What the Presidential Candidates Say About Us

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When we look in a mirror we see our own reflection. In some ways, it is the same with the presidential race.

Blue or red, left or right, today’s contentious presidential race reflects our fears, prejudices and shadows more than our political leanings.

On the right, we’ve trumped up a small man and made him larger than life. We have confused money with value. And we have allowed a so called truth teller to spin yarns that stretch from Manhattan to Moscow.

His outrageousness makes for hysterical Saturday Night Live skits. But the reality, not so funny as Trump continues to unmask the country’s fear and or distain for women, immigrants and those who are “different,” (insert race, creed, sex, socioeconomic standing, etc., here).  He uses his power to inspire and trumpet hatred, and of all his sins, this is the worst in my book.

Trump is the disenfranchised, entitled part of us, the inner bully who doesn’t always like ourselves so we project the ugliness outward. He is the one in us who is secretly afraid of those who are different. He is the one in us who fears vulnerability, the one who blames everyone else for mistakes, the one who weighs and measures with a scarcity mindset, fearful that enough is never really enough.

He is our shadow, and he casts a long one over us, America. He is our collective disillusionment and disconnect from grace. Even if you subscribe to traditional Republican values, Trump’s shadow has eclipsed decency, morality and logic.

On the left we have Hillary Clinton, a woman–love her or hate her–whose ethics too are questionable. She brings out hatred too, mostly the shadow hatred men and women feel for powerful women.

She is as cold as December, calculating and inspires fear, too.  Much of the fear she incites is that of change; after all, a woman in the Oval Office is the ultimate glass ceiling shatterer.

She does not embody the feminine spirit (oh, how I wish she did) and if anything, mirrors the warrior archetype more than Trump.  But her resolve, power and intelligence are real; she is disciplined and capable and those traits in a female are frightening to the conscious and unconscious patriarchal wiring alive in all of us. She is shorting our circuits and for some, the shock hurts.

I haven’t written about the political race and seldom discuss it because it is a topic that divides and fractures. The rhetoric I see on both sides of the fence brings out the worst in people and I blame both candidates for that.  We are, after all, only reflecting that reality.

I am not happy with either candidate. But I am not voting for a reality star who casts a dark shadow over our country, over the  best of our American spirit. I want to be able to look at my reflection in the mirror after the election and like it.

P.S. I am sorry if I offend. I have worked  hard to stay calm through all of the ugliness of this race because I believe ugliness begets ugliness. I don’t want to add my voice to that chorus. But I am sharing my observations because I don’t want to look back after this election and know I kept silent.

(If you are interested in thoughts on integrity, harmony and grace, particularly at midlife, check out my book, Tao Flashes.) 

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14 thoughts on “What the Presidential Candidates Say About Us

  1. I know you aspire to living a balanced and peaceful life, so I know this was difficult for you to write. You wrote eloquently and powerfully about the shadow side of all of us in this awful election season. I hope we all recognize the dark side that this election brings out in us and that we will strive toward healing once it’s over. Thank you for sharing your thoughts during this contentious time. It is brave of you.

  2. Lisa, Thank you for this thoughtful reflection. I come down in the same place as you do in your ending sentence: ” But I am not voting for a reality star who casts a long and dark shadow on our country, on the best of our American spirit. I want to be able to look at my reflection in the mirror after the election and like it.” In a variety of ways I too have decided not to be silent.

  3. This is so beautiful, and truthful.
    I’m not sure how we got into this mess but I know that sanity has to take over. And peacefulness.
    My politics are different than most people’s here. I have a few friends who “don’t mind” me being me. But everyone else wants me to toe the line.
    As you said I can’t vote for a reality star. And I can’t condone the violence that person seems to want to incite. I am beyond scared.

    `pia

  4. Your piece is so well written, Lisa, and I understand the points you made about HRC. I have cried most of the summer over DJT and the things he has said about our current president and the lies he builds on. Now the sex stuff. I love my country and I know the USA is not perfect. But we cannot lose what we have gained. Yes there are people who are angry, but anger doesn’t solve the decisions we need to make. And the irony of lots of this turmoil is CONGRESS. And the POTUS cannot do everything. Yes he or she guides the country, but CONGRESS could provide more jobs with a tax base that rebuilds our airports and bridges and etc. It’s not a new idea. So I will vote for Hillary and I hope that in a year from now we will all feel better about where we are–provided the anger doesn’t flow into the streets and we don’t crowds trying to stop voting or claiming that the process that has kept our country a free and independent nation has suddenly overnight dissolved because one man was not elected. GOD BLESS AMERICA, Beth

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