“What goes around comes around.”
As a former student of philosophy and a current member of 12-step recovery groups, this slogan holds meaning for me. Its simplicity embodies the fundamental principle of Karma, the spiritual belief of cause and effect. In the past month karma has helped explain the evolving outcome in the 2016 Presidential race.
Karma (from Dictionary.com)
- Hinduism, Buddhism. action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman.
- Theosophy. the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person’s deeds in the previous incarnation.
- fate; destiny.
- the good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something: Let’s get out of here. This place has bad karma.
The Republican and Democratic candidates for president are a study in contrasts: Man/woman, outsider/insider, inexperienced politically/career politician, private sector/public sector, taker/giver, secretive/ transparent, and the list could go on. Clinton has had her private emails investigated by the FBI, campaign emails leaked by WikiLeaks, she’s disclosed detailed health history and personal taxes, Trump has not. Until the Access Hollywood tape was leaked to the press, his exposure was minimal and he attempted to contain it even more by threatening to sue people who released information from his past.
Like all of us, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are flawed human beings. Each brings a past that calls for investigation and mandates close examination. Each voter will judge both the person and their platform when casting their vote. We’re 15 days away from the election and it appears that a karmic takedown of one of the candidates is occurring.
Without reiterating all the details of Trump’s rise and fall, the announcement of his candidacy for President began last year by demonizing Mexicans, calling them rapists, as he committed to building a wall to keep them out. Just this past week, in the third and final debate, he doubled down and promised that he’d keep out the “bad hombres,” and Saturday in Gettysburg, as he introduced his plans for the first 100 days in office, he’d send illegal immigrants who re-enter the U.S to Federal prison for two years. This is only one example of his unraveling.
Before he actually outlined his platform at Gettysburg, PA, at the site of one of America’s greatest speeches by Abraham Lincoln, he disrespected the hallowed ground where he spoke in what has been described by some political commentators as his “Grievanceburg Address.” He threatened to sue the women he allegedly sexually abused, and he reiterated his unproven claim that Clinton, her campaign, the media, and career politicians have rigged the election. He then doubled down in the final debate by indicating that he would “wait and see” before accepting the outcome of the election, stunning both Democrats and Republicans. Not a very presidential act. Bad karma.
On Thursday, the day after the final debate, both candidates were invited to the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a fundraiser which honors the good works and legacy of the first Catholic Democratic candidate for president. It’s a tradition that the presidential candidates of both parties give a humorous, often self-deprecating speech. Trump was first up following an introduction by the great grandson Alfred E. Smith IV.
Many critics and voters who watched his performance, including the great-great grandson Alfred E. Smith V. indicated that Trump disgraced himself —and yes — acted deplorably.
For the most part, he was constitutionally incapable of making fun of himself, however, he was able to make a joke at the expense of his wife Melania, when he shared that she received a poor reception when she gave the same speech First Lady Michelle Obama had delivered earlier. She didn’t know in advance that she’d would be the butt of his “joke.” He doubled-down by asking her to stand up.
Trump had been quoted earlier as saying he never apologized to Melania for his behavior with women and alleged sexual abuse and misconduct. Whenever the subject of his insults about women, their looks, the allegations, and his response to tough questions by reporters and debate hosts, and most of all, his opponent, he claims “No one respects women more than I do!” Just because he can say it, it certainly doesn’t make it true.
Full disclosure: I’m with her! When I watched Hillary at the debates, the Alfred E. Smith dinner, and on the campaign trail, I find her prepared, experienced, full of grace and poise in contrast with her opponent, and given her reputation of not being approachable, “soft,” and possessing a sense of humor, she proved otherwise at the Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. Dare I say it? She acted presidential. Watch the video from all the debates and the dinner and judge for yourself.
Karma, what goes around comes around. One only has to look at the path each candidate has taken to this election. I recommend if you haven’t seen it yet, watch The Choice, the two-hour Frontline documentary on PBS which chronicles Clinton’s and Trump’s journey and how they arrived at this moment in history.
In the past month, both Clinton and karma have teamed up to take down Trump. The campaign is not over, the election has not been decided, and things can still change, yet today, with Hillary’s lead in the polls by double digits and predictions giving her a 95% chance of winning, it looks like Hillary, karma, and the American public will win by a knockout. We must remember to get out the vote. To invoke another saying, “It’s not over, till it’s over.”
Related reading from Mixed Metaphors, Oh My!
From Wikipedia: The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future by Riane Eisler is an international bestseller first published in 1987 and now in 26 foreign editions, including most European languages as well as Chinese, Japanese, Urdu, Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, and Turkish. The book introduces a new conceptual framework for studying social systems that pays particular attention to how a society constructs the roles and relations between the female and male halves of humanity, It proposes that underlying the long span of human cultural evolution is the tension between what Eisler calls the dominator or domination model and the partnership model. The book traces this tension in Western culture from prehistory to the present, and closes with two contrasting scenarios for the future. It challenges conventional views about cultural evolution.