Frank Visser, CLIMBING THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: Reflections on Ken Wilber's “The Religion of Tomorrow”
INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
Elliot Benjamin is a philosopher, mathematician, musician, counselor, writer, with Ph.Ds in mathematics and psychology and the author of over 150 published articles in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, pure mathematics, mathematics education, spirituality & the awareness of cult dangers, art & mental disturbance, and progressive politics. He has also written a number of self-published books, such as: The Creative Artist, Mental Disturbance, and Mental Health. See also: www.benjamin-philosopher.com.
The Antidote for US President Trump
I believe the Democratic National Convention got it right: the antidote for hate is love; the antidote for fear is courage; the antidote for greed is compassion.
I believe the Democratic National Convention got it right: the antidote for hate is love; the antidote for fear is courage; the antidote for greed is compassion; the antidote for discrimination is empathy; and the antidote for Donald Trump is Hillary Clinton.
I was moved by the Democratic National Convention, which I had been glued to recently for four consecutive nights: from Bill Clinton to Bernie Sanders to Michelle Obama to Joe Biden to Michael Bloomberg to Barack Obama and finally to Hillary Clinton; from a young woman with disabilities to muslim parents who lost their son in battle defending his US colleagues to a patriotic four star general concerned about a possible Trump presidency. As Hillary Clinton echoed: “love trumps hate” and as Michelle Obama nobly affirmed: “when they go low we go high.” It all was inspirational to me, appealing to my own tenuous idealism to still believe in the “goodness” of human beings. Yes the message to me is that love, courage, compassion, and empathy can win over hate, fear, greed, and discrimination.
I will once again refrain from a serious political analysis , as political analysis is not my expertise. However, it is clear to me how effective Bernie Sanders was in transforming Hillary Clinton's democratic platform into a more progressive agenda. Yes there are things I do not particularly like and have concerns about in regard to Hillary Clinton, including what I see as her over-support of Israel and her under-appreciation of the plight of the Palestinians, as well as her over-readiness to use military force in international affairs. But I believe that the choice between Trump and Clinton is a no-brainer for anyone who wants the world to not escalate further into unprecedented chaos and disaster.
Immediately after Hillary Clinton gave her acceptance speech on the last night of the convention, the generic reaction of the convention television analysts was that the speech accomplished what Clinton needed to convey, which was essentially why she was a better choice than Trump, but not in a particularly impressive way. Clinton conveyed the crucial message that electing her over Trump would make America safer, and she shared more about who she was personally, as well as her many years of political experience and lifelong commitment to child welfare. She also conveyed her significant participation in accomplishing various crucial but very challenging political tasks, ranging from more universal affordable health care to curtailing Iran having nuclear weapons to bringing Osama Bin Laden “to justice.” However, the convention analysts emphasized that “Hillary Clinton was no Barack Obama” as she was not a gifted orator, and one analyst concluded that her speech was “below average,” sounding not very different from Trump's description of her speech as “so average” and “full of clichés.” But I had a different reaction to Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech.
There was an incredible build-up to Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech from the various impactful “star” speakers of the four nights of the convention. When it was finally time for Hillary Clinton's speech, I was concerned that her speech would be anticlimactic and would lack the candor and genuineness that I felt was at the core of the superb speeches given, each in their own way, by Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama. But much to my relief and somewhat to my surprise, I was not disappointed in Hillary Clinton's speech. What struck me the most about her speech was that I felt she was being genuine. She may not be a gifted orator like the Obamas, and she may not have the down-to-earth on-the-street powerful appeal of a Joe Biden. But I believe she came across as a strong and genuine US presidential candidate, and conveyed dignity in her own right in her quest to become the first woman United States president.
Yes I felt able to trust her as my president, and I deeply appreciated her candidacy as the humane choice that she was offering the United States in comparison to Donald Trump. Whatever differences I have with her in her political positions are relatively unimportant compared to the havoc I believe Donald Trump would wreak on both the United States and the world. I was so glad to see Bernie Sanders fully give his support to Hillary Clinton and strongly advocate that his supporters do the same. And yet, it is deeply concerning to me that at this time, just about 3 months until the election, there appears to be a virtual tie between Trump and Clinton. Yes Trump could win this election, as I have previously written about . But there is an antidote to this debacle occurring, and the antidote, for better or for worse, is Hillary Clinton, the only possibility to prevent the disaster that I and many others are so afraid could happen. But multitudes of Trump supporters are screaming “lock her up” and Trump is now saying that he is starting to agree with them, as he continues to call her “crooked Hillary.” Trump's appeal to women is growing through the effective softening message of his popular daughter Ivanka, and amazingly there are even Latinos who support Trump. The hype, the fear tactics, and the social media factor  are all in Trump's favor, as the Trump phenomena sweeps across America in a way that resembles a proselytizing religious cult . And a religious cult commonly bypasses logical thinking and human decency, as I have also previously written about . In the same way, the Trump phenomena could sweep across America and defeat Hillary Clinton, bypassing logical thinking and human decency.
But once again, there is an antidote to a Trump presidency, and I will therefore do the little that I can to prevent what I see as an unprecedented disaster to both the United States and the world, by advocating for electing Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States.
Notes and References
1) See Elliot Benjamin (2016). US Presidential Trump: The Ultimate Outcome of Social Media Addiction and Unbridled Narcissism in America? Retrieved from www.integralworld.net
2) See Elliot Benjamin (2015). Do We Live in a Social Media Technology Addicted Society? Retrieved from www.integralworld.net
3) I would like to thank my financé Dorothy for suggesting to me that the Trump phenomenon resembles a religious cult.
4) See Elliot Benjamin (2013). Modern Religions: An Experiential Analysis and Exposé. Swanville. ME: Natural Dimension Publications.