Mindful Politics

If you have ever meditated you are more than likely familiar with the term mindfulness. If you live in America you are wondering what the hell the word mindfulness is doing next to the word politics. Lately, we are a country in the grips of division and downright hatred for each other. While progressives technically “won” with Trump gone, we lost power in major ways with the fall of Bernie. There are more reasons than ever before to be filled with rage on all sides of the political spectrum. The only people in America that aren’t enraged are the elite, highly educated, wealthy whites. If we are to put up the fight of our lives to build on Bernie’s momentum and try to live a peaceful, happy life it will take some mental strength training. While this specific piece won’t be on meditation, a valuable lesson still applies, like exercise to keep the body in top shape, we need to keep our minds and mental health in top condition to stand any chance. When you are going against the wealthy you are disadvantaged from the start on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the wealthy are at the self-transcendence stage, thinking about the world they want to build, while we are a hungry army worrying about next months light bill and trying to use our free time thinking critically. 

The term mindfulness has a million definitions and we are not qualified to make one, but you likely have a sense of what we are saying. We are talking about self-awareness, empathy, the ability to keep ones cool, watch emotions pass by rather than act on them, situational awareness, etc. A quick example of not being mindful at all and just reacting occurs every day on Facebook, for example attacking Trump over selling arms to the Saudis when Obama did the same thing, you reacted immediately without thinking. When we follow the media and react to everything from our defensive default setting, we pay a huge price. First and foremost we are sacrificing our own peace of mind, getting angry constantly means we are not peaceful and happy. If we can’t let go of our knee-jerk reaction to headlines, they will ruin our life morning by morning, taking away from the family, community, and ruin the chance to help those in need. On a purely strategic side, we look like fools falling into traps that legitimize Trump’s claims about fake news. See we take the bait and start knocking Trump only for a Trump supporter to google and see that Obama did the same thing, reassuring them that Trump is right and we are drones, controlled by the media. The sad truth is, without a strong dose of mindfulness, we are drones of the media, absent-mindedly accepting whatever the DNC puts out there.

The Corporate Dems have mastered the concept of Red Herrings, or better known as the Red Herring Fallacy. Google describes the fallacy as follows- The red herring fallacy is a logical fallacy where someone presents irrelevant information in an attempt to distract others from a topic that’s being discussed, often to avoid a question or shift the discussion in a new direction. A relevant example is the Dems backing the fight for racial injustice publicly, all the while passing bills favoring the ultra-wealthy and hurting the working poor minorities. Or the classic line that Joe Biden was more electable than Bernie Sanders because he’s a moderate, despite his losing record and Hillary’s loss. The trend with Corporate sell-outs like Nancy Pelosi and Pete Buttigieg is their phobia of having an economic agenda. Their owners, whoops I mean donors, will not allow them to have an economic plan that helps the majority of people. This is the core of Bernie’s hatred, he constantly had real plans to make real impacts on worker’s lives. See Pete is an all-star culture warrior, no one can make a conservative look more stupid on tv that Mayor Pete. Scoring sound bites that rally the ultra woke to dropping donor talking points against M4A, Pete embodies everything they want. Pete was a master of dropping Red Herrings, “Why back Bernie’s plan when mine won’t take your insurance but has a public option.” This led so many off the trail and it was so comfortable because he is really saying “if you’re rich and not worried about healthcare at all, nothing changes and you don’t have to feel guilty when Bernie tells you people are dying in the streets and going bankrupt”. 

Perhaps the most critical time to be mindful is in one on one, face to face conversations. In this environment, Red Herrings abound. See people don’t study debate, have you ever been discussing something with someone and by all accounts, you break down their argument on the issue and seem to be at a checkmate only for them to say, “well at least Trump didn’t ……..”. That is the telltale sign you chased a Red Herring, meaning they threw something out there they weren’t really thinking through or even thought was a legitimate argument. So how do you handle these scenarios? Well if you can be mindful and not react to everything they say. See what you can’t realize is you will never argue someone into believing you, no matter how stupid their logic. On top of that, it is a natural law that they would have a higher opinion of you and your opinions if you are being a good listener. See if we just listen and ask questions we will have civil conversations and allow people to open up some common ground. The more you listen you find the personal reasons behind a belief. Imagine Medicare for All right as you meet someone, only to find after a violent discussion that their mother has just died of treatable cancer that she couldn’t afford treatment for. Yes, that is a sad example but we have to respect every human enough to assume they mean well and have a reason for what they believe. And if you have had enough real conversations, you will find that beliefs are rooted in real-life experiences, it is beyond disrespectful to believe presenting some “facts” should change someone’s beliefs. 

Human beings are complex, and they can and usually hold conflicting beliefs. We must find a way to separate humans from their vote. We are letting the behaviors of Donald Trump stand in as the behavior of people we know and love. If the same rigorous standards are applied to anyone they would become hated. Have you ever support an unethical person, watched their show, voted for them? Of course, you have. We must find empathy and understanding if we are going to have the conversations needed to get someone like Bernie in the white house. The media is painting us in a corner as extremist, let’s make sure we turn that idea on its head.

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