Everyday we go deeper down the rabbit hole with the Trump administration and I’ve noticed that people use his antics to “convince” Trumpsters that he’s a fascist and it becomes this childish play of ‘Does Not!’ ’ Does Toooo!’ .
All the while I’m thinking yo! Will we be laughing all the way til WW3. Like,haha, he declared war on Iran and North Korea but like, he can’t really do that because Constitution, right? Like, there’s an inbuilt mechanism in the system that wouldn’t allow him to go that far, right?
Next thing we know, we’re running for our lives in the middle of the night with our PJs on. And I’m saying this as someone virtually on the other side of the planet because the spillover effect of the US on the rest of the planet is very real.
Many Americans prolly wonder why other countries are so vested in American politics. I remember reading something a columnist wrote right around the Iraq War, in ’03,’04. I was a teen but it stuck with me and framed the way I perceived international politics and particularly the US ( which I loathed, like most other Europeans).
The quote was : When America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold.
And it’s true. Whether we like it or not, we are interconnected and because America likes to dip its fingers everywhere, it affects us all. It’s like with a super rowdy and screaming child in a movie theatre. Obviously, the mother isn’t to blame ( i.e. American citizens) but nevertheless, you don’t know whether to empathize with the mum for dealing with an annoying brat or to be judgemental af because the kid is genuinely irritating THE SHIT out of you. You just want to be in peace and this kid is screaming bloody murder for no apparent reason.
Trump has lent his voice to give sociopathic license to white supremacist sleeper cells in Europe. Just by his seemingly banal comments about a fake incident in Sweden caused by immigrants is enough to incentivize xenophobic far right white supremacists for YEARS to come. The smallest fire is sufficient to burn an entire neighbourhood down.
I guess we are entering an era, much like that of islamic radicalism in the past decade, of desperate white supremacists grasping at straws as they grapple with the proverbial imperialist chickens that have come to roost. It’s a major slap in the face of unwitting men who are simultaneously struggling with the toxicity of hypermasculinity and patriarchy.
Homo and transphobia is rooted in the existential crisis men find themselves in today. They are no longer able to get away with misogyny or bigotry – two forms of power trips that were staples of patriarchy.
Much like Muslim radicals, white supremacists are fighting the demons of hypermasculinity, albeit the two groups are hardly comparable as the former’s violence was reactive in nature due to the West’s long campaigns in the middle east.
Many may feel that empathy may be misplaced in dealing with this, since empathy is something that was never afforded black and brown men who were victims of that machine. But a tit for tat won’t hurt anyone but us, as a collective. Empathizing with a bully doesn’t mean that you condone what they did or that you somehow are elevating their suffering above others. It means that you’re exercising your human duty regardless of who is on the receiving end. When you approach people expecting good and seeking to understand, you’re going to be the first to benefit from that world you create.
Teaching someone that what they did or believe is wrong isn’t something that happens from the outside in. If it did, there would be no Trump supporters or ISIS sympathizers or rape apologists. People will take to absurd measures to escape cognitive dissonance, and won’t hesitate taking you down with them.
The ultimate contribution to valuable lessons is that you embody those values and exercise them unconditionally. By virtue of loving unconditionally, you change every single person you cross paths with, whether you realize it or not. It might not be earth shattering change, but your steady core will stand out in such a potent way that a person can’t resist the gravitational field of your beliefs, if only for the single purpose of breaking the groupthink.
I don’t believe it’s our task to change anyone or change the world. I think many of us go wrong in aiming for such heroism because much of it is rooted in self-gratification and quelling the discomfort of feeling others distress. In a codependent manner, we seek to get rid of the source of disruption so that we can be at peace, not taking into consideration the fact that there’s a host of other factors that tie into that disruption. It’s like feeding animals at the zoo, or throwing breadcrumbs to the birds that may attract pest like cockroaches and rats.
People need to go through rough times to discover the power of choices and their response to things they can’t control. Despite what it looks like, Trump is the best thing to have happened to humanity since Hitler. We were falling asleep at the wheel about to crash into oncoming traffic at 80 m/h and Trump is the nightmare that jolted us awake.
This is all best viewed as battles of the shadow parts of our collective psyche, and the best thing we can do for humanity is to withdraw OUR shadow and projections on others. It is to not impede the flow of life and let it rush in with its infinite wisdom. It’s to be vulnerable and humble, and not believe that we possess the know-how or power to do what’s best for humanity. Our ‘best’ is based on the experiences whence this tsunami came, so is it really that groundbreaking?
Out of evil, much good has come to me. By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining attentive, and by accepting reality – taking things as they are, and not as I wanted them to be – by doing all this, unusual knowledge has come to me, and unusual powers as well, such as I could never have imagined before.
I always thought that when we accepted things they overpowered us in some way or other. This turns out not to be true at all, and it is only by accepting them that one can assume and attitude towards them.
So now I intend to play the game of life, being receptive to whatever comes to me, good and bad, sun and shadow forever alternating, and, in this way, also accepting my own nature with its positive and negative sides. Thus everything becomes more alive to me. What a fool I was! How I tried to force everything to go according to way I thought it ought to.
– Former patient of C. G. Jung recounting his thoughts to Jung (Alchemical Studies)