'Trump' A Spiritual Catalyst? Give us your thoughts.

#1
I've posted this in the 'Trump' thread, but I think it's about much more than Trump.

Others have said similar things since Brexit/Trump.




Roberta said:
"Let's attack where the real power lies, and not blame 'the left' for everything!"

The last line of your post that I've copied made me think twice about this.

It wasn't that I started 'blaming the left', it was that I suddenly realised that they were capable of the same insanity as the 'other side' that I'd assumed were 'wrong' and 'bad' for so long. So that left me with nowhere to go. Thus the sudden feeling of detachment from politics and actually a feeling that I was better off that way. Comparing my feelings with others, I just don't want to be be a part of that 'mob' that are full of anger, I just don't. I'm left deflated in a way, I am content with not knowing where the real power lies, and I'm certainly not motivated to 'attack' anything without being certain that it's a threat to me.

It's the ability to ignore principles and show blind hypocrisy that I feel has blurred the divisions. I didn't think much about Obama's Presidency until last year, I was rather pleased that a black man was somehow the president. I started paying more attention after the Brexit issue, when he came across to lend his support to the remainers cause. I thought to myself, 'this is really not his business' - and just for the record, I voted remain! Then when I read about his record of signing so many drone attack orders, and locking up whistleblowers, basically the same old murderous shite that we've seen for ever from those in power forever, both here and the US.

And so I came to the conclusion that Obama wasn't the kind of President I'd vote for, as he had shaky principles. He was the same as all the rest that had let themselves down. I thought Bernie Saunders looked relatively promising but hey ho. The first obvious clue I had was Brexit. Gee whiz! The countries going mad over Brexit. That's when I saw the 'temporary insanity' of a lot of my friends, as I saw it. Maybe it's because I had a serious life changing event that allowed me to think the way I now do. Ok, so it might be bad.But it's not that bad! Believe me - things could be worse! But we took a vote, the people that have been voted democratically into power decided to take a vote. The same people that took us into the disastrous Iraq was, the same people that hushed up David Kelly's murder, the same experts, the same people that are outraged when one of them criticises the 'experts', the ones that voted to bomb Syria etc etc - basically the same people that do very little that I applaud.

And that's ok. It's the real world, people are doing their best, I couldn't do any better. I get on with my little life.

Then comes Trump! The mass hysteria reaches fever pitch. Facebook is full of people crying, saying all sorts of things, often hateful things. When Obama makes his final speech, my lefty friend are gushing with praise, now I'm not against praise, but this is something more than that. Something that gives me cognitive dissonance! Makes me squirm. The same feeling that I first got when I saw the massive outpouring of grief when Princess Diana died. It was weird then, it's still weird now. What is it that gets into people in certain circumstances? It's like mob rule in a way? Around this time, I get accused of being a 'white supremacist' by some scots 'lady', two of my American friends defriend me in disgust at my posts. Posts that include no offensive language or anything personal, just my honest opinions. I try to get across what I really mean, but eventually decide that there's no point. They have made up their minds! I feel that the talk of '30s Germany is possibly valid!

They are precisely in the same state that we often describe the way sceptics appear on this forum, or at least on some of Alex's podcasts - in a state of cognitive dissonance. It's carefully controlled in the podcasts, but on Facebook and Twitter we see the ugly truth. There's no rational discussion possible with many of them. The Scots woman I mentioned in the previous paragraph, frightens me! But, and this is critical - the 'other side' is capable of exactly the same behaviour. It seems that we are all susceptible to this insanity! And I think it is exactly that.

Now, the hysteria surrounding Trump is just mainly that as far as I can see. What I am saying, is : What is so very different about Trump to Obama, or Hillary for that matter? The Muslims that have suffered in Iraq, and across the Middle East and Libya are forgotten. We seem content to hear constantly how the poor have to eat from food banks, how the uk MPs vote Year after year for 10% pay rises while imposing crippling cuts to vital services for the 'plebs', it goes on and on. Where were the huge protests and the media then? I mean WTF? To me it's all hypocrisy. So you say it's wrong to ban Muslims, but it seems it's ok for them to bomb the shit out of them? We love Hillary and Obama but hate Trump because he's a bit of a narcissist and a sexist and a bit violent etc, when they both have a proven record of being willing to kill foreigners by the thousands? WTF?

It's a mess.

Now to see where I sit, here are some things on my own fantasy wish list! :
Scrapping nuclear weapons,
Prioritise teaching as a profession
Properly organise and fund the Nhs.
Properly fund mental health
Pay people properly
Have small conventional 'armed forces'
Etc, etc
Goodness knows what this would lead to! :eek:

I don't like many of the things that go on elsewhere, but what should we do? I think what we should do is 'live with it', get our own house in order, be the example that others eventually see works well, and might follow. Think Star Trek. At the moment we are definitely not capable of pointing the finger at anyone. Trump won the democratic election!!!!! Democracy is alive and well in the west, such as it is! Oh - I forgot, labour or the greens or the liberal democrats would be so much better in the uk. They wouldn't!

So where am I now? Lost? Dejected? Depressed? NO. I'm just basically the same as I always was, just another pleb trying to make sense of it all. I'm staying upbeat despite all this madness around me. I have my 'faith' that there is purpose to life in spite of it all. Don't get me started on fucking religion! Many American Christians deserve everything they get if you believe in something like Karma. They're really bonkers! ;)

Yet I feel more 'religious' than ever!

I honestly think that if we as the world's human beings could all sit for an hour and think positive thoughts in silence, it would be a 'good thing'. But it's not to be, not for now, at least. So I'll sit and ponder the insanity that makes us the way we are, knowing that we're all on a journey, so the madness is ok for now. As anyone who has read my book will know, concentrating of gratitude and forgiveness and other such virtues is key. It really works for me, try it, let me know if it works for you, 'cos it will. :)

Do a random kind deed today.
 
#2
I've said it a few places elsewhere in these forums ... I think the bigest problem is that people believe others with different views are either stupid or evil. That is an illusion created by the media and politicians for their own personal gain. We can't really solve the other problems until we start getting people to see through that illusion because it prevents rational discussion, cooperation, and compromise between individuals with different but legitimate concerns. I don't know how to solve this problem, the solution won't come from politicians or journalists. We need a movement with some well known people from different sides coming together and explaining what the problem is and exposing the source of the problem.

Recognizing that people who disagree with you are okay is a spiritual insight because you have to let go of your own ego, the us vs them mentality, to see that we are all part of the same spiritual family.

People can have conflicting but legitimate concerns:
Sometimes labor and management have different interests. Immigration in particular, management likes low wage immigrants, labor doesn't. And high earners often will favor environmentalism and government regulation over economic growth because they don't suffer from poor economic performance. For working class voters, economic policy is not theoretical or philosophical, it can mean the difference between having enough food for their children or not. Trump appealed to working class voters because he addressed many of their legitimate concerns which they feel have been ignored for the last 8 years. ...
Some background here:
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...f-liberals-and-conservatives.2935/#post-82921

and here:
Suppose Ted is a Tory who thinks all Whigs are stupid or evil and Walter is a Whig who thinks all Tories are stupid or evil. You try to tell Ted that Walter is not stupid or evil and Ted replies, "he must be, because he thinks all Torys are stupid or evil".

How do you get people to see through the illusion created by many journalists, politicians, and educators that the other side is full of people who are stupid or evil? If you say, "Forgive them, they are brainwashed by journalists and politicians", you have just defeated your argument that they are not stupid.

Globalists think it is unfair that national borders keep people from fleeing war zones and prevent them from living where there is economic opportunity. Nationalists think national borders are needed to keep terrorists out and to prevent lower wage workers from displacing them in the work force. Each side has a point. Each side is capable of understanding the merits of the other side. But the debate is never about the merits, it is about the stupidity or evil.

We have an elite but we lack leaders. We lack leaders in politics, journalism, education, religion, entertainment, that will try to help people see through this illusion. There is a lot of money to be made selling hate and not very much to be made helping people to go sane.
This guy understands too:

https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2017/01/20/culturejam/


How to Culture Jam a Populist in Four Easy Steps
By Andrés Miguel Rondón - January 20, 2017
...
Populism can only survive amid polarization. It works through caricature, through the unending vilification of a cartoonish enemy.
...
Your organizing principle is simple: don’t feed polarization, disarm it.
...
Don’t waste your time trying to prove that this ism is better than that ism. Ditch all the big words. Why? Because, again, the problem is not the message but the messenger. It’s not that Trump supporters are too stupid to see right from wrong, it’s that you’re much more valuable to them as an enemy than as a compatriot.

The problem is tribal. Your challenge is to prove that you belong in the same tribe as them: that you are American in exactly the same way they are.
...
But if you want to be part of the solution, the road ahead is clear: Recognize you’re the enemy they need; show concern, not contempt, for the wounds of those that brought Trump to power

This is why acting like a buffoon works so well for Trump. By filling the role of the cartoonish enemy for his opponents, he provokes them to react in a way that fits his caricature of them and it shows his supporters how much they need him.

Negative media coverage, even if deserved, even if provoked by a deliberate lie, reinforces the belief by Trump supporters that the media is biased against Trump, so they will tend to turn out any criticism of Trump they hear in the media.

Protests, threats, calls for assassination, by a few people that get pushed into the news by the sensationalist media, reinforce the belief that democrats are an unruly violent mob.

Fears that the world is coming to an end, crying over the election results, calling Trump a Nazi or Hitler, reinforce the belief by Trumps supporters that democrats are crazy.

When Madonna says she thinks of blowing up the whitehouse, it increases support for Trump.
 
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#5
Would you have any objection if I put the first two paras on my Facebook page ?
Do you mind if I add a comment to your facebook post that includes a link to the entire post? If you are trying to keep your skeptiko persona separate let me know I don't want to interfere.
 
#6
I'm a bit confused 'Jim'. Are you in the UK or the US, or are you in fact operating from a small luxury man-made island somewhere in the Atlantic. Publishing away like crazy?

We demand to know! ;)
 
#7
I'm a bit confused 'Jim'. Are you in the UK or the US, or are you in fact operating from a small luxury man-made island somewhere in the Atlantic. Publishing away like crazy?

We demand to know! ;)
I'm in the US. Why do you ask? What about the comment? Is it okay?
 
#8
Do you mind if I add a comment to your facebook post that includes a link to the entire post? If you are trying to keep your skeptiko persona separate let me know I don't want to interfere.
Do whatever you like Jim. ( or No1, if you'd prefer.) hehe

(All James Bond/Spectre related in case anyone's wondering, including Jim.)
 
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S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#10
As someone who had issues with Obama, Trump, Hillary, & Bush I suspect it's less a spiritual catalyst than it is a sign the American people have been boxed into choosing between a variety of awful candidates time and again.

Also a sign possibly of the effect the Internet has had on people's minds. The medium is the message as Marshall McLuhan would say.

That said a look back at the years in which the above politicians have been active in politics suggests (to me at least) that holding political power seems a good way to lose cultural ground, and that all of these events are a useful recipe that might lead to a better future than the one we might've headed to otherwise.

OTOH, it might all go to crap so learn your permaculture. :)
 
#11
As someone who had issues with Obama, Trump, Hillary, & Bush I suspect it's less a spiritual catalyst than it is a sign the American people have been boxed into choosing between a variety of awful candidates time and again.
Perhaps as the dust settles, people will realise that much of the shouting has been senseless - totally missing the point. I don't know if it will act as a spiritual catalyst, but maybe if enough people realise that a lot of what they are fed through the media is junk, it might create change.

After all, I guess almost half of Americans who voted, had to come to that conclusion. The MSM were all screaming to people to vote for Hillary (even more biassed than the media was for Brexit, I think), and they discounted it all! Is it too much to hope that we might get an outbreak of truth and honesty for a change.

David
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#12
Perhaps as the dust settles, people will realise that much of the shouting has been senseless - totally missing the point. I don't know if it will act as a spiritual catalyst, but maybe if enough people realise that a lot of what they are fed through the media is junk, it might create change.

After all, I guess almost half of Americans who voted, had to come to that conclusion. The MSM were all screaming to people to vote for Hillary (even more biassed than the media was for Brexit, I think), and they discounted it all! Is it too much to hope that we might get an outbreak of truth and honesty for a change.

David
Truth and honesty from the Trump administration?....Okay....we'll see I guess...
 
#14
Truth and honesty from the Trump administration?....Okay....we'll see I guess...
That's not the point. I didn't learn from Hurm or David because they've come round to my way of thinking, but rather I've expanded my own thinking as a result of listening with an open mind to their views.

If we're to take this nde and other stuff seriously, it doesn't matter much what really happens in politics or anything else. What does matter is that we grow, maybe it needed some stirring to move things along? Who knows.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#15
That's not the point. I didn't learn from Hurm or David because they've come round to my way of thinking, but rather I've expanded my own thinking as a result of listening with an open mind to their views.
Fair enough, no point in having two threads on the same subject.
 
#19
The problem for some is that President Bannon's Trump's Foreign policy is built around this illusion.
You love quips - but they don't really amount to much.

I can't imagine what illusion President Trump is supposed to suffer from. Did he suffer from an illusion when he decided to try to become POTUS?

David
 
#20
You love quips - but they don't really amount to much.

I can't imagine what illusion President Trump is supposed to suffer from. Did he suffer from an illusion when he decided to try to become POTUS?

David
Jim was quite clear on what the illusion was. That those with differing views to our own are stupid or evil.

It's the sort of illusion that might make you call your neighbours 'bad hombres' and build a wall.
 
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