What On Earth

Today. Yesterday. The day before yesterday. They were a little much. Yes, today is already a little much. I can’t sleep, and the sleep aids are just giving me a sour stomach, and not sleep.

Politics. They really get under one’s skin, even when we’re not involved in them. I was wondering today why people get so fired up. Every election, too. I am among the people who claim that the stakes are higher than normal in this election, because one of the candidates is far worse than normal. But when McCain was running against Obama I was still really identified with the election. Maybe it didn’t feel like life or death (now it does) but I still had intense arguments on the internet. That was the first election I ever voted in. Today, I would give anything for John McCain to be running, and not Donald Trump. I hated Sarah Palin but she would only have been VP.

I think, apart from concern for our welfare, something in us is egoically tied to election results, and who’s in the White House. I feel bad for all the Trump supporters who are (currently) losing, if only because I know they’re human, and that’s how I felt last time.

But I can’t believe people are so extraordinarily stupid. For a group of people who likes to scream “fake news!” they don’t really seem that concerned with checking facts. I have my own beef with the liberal media but now it seems like the most rational and accurate source of information out there. I might be wrong. The liberal media was wrong about Hillary easily winning the last election. Which is why I’m so scared to get comfortable with the race, and what’s happening in it.

I have long thought that conspiracy theories could be true. Some of them make sense. But they’re still conspiracy theories. They lead people to impractical ways of thinking that are disconnected from reality, reality being what we know. We may not know it absolutely, as any proven hypothesis is still a theory in science, but as far as our current reality goes, it’s reasonable and grounded to that frame of reference.

I don’t think Trump is some kind of savior of molested children. I think he has molested children. That’s what I think. I also think that his fan base thinks much like him, which is why they like him so much. What they feel and think is right matters more than what is true. If they checked their facts more, and cared more about reality than the one they wish to create (or delusion they wish to maintain), I would give them more of the benefit of the doubt. My one FB friend who is an avid Trump supporter posts such stupid things, full of spelling and grammar errors, and that tells me that she cannot be thinking.

I don’t think a Biden win means the end of political manipulation or the threat of fascism and war. However, a Biden win gives us more wiggle room in terms of the survival of humanity. He might re-enter us into the Paris Agreement. Do I think police brutality will end? No. Do I think the rich will probably get richer while he’s president? Yes. Do I think he’d be millions of times better for the world than Trump? Yes.

But that is my opinion. That is what flummoxes me–support for Trump is considered a legitimate position, and not a crime against our fellow citizens.

I think standing up for what’s right requires more than just getting my way politically. I think it requires intense self-examination, examination of unconscious prejudice and privately held assumptions about reality. That means questioning “my side” as well as “”their side.” I am not, I realize now with powerful conviction, on “their side.” I have decided sympathy and attempts to understand their point of view are basically fruitless, because I do not understand.

My one sense is that they don’t feel heard. I grew up surrounded by people like that in rural California. There were beautiful things about them, horribly sad things, regular things. They’re just people. But they are people making an incredible mistake morally speaking. Because it’s not just pro-life sensibilities that these people like (if they even do.) It’s Trump himself. It’s his whole persona, his “I’ll never shut up and I’ll always talk about me and you (a projection of me) so you always feel like you’re the center of my attention, as long as I’m the center of yours” rhetoric.

How can Christians vote for him in good conscience? Again, the abortion thing, which I vaguely understand even if I don’t agree. But what about the babies at the border? How can you possibly call yourself pro-life, and a lover of Jesus Christ, if you support the creation of such incredible suffering?

It’s 2:30 in the morning and I’m tired, tired of worrying. I want this gnat that tells me I NEED to worry about this election to find a place to rest and never bother me again. Because I get dragged through such hurricanes in my head about things that haven’t come to pass, things I can’t control. Everything hurts. My right side, from my calf to the back of my head, is aching, sore, and feels like it’s been twisted out of whack. I am full of fear which tells me I am missing the mark in terms of understanding the reality of things. I cannot control the future. I cannot control outcomes. I can only control my behavior. May I be loving, not hostile, to Trump supporters and anyone else who gets under my skin. May we all develop courage like that, to one day, maybe, offer that kindness to our weary, disappointed and abandoned selves.

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