"Of course there is a difference between the two political parties. The Republicans bend over backwards for the bankers and the money interests. The Democrats are completely the opposite. They bend over forward."
-- Swami Beyondananda
Nearly two years ago, I posted a piece called Independents Day - A People's Upwising, and cited a Gallup poll from early 2014 that indicated that more American voters (42%) identified themselves as "independents" than those who identified as Democrats (31%) or Republicans (25%).
While those statistics may have seemed a bit abstract two years ago, the 2016 electoral campaign is proving them out, left and right. It should be obvious by now that both the upstart Bernie Sanders campaign and the frighteningly successful Trump campaign are running hard against the establishment on both sides. Notice how quickly neocon Jeb Bush and stealth-neocon Marco Rubio were dismissed by the angry conservative electorate. And Bernie continues to "bern" despite the dismissal attack by the mainstream press, and the condescending Hillary campaign.
To me, this indicates a "people's upwising" where a critical mass of the heretofore-uncritical masses are recognizing that the neocon/neoliberal establishment do not have the best interests of the people in mind or at heart. Consequently, awakening citizens on both sides are throwing their support behind the candidates who appear more authentic, more truthful and less willing or able to be manipulated by the "controllers."
In the longer run, this offers great possibilities for a new transpartisan sensibility, where left and right come front and center, liberate themselves from the safe yet limiting confines of ideology, and find practical, heartful solutions together. In cultivating the functional aspects of both "progressive" and "conservative" we can ask the sane and generative questions, "How do we wish to progress?" and "What do we want to conserve?"
That will have to wait until 2017.
In the short-run, we are faced with a stark contrast: Go backward toward rule by the lowest common dominator, or follow the path of evolution forward to the new paradigm, "we're all in this together."
Illustrations by Brian Narelle
In a slightly better Universe -- the one where George W. Bush would have become Baseball Commissioner in 1994 instead of President in 2000 - Donald Trump would be entertaining millions as star of a hit sitcom, "My Favorite Muslim". Instead he is the front-runner Republican candidate for President.
This may be the best thing that could ever happen to America at a pivotal point in humanity's history.
Donald Trump is the American shadow come alive, the contradictory idiocy of Republican ideology (religious fundamentalism and social Darwinism) come back to drive a stake through that party's heartlessness. He is a bombastic narcissist, an Enneagram 8 who is dangerously seductive because he believes his own bullshit. He is the patriarchy on steroids. His position - completely understandable from the old paradigm point of view - is that America has been at a disadvantage because it has failed to dominate. The Donald - or as we call him, T-Rump - will remedy that. He will take orders from no one, develop policy on the fly, and treat his opponents like he treats protestors at his rallies, with thuggery. He is a Mussolini with much more intelligence and resourcefulness than that two-bit dictator. Trump promises to be a four-bit dictator.
And yet, with everything he has going for him, Donald Trump is on the wrong side of evolution. Bernie - or at least an open system where cooperation, transparency and justice are seen as way more efficient than dominate-or-be-dominated - is the future. Notice that the young people are ignoring Hillary, and flocking to Bernie. That's because they understand that Bernie is about taking back ownership of our government, and that portends well for every issue where the well-being of the commonwealth has been at odds with the agenda of the uncommonly wealthy.
On the positive side, Trump is trumpeting some truths that are very discomforting to the establishment. On the even more positive side, a larger truth is emerging that the more libertarian supporters of Trump are coming to recognize as well: The dominator paradigm is obsolete, and obsolethal.
As Bruce Lipton and I write in Spontaneous Evolution, every evolutionary phase is characterized by expanded awareness and expanded community. That's why Bruce, as a cellular and evolutionary biologist, suggests that the next phase of human evolution is recognizing we are all cells in a super-organism called Humanity. If that is true, then warfare and the more toxic forms of competition are really autoimmune disorders, stealing our collective energy that could be used to restore our planet and provide a real life for the human inhabitants of Gaia (the ones Swami refers to as "You Gaians"). And - I've said it before and it bears repeating - if we would call this notion utopian, our bodies would simply call it "health".
Trump is about "me" - the strong leader, while Bernie is about "we", as in "we are the leaders we have been waiting for."
Regardless of the results in November - Bernie, Trump, Hillary, or some Manchurian candidate the Republicans come up with to stop Trump - the one thing for certain is that the awakening that has manifested as the Bernie campaign will grow, and grow and grow. The Trump movement will be limited by the limited beliefs of Trumpism. Consider please that 35% of Republican voters will translate into no more than 20% of all voters.
Meanwhile, work for Bernie. He has a much, much better chance than Hillary to overwhelmingly trounce Trump, sending the dominator mentality back to the dinosaur era where it belongs. If we the people win this one - first Bernie's nomination, and then his election -- it will be the hugest win in recent history, one that will empower us way past the Democratic Party. Consider that pivotal moment in Gandhi's movement when he realized the native population of India outnumbered the British colonials by 300,000 to one.
Mock my words -- this peoples' upwising will shoot way past Bernie and even left-wing ideology. It will initiate a truly generative conversation among awakening citizens of all political stripes and finally provide a transpartisan, trans-religious and trans-ideological counterpoint to a political system of "winners and losers" where very few win, and the vast majority of us lose.
As for Donald Trump, it makes sense to recognize him as the worthy adversary in the hero's journey of We the People. He's strong, he's clever, he's lucky and he is used to winning.
And ... he is making us stronger.
He is calling forth something in the 65% of us who don't want to live in a fascist dictatorship - AND who are coming to recognize the "soft totalitarianism" of the corporate state. The threat of Trumpism is awakening and encouraging those who would have timidly given into the "lesser evil" and voted for Hillary.
Any other year, Hillary would have won it. This year Trump could win it, which is why we MUST.
The shift to the new paradigm is inevitable. Might as well be this year.