The age of Donald Trump is upon us. My twitter timeline is an ongoing flow of frightening predictions. Martial Law. Mass deportations. Militarized police. Planetary destruction.
The end is near.
That wild-eyed, bearded man on the street corner waving a battered Bible and prophesying the end of days is yesterday’s news. The new messengers of impending doom are on social media.
The Trump Effect
It is very unpopular to point out that democrats, liberals and activists are the current fear mongers. They are passionate and defiant, identified with the righteousness of the cause. Typically, I am in support of that cause. But I am struggling with the means…not the end.
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.
Throughout the election cycle, people were up in arms about the Trump campaign’s fear mongering. His messaging was directed to the base emotions of powerless people who have been storing up their fear and frustration for years. He taught them to funnel that into actionable rage.
Because we didn’t agree with the positions of those people, we were happy to criticize the methods deployed in their mobilization. Now we have embraced those methods. We are becoming what we claim to despise.
You Don’t Get It – Moron!
That’s pretty much the response I get when I’ve attempted to suggest we might be approaching our response to the Trump threat in the wrong way. So far, I’ve been called ignorant, stupid, a Bernie Bro and a racist. I am clouded by my white privilege. I am driven by liberal guilt. I am new-age nut job who should stick to Enya tunes.
So much for proposing that peace and passion can coexist.
The truth is that inciting fear and anger can make the prophet feel strong, important, superior. Ask Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh or Steve Bannon- they live off the stuff. The more provocative their statements, the more attention they get. There is no “time-out” on the Internet, though perhaps there should be.
Whether you like it or not, the other side thinks they are as “right” as you do. So if both of us use the exact same methods to get our way – because we’re right – then it seems to me that very little difference between us and them.
No matter how just the cause or intent, the means of accomplishing it are just as important as the end results. We are beginning to rationalize rage as resistance, aggression as assistance, disgust for others in our alleged cause for love.
Dakota Pipeline Protests
We are living in the midst of one of our most teachable moments. A passionate, peaceful act of resistance that is revered all over the world. #NoDAPL is tucked into liberal tweets all day long.
But it’s a just a hashtag – not a teachable moment. We delight in their victory, but we disregard their methods. Prayer, meditation, calm, steady resilience in the face of attack.
This is honorable resistance.Resistance that rises from a moral center. Perhaps it’s not surprising that it is grounded in spiritual beliefs.Not a political platform.
It is the spiritual that perseveres. The human spirit, the divine spirit, the energy that creates all things. Don’t confuse this with theology or religious dogma. This is not about what you think God is or isn’t.
This is about what is sacred. When we lose sight of the sacred – we are capable of horrible things.