Hate and fear cannot be stopped by more hate and fear. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Jesus (that Jew from Nazareth) preached this message. We lose before we start when we forget it. Yet following this teaching is not so easy.
The current US Presidential election has brought out so much dark energy, anger, fear and hate. I don’t know if it is mirror neurons in the brain, but we seem to instinctively react in similar ways to such attacks unless or until we pause and think “Is this who and how I want to be? Are these the values I want to be living?”
To simplify it—while for the moment putting aside corporate and foreign exploitation of both sides—Liberals (including me) and the Left are appalled at the hate, violence and blame against those who are different and vulnerable. The Trump campaign, rather than “Making America Great Again,” was actually “Making America Hate Again.” Truth and Love seemed to be ignored. And half the country’s voters supported it, whether actually endorsing these values or so angry at the status quo they didn’t care.
Again keeping this simple, many on the Right were tired of having their feelings, view points and interests marginalized. They saw Clinton as untrustworthy, representing Government over-reach, and putting ‘special interest groups’ (read women and minorities) ahead of their needs. “Liberals” were taking away their jobs and country and giving it to the Others. The phrase “bucket of deplorables” codified their sense of rejection whether they were economically deprived or secure.
Years ago I heard the following, useful saying: “The trouble with wrestling with a pig is that, while you both get dirty, the pig enjoys it.” The Obamas’ have been quoted saying, “When they go low, we go high.” The only way we cannot “get dirty” is to follow this advice. We are all humans and, in in the USA, all Americans. If any of us is harmed or prevented from living their potential, we are all less for it.
The election is over. It is my intention to continue to work toward the type of country and world I know we can co-create. It is one where no one is left behind even though each of us is on a separate journey. I will continue to reject and call out degrading and abusive language and behaviors regardless of their source. The Left has as much group think as the Right. We must not let the exploiters, whether corporate, ‘religious’ or other ideological, continue to turn us against one another for their own, short-term gain. We can and must rise to this or we all lose.