Most people – around 2/3 of any group– prefer a sane person to be their boss, or to lead them. Someone who is gracious and makes them feel respected and worthwhile. Most people suffer when men and women in positions of power are difficult and demeaning. Then there is the remaining 1/3 of the group. (My unofficial official statistics.)
Our current political trauma is a perfect example of the always present 1/3: the supporters of Donald J. Trump. This group appears to reject truth, graciousness, fairness, intelligence, and justice. I disagree with the media signaling this group out for analysis. The spotlight on them only makes them dig in deeper with their alternate and incorrect versions of reality. The truth is much simpler: 1/3 of any group will always be stuck in quicksand and stubbornly will not concede to facts. This is not to imply their concerns are not worthy of consideration. They are…but not for the reasons they think. I’ll get to this later.
Religions and many spiritual gurus speak of the need to “forgive”, to “show compassion”, to “be tolerant”, especially in this climate of political polarization. I disagree and think they are on the wrong path, and this advice is dangerous. I believe there is an even deeper path of reaction is that is far more pertinent, and far more compassionate. I think what the religions and gurus are missing are two important truths:
- For perhaps the first time in history, politics is no longer about politics. It’s about values. The two major parties are no longer defined by platforms and political spin, but by truth, integrity and intention. This paradigm shift is a critical transformation of our society and to our democracy; and,
- Any god you believe in, by deductive reasoning, is definitely not weak, but a damned smart spiritual warrior. Politics may once have been about being nice, at least in public, but now it is about bullying, lying and temper tantrums. Now, it is more important than ever to stand up effectively to this abuse.
With this in mind, what prompted our political paradigm to change so? Enter the color orange.
Chapter One: The Crazymaker
In “The Artists Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”, Julia Cameron identifies one personality as the most dangerous: the “crazymaker,” who “should be avoided at all costs”. Crazymakers create storm centers and are enormously destructive; long on problems and short on solutions. They thrive on drama and making themselves the center of attention. They feed on any power you give them.
Let me share with you her dentifying traits of a Crazymaker. It reminded me of someone, and so I have added that resemblance.
Breaks deals and destroy schedules. On September 28, 2020, the Guardian followed up on the New York Times report:
Alex Cobham, the chief executive of the Tax Justice Network, an international group campaigning for a fairer and more transparent tax system, said: “This shows that Trump is either a very bad businessman or a tax cheat who is not respecting the tax system that he is asking everyone else to pay. Probably both are true.”
The New York Times said Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in the year he won the presidency, and the same amount in his first year in the White House. It said Trump paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years, largely because he reported losing much more money than he made. The Times said the records revealed “chronic losses and years of tax avoidance”.
Expect special treatment. They care little for anyone else outside of themselves. On September 3, 2020, according to The Atlantic and additional media:
When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.
Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.
Discounts your reality. Crazymakers will violate your needs. On September 10, 2020, The Nation summed it up:
Trump deliberately lied. He downplayed the danger in the critical early stages of the fight—which the president would eventually describe as “our big war”—and he has continued to lie as the death toll has ticked upward…. Tens of thousands of those deaths were preventable. But Trump’s lies made them inevitable.
Spend your time and money. According to Presidential Golf Tracker, as of September, 2020:
Trump’s Current Golf Outings: 279
Current Cost to the Tax Payer: ~+ $105 million
Triangulate those they deal with. Because Crazymakers thrive on your energy, they set people against one another in order to maintain their own position of power. From this position, they can feed most directly on the negative energies they stir up. After violence and death at Charlottesville in 2017, The Washington Post quoted Donald J. Trump:
“You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group … There were people in that rally — and I looked the night before — if you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people — neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest, and very legally protest.”
Multiple media reported on the command to white supremacists by Donald J. Trump to “Stand back and stand by.” CBS News reported on what was said:
“The Proud Boys,” Mr. Trump said. “Stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem.” After the debate, in the Proud Boys’ Telegram channel, members boasted of Mr. Trump’s reaction. They used “stand back” and “stand by” in the logo and posted videos from the debate with the caption “God. Family. Brotherhood.” Biden responded to a tweet about the Proud Boys’ reaction by tweeting, “This is Donald Trump’s America.”
Expert blamers. Nothing that goes wrong is ever their fault. As far back as August of 2017, Politico had already spotted the blaming trait:
“Using Obama as a focal point probably works because he’s so polarizing with Republicans,” said Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University.
Yet some of the claims simply are not true or are without context, Zelizer notes, something that stands in stark contrast with his predecessors. “These are wilder, continual attacks,” he said. “The difference is in scale and scope.”
Trump most notably blamed Obama for tapping his phones during the “very sacred election process,” calling him a “bad (or sick) guy!” Evidence has not backed up that claim…
After a botched raid in Yemen that killed a Navy SEAL, Trump said, “this was a mission that was started before I got here.” Trump, however, made the final decision to forge ahead with the raid.
Facing massive protests across the country and leaks within the federal government that were critical of his administration, Trump blamed Obama “or his people” for inciting the protests and leaking the material.
Then in March of 2020, Politico reported:
President Donald Trump on Friday deflected blame for his administration’s lagging ability to test Americans for the coronavirus outbreak, insisting instead — without offering evidence — that fault lies with his predecessor, Barack Obama.
“I don’t take responsibility at all,” Trump said defiantly…
Create dramas-but seldom where they belong. It makes them even more dramatic- at your expense. Devoted to their own agendas, whatever matters to you becomes trivialized into a mere backdrop for the casemakers’ personal plight. NPR’s report on September 23, 2020:
President Trump…suggested that he might not accept the election results if he is not declared the winner in November, in response to a reporter’s question about whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power — regardless of the outcome of the election.
“We’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster,” Trump said, alluding to his unsubstantiated arguments about widespread mail-in ballot fraud.
“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control.”
Hate schedules- except their own. In the hands of a Crazymaker, time is a primary tool for abuse. AP News on September 9, 2020, the revelations Donald J. Trump gave to Bob Woodward:
President Donald Trump talked in private about the “deadly” coronavirus last February, even as he was declaring to America it was no worse than the flu and insisting it was under control, according to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward. Trump said Wednesday he was just being a “cheerleader” for the nation and trying to keep everyone calm.
His public rhetoric, Trump told Woodward in March, was part of a strategy to deliberately minimize the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said. “I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.”
Trump, according to the book, acknowledged being alarmed by the virus, even as he was telling the nation that it would swiftly disappear.
Hate order. Chaos serves their purposes. When you begin to establish a space that serves you a Crazymaker will abruptly invade that space with their mess. On September 30, 2020, CBS News ran this headline: First debate descends into chaos as Trump and Biden exchange attacks
The article included: The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden featured a chaotic series of bitter exchanges and name-calling, with the president repeatedly speaking over his Democratic rival and the moderator struggling to maintain control of the 90-minute affair.
Deny that they are Crazymakers. They will always try to convince you that YOU are the one who’s crazy. In October of 2019, The New Yorker nailed Donald J. Trump with this headline: Trump’s Message: His Critics Are the Crazy Ones
Content from the article included:
Doubts about whether he is entirely steady are not new, and Trump has long proffered various rationales for his troubling outbursts. One is that his erratic actions are tactical moves: unconventional behavior that shakes up the political and diplomatic stiffs, and makes things happen. Another is that he is just being authentic, which raises the question of what he authentically is. But perhaps the most troubling rationale is one that he emphasized in Texas: he’s not crazy; anyone who doubts him is. His supporters just need to recognize the madness of his enemies, and then everything he says will make sense.
Drive you Crazy. If someone in your life is making you crazy run far away and fast.
Former presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, and Philip H. Gordon, wrote an opinion piece for Foreign Policy on July 15, 2020 mentioning the damage Donald J. Trump has caused our country:
The failure of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to build an international coalition to combat the coronavirus is in fact only the latest manifestation of a deeper and potentially lasting failure. ..A world without U.S. leadership is no longer some vague and lamentable future possibility. Since the start of his presidency, Trump has abandoned multiple treaties and agreements, undermined the credibility of U.S. defense guarantees, bullied and belittled allies, and cozied up to dictators who threaten those allies and the United States. His “America First” doctrine—with its ominous echoes of the 1930s—and indifference to the rule of law at home and abroad have left allies wondering if they can count on the United States; many have started to look elsewhere for more reliable friends and partners. The result is a world in which the United States is less safe, less respected, and less able to deal with the enormous challenges it faces: climate change, pandemics, refugees, cyberattacks, election interference, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, modern technology, and the rise of China.
The collapse in global regard for the United States has been breathtakingly swift under this president. Even before collapsing further due to Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic, confidence in him to “do the right thing” in international affairs stood at just 29 percent among 32 countries polled—down from 74 percent in former President Barack Obama’s final year in office. Global confidence in Trump is significantly lower than in German Chancellor Angela Merkel (46 percent), French President Emmanuel Macron (41 percent), and Russian President Vladimir Putin (33 percent)—and just one point higher than in Chinese leader Xi Jinping (28 percent). Germans are now equally divided on whether the United States (37 percent) or China (36 percent) is their closest partner, while just 28 percent of Britons trust the United States to act responsibly. Confidence in Trump is only 36 percent in Japan, 32 percent in the United Kingdom, 28 percent in Canada, 28 percent in Brazil, 20 percent in France, 13 percent in Germany, and a mere 8 percent in Mexico, while favorable views of the United States have fallen from 64 percent in 2016 to 53 percent in 2019. Asked in June whether she trusted Trump, Merkel paused before saying only “I work with elected presidents around the world, including, of course, the American one.”
Chapter Two: What does this mean?
It means we have a Crazymaker in the Oval Office with the nation’s securities, and the nuclear war codes. It means that Donald J. Trump is a huge security risk to our nation.
Back to the religions and the gurus and the pleas for “forgiveness”, “compassion” and “understanding.”
Ever hear of “tough love”? It is a course of action that prioritizes a person’s welfare, especially that of an addict, child, or criminal, by enforcing certain constraints on them, or requiring them to take responsibility for their actions. “Requiring them to take responsibility for their actions.” Keep that in mind.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk, spoke of compassion: “When you have seen suffering, you are motivated by the desire to remove suffering — the suffering in you and the suffering in that other person — because if that person continues to suffer, it will make you suffer somehow later on. So helping other people remove their suffering means doing something for you also.” Keep this in mind, too.
Why do people get involved in supporting the orange Crazymaker? Julia Cameron suggests that people accept Crazymakers when they are self-destructive. I agree this is true. How many supporters do you see/know who do not eat healthy, establish healthy lifestyles for themselves, or take the high road in relationships? Comparable to a “writer’s block”, these folks have a “life block”. They can’t figure out how to get out of the sinkhole their resentment is in, so they have given up and are settling in for the long haul. They have allowed themselves to be used for someone else’s power, even though it is dangerous and destructive to them. There is a bit of a thrill in that, even if it means this support is doing nothing to change their lives for the better, much less rescuing them from their troubles. The orange Crazymaker is exploiting and using his followers, with their permission.
Many of us have witnessed the demise of relationships with family members, friends and colleagues, over this Crazymaker’s deliberate and abusive political polarization. We wonder what to do now. How can we ever go back to how we felt about them, when we know they like this negativity, incompetency and cruelty? Unfortunately, you and I cannot relate to them as we did before. You can’t go back, and you should not feel guilty you can’t. Things have changed. Remember the Tough Love concept? It is time to require our family members and friends to take responsibility for their actions of supporting this Hitleresque atrocity. We must find the courage to show them “tough love”, and establish new boundaries. It is the loving thing to do. But also recall the Thich Nhat Hanh quote. By supporting people, organizations, movements, and efforts to ease the suffering of those who have been and remain vulnerable, we are helping those family members and friends heal.
Forgive the Crazymaker supporters for following him? It isn’t a question of forgiveness. Instead, I choose to look beyond that question. I choose to show these misguided supporters true compassion by allowing them to live the consequences of their choice, which is to no longer be tolerated in my space. Show understanding to the Crazymaker supporters? Oh, I understand them just fine. What I choose to act on is not their choice, but the reasons behind it. I will support anything that helps ease their suffering. But until they respect the facts and all people and choose kindness over hostility, they will remain isolated from the mainstream of America that hosts the good, the compassionate and the humane.
Chapter Three: What do we do now?
Because of the Crazymaker’s deliberate polarization of our nation’s people, if he and the toxic Senate Republicans are reelected by a fair and safe majority of votes, 2/3 of our people will brutally suffer under their lies, insanity, cruelty, and gross incompetency. The targets will be women, the poor and middle classes, and all Democrats and Independents. He and the toxic Republican Senate are incapable of empathy and will continue to IGNORE the need for universal health care, environmental standards, nurturing the middle class, keeping our children safe in schools, legislating the protection of women as full human beings with control of their bodies, and anything else that is good, kind or intelligent.
If Biden and Democratic Senators are elected, the 1/3 will be given the attention they crave. Some of the 1/3 are dangerous white supremacists who must be monitored and/or charged and arrested. But many are upset with the political system and feel it has not only let them down, but abused them. They will be heard. Their legitimate concerns will be tended to, problems identified and solutions created.
With Donald J. Trump and his crazy, unethical, criminal administration, and the toxic Republican Senate gone, every effort will be made to keep our people, our nation, our world, and our planet safe from another Crazymaker. How do I know that? Because history teaches us this. Germany taught us how easy it was for their Hitler to rise to power and destroy their nation and peoples, and the surrounding countries. Germany taught us that the followers of Hitler would not protect their country, and that the only solution was to overthrow the head of the snake, Hitler, and make the supporters accountable for their actions. Germany taught us you can overcome, heal and recover.
And so shall we.
Vote out the Crazymaker. Vote out the toxic Senate Republicans. Live the day in safety and peace, and sleep again at night.
*** Update ***
Donald J. Trump is currently at Walter Reed Hospital, with COVID-19. Many of the people he exposed are at risk, and at least 3 have been identified as positive. Regardless of any outcome to this unsurprising development, Donald J. Trump’s legacy has been set, and it will not be complimentary.