You don’t need me to tell you things are crazy right now. People are freaking out about an election with an unexpected result that has drawn protests across the United States, and many are left scratching their heads wondering how it happened.
What people fail to see, and what some of my friends in the activist community helped me to remember, is that things have always been crazy. The world is no different today than it was yesterday; we’ve simply chosen today to vent our frustration.
It seems that for the first time, people are realizing there’s something deeply wrong with the world. But where are they when news breaks about the latest hospital bombing overseas or torture in places like former military prison Abu Ghraib?
They see now how messed up society can be, but they have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes.
The World Is Hurting
My intention isn’t to be negative, bitter or in denial of the good in the world. I think we should focus on the good as much as the things that need fixed, and we don’t have to fix or raise awareness of them in a bitter way. Instead, we can address them with compassion and a sense of urgency to ensure something is done now.
But I must admit it surprises me that it takes a Trump presidency for people to see that the world is not what it should be, because a mild interest in world events will quickly make this clear.
The world has been hurting for longer than most prefer to consider. Corruption has plagued this supposedly free country for most of its history, and what we know as morality, goodness and righteousness are gone from our political system.
Looking the Other Way
It’s not just a problem with the U.S., and it doesn’t just affect politics. In my opinion, the root of our problems is the fact that we’ve turned our backs on love and compassion: two crucial qualities for our civilization’s survival.
This causes us to look the other way when we learn about political corruption and crimes against humanity we wouldn’t tolerate if they were happening where we live. It causes people to vote for someone who runs on the basis that he can say all those hateful things some Americans were thinking but were never allowed to say.
A polarizing figure like this has brought out the good in some (i.e. those who believe he’s an outsider who will change the world for the better) and the hate in others. Now that we see the kind of hate people can be capable of, as evidenced at Trump’s rallies, there’s no going back. We can no longer avoid facing our problems.
Mirroring the Collective Consciousness
I’m convinced that this election, as well as its result, was a mirror for the condition of the collective consciousness. Deep within, most of us are fighting an internal battle between the parts of us that want to be free and the parts that believe we should fall in line with an established way of being.
At the same time, we’re fighting a battle between the positive, empathic, constructive, nourishing aspects of our personality and the negative, hateful, careless and destructive aspects. You might call these aspects the “shadow self”.
Hillary Clinton certainly doesn’t represent those positive qualities. But the idea of a mother figure who leads people, which her attempted public persona can relate to, does.
It’s as if we’re forced to choose between being positive and constructive with a sense of falling in line with the establishment or rebellious and destructive with a sense that we can say or do whatever we want.
Sticking with the establishment is wholesome yet uncomfortable because we’ve outgrown it, whereas rebelling against established norms leads to destruction, division and hate. I think this is how most people are feeling and the election was a manifestation of this.
Now, let me explain why it’s all an illusion.
Don’t Follow the Crowd
As most people in activist circles know, Hillary Clinton is not a progressive feminist figure who would be good for the United States. She, like Trump in my mind (and the mind of others until his campaign suddenly convinced people to see him as an outsider), is the establishment.
When you see that she really is extensively corrupt and crooked, the illusion that following in line with the establishment will bring happiness and stability is shattered. On a personal level, we see that our problems cannot be solved by following the crowd.
Hopefully you don’t need me to explain why going the other way – careless, apathetic self-indulgence represented by Trump – is equally destructive. Unless I turn out wrong and he was an anti-establishment billionaire all along (the very statement is contradictory), it won’t take long for people to see why this was a mistake.
But can you blame Trump voters? The other option was just as bad, and an increasing number of people are fed up with this establishment that tells them what to do and makes decisions that affect their lives without their input. What are you supposed to do in this situation?
Free Yourself; Don’t Feed the System
The illusion of stability represented by Clinton was exposed for what it is when her corruption became apparent, so the only other option must be to support the wildcard and hope things turn out okay. But here’s the thing: you don’t have to support either of them. You don’t even have to support a third party.
Surely he’s not suggesting I don’t vote, you might think. That’s irresponsible! That’s what caused Trump to win in the first place! To not vote is precisely what I suggest, because at this point, the only way we can make anything better is to resist this crazy system while striving to improve the world without it.
Trump didn’t win because people didn’t vote; he won because they did.
This part of the election didn’t seem to be rigged, unless, as Makia Freeman pointed out, it was rigged in Trump’s favor for reasons we’re not yet aware of. Right now, it seems that Trump genuinely won. It only happened because people voted for him.
Instead of looking for stability by following the crowd and choosing the establishment candidate or looking for newness and vitality by ditching compassion and choosing the “anti-establishment”, let’s make our own happiness and our own changes without worrying what others think.
This is what the world needs, but it’s the last thing the world wants.
We Need to Change
Our problems as a society go deeper than our willingness to elect someone like Trump. The only remedy is to replace our sense of apathy toward world issues with involvement, the willingness to extend ourselves for the sake of others, and detachment from the system so we can genuinely change things.
As Stephen Colbert suggested, we need to come together regardless of the ways we let politics divide us.
If you come to my doorstep, you can have free hugs no matter who you supported in the election. I have no problem with anyone who did what they thought was best by voting, even if I think it was misguided, and we can’t make the world any better until we see beyond these petty differences. We need to change.
No Going Back
If you feel like the world around you is out of control, you’re right. But it’s only because we’ve adhered to these established systems for so long at the expense of our collective soul.
We’re finally waking up and realizing something’s wrong, and by ditching an irrelevant system rather than supporting a candidate simply because he calls himself anti-establishment, we can focus on building a more sustainable model for stability worldwide.
This will sound cliché, but the system is broken and there’s no going back. For once, let’s change the way we approach the problem instead of doing the same thing over and wondering why nothing changes. Let’s leave the system behind and give love, empathy and compassionate action a try.
By Wes Annac,Culture of Awareness, November 10, 2016 – http://tinyurl.com/ze5d2gn