I watched the elections a little in 04, it seemed at that time a joke. Both candidates seemed to have the intelligence of a teenager and a pathetically obvious mask. How can these be the options for the leadership of a nation, especially this one?
I watched the two candidates speak just now, and I see this time it is very different. Since, 04 I have travelled to many places in the world and met many various people, from various nations and backgrounds. I have also come to understand the situation of this globe and these times, at least much more than before.
It seems to me that this political race reflects the situation of the world. We are experiencing simply a polarization of consciousness. What does that mean? It means that the perspectives of human beings, everywhere, are tending to take on one of two possible ways of thinking. One is static, short-sighted, extremely biased and thus partially blind. In a sense this means that people become simple minded, non-reflective, overly emotional, and thus easily manipulated, by politicians and propaganda. Such people think according to fixed ways that justify their self and scoff at other possibilites. They stop learning. This is almost the norm in a place like China, with extreme government control over all media, but as I just saw, it is also becoming the norm for some Republican supporters that I just saw zealously and, well quite stupidly, meaning without any reflection on what they were being fed and how their emotions were being manipulated, cheering and chanting incessantly after every Palin or McCain pause. And the candidates just led them on. At the same time, I saw Obama also catering to the people, carefully crafting his words in an attempt to win votes, obviously holding back some of his true aspirations, such as regarding gun control. Nevertheless, while I did not see Mccain, or his, frankly, ridiculous tool of choice selection, Ms Palin, express or appeal to any kind of real thinking or higher functions of the brain, to stimulate people to honestly think about what is happening in the world and country and what should be done, I think Obama did that okay; at least his speech wasn't crafted, save in the moment, and he didn't try to rally people's emotions every sentence, making them only more ignorant of Reality. Man, I couldn't believe the gullability of those people, if you know one please send this on. This message is to all who have eyes to read. Sometimes I am ashamed to be an American. In a so called free nation, people should not be so easily stupified, so far from intelligent reflection, so emotionally swayable as they are blindly accepting arrogant, nationalistic propaganda, cheering on to "lead the way!" "to not be defeated" their base emotion of needing to belong to a group, and desiring to feel "superior" are so easily stirred, like feeding temporary opiates to release peoples endorphines so that they remember the High that that great cat Palin gave them as they walk into the voting booth. Come on people, use your brain for goodness sake. And let me tell you, with that kind of blind nationalism, that kind of short-sighted arrogance, talking about winning a war for fear of shame at "losing" without leading the people to intelligently reflect on why we are there in the first place, why people are dying--with this kind of attitude, even if America, takes the lead, whatever that means, NO NATION WILL FOLLOW. What arrogance. This is not the way that the president of the US should make Americans think. What egotism!
And that is exactly why I am writing this. I guess I feel like this election may indeed have a considerable effect on the world, and I am a so-called idealist, and want to see the world situation and US international relations improve. As well as the US domestic situation.
Earlier I said that in the world people's minds are tending towards two ways of thinking. The first is the relative ignorance described aboce, with a lack of motivation to change and expand our minds, to grow, to learn, to discover the truth, be it about politicans motives, our purpose in life, anything. It is easier to just be dumb, frankly, and the society does not require people to have a high awareness in order to participate. The other tendency is just the opposite. It is indeed a more mature intellect that is able to suspend one's personal interests at least for a moment, in order to consider the well being of the whole, the whole of society, one's neighbors, and one's future. It is a reflective mind that makes careful and intelligent decisions, judgments, and criticisms on its own for the sake of ascertaining what is the truth of any given situation. It is a way of thinking that tends away from self-serving bias and is aware of those forces that seek to manipulate it into abiding in such bias. It is a mind of expanding awareness, of growth. In the world, I see people as tending down one road or the other; now, one can always change, but down a road too long, its hard to turn back. And I see that these two 'episodes' though I was thuroughly dissappointed by both candidates, relatively reflected these two tendencies.
Obama came on first. My immediate perception was that he was pretentious, he was acting. I craved his genuiness, but did not receive it. He was telling the people what he was supposed to, and he was constantly talking about John McCain, talking him down. I kept asking him, "Okay (regarding creating jobs, as he was speaking about) HOW are you going to create more jobs?" Though he was playing the game, he did discuss what he wanted to do relatively clearly. He did not convince me that he would be able to do these things, the question How? still lingers. But what, create more jobs, tax cuts for middle class people, independent energy, etc. He outlined the issues well, and it was obvious that he was off script. He did try to manipulate people a bit, mentioning phrases like "American Dream" refuting and accusing McCain, but at the same time he appealed to the intelligence of the people by openly discussing issues, issues which he clearly has more knowledge of than the average American. For me, though I do not believe everything he told me, I was educated by his chat, and it was a chat. He did not rally peoples emotions but tried to stir their convictions. I await to see if he will actually do what he said, promised he would.
Then he took questions. I think he connected well with the people, he answered their questions clearly and relatively directly (there was the instance of the gun question which he had not the balls to be direct about, which he should be. Hunting and owning a gun, in these days, as we do not live in the times of the 2nd amendment anymore, should not take such precedence over the safety of our society, schools, and homes, which the abundance of guns and ease by which they are acquired so threatens. Gun control should absolutely be tightened, severly, and guns limited. This is in the absolute best interest of all--even those who hunt what they can buy without jeopordizing the safety of their own home.) I was dissappointed in him at this point, but as a whole he stood by his positions and he did it in a genuine way. Not with great speech, or by stirring emotions, just by clear and understandable, and INTELLIGENT, communication. He did talk about his past a bit to try to convince the people that he can relate with them, given he came from a Middle class family, single mother, grandfather was a vet, and this is ridiculous (though compared to what I saw after...) nevertheless, he did go about it in a humble way. I felt that though he was in a sense feeding candy, that tastes sweet but is useless later, in order to fish for votes, he was quite genuine; he spoke at length with the people like a normal human being, which he is, and stated his intentions with relative clarity, even though they rarely got applause and sometimes seemed to contradict some Penn peoples desires. It was not a rally, but a communication. Though in a sense he did appeal to that lower consciousness that is easy to manipulate, I saw that he more so caused the people to intelligently reflect on the real situation of the issues addressed and to discuss the problem while making promises at solutions or what he will do to make progress.
Now, ten minutes later McCain, no rather, Palin, came on (is she running, or they just had to find someone to use words to uplift McCain since he can't do it himself, and why should he have to?), the crowd was cheering, the proud supporters of Michigan stood behind the proud Palin on the podium. They were all ready for a rally. Let me utter the words I felt when I watched the Olympic torch enter Hong Kong "How quickly can the zealous nationalistic cheers turn into the bloodthirsty cries of war?" And that seemed almost the approach of, no it is the approach, the "Strategy" of the McCain Campaign. Making the people think that he will stick by his guns, literally and figuratively, by maintaining a no compromise position about the War. My goodness. I cannot believe what I saw. Palin up there, appealing to the peoples sense of national pride, that it is a shame to lose a war and that we should stay in to "win." Such language, are these children? The Simpsons, yes the tv show, reveals more wisdom to the people with its little disclaimer at the end of one of its first episodes: Bart Simpson is sitting on a table telling the people "In spite of what you have seen war is neither glorious or glamorous, there are no winners only losers." True enough, even if it was said in mockery. The point is that Palin was up there stirring peoples emotions in a blind justification of supporting war and then glorifying McCain as the "only true man" who can fight for you, who will fight on in Iraq and who has the experience to be the man in the white house. No disrespect to the man, but he disrespected himself by allowing this display, which only testifies to his inconfidence. Instead of focusing at all on the present, besides the war, a horrible reality that is distorted by this idiotic militaristic nationalism, they over dramatically focus on his past, all the while stirring the people up; USA cheers, John McCain cheers, Palin cheers...is this the Jerry Springer show? I do not know what is worse, that his campaign team knowingly manipulated the people into small minded patriotic thinking to secure votes, or that the people actually went along with it. If McCain is not aware of this manipulation, of his stupification of the people, well he can not be blamed, but I find it hard to believe he is not so aware. And Palin, oh, what a tool!
All I saw up there was no respect for the intelligence of humanity, no focus on the issues at all, merely focusing on a subject they can use to legitimize McCain, belittle Obama, and stir the peoples emotions in order to mentally grab onto such a sentiment. McCain was a weak speaker. Their other ploy was to make themselves appear like the ones who are not going to follow the party line, trying to curtail the doubt of the people. If they did not speak like it was a pep rally and reveal views that are expected among High school students but not US representatives, they may have actually communicated with the people, or genuinely expressed their intentions. It was all about getting votes, their own interest, as candidates. Once the people got riled, they saw no reason to settle them down. Imagine if a mob would make you rich, then you wouldn't want them to stop. That is what it was, a mob mentality, just without violence, and they saw that it would benefit them so they fueled it, kept it up. It was totally fake, never did one of them settle down to speak as a human. Palin idolized McCain, and the people idolized them both. Neither acted real, and that is why there was no question time. No questions, no answers, no realness, no humanity, only illusion. At least Obama showed some realness and less forcefully tried to manipulate people.
I am not angry about politics, religion, or any of these things, but one thing, one thing as I live in this world, in India, China, the US, Europe, everywhere, one thing that I very much dislike and feel a strong passion to expose are those people in places of influence who selfishly manipulate the thinking of others. Those who simplify and stupify the people, who take the peoples heads in their hands and force them to look through a pipe. People made to see a tunnel instead of an endlessly expansive landscape. I detest those who limit the intellectual and thus the spiritual potential of my fellow human beings, and this is the major problem in the world.
After writing this I realize something...its a chicken and egg problem (though I do not like that phrase), this small minded consciousness, non-growing consciousness, fixed mindedness, unawareness, bias, selfishness, did it exist first, or was it called forth by leaders and influential people was I saw today? It may not be so prevalent if it were not for those people in places of influence who appeal to such ways of thinking. Such people, such a way of communication, merely manipulation, is common today and yesterday because it has been the trend among political, religious, educational and all sorts of leaders to appeal to this small way of thinking for the leader or institutions own personal benefit. May it not be so tomorrow. May we realize those who so cleverly and truly evily craft their words in order to manipulate our minds, close our minds, think a certain way that serves them, and no one else, let our selves and the Infinite Intelligence of God himself, who serves ALL, and not itself, unlike these leaders who do the opposite, teach and enlighten, govern and guide our own minds. Thus can we hope to see clearly and choose wisely what to do in any situation.
Tonight, I saw Obama manipulating the people, but he only did it slightly. I also saw him appeal to the peoples intellect, communicating for their benefit. He is a man with good intentions who is tangled up in an twisted system; may it not destroy him. After his chat I was rather dissappointed in him, for I have supported him but I did not see the honesty and courage I had hoped for. Nevertheless, when I saw McCain and Palin. What total rubbish. Even if there are good intentions there, which there no doubt ARE, they were completely hidden by them being totally consumed by the political drama, the act, which would be funny if it did not amount to attempting the manipulation and control of peoples thoughts. Obama did to, but McCain and Palin did it like Hitler! I mean with the same level of emotion and passion, and manipulative intent. That is mad propaganda, and the kind of heated nationalism promoted is poison, to the individual and the world. We need people who are wise and loving, dedicated to serving eachother and the world, to the progress of the world, not who are interested in being "number 1" or "winning wars." "Wars should be conducted and regarded as we regard funerals" says a wise Chinese text, not with cheering, but sorrow; all the soldiers would agree. Blind fools only cheer til they hear that their friend is dead, then reality sets into one's perspective and they may wonder...why? Regardless, the way of thinking, that total small mindedness, was appauling. It is comparable to the way other infamous nations and parties like the Nazi, Soviet, and Chinese Communist Party, among hundreds of others (Democrats, Republicans), used or use crafted propaganda to stir the people into zealous nationalists and in opposition to others in a blind and misguided goal of supremacy. As I said earlier, if America wants to really "lead the way" for the world, such is only the way to lead to a more hellish and divisive world. To truly lead the world in the present circumstances, we must lead as servants, not of our own interests, but of the worlds, which includes our own. Servants lead the way, at least towards where we want to be.
I lost respect for McCain and that Palin lady tonight, and compared to Obama, I would vote for him in a minute. He is not perfect, but he showed more of a servants heart towards the people, and more a sincere, genuinely human and humble attitude than any politician I have ever seen, though I have seen only few. Perhaps in these days that is all we can hope for.
My message to you is to raise your consciousness. People are not born smart or dumb, they are made dumb or make themselves more wise. Do not let your mind be manipulated by biased propaganda or perspectives, let your mind be free, such is the only true freedom. And remember that the greatest in the world is not the conquerer, nor the richest, but the one who conquerers self-ignorance and becomes a servant of All. America or any nation or just its individual citizens will truly be great when they resolve to do just that.