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With Trump’s election as president, it would seem that we have fallen into a political dark age. How long will this darkness last? Why did it happen? What does it mean? And what can we do about it?

The circumstances that lead to this unthinkable outcome are important because we want to know how we can prevent something similar happening in the future. We want to get to a place where we can say with confidence, “Never again.”

I am going to forego a discussion of the reasons Trump won until a future blog. There are at least ten main reasons and collectively they were enough to result in a narrow win in the Electoral College. Trump still lost the popular vote by almost 2.9 million votes.

If you are at all like me, you may be experiencing profound unhappiness, anxiety, and even trauma at this turn of events in our country. It’s tempting to turn the whole thing off, ignore the news, and just hope for the best.

However, it is incumbent upon all of us who see Trump’s ascendancy as the distressing reality that it is to ask ourselves one simple question, “What the fuck?!”

The real tragedy of the Trump presidency would be to fail to see the lessons of his coming into power and become discouraged and demoralized. We might well then become negligent in getting to work to turn our country’s destiny in a different direction.

In calling the time of Trump an extremity, I mean to call attention to the fact that, for better or worse, we have elected someone who highlights aspects of our culture that need to be changed.

If you hold it as I do that humanity is supported by various aspects of a spiritual network that includes our lineage and our spiritual guardians, you might feel as though they have let us down. Why would they let this happen?

My reading is that the election of Trump is a symptomatic breakdown of our civilization. It is a breakdown which forces us out of our comfort zone into a profound questioning of what is happening to us.

In our own personal experience, we encounter these symptomatic breakdowns just at those times when we fail to heed messages from our higher self that we need to make significant change in our lives.

For example, when my father died suddenly, I told myself that I didn’t need to grieve very much, that I didn’t have much unfinished business with my dad. Just as I was having this very thought, I ran through a red light right in front of a policeman.

I could give you many more personal examples. When we can’t get what we need to know through other means, our higher self conspires to arrange some outcome, usually of a disconcerting nature, which forces us to consider the meaningful connection between events and our attitudes and beliefs.

I believe the symptomatic breakdown serves the same purpose for our collective selves as it does for us individually. The spiritual powers that be have conspired to take us to this painful place as our needed wake-up call. We are caught up in a growth conspiracy, i.e., a circumstance that gives us the opportunity to transform and evolve.

Had Hillary won, it would have been business as usual. The progressive aspects of our society would have assumed all was well and have gone back to sleep.

Then, in 2018, the Democrats would have taken another clobbering in the House and Senate and in local races, just like in 2010. The Republicans would have become even more deeply entrenched in the Congress and in the state governments than they already are.

As it is now, the resist Trump movement has awakening many people to take political action who would have remained uninvolved before. People are starting to mobilize in large numbers and Trump has not yet been president for even two months.

I hate it like hell that we have come to the place where we need such desperate measures as electing Trump president. But here we are. We have to put our attention on what we can do to move away from this nadir of political reality.

Trump has the worst approval rating of any incoming president in the recent history of the nation. In many ways, what he represents is the complete inverse of what we need. He is the ultimate negative role model. Observe what he’s up to and then go 180 degrees in the other direction to find justice, peace, and sanity.

Although the Republican Party was loath to support Trump early on in the primary season, once he become the nominee and had a chance to be elected, they jumped on board the band wagon.

90% of self-described Republican voters voted for him and he still has the support of about 85% of those. The Republicans in Congress have to date done almost nothing to oppose any of Trump’s executive orders or cabinet picks with the one exception of his choice of labor secretary.

This means that Trump is the new face of the Republican Party and it will hard for them to disentangle themselves from this identification when his presidency finally implodes.

What we need to be about is creating a world which works for everyone not just for the privileged few. However, Trump is a stand for maintaining the privileges of the few. His slogans of “America First” and “Make America Great Again” embody this idea.

Although we constitute less that 5% of the world population, we use about a quarter of world natural resources and produce the second largest amount of green house gas pollution of any country behind only China. One-half of the world’s solid waste comes from the United States.

Trump’s attitude is we’ll do what’s best for America and to hell with the rest of the world.

This view is incredibly short-sighted. If we do not develop an ecological intelligence about how we impact the planet, we will contribute to making a world that does not work for anyone. Whether we like it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not, we are all residents of one planet in human sourced ecological crisis.

At this moment, the political figures in power are the most anti-science and environmentally oblivious of any in the history of our entire nation. Almost all of these are Republicans. As Trump’s presidency contributes to the relative demise of the Republican Party, the entire world will be served.

Of course, not all people in the United States are part of the privileged few that Trump wants to lead. Make American Great again is part of a campaign of religious and ethnic diversity intolerance. If you’re Christian and you’re white, you’re part of the Trump nation, but not if you’re Muslim, an immigrant, or an undocumented person.

Trump’s triumph in the election was due in no small part to his implied promise to restore white dominance and privilege after a period when a black man was president.

Seeing ourselves as one global family has to start in our own country with diversity sensitivity, acceptance, and tolerance. Whatever greatness American has achieved, and whatever it will achieve, is due in small part to the fact that we are a melting pot of the entire world.

The planet as a whole and the United States in particular is becoming a more tolerant place. Legalization of gay marriage and gays and transgender people participating openly in the military are just two examples. Unfortunately, this tide of liberalization is met with fierce resistance by those in our country and in the world who see this as the disintegration of civilization.

Trump is on the wrong side of history here and his ascendancy will not reverse the trend towards justice, tolerance, and diversity acceptance. Because he is out of step with what is happening nationally and globally, whatever he does along the lines of trying to institute white nationalism will serve to create an opponent process that mobilizes political action not only against him, but against Republicans in general.

We can help define ourselves politically by recognizing what we are clearly opposed to in our country.

The response to his ban on people coming in from Muslim majority countries is one example of this. It’s not a secret that this policy was instituted to be a Muslim ban that could stand up to legal scrutiny.

Although they may not comfortable with him and some of his policies, the Republican politicians have so far fallen in line behind Trump because they share some of the same investment in what could we could call the conservative corporate complex.

To my knowledge Bill Moyers was the first person to use this term in an article called “Welcome to the Plutocracy.”

Corporations are by their very nature and design self-serving entities. They will do pretty much whatever they can get away with to thrive and prosper. All that stands between them and the destruction of our ecosphere through unchecked corporate greed are government regulations and political intervention.

Unfortunately, many of our politicians are mere puppets of the corporations. They are dependent upon them for the money to win their campaigns and stay in office. The corporate corruption of our society extends to people of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

However, the Republicans as the traditionally business friendly party, are ideologically invested in promoting the welfare of corporations even when it results in the detriment of the average citizen and the environment.

Conservatism is a political philosophy which has a long and proud history of trying to maintain certain values, ideals, and principles which are believed to be for the collective good.

But Trump’s perversion of conservatism seeks to conserve power and privilege by using whatever means necessary. It’s an uncompassionate conservatism of diversity intolerance.

One thing that Trump’s presidency does is to highlight the unsoundness of the some of the basic premises upon which the conservative corporate complex depend to maintain their political hegemony.

For example, many people accept the idea that whatever is good for business must be good for everyone. After all profitable businesses result in jobs and employment.

Regardless of what may have been true in the past, this idea is not longer tenable. The profits of corporations are at unprecedented levels while the wages of people who work for them below the level of corporate management have been almost flat since the 1980s.

The corporate bosses and their investors are experiencing tremendous increases in wealth but everyone else is treading water economically.

Trump was able to persuade large number of working class people that he was on their side and that he would be their champion. However, when you look at the people he’s put into his cabinet, what you see is a plutocrat picking other plutocrats to run the government.

Trump made the argument that he was too rich to be corrupted. Rich people don’t need to resort to corruption because they are already wealthy. But the richer you are, the more you have to protect, and concerns about preservation of wealth usually come before a focus on improving wealth inequality.

Moreover, many of the rich become so because they engaged in unethical practices as Trump did when he refused to pay all of his construction workers and manipulated the bankruptcy system to avoid paying the full measure of his debts.

Although there are some very rich people who are trying to improve the welfare of everyone, Bill Gates, for example, it should become more apparent with the Trump presidency that you can’t trust the very rich to take care of the common man.

With respect to the question of how long we have to put up with Trump as president, my reading is about one calendar year. Trump is our most corrupt president ever. He has done and will continue to do many official government acts which support his bottom line.

Just one example is how he goes to his Mar-A-Lago property in Florida on a regular basis. This is using the government for your personal benefit as every visit there enhances the reputation and bottom line of that particular business enterprise.

It will take a while for Trump’s connection with Russian oligarchs to come fully to light. A turning point will be when his tax records are subpoenaed by a congressional committee. The Republican leadership don’t want to blow Trump out of the water too soon because they hold out hope that he will be amenable to their legislative agenda.

But the lies will catch up with Trump and he will be forced to resign. Then, unfortunately, we will have President Pence. By this time though the Republicans will be tarred with Trump’s corruption, lies, and deceit.

In summary, Trump is the vehicle for the opponent process we need and the negative role model to help us resist the environmental, economic, and political injustice that he champions.

However, there is yet another dimension to Trump’s presidency that must be underlined. In addition to the ordinary meaning of political injustice where one group tries to oppress people of lesser power and influence, Trump takes political injustice to levels seldom seen in America.

For Trump is trying to persuade everyone that his twisted and distorted view of reality is what we should all accept and embrace. When you are able to control someone’s sense of what is real and unreal, this is ultimate control. It is what we witness in cults.

Many of Trump’s followers do seem to have a cult mentality. They accept whatever he says as true and adjust their picture of reality accordingly. In one survey, for example, 38% of Trump voters believed that George Soros paid the people in the Women’s March to be there.

Trump says that the reason he lost the popular vote is because there was massive voter fraud, that we face an immigrant menace, and that we’ll be safer if he succeeds in banning people coming in from some countries with predominantly Muslim populations.

But, of course, there was no voter fraud, massive or otherwise. Immigrants actually have lower crime rates than the general population and there have been exactly 0 deaths of Americans on American soil by terrorism from the citizens of any of the countries he wants to ban since 1975.

If he can get enough people to buy into his false reality based on his alternative facts, then this will be more leverage for him to spent more money on defense at the expense of the rest of the budget and proceed unimpeded with his white nationalist agenda.

This tyranny of perception and information control is what Bush used to justify his invasion of Iraq in 2003. Bush managed to sell his fantasy that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that these were a threat to us. But, of course, no weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

So, what is that we can do to turn this political nightmare around?

I’m planning to write a series of Trump blogs and I’ll have suggestions in each one for action steps we can take. For now, let’s start with something elementary that is easy to do and also a way to increase our mental health index.

My recommendation is to not look at any live Trump event such as a speech or news conference. What Trump says in these events are often not a reliable index of what he really stands for or what he is likely to do in the future. He doesn’t write these speeches and no one has yet solved the mystery of how Trump’s policy positions, such as they are, come to be in their final form.

To stay informed read commentaries and especially the fact checking segments.

I call for a world-wide boycott for all products and services associated with Trump and any of his businesses. Trump will not remain president for long if it’s clear that this is going to cause his business empire to tank.

Bear in mind that there will be an end to this political wilderness. My reading is that Trump will be a short term and temporary president.

The unthinkable has happened and Donald Trump is going to be our next president. He won because he was able to motivate the voters sympathetic to him to turn out while the people of the Obama coalition did not vote in sufficient numbers for Clinton.

The turnout of 131 million was about 57% of the eligible voters. This means that nearly 100 million people who were eligible did not vote. Just over one quarter of the eligible voting population put Trump into power.

There was a prevailing false perception that Clinton’s victory was inevitable, and this perception was supported by polling data which didn’t embody the full story of what people were thinking.

My personal election forecast was almost completely wrong. It was Trump who won almost all of the swing states and Republicans also won almost all of the close Senate races including one in Wisconsin that was not supposed to be close.

In addition, Trump won Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. A Republican sweep of these states had not happened since 1988.

On election night I thought to myself, “This has got to be just a bad dream. I’ll wake up in the morning and everything will be as it should.”

But the reality is that the Republicans now have control of the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress as well as the prospect of tilting the Supreme Court to the right for many years to come.

In thinking about the consequences of Trump as president, it’s easy to succumb to despair, cynicism, and hopelessness about the future.

Yet is important that we do not indulge ourselves in apocalyptic narratives of how Trump’s time as president will be. If the future is going to be as terrible as we imagine it to be, then we are both hopeless and helpless. From this perspective, we cannot envision any path to empowerment or any meaningful course of action.

To the extent that we are focusing our attention on what we don’t want, we’re sabotaging ourselves by making this more likely to happen.

I feel it’s important not to overreact to what has transpired so that we can deal with challenges as they actually occur and not waste our energies in worry and anxiety about things that could happen but don’t.

This is not to say that I feel that we’ve made a good choice for president. I believe that Trump will turn out to be one of our worst presidents.

Yet things are not quite what they seem. There is light behind this dark cloud and this light is more than just a silver lining.

I’ve come to this conclusion through reflection on my process of forecasting the election results. Every time I attempted a remote preview of the election, I got a sense of reassurance. I took this to mean that my predictions for a Democratic wave were on target, that Hillary would win, and the Democrats would gain control of the Senate.

Moreover, my dreams during the time of working up the election forecast were positive and reinforcing. I took this to mean I was on the right track.

My normal reaction to a prediction which is so completely off as to be reversed is to feel mortified and very unhappy with myself. But this is not how I felt at all.

Something else is happening. I believe my Guidance was pointing me in the direction of this light behind the cloud. I mistook this direction guidance as validation for how I thought things were going to turn out on November 8th.

For sure, to some extent things are just as bad as they seem. Trump has the power to countermand all of Obama’s executive orders. Some of these orders were supportive of the environment and better immigration policy.

Yet, beyond the issuing of executive orders, Trump does not have the power to unilaterally effect the policies he championed in his campaign. For example, without congressional action, he can’t build a wall with Mexico or prevent Muslims from immigrating to the United States.

We still have separation of powers in our democracy and the whole is stronger than any one of its parts.

Trump needs the cooperation of Congress. One of the unintended consequences of his election is the prospect of Democrats and Republicans coming together in a bipartisan way to thwart Trump’s extreme policies.

The Democrats still have filibuster power in the Senate and they will use that power to oppose Trump’s agenda.

There is going to be a big discrepancy between what Trump said in his campaign and what he’ll actually do or try to do. Trump took extreme positions as a way of throwing red meat to his base, and also because he gained media attention with every controversy.

This doesn’t mean he is committed to any of these things. If fact, we know very little of what Trump actually stands for.

My reading is that four years is the limit of Trump as president. Trump gained a lot of political leverage by being the anti-establishment candidate. But now, he is the establishment. He is the government.

Whatever popularity he has will plummet when he can’t deliver on his promises to make life better for those who feel left out of the system.

So, if he were to run in four years, he couldn’t win. It’s not going to take long for voter remorse to set in. Those voters who project their unhappiness onto the government and how it operates now have a new target.

Because Trump got to be where he is by ignoring conventional political norms, there is no reason to believe he will act any differently as president. He is a man who doesn’t respect boundaries or limits. This though makes him vulnerable to impeachment. He will have to change his act to some degree or face the prospect of being thrown out of office.

At 70 Trump is the oldest person who has ever been elected president. Being president is one of the world’s most stressful jobs. You can see our presidents visibly age in their tenures.

Trump is not as healthy as he claims and being president is not going to make him any healthier.

Moreover, I don’t see Trump being happy in his role as president. The journey is going to turn out to be way more fun than the destination.

Being president requires tremendous attention to detail, responsibility, and obligation. Trump is used to being the center of his own self-designed universe. As president he’s not going to be in control of his life, and especially his business interests, to a degree that he has never experienced before.

As things stand currently, there is one vacancy on the Supreme Court. If he were president for eight years, he could dramatically change the court. However, he is not going to be around that long.

Although Democrats can filibuster individual nominees, I don’t see them keeping Trump from putting at least one person on the Court.

Then the court would be similar to how it was when Scalia was still alive. This is not optimal, but still not the worst case scenario.

Had Clinton won and the Democrats not gained control of the Senate, we would have had major stalemate in government again. It would be very hard for her to enact any of her progressive initiatives. Then, in 2018, the Democrats would be vulnerable to losing more seats in Congress in the off year election.

As it stands now, it’s the Republicans who are vulnerable to losing seats and their majorities are not robust. There will be 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats and Independents in the Senate in the next Congress.

Clinton had great ideas and would have been a capable leader, but she is not the charismatic figure that can inspire a populist movement.

The unhappiness and discontent that Trump exploited for his election win is not going to disappear with him.

Now the door is open for a new Democratic leader to come forth that can champion the perceived need for positive change. This positive change is the light behind the cloud. It is sourced in a progressive movement that is birthed by opposition to the Trump presidency.

It’s a sad commentary on our society that we have to hit bottom politically before we are mobilized into action. But that is how it is and this is our way forward, however painful it turns out to be in the short run.

For sure, Trump is going to be a disaster for the environment and this has global implications. But this is also going to inspire people who have environmental concerns to get involved. These are issues which can transcend partisan politics.

Trump as commander-in-chief is a scary prospect. My reading though is that Trump is not going to involve America in new wars. His America First policy is really an isolationist stance.

From his narcissistic personality perspective, he doesn’t really care what is happening in other places in the world as long as he perceives that it doesn’t direct affect us. His attitude will be to let someone else be the policeman of the world.

Trump is a terrible role model as our leader. Among other flaws, he has proved himself to be a diversity insensitive human being. He will be somewhat better as president.

My reading is that he will very quickly come to the conclusion that he doesn’t want to be president for eight years.

With no need to run for re-election, the Trump reality show is really at an end and he can stop trying to impress his base with how politically incorrect he can be. Moreover, the gravity of the office will have some mollifying effect on his behavior, albeit much less than we would like. He now has all of the attention that even he could want. He doesn’t need to act out to get more.

My conclusion is that we do have the prospect of a positive future. The crisis we are in is both danger and opportunity. We have to get to work to start building that future in what we do today and tomorrow by treating ourselves, others, and the environment with dignity, love, and respect. It is up to us to be the role models that we have been hoping for.

We will have the future that we make.

If you have been concerned about how the election is going to turn out in the last couple of weeks and been turning a little blue, it’s time to finally exhale. The Trump apocalypse is not happening.

What I see is a Democratic wave coming on Tuesday that will make Clinton president and also give Democrats control of the Senate. The House will remain in Republican control but their majority will be reduced by half.

I see the Democrats outperforming the polls and winning all the blue states and all of the swing states plus all of the close Senate races.

I have Clinton with 347 electoral votes and Trump 191.

I see the following states in the blue column: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine plus both of the districts, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

I see Trump winning the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska plus all districts, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

On the Senate side, I see the Democrats winning a seat currently held by a Republican incumbent in the following states: Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

I also see Democrats winning in open seat contests in California, Maryland, Nevada, and Indiana. The Republicans will eventually win the open Senate seat in Louisiana although there will have to be a run-off. The incumbents in both parties will win all the other seats.

This will give the Democrats a net of plus 7 seats in the Senate and their majority will then be 51 Democrats and 2 Independents to 47 Republicans.

We are now less than two months from the presidential election of 2016. If you ever had any doubt that our society is in crisis, the nature of this year’s political season should give you pause. We are indeed living in unprecedented times.

It’s Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump. How did we get here? What is the significance of this election and, most importantly, who is going to win and why?

Even if you have already decided that Clinton is a better choice than Trump, it is still important to understand how Trump got to be one of two people who could be the next President of the United States. Clinton is a known political entity, but what does the Trump candidacy tell us about the future of our political process going forward?

Let’s begin by looking at the motivations of the people at the top of their tickets. Why is Clinton running for president and why is Trump doing so?

I think it’s fair to say that anyone running for president has at least some motivation to attempt to shape the world according to their view of how things should be. It’s also true that politicians have personal ambitions and goals in addition to their mission to change the world according to their beliefs.

With respect to Hillary, one of her personal ambitions is to be the first woman president and open doors of possibility for women. She has also a lot she wants to accomplish that she believes will empower our citizens. When you look at her personal history, you see someone motivated by a mission of service.

With Trump on the other hand, my reading is that his primary motivation for running for president is self-promotion. This is not so unusual. If you look at the people running for president in the last two cycles, you see several people with that motive, especially on the Republican side. They don’t have any realistic chance of winning. But they know if they run, they can gain attention and lucrative speaking and media gigs later.

So, was Trump’s entry into the Republican primary race a stunt that got out of control? There has been a lot of speculation that some of the more self-damaging things Trump has done in his campaign are a sign that he doesn’t really want to be president.

My reading is no. I believe he went in thinking he could be the Republican nominee and eventually president. Trump run for president is a rebranding effort. It’s an attempt to move his career from that of businessman and professional celebrity to being the bully in the White House. He wants to be for the United States what Putin is for Russia.

Trump’s self-interested motivations for running are problematic in more than one way. It’s pretty evident that he has narcissistic personality disorder. Thus, he has an oversized ego and is somewhat delusional with respect to who he is and what he can do. I imagine he thought to himself, “I can do this. It’s not so hard. People will flock to my campaign.”

As it turned out, he received 14 million votes in the Republican primary and defeated 16 rivals, including some very well funded opponents and conservative icons.

Running for president feeds his pathological need for attention and assures him the spotlight, at least for the time being. If he wins the White House, his brand is triumphant and this will move his business ventures to unprecedented levels of success.

However, along with the attention of being the Republican nominee, there is increased scrutiny about all aspects of Trump’s life.

If you look at how Trump has conducted his campaign and look at his past life from a nonpartisan perspective, you cannot help but come to the conclusion that Donald J. Trump is a thoroughly dishonorable human being. By this I mean he is someone who has a consistent pattern of lying, cheating, and stealing.

It would be a book length treatment to detail these misdeeds, so let’s just look at a couple of telling indicators. With respect to lying, PolitiFact, a fact checking organization, rated 72% of Trump’s public remarks about factual circumstances as false. That means that nearly three-fourths of the time he’s not speaking the truth whenever he purports to cite factual support for what he says.

We don’t know for sure how many of the falsehoods that come out of Trump’s mouth are deliberate lies and how many are a result of his uncritically accepting whatever he takes on from the alt-right propaganda mill.

In any case, Trump doesn’t seem to be concerned with veracity. He’s interested in the impact of what he says. He’s following the sociopath’s credo: what sells is right, good, and true.

With respect to cheating and stealing, you only have to look at the 3,500 lawsuits that have been filed against Trump in his business career. To detail these would require another book.

If Trump is indeed so dishonorable, how did he get this far? How does he get away with it? Trump has said things in his time as a candidate that would have ended the candidacy of anyone else.

If you look at his disapproval numbers, you might think he is not getting away with it: 34% approve and 61% disapprove of him. However, Clinton’s are almost as bad: 39% approve of her candidacy and 55% disapprove. Although Clinton has a clear lead at this time, the outcome of the election is still in doubt.

There is no doubt that Trump has a passionate partisan following that is willing to overlook his faults or put them into some context where they are perceived to support their world view.

This is no accident. In addition to his narcissism, Trump has a sociopathic personality disorder. This means that he is skilled in manipulating others without regard to the consequences. He feels no guilt or shame in tricking people. In fact, he delights in it and brags about it.

Let’s put aside psychological diagnosis and just call this “mind-fucking.” By this I meant Trump is highly skilled in getting people to believe what he wants them to believe irrespective of evidence, facts, or common sense.

In Trump’s ghost written book The Art of the Deal, it reads in part: “I play to people’s fantasies… People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration—and it’s a very effective form of promotion.”

At one point in his campaign, Trump said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

Part of Trump’s self-promotion motivation for running for president is to further his acting ambitions. Trump is an actor always playing himself. Thus his campaign is to a large extent performance art. It’s the performance art of mind-fuckery.

The smug looks of self-satisfaction he always seem to have shows us how much he loves playing this game. He’s assuring himself a privileged place in the Mind-Fuckers Hall of Fame.

We can easily envision him recruiting ghost writers for his next best sellers: The Art of the Insult and A Primer on Politically Incorrect Speech: How to Get Away with Saying Absolutely Anything.

Trump is running his campaign on the model of a reality TV show. Success is measured in terms of ratings. The more attention you get the better, even if it is attention for deplorable things you say or do.

From this model it’s possible to run an entire political operation without the usual encumbrances of a traditional campaign. You don’t need to run very many ads, you don’t need a big staff, you don’t need record breaking amounts of money, you don’t need to depend on super PACS, and you can be very selective about where you do campaign appearances and who you talk to.

However, it’s imperative to dominate the news cycles as much as you can. So Trump has to keep making outrageous statements so the media will keeps their focus on him and relatively ignore the Democratic candidate.

Especially when he is ad libbing as opposed to reading off a teleprompter, Trump’s speaking style is usually an attempt to arouse an emotional reaction in his audience rather than to convey a substantive point. At the same time, he is trying to influence you with respect to what he wants you to believe.

Trump tries to steer away from definite policy statements whenever he can. “My voters don’t care and the public doesn’t care,” he said in a Time Magazine interview.

The emotional content of his speech activates the sympathetic nervous system and so the higher brain centers are not as fully engaged. Then he can convey messages directly to the unconscious.

A full inventory of Trump’s mind-fucking tricks would require another book and this time it would a text on critical thinking. Some examples will have to suffice.

Speaking of the prospect of Hillary Clinton’s picks for the Supreme Court, he said, “If she gets to pick her judges—nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”

This comes pretty close to advocating violence. Note though that Trump is not stating directly that people should take up weapons to overturn the results of the election. He’s just referring to it as something that might happen.

He puts it into the space and then he backs off from it by saying, “I don’t know.” Thus he avoids responsibility for what he just put out that may motivate crazy people to do violent things.

Trump often uses this insinuation trick to bring up topics which are too incendiary to be stated in a straightforward way when he wants to convey suspicion without evidence, proof, or facts.

He will say for example, “something is going on,” or “people are saying.” But he never tells you what he thinks is going on or what people he’s talking about. This gives the imagination of the listener an opportunity to create their own dark scenarios. He is encouraging a conspiracy mind set where the government and media are seen as being totally corrupt.

In another case Trump said, “And, by the way, with Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water.”

The crowd roars approval and overlooks the fact that Trump is advocating that we should go to war over a gesture. The message conveyed is how tough Trump will be as president and how nobody will be able to get away with insulting the United States again.

When Trump was confronted with the patent falsehood of his statement that “Obama founded ISIS,” he said he was just being sarcastic. It’s like saying, it’s just a joke. But he later said, “Obviously I’m being sarcastic. Then — but not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.”

In this case, he is trying to evade responsibility for his statement while at the same time reassuring his base that he really meant it.

This is typical of Trump’s modus operandi. He’s constantly changing what his positions are to avoid criticism.

This is another mind-fucking trick. Keep people in the dark about what you really mean and where you really stand while at the same time communicating to your base through these insinuations and innuendoes that he’s still going to be the hard line president he promised to be when he made the most outrageous claims.

He wants more moderate voters to hear that he has backed off of some of his most extreme statements while at the same time sending reassurances to his hard core right wing supporters.

Trump would like us to believe that America is falling apart and headed for disaster at every turn and only he can save us. You just have to trust him to be the strong leader we need in a time of increasing chaos and disorder.

For example in his acceptance speech at the Republican Convention he said, “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”

I think his sociopathic tendencies show here because he seems to be saying that it takes a corrupt person to fix a corrupt system. In any case, even if he did understand the corruption better than anyone, it doesn’t follow that he has the remedies to fix the system or that he is the only one who does.

Trump, the president candidate, is a fictional character that Trump the actor created in an attempt to mythologize himself into someone supremely competent and intelligent who can effect immediate change through the force of his will. Trump touts himself as someone who always gets his way.

If we look at Trump’s real life, of course, this is far from true. He has had four business bankruptcies and two divorces to name just a few of Trump’s less than all powerful outcomes. However, his character, the person he played on The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice, always wins.

Although Trump the candidate is a fiction, some people buy into the mythological persona he promotes. Ann Coulter, for example, wrote a book entitled In Trump We Trust. I think she must be thinking that demagogue means demigod.

Jon Voight, the actor, compared Trump to Mother Teresa and Albert Schweitzer. He was being completely sincere in saying this.

The world view that seems to motivate Trump’s political ambitions comes from the extreme fringe of the right wing of the political spectrum. He espouses the politics of the alt-right.

The alt-right is a political movement that supports white identity politics. They take Trump’s signature line “Make America Great Again” to mean “Make America White Again.”

Alt-right is the home base of angry and fear based white men who feel like their identity is being threatened by the changes that are happening in our society.

They are a diversity phobic group that includes elements which are overtly racist, anti-feminist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant. They share Donald’s vision of a Crippled America (the title of Trump’s book), and they look to radically change society to expunge the perceived toxic elements of multiculturism.

We know that Trump is aligned with the alt-right because he’s taken on Steven Bannon as the chief executive of his campaign. Bannon is the executive chairman of a web-site called Breitbart News. Bannon says this is a platform for the alt-right.

Here are some of the recent headlines of Breitbart News. “Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield.” “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.” “The Solution to Online Harassment is Simple: Women Should Log Off.”

Clinton said that half of Trump’s supporters are “deplorables” and this is the group she is talking about. The alt-right is now taking on this ascription so they can be proud and unapologetic deplorables, meaning that their vision of how society should be is indeed radically different from the mainstream.

However, these extreme right wing people cannot be the entirety of Trump’s support. Clinton pegging them as about half is probably right. The election would not be close if these were the only supporters he had.

Trump’s candidacy resonates with a larger group of disaffected people who are sympathetic to some degree with his campaign.

The Trump phenomenon is rooted in choices people make about how to make sense of the changes that are happening in our society.

There is a sense of disturbance in our collective consciousness because we know that our future is not going to be like our past. Basic questions of existence can then come up. These are issues of identity about who we are, where we fit in, and what is worth doing.

This sense of existential crisis can manifest as a mood I called existential intensity. Then you experience excitement, anticipation, the sense of it being a meaningful time coupled with uncertainty, anxiety, and apprehension.

Some of us are able to embrace change and, when we do, we’re more likely to experience a skew towards the more positive emotions of excitement, anticipation and meaning. But, if we have a mind-set that resists change and see it in a negative perspective as a catastrophic loss of the familiar, then uncertainty, anxiety, and apprehension will be prominent.

The Chinese symbol for crisis illustrates this duality well as it’s made up of the characters for opportunity and danger.

Many of the really big challenges we face at this time in our civilization are global in nature. But often people lack the ability to see things in a bigger framework of meaning beyond their own immediate concerns.

The temptation is to focus attention on some outside group that can be seen as the problem. Fear and anger towards something definite is preferable to a sense of uncertainty and anxiety about a future that may seem beyond our control. A fortress mentality can develop that wants to wall off the local identity group from the problems happening in the world at large.

If external threats can be identified, there is a sense of relief in having something to project your negative emotions upon. This takes the focus away from any need for self-examination or change. Whatever is unfamiliar can be made into the enemy.

You can blame the designated others for whatever struggles you are having in your life or that you anticipate for the future. The focus goes to attempting to restore the past when diversities had less prominence and little or no power. Thus we get to “Make America Great Again.”

This reactionary political element will still be with us if Trump loses in November. However, it’s unlikely that another figure will be able to embody it as effectively as Trump has been doing in this election cycle.

Because the ideological balance of the Supreme Court is at stake, many Republicans are choosing party over country and supporting Trump even though they are repelled by his political affiliations.

So even though Trump has turned off many Republicans, he still has the support of the Republican Party. As the party hasn’t disowned him, this means he’s going to get a lot of partisan Republican votes and so he will win almost all of the red states.

There are several other factors that are keeping Trump afloat in spite of his repugnant politics.

Because the word “trump” has the connotation of being a decisive, overriding factor, this supports the mythology of his cult of personality.

Like most sociopaths, Trump can be very charming and engaging. He’s so good at being bad that we are captivated by what he’s going to say next. It’s like looking forward to the next chapter in a compelling novel to see what the character is going to do. Trump keeps us focused on him with his daily outrage.

We tend to like whatever is familiar to us and Trump is a genius at gaining attention. Clinton is also a celebrity, of course. She was well liked when she was in a prominent position as first lady and Secretary of State and in the news frequently. But she has been out of the news and thus outside of our attention for much of the election cycle. She just cannot compete with Trump in showmanship.

Because Trump is a celebrity and an actor, we tend to not hold him accountable to usual moral standards. The personae of actors are fictions. Actors are just who we want them to be. They are projections of our imagination and there is willful suspension of disbelief that they could be in any way dishonorable.

Thus O.J. Simpson was acquitted in his murder trial in spite of strong DNA evidence and his flight from the police.

Trump also has the novelty factor going for him. For sure, if we elect him, the established political order will not be the same. His way of trying to capitalize on this is to say, “What the hell do you have to lose?” I’m looking for the “What the Hell” placards to appear at Trump rallies. But, I guess we won’t see these because his rallies are made up almost entirely of partisans and not people on the fence.

Because Clinton is a woman running for president, sexism becomes an issue in the campaign. The same angry and fearful white men who feel threatened by change also feel threatened by having a woman in charge of the country.

Throughout history, women with political ambitions have been considered a threat to the hegemony of male domination. Just as the election of President Obama brought racism into the political conversation, the prospect of a woman president does the same for sexism. The prospect of change brings about a backlash to change.

Lastly, Clinton has weaknesses as a candidate. She has not succeeded to date in putting forward a compelling narrative of how electing her will make a positive difference.

If the Democrats can survive this election, then the progressive and liberal momentum in our society can move forward and our country can manifest much more of its great potential. Demographic changes are on the side of the Democrats, and it’s unclear how Republicans will be able to successfully reinvent themselves after a Trump loss.

If Trump wins, then we’re thrust in an Orwellian dystopia that will make the novel 1984 seem understated by comparison.

My forecast is that Clinton will win the election in spite of the factors mentioned above. The antiquated Electoral College system heavily favors Democrats since the biggest concentration of population in our country is on the coasts where the Democrats have mostly solid blue states.

Clinton only needs a handful of swing states to win but Trump needs them all.

Clinton’s best poll numbers happened right after the two conventions when people could compare the two campaigns one right after the other. Trump numbers crept up steadily later when Clinton was not much in the public eye and getting bad press about issues like email and having pneumonia.

When you put them on the stage together for a political debate, it’s going to be hard for Trump to play his usual games. The focus will be on policies and, in that respect, Trump is all hat and no cattle.

Trump’s admission that Obama was born in the United States was the single most damaging day in his entire political career. Now the focus shifts to Trump’s lies and his persona is cracked.

This is the high point of his political ascendancy. His poll numbers are going to go steadily down from this moment forward. The truth about Trump is going to bleed through the hype and, although his partisans will be unswayed, the independent voters will take notice.

It’s easy to imagine scenarios that skew the outcome in Trump’s favor like unexpected world events. However, I don’t see anything coming into play before the election. The October surprise will be that Trump won’t show up for all of the debates.

Now more than ever politics matters.

Our society has been traumatized by police killings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, near St. Paul, Minnesota and by a shooting rampage in Dallas that killed 5 and wounded 9 others. Hundreds have been arrested in protests that followed the police killings and several police officers have been hurt when objects were thrown at them.

The first incident happened on July 5 in Baton Rouge. Two white police officers were videoed shooting Alton Sterling, a black man, several times at point blank range after he had been tackled by officers.

In Minnesota, on July 6, a Latino police officer fatally shot Philando Castile, also black, multiple times during a traffic stop.

On July 7, Micah Xavier Johnson, shot fourteen people from a sniper position. Two were civilians and 12 officers. 4 Dallas Police Department officers died as well as and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer.

Johnson, who is black, said he wanted to kill white people and especially police officers in response to the police killings of the previous two days. After a standoff, he was killed by an explosive charge delivered by a robot.

Further investigation revealed that he had been training and making preparations for a mass killing for a long time and had been influenced by black militant groups although he disavowed membership in any organization or group.

Although we may feel powerless in the face of these tragedies that come one right after the other, we always have a measure of freedom with respect to choosing our attitude, intention, and behavior with respect to these events.

I want to argue that how we respond to these searing moments of societal discord makes all the difference in how the future will unfold for us as a society and as a civilization.

It is apparent that in our country, and to a lesser and greater degree throughout the world, we are facing unprecedented challenges and that people have responded to this constellation with fear, upset, anger, and distrust of government and authorities of all stripes.

Although this crisis of disaffection and discontent that we face has many roots, one key element is the pace of change happening around us. The comfort zone of what is familiar is being obliterated at a frightening pace. We can’t count on the future being like the past and so we are unable to predict with any confidence what is going to happen even months ahead.

As Yogi Berra might have said: “It’s hard to predict the future because it hasn’t happened yet.”

As individuals, when we face uncertainty, our unconscious minds often generate worst case scenarios as a kind of preparation where the unknown means disaster. This survival motivated fear may have served us well in our earlier history as a species but it is still with us today. So the uncertainty of the challenges we face creates a collective sense of anxiety and fear that is part of the background mood of our world.

The unhappiness we feel is proportional to the discrepancy between our reality and our expectations based on what we know to be possible.

With our amazing technology we should be able to create a world where everyone has all of their basic needs met, where there is universal health care, access to higher education and an opportunity to pursue our life dreams without having to indenture ourselves to jobs that are not fulfilling just to avoid falling completely through the cracks of economic necessity.

We’re living in a time of increasing economic disparity between the richest and the rest of us to a degree that has not happened in our country since just before the Great Depression.

Minority groups and especially the black community are also subjected to racial disparity in law enforcement. The Black Lives Matter movement is a Civil Right Movement that has the aim of moving towards justice on these issues.

The racial tensions that have come into play in this latest spate of violence are important issues and they rest on top of other stresses in our society.

Both black and white have died in this recent outbreak and this underscores the common cause that we need to rally around in order to have a just and safe society that works for everyone.

The unhappiness that we feel about our society generates an undertow of negativity. If we internalize this, we feel guilt and shame. If it gets externalized, then it goes to blame. In blaming we are vulnerable to projecting our personal shadows onto some other group we identify as different from ourselves. Blame can easily morph into hate and hate can lead to moral insanity.

Micah Johnson is the very archetype of moral insanity where someone engages in horrific acts that, although not psychotic per se, yet take humans into a dark abyss of empathic blindness and moral insensitivity.

We hope that Johnson is some rare aberration of human nature. Yet we are all subject to temporary moral insanity ourselves. In our rush to express ourselves, we can totally lose sight of the impact we have on others.

The Black Lives Matter Movement has legitimate grievances that need to be expressed and peaceful protest can be one avenue. Yet they and any other protest oriented group needs to be wary of going to a place where they hate the haters and act out this hate. Hate is an equal opportunity employer.

There was a protest by two white supremacist groups in Sacramento, California on June 26. A left-wing counter protest was organized against them and a riot ensued. Ten people were hospitalized. The supremacist groups were the Traditional Workers Party and Golden State Skinheads and the left-wing groups were ANTIFA (Anti-Fascist Action) Sacramento and BAMN (By Any Means Necessary).

I imagine we’ll see protests against Donald Trump in the coming campaign season and there may well be more violence there.

Hopelessness and despair about our society are our true adversaries. From the perspective that nothing we do is going to make any difference anyway, there may be motivation to burn down everything in sight since at least we could gain the secondary benefit of emotional release and getting our aggressions out.

The way forward for our civilization is evolution not revolution. Evolution is already happening on a daily basis and the progress we’ve made is truly stunning in just the last few years.

The cold war is over, there is no longer any prospect of war between big nation states, apartheid has ended in South Africa, there is peace in Northern Ireland, we’ve elected and re-elected a black president, we opened the military to both gays and transgender people, gay marriage is the law in every state, and we’ll soon have our first female president.

Because of our communication technologies, whatever injustice happens in our country and the world is rapidly transmitted in often graphic image form for all to see. Whether we like it or not, we’re all part of an increasing integrated global society.

What we do in one part of our country quickly affects everyone everywhere. This gives us the opportunity to grow our moral and spiritual intelligence through education, information, and example.

One down side is that news has become a big commercial entertainment enterprise and we’re subjected to the emotional amplification of drama on a daily basis. We can’t escape knowing what is happening in the world for very long.

What we do with this information is key to whether or not our society will growth and reach its potential where everyone can thrive or whether we devolve into a failed civilization of ongoing dystopia.

It’s important for us to grieve and feel the pain of our loss when we hear of the shooting deaths like what we’ve been through in the first days of July. But then we need to dust ourselves off and refocus our attention and our action on what kind of world we want to have.

We could have mandatory police body cameras for example, universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and a reform of racially biased sentencing laws.

The Dallas Police Force, the target of Johnson’s moral insanity, had already instituted police reforms that dramatically reduced the number of complaints about police actions. This can happen in other cities.

Whatever positive thing we do, even the smallest act of kindness or consideration to another human, will move our society forward. We not a hopeless, broken, or defective civilization. We are just a rapidly evolving one. We need to keep the big picture in view even as we go through these breakdowns where what needs to be healed comes to our awareness.

It’s a big error in perspective to judge how viable and functional our society is on the actions of those living out the worst aspects of their human nature. Who we are as a people is a measure of how resilient we can be when we are forced to confront the darkest aspects of our potential.

Right now in our country, the forces that would embrace progressive change and those that want to regress to the past and arrest cultural transformation seem to be almost evenly balanced.

Every progressive movement is met with a regressive backlash that tries to reverse it. For example, President Obama’s health care initiative, which made health care available to millions of new people, was met with a fierce resistance and was partly the cause of big political losses in the House and Senate in the midterm elections for the Democratic Party.

The result is the movement towards a more just and equitable society where everyone can thrive is going to be a spiral progress with steps forward and then steps back or no steps at all for a while. In the long run though, the momentum towards a more progressive and just society cannot be stopped.

The reason for this is that our technologically enhanced world with its easily accessible communication resources means that people are growing in intellectual, spiritual, and moral intelligence. People are becoming more tolerant of diversity and less accepting of moral outrage and injustice.

It’s important to keep refocusing back to the kind of world we really want when the one that we currently have presents us with heartbreak and tragedy. Our perceived sense of reality turns out to be directly related to what we give our attention to.

We need to maintain a positive attitude about our society as it is to move it forward and resist the temptation to uncritically accept what the fear merchants are selling. Trump’s book Crippled America is one example of this.

If we take on the worst case scenarios about our country, then extreme measures seem appropriate. Then someone like Trump, the autocrat, or Bernie, the socialist, seems to be just who we need.

But we don’t need desperate measures to change our civilization. Change is on the way, in any case, and our role is to adapt to it one small step at a time and shape this change in a positive and progressive direction.

The trend towards economic globalization, for example, is not going to stop. Any country that resorts to isolationism will suffer immediate economic downturn as the British experienced after their vote to leave the European Union. They were the fifth largest economy in the world one day and sixth the day after the vote.

The most pressuring danger our civilization faces is in environment degradation through man-made driven climate change. However, we’re not going to be able to meet this challenge until we are able to address issues of political, economic, and social injustice. It’s hard to think globally when you are unhappy locally.

I’m hopeful we can mature as a species to where our sense of justice extends to empathy for the other living things on the earth and our effect on them. But it’s not a given that will happen.

We must do what we can to get our own house in order and move towards a more just society in our own country, and then our attention has a chance to focus on more global and environmental concerns.

In the last few days, we have faced tragedy as a nation. How will we respond? May this extremity be our opportunity to find unity and common purpose.

Just as every individual has the capacity for both love and violence, so every civilization has the potential to flourish and flower and reach its greater potential or just fall apart and disappear.

The events of June 12, 2016 leave us in a state of shock and grief. 49 died plus the shooter and 53 were injured in a hate crime and terrorist attack against a LGBTQ community.

As we struggle to make sense of these tragic events, we look for something positive that can yet emerge from this horror. What can we do to make a better world? How can this extremity be our opportunity?

We want to put our efforts into aligning ourselves with the evolving positive story of our society so that the worst case outcomes like Orlando can be averted. But what difference can one individual make? What difference can I make?

We change the world through one act of love and kindness at a time. Making the world a better place is an inside job. If we don’t do what we can to make a difference, then we have the world we deserve.

We need more than love and kindness. We also need acts of diversity and political sensitivity.

We will need collective as well as individual action. But what we do as individuals is the foundation of lasting and effective change. All the issues that we see in the world are reflections of what is happening within our own souls.

As we learn more about the shooter, Omar Mateen, the personal nature of the crisis of transformation in our civilization is underlined. It turns out that Mateen had been going to the Pulse nightclub for years, had a profile on gay dating apps, and had come on sexually to other men. He fit in somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum.

It is reasonable to conclude that his murderous rampage was motivated by self-hatred and inability to accept the nonheterosexual aspects of his own personality. Although he claimed to be being inspired by ISIS, he also said he was seeking revenge for Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah elements. The latter are at war with ISIS.

My reading is that his self-declared terrorist mindset was a rationalization to act out homicidal and suicidal impulses that had been present for a long time.

Our opportunity in this terrible time comes when we can see how Omar, the mass murderer, is a reflection of ourselves. Granted, he is a worst case scenario of a negative role model. Yet, he is still human, and in his confusion, hostility, and desperation, we can see some resemblance to our own challenges.

To change the world through one act of love and kindness at a time, it is imperative that we also make ourselves the recipient of this grace. This is self-compassion.

My personal frontier of self-compassion is an ongoing exercise in self-forgiveness. Although I try to do the right thing and the loving and sensitive thing, I don’t always succeed. I have made spectacular mistakes in my life. Every one of them was a great learning. In reflection, I can see that I was in the perfect lesson.

The turning point is seeing my face plants as incidents where correction is needed, improvement is needed, growth is needed. And, not to hold the things I would do differently as evidence of how I am cracked at the core, defective, unworthy, and unlovable.

Everything I do is part of my path of personal and spiritual transformation, and I have to embrace the inevitable spiral nature of the progress that comes. Sometimes I have to go down before I can go up.

Diversity sensitivity is essential to living in a harmonious world and it applies to the self as well. I am identified with the parts of me that are competent and strong and other aspects where I am awkward and unskillful get put into the shadow and sometimes disowned. For example, I struggle to make a balance between my spiritual nature and the rest of me.

It’s difficult to be kind and loving towards others if you are desperately unhappy with yourself. A healthier, happier you creates a better world.

I find that if I hold to the intention to be a unified field that there is an opening to joy and celebration in my life. The input of my lower self is important because I often lose sight of what I need and want in my philosophical and spiritual preoccupations.

If I can hold a counsel with my inner child and other aspects of the lower self, they can school me in short order about where my bliss got lost and how it can be restored.

Political sensitivity is essential to moving ourselves and the world in a positive direction. Politics matters.

I will have more to say about the political implications of the Orlando massacre in the next blog.

But we can also look at political sensitivity as an individual responsibility. I see this as an obligation to reach discernment about what is credible, true, and real and what is not. Reality discernment is a political act. Our beliefs condition our perceptions which determine what we accept as reality. Then our choices flow from what we take to be real.

To move towards this better world that we all want, we have to learn to right size the fears that come along with our catastrophic age. Uncertainty, anxiety, and apprehension are our companions in this 21st century experience because the future is no longer predictable based on past experience.

We all having some version of the Costco experience where what we shopped for last week has been moved to another part of the store and there is usually no one around to ask where our favorite item landed in this vast complex.

Fear and love are incompatible emotions. We need good strategies for fear management.

In this respect, what I have found helps me is to focus my attention on current challenges and not to try to anticipate the future too far in advance. I try to find the balance between being doing due diligence by anticipating my needs in the next moment and being fully in the present.

I can include the future present in this because it’s the very next thing that is coming up. But it’s important to avoid trying to solve future problems with current information when the actual challenges of that future won’t be known until we get there. It’s not helpful to look at the future from the standpoint of what we imagine these challenges to be.

Everything that we think, feel, and do affects everyone and this each-affects-all reality becomes more apparent with every passing day. As we learn to live with less fear and more love, we’re feeding the collective field good energies.

Let this tragic moment be the turning point in my life where I have more love and less fear.

Where love is, all is well and all will be well.

Humpty Trumpty sat on his wall.
Humpty Trumpty had a great fall.
All of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men
Couldn’t put the GOP back together again.

We are living in very interesting times indeed. The question we need to wrestle with is whether this is really a curse as the traditional Chinese saying would have it or whether we are in fact in the perfect political lesson for our age.

The harsh facts are that Donald Trump has driven out all of his competitors and is now the last man standing in the Republican primary race of 2016. He will be the GOP nominee.

I don’t know of anyone who predicted that Trump would actually win the nomination. Both the scientific evidence based prognosticators like Nate Silver and more intuitive types like myself got it wrong. Moreover, we got it wrong more than once.

Trump was able to win the nomination by getting the support of just 40% of the Republican electorate. With sixteen other candidates competing for the nomination, the vote got split in all of the contests and the Trump faction emerged with a winning plurality.

The GOP establishment is partly to blame for how this election cycle unfolded. They changed the format of the primary elections for 2016 to give a front runner a better chance of winning the nomination quickly so they could pivot to the general election and not get bogged down in endless debates and contested primaries.

They saw in 2012 how candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum hung in the process much longer than they would have otherwise because they had the support of some rich patrons who could fund a super PAC for them.

With Trump now the standard bearer of the GOP, the ideological unity of the Republican Party has been shattered to pieces. Many prominent Republicans are now not only not endorsing Trump but actually disavowing him and saying they will not vote for him.

A new standard of political double speak is coming to prominence as Republican Senate candidates want to continue to be identified with the party but not the nominee. So Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire says she supports the nominee of the party but will not endorse him.

Various disaffected Republicans are trying to organize a third party candidate with the fantasy goal of forcing the election into the House of Representatives. But it’s going to be too little too late for a third party.

Moreover, no one really wants to take on the role of being a spoiler candidate just to spite someone else. There is no political integrity in that.

I imagine they are trying to create some incentive for unhappy Republicans to go to the polls in November in order to save the Senate from flipping to the Democrats. A write-in campaign will be their last resort.

According to the Pew Research Center, the Republican share of the electorate is 25%. 44% are independents and 31% Democrats. The best case scenario for the Republicans electorate is 41% counting all the Republicans plus those leading Republican. The leaning Democratic share is 49%.

Without a unified party, the Republicans don’t have much of a chance in the general election. They traditionally count on a unified Republican electorate plus appeal to independents and some Democrats.

The big lesson of the 2012 election for president for the Republicans was the need to expand their demographic appeal. With Trump as candidate, though, it goes in the other direction in a dramatic way.

With Clinton as the Democratic nominee, we could count on Trump doing his usual thing of denigration of the opposition through personal attacks. This is going to have a misogynistic slant to it. Already Trump has said that Clinton is playing the woman card and that’s all she has going for her.

The nonwhite vote in 2016 will make up about 31% of the electorate and Trump isn’t going to win a lot of these voters. Women make up 52% of the voters and, if he alienates them, he’s got absolutely no chance to win.

In the Republican primary contest, Trump excelled at demagoguery and reality TV type theatrics while avoiding talking about policy for the most part. That won’t fly in the general election. Here truly it will become clear to all that the emperor has no clothes. Trump has no coherent policies.

When Trump does put forward some policy, banning all Muslims from entering the country, for example, there are those who believe that this is all for show and that it’s just something he’s saying to get attention and keep himself in the media spotlight.

The reality, however, is that Trump lives from a world view dominated by conspiracy theories. The conspiracy media figure, Alex Jones, is his hero.

For example, this is his view of climate change: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

With such unprecedented liabilities, we need some explanation for how Trump got to be the representative of one of the two major political parties in our country with at least some possibility of being elected president.

Because of the rapid pace of change in many aspects of our lives, our country and the entire world is going through an existential crisis. It’s a crisis of identity, meaning and values.

The best response to existential crisis is to embrace change and transformation. The least function responses are to act out against others, against ourselves, and to go for restoration of some fantasized past. Trumpism embodies all three of these dysfunctional reactions to change.

The slogan “Make America Great Again” needs no explanation as a move towards restoration. The xenophobic and nativist strains of Trump’s politics focuses attention on who is perceived to be different and other and helps distract from having to take responsibility for adapting to change. We can then blame our problems on immigrants or the Chinese.

What we are seeing in the current version of the Republican Party is also an example of acting out against oneself. The corrupt and traditional ways of the Republican Party are then the problem. So the perception is that we need some anti-politician who can burn it down and build it back again in a better form.

The presidential election cycle of 2016 is a great opportunity to make a stand for a new way of being in our country and in the world. Trump’s candidacy serves us by bringing to full awareness the road we don’t want to walk down. He is the ultimate negative role model. It’s really a clash between two paradigms.

It’s a choice between a paradigm of tolerance, acceptance, inclusion, and justice and a paradigm of white identity resentment politics of diversity insensitivity and intolerance.