Monday, October 21, 2013

Who Will Win? Republicans or Democrats?

Sometimes they are difficult to tell one from the other. But these days, so polarized are they that it isn’t quite so difficult. Nonetheless to define or characterize them is not easy. There are high-minded, noble partisans and there are the others, as diverse as human nature can be. If I left it at that, I wouldn’t have an article to write, however, And for those who stick with me on this, I assure you there’s point somewhere to be made.

Republicans tend to describe themselves as conservatives: fiscal conservatives, traditional values, mainline religion, God and country first, and finally, “hands off my stuff!” (my business, my family, etc.) Democrats tend to be associated with plurality, diversity, acceptance of alternative lifestyles, compassionate and desirous to help those in need. Well, I know that just as in the rest of politics we could split hairs and argue about these distinctions but I ask, if I must, for your forbearance for the sake brevity and simplicity, lest whatever point I might have, be buried in the “ifs, ands, and buts.”

Conservative, status quo and tradition has been on the run since the very dawn of modernism. Perhaps it began with the Italian Renaissance when men of genius and curiosity stepped out the darkness of medieval consciousness and began boldly to explore the natural world of the human body, biology, astronomy, non-religious philosophy, chemistry and much more. Hot on its heels came the great Protestant revolution (beginning with Martin Luther) and simultaneously the age of world exploration and conquest. The medieval era of unchanging tradition and rigid social and religious castes and customs began to crumble. Advances in knowledge, technology, arts, sciences, medicine and, of course, war, gave birth to the hope for freedom with the appearance of the initially weak but dynamic 13 colonies, now the United States of America.
Change and innovation by men and women of genius, courage, and commitment have been upsetting conservative bastions of “this is how it’s always been” in every generation since!

Still, orthodoxy and conservatism have always managed to regain the reins of power even if new ideas and new forms of populist activism temporarily wrested those reins away. Indeed, in the halls of power, this is the reason most of typically see little difference between the blues and the reds. Once in power, it’s “the same old, same old” song.

The reason the blues and the reds alternate in dominance every so many years is that each has a piece of the trending puzzle of consciousness and change. By definition, neither will ever in the course of history win permanently and forever. From the point of view of consciousness and metaphysical truths, Democrats represent the growing awareness, initiative and energy of the common man, flinging off the shackles of caste and of the past. We are living in the early stages of a long cycle (thousands of years) during which human consciousness (slowly at first, and then with increasing intensity) grows in the awareness of individuality, personal initiative, and an internal yardstick of right action, increasingly independent from external or traditional laws, customs, or forms.

Republicans represent the stability inherent in the calm acceptance of the law (law of karma and right action). “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” With experience and wisdom, a person who early in life was a maverick finds that he becomes, later in life, a conservative. This is for the simple reason that some people realize that basic truths of behavior don’t really change. One might find, later in life, that the most valuable things in life aren’t money or pleasure, but health and friendship—just to describe one common realization.

A person who starts adult life as a stickler for the rules and apt to pounce on those who don’t uphold the “ol-time religion” (whether ethics, politics, caste, or religion) may, later in life, after some struggles and disillusionment, relax and become more accepting of others’ realities and their need to find their own way in life.

Our government today is in a great crises. What is to come will affect not only the fortunes of this nation but of many nations, some of whom share our predicament, and others who will be affected by it. We are bankrupt. The momentum of habit, the existence of ignorance, and the paralysis of fear of change, both in this country and abroad, have kept the masses from hearing the little boy whimpering, “The emperor (dollar) has no clothes!”

The debt crises has galvanized some Republicans over Obamacare for, among other reasons, the fear that it will create an exponential increase in mandated federal entitlements at a time in history, regardless of Obamacare’s long overdue status and intrinsic merits, when it could be the proverbial “straw” which when added to our deficits and consequent debt will topple the dollar into the dustbin and trigger a financial and commercial collapse never before seen in the history of the world.

With so many economies of developed countries in equivalent or worse shape, only blind, habitual, and fear-anchored “faith” in the dollar holds the world’s fragile “fiat” fictionalized trading and lending activities in an evanescent and virtual chimera.

Add to this a wide range of concerns about global warming, declining energy and other natural resources, erosion of water, air and soil quality, exponential increases in population, and the potential for pandemics or mega-cataclysms, one can see why artists in the entertainment and creative arts have produced, for decades now, an unending parade of futuristic movies and books depicting a depleted, ugly and sterile earth, devoid of all but a handful of humans living like beasts! Warning or reality?

Yet millions hope for a better world. Millions associate themselves with trends, ideas, organizations and a culture of stewardship for the earth and responsibility to be channels for the descent of an expanded consciousness from above.

If the Republicans “win” it won’t be against Obamacare but “for” the need to rein in government spending. This goal is now impossible, however. Voters don’t have a clue, any more than their on-paper representatives. No one has the moral authority or political power to stop the train wreck that is coming. The only politically feasible option is to let the government careen out of control and bottom out. Only then will the voters stop arguing about entitlements; the military industrial–industrial complex be temporarily paralyzed; and the pork barrel farm and industry subsidies will shrivel up like crops in a draught. Just imagine, however, the consequences.

The power of big government will be permanently shaken, though in time it will attempt to bestir itself to its former glory. But like the zig-zagging chart of the Dow-Jones Industrials, which though it regains some of its value, the overall trend is southward, or the mad beast who keeps getting back up and shot again but finally succumbs, the long term trend of destiny shines on the individual and on smaller groupings of people. Though I suspect a dark period of “Big Brother” is yet to come, no matter how bleak the winter of our discontent, the Spring of individual initiative is the real hope for a better world.

Blue and Red will always have parts to play in the drama of human affairs. We mustn’t fuss so overly much over their their ever-changing ascendancies and seeming demise. Nor yet will the world end anytime soon.

Have faith not in the dollar of matter but in the gold of Divine Love, Divine Will, and the Divine Presence which, as Jesus and the great ones of east and west have always proclaimed is the “good news” and is the “truth that shall make us free.” Meditation offers the most effective way that anyone, anywhere, and anytime can use to find these pearls “of great price.” Move away from the city if you can. Grow your own food, but in all circumstances, associate with people of like-mind, and you will have a wealth more precious than a king’s ransom.

Joy to you,

Swami Hrimananda!