’s his motivation to actually leave?

In the general, I will #VoteBlueNoMatterWho, because I take the prospect of a Trump second term seriously enough. It will be much harder to make any progress under authoritarian rule. I’m not very optimistic that even that prospect as horrific as it is, is enough to drive the opposing sides closer to compromise and unity. BUT that is what is needed. No matter who the nominee is, if we ALL show up and vote, we can overcome Trump in the election.

For now, I have decided to take a step back from engaging in the rest of this primary. I’ve already voted and the ugliness, the nastiness that I see is exhausting and insulting to our humanity, it doesn’t deserve the little energy I have and plays into Trump’s manipulations all too easily. I’m going to Dagobah during this time, to give it a Star Wars reference. I’ll be online less, but will still share the art and quotes as I have, sharing light when and where I can, and then I’ll dive back in for the general election to fully support the Democratic Nominee to defeat Trump.

May all beings be safe and at ease. May all beings be free from suffering.

~j

#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #EngagedBuddhist #Election2020 #Zen #JMWart #JinpaLhaga

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