Do not seek enlightenment. Do not seek to escape, for there is no escape. There is only contribution and collaboration, or there is failure and catastrophe. – The Global Emergency
It is the weekend before the elections in the United States. I yearn to escape the pressure and intensity that surrounds the choices for President: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein supporters are rare and don’t seem as nearly obsessed with their opponents.
On one hand, Hillary Clinton is currently being investigated by the FBI for numerous crimes related to corruption and bribery during her service as Secretary of State. She has been a controversial figure in American public life for more than 30 years and her husband was the only U.S. President to have been impeached in the last 100 years, largely for having sex with an intern in the Oval office. Her unfavorable rating is at 55% of the American public. And despite the overwhelming evidence of an unfair and biased primary election that cheated Senator Bernie Sanders, Democrats vehemently support her while refusing to look at her long history of shady deals, flip-flopping and plain, old dishonesty. Many Democrats are even threatening to leave the country should Hillary lose!
Hating to be outdone in anything, Trump surpasses Clinton in crude tones and negativity. While he doesn’t have 30 years of public service to chew over like Hillary does, he has 30 years of very questionable business dealings to drag him down. Couple that with his side gig as a brash reality television star of “The Apprentice” and it is clear that Trump has taken advantage of others for his personal gain, either sexually or financially. Probably due to his crass rhetoric concerning the deportation of immigrants, his negativity rating eclipses Clinton’s at 58%. And yet Trump’s supporters, if their candidate loses, could possibly turn violent, perhaps out of frustration or simply indignant protest. Trump himself already stated in the last debate that he believes the election is rigged and he may not honor the official results, if he loses.
None of the Above? There is no Escape.
This is not going to turn out well. At least one half of the country is going to be very upset, claim that the election was rigged or stolen, and not honor the declared winner of the presidency.
But that’s not really what concerns me. The United States can get through a period where one half of the country is disgruntled, disappointed, and probably terminally discouraged by the American political process.
But what happens if neither Trump nor Clinton are declared the winner? No, neither Gary Johnson nor Jill Stein will become the next President.
I’m looking at a couple of other options that would spell even more danger for the country.
What if Trump wins the election? Beyond the shock and horror from millions, Clinton would immediately declare that the election was hacked, rigged or stolen by Russian hackers. And the next step for Democratic president Barack Obama, acting as Hillary’s ally, would be to declare war, with or without the consent of Congress, on Russia in retaliation for their attack and their attempt to influence our political process.
Sound crazy? The Clinton campaign, backed up by news stories in mainstream media with “unnamed sources,” have been trying to make a connection between Trump and America’s new enemy, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president. They have tried to make it seem like Trump and Putin are co-conspirators in some plot to undermine America. I’m not making this up.
Or, what if Hillary wins the election and the FBI charges Hillary Clinton with obstruction of justice, racketeering, accepting bribes or any number of the other crimes within the next three months before the inauguration in January? Then Hillary could not serve as president by law.
In both cases, both candidates would lose and what would follow is a confusing circus of figuring out who would be the next President via votes in the Electoral College and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Enter the Mystery
That’s when America starts to enter unchartered territory. Everyone in the country would be really pissed off because no one’s candidate will become President. It would be bad enough when 50% of the country are unhappy the day after the election. But what happens when 100% of the country is unhappy with the election? After months of childish behavior, rude debates, X-rated accusations, corruption charges so vast they are difficult to comprehend, the American people would get no new President? Historians will call this the “Rolling Stones election.” No one got any satisfaction.
Who would become president, then? Another four years of Obama? Maybe Joe Biden, the current Vice Pres., would step in. Or more likely, the Vice Presidential nominee of the “winning” candidate. In any event, the selection for the next president would fall to the U.S. House of Representatives, as it is mandated in the U.S. Constitution for such an extraordinary circumstance.
You say it can’t happen? It can. You say this isn’t some Third World country? I would ask you, “Have you been to a Third World country lately? It’s not very different from many parts of ‘Amarika.’
No one will be happy. And the fighting and dissent within and with the U.S. government will be unprecedented, massive and very volatile.
What are we to do, then? There is no Escape!
And there’s the problem: we’re not dealing with a problem; it’s a predicament. A problem has a solution whereas a predicament doesn’t. Predicaments, like death, can only be managed gracefully, they can’t be avoided.
And this is why I yearn to escape the elections, for what I see coming. I can’t prevent the confusion and calamity that I see coming. That is difficult to accept. And that is the same reason we all seek enlightenment: to escape from difficulty and challenges in front of us.
Even if I’m wrong, and your candidate wins, there are still enormous problems to solve in America – no matter who becomes President: food security, climate change, resource depletion, foreign wars, racial conflicts, financial corruption, economic stagnation, and many more Great Waves of change. These problems won’t go away quickly with a new President.
Do you live in Europe or Asia and think this won’t affect you? “Brexit” in the UK has already created chaos there, and elections will be held in 2017 for Germany and France that could have similar outcomes that produce even more chaos and anger. In Asia, Japanese leaders are trying to justify their existence in the face of a 25 year recession. In China, people have to navigate a maze of corruption from officials who are so corrupt that they make Clinton and Trump look trustworthy! Confidence in government is about to plummet worldwide. There is no escape!
But these are challenges that we were made for. Why else would we have come? To simply enjoy this beautiful world? To simply better ourselves, and to use the world as if it is just a big school for our edification?
All the major religions of the world, and the newest one, The New Message from God, all emphasize the point of life is not to escape it or to simply seek happiness. It is service, contribution and devotion to what we love: people, animals, the living Earth, that produce enduring joy and peace…
So in the next few chaotic months, remember, this is our time. This is our place. What do we have to give to it? How can we turn this time into our greatest moments rather than our lowest experiences?
Run to difficulty. There is no escape from the elections, the chaos to come and the problems that endure! This time can show us where we are most needed.
- Goals Beyond our Reach