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Bracing for the 2020 US Presidential Election

With days away to one of the most important elections ever, we are all stressed, distressed, worried, anxious and perhaps even scared.  Strangely enough everyone is scared, proving once again that fear (real or imagined- mostly imagined) underlies hate always. We are aware of the bizarre times we are living in especially and the significance of this Presidential election in the USA.   And we are bracing in different ways for the unpredictable outcome that will shock us or delight us.  Some people are stocking up on canned goods, while others are stocking up on guns!

What is strange is how we have become so used to talking in terms of “sides”- It is as if the country is split into two and the two sides can never sit at the same table. Our common ground, our common rules of civility, our common hopes and dreams and the most important thing- the truth and facts- have somehow vanished in this war for the soul of America.  Serious issues like systemic racism, climate crises and global threats like COVID-19 cannot even be addressed as one nation- as in the “United” States of America!

People in a healthy democracy should be able to live with different value systems or even different priorities for the same values, but it should never reach this level of animosity. A recent Frontline series on Amazon Prime “America’s Great Divide” reminds us that the hate started way before President Trump- a woman called Sarah Palin made lies acceptable by inventing the term “death panels” as an Obamacare feature, and of course the Fox Lying Machine made it truth and fanned the flames of Obama Hate with the help of the Tea Party and many a Facebook group.  Obama’s presidency triggered a hateful backlash, so one wonders – how can greatness be built on hate?  A recent Hate Map by the Southern Poverty Law Center shows this very graphically- there are 940 active hate groups in existence all across the country, e.g. white nationalist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, etc.

So how do we survive this Age of Uncertainty and Turmoil? Well, we go back to ancient truths as stated in all spiritual traditions- all is transient and all will disintegrate.  And when disintegration starts there is a lot of chaos. But after the chaos, even if Mr. Chaos gets a chance to rule 4 more years, a new order will emerge naturally. So, I am prepared for either outcome, and will remind myself every hour of every day and especially on November 3 and the days and months after it, to calm down. I will keep hope alive for a new order to emerge as if blowing on a precious candle whose flame is dimming.  I will focus on human resilience which will survive the chaos. I will keep reminding myself that a new and more enlightened social order is being built but not visible yet- one that is fair, truthful, civilized and progressive.  And if America will never be the role model democracy of the world again, well then it will be very sad- not just for Americans but the whole world! Let’s hope enough Americans with kind hearts, keen minds, infinite optimism and courage prevent that from happening.  And it goes without saying, whatever you can do in the remaining few days, vote and help others get to vote- the whole world is watching with bated breath!

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