We seem to be powerless in relation to a U.S. President, elected with 3 million votes fewer than his opponent, who willfully persists in ignoring the national interest. No one, so far, has been able to stop him from broadcasting the most egregious lies and misleading statements in his long daily press briefings, which over 100,000 people have petitioned networks not to carry because they transmit misinformation!
Some members of the press try to stand up to him at these events. Bravo! However, if such “insubordination” crosses a line, the person’s press pass is suspended. Furthermore, Trump’s people cut the mic for follow-up questions, at will. On a daily basis, the man at the podium accuses reporters who have the temerity to ask tough questions, or even “soft” questions about topics he doesn’t like, of being “nasty” and insults their skills like a punitive 1950s father [like his own]. He apparently feels that the right to be really nasty is reserved for him alone!
For days now, Trump has bombastically shouted the ridiculous untruth that doctors and nurses are themselves stealing needed personal protection gear, and that governors are inflating the numbers of ventilators their states need, though they have no motive for doing that.
The American news stations then cut to the hospitals themselves, where medical workers are completely overwhelmed and reusing masks for days on end, begging for help!
A parody of leadership
The falseness of the President’s assertions is patently obvious. Yet, he continues to repeat the same things, and no one has been able to stand directly in front of him and call him out in a sustained response!
This is maddening! It’s preposterous! It’s a parody of leadership! It’s been such a “perfect storm”: the emergence of a deadly pandemic, coupled with an American president whose interests run counter to the obvious need for clear, selfless leadership that unites us!
It’s not that anyone wants to be partisan or “political” at a time like this. It’s just that there is deliberate obstruction and frequent obfuscation at the top. As we read every day, states are out there bidding against one another and against the federal government for desperately needed supplies, spiking the prices through the roof.
Trump declares over and over, “We’re just here as backup,” instead of seizing the moment and creating one chain of supply that would immeasurably simplify the situation for everyone, with the U.S. military mobilized for delivery and factories conscripted to make the supplies. He calls himself a wartime President, but refuses to act like one!
A cataclysmic time of radical transformation
If anything, the intractability of this surreal mess makes it clear to me that the present situation has arisen due to, let’s say, greater unseen forces. It’s a cataclysmic time of radical transformation. All of this appears to be beyond anyone’s control, and no one alive can say where it’s leading!
Each of us harbours what personal resources, including goodwill and courage, we are able to find within ourselves. Meanwhile, we attempt to make some kind of peace with “Brother Death”, as Francis of Assisi is supposed to have called him. The prospect of dying may seem more imminent in New York City, but the shadow of mortality looms more conspicuously over the entire planet—rich as well as poor, “first world” as well as “third world,” now.
I’ve read articles about the opportunities of this unique time. One of them describes a transformation process that the authors feel the world may be going through, likening it to the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. That may sound like a superficial cliche, until you investigate the details of the phenomenon more closely:
We are entering the chrysalis. There’s no instruction manual for what happens next. But we can learn some things from observing nature (thank you Megan Toben for some of this biological info). For one thing, the chrysalis stage is preceded by a feeding frenzy in which the caterpillar massively overconsumes (sound familiar? We’ve been there for decades). Then its tissues melt into a virtually undifferentiated goo. What remain separate are so-called imaginal cells, which link together and become the template from which the goo reorganizes itself into a butterfly. Does the caterpillar overconsume strategically, or out of blind instinct? Does it know what’s coming and trust in the process, or does it feel like it’s dying? We don’t know. It’s natural to resist radical, painful change. But ultimately there’s little choice but to surrender to it. We can practice welcoming the circumstances that force us away from dysfunctional old patterns, be they economic or personal. We have that opportunity now.
– from “What If the Virus is the Medicine” by Jonathan Hadas Edwards and Julia Hartsell
This is definitely a new time, and wherever it is heading, we will likely never return to “the old world.” And we steel ourselves for each new day, and try to do the best we can. Love others, love yourself!
We are hardy seeds of a new world, an age of Intuition that Sages have prophecied for many, many years! Nearly everything valuable is born through adversity. We and this new world will germinate and grow and flourish at the appropriate time. This difficult passageway we’re now in is surely part of the preparation.
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image 1: Pexels; image 2: Governor Tom Wolf; image 3: Pixabay