By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 30-09-2016
It is very sad that we have come to this point. I came from the murder politics of Kerala, India, to the painful, demoralizing, and unprincipled politics of the USA. A thick pall of gloom hovers over the entire US during this election to the most powerful office of the world. The most powerful office in the sense of money and muscle power: roughly five percent of the world’s population in the USA controls about twenty-five percent of the world’s resources.
We have to two candidates of the two major parties in this election: one is a woman who has been in the very center of power ever since she left her famous law school and her home turf in the progressive east to become the wife of a governor, her class-mate in the law school, of a very conservative and backward southern state. It appears she lost her own identity as she subjected herself to the demands of politics and southern culture. She became a martyr to her husband’s at least two serious marital infidelities. Her husband, the president of the US was on the verge of being impeached for his affair with a woman doing internship in the very center of unequalled power. She sacrificially stood by her man and saved him on many crucial occasions. Finally when she had had enough, one might say, she began to charter her own course led by her ambitions. She is reported to use any means, good or bad, to achieve her good end. She will be the first woman president, and she can do some good, and is unlikely to do any damage if she becomes the president.
The other candidate is a man, the quintessential autocrat and narcissist. He led by pleasure and power principles, creates and defines reality for himself and others as he is the measure of all things. He described in his advertisement his Trump Tower in New York City as a 68-story-tower instead of the 58 stories it really has. He termed this lie a ‘truthful hyperbole’. It is also good to remember that his mentor was ruthless, brash, and bullying Roy Cohn, the notorious lawyer of Senator Joseph McCarthy of ill-fame who engaged in investigations and communist witch-hunt in the 1950’s and under whom many innocent persons suffered. He learned early on from his imperial father that there is no place for failure, that one who loses is nobody, and has no place in this world. His older brother did not meet his father’s standard, and died in his early forty’s due to complications of alcohol. Uncontrollable by his own father, he was sent to an army school to bring some discipline in his life. He thrives in positive as well as negative publicity. On the verge of financial collapse of his financial empire, over forty banks, to which he owed money, and which came to liquidate his assets, finally decided that his glamorous name on his real estate was more worthwhile than the buildings themselves to recover at least some assets. Ever since then he is selling his name as his commodity. That is the pathetic and deplorable unreality that is currently lived in the US. This is also what is, in good measure, exported to the rest of the consumer world. He is reported to be a racist and a sexist. He was humiliated in public by the current African-American president for questioning his birth certificate, and thereby his citizenship. A self-centered authoritarian, concerned only about the “greatness” of the US, he is not temperamentally and character-wise suitable for the US or for the international scene. His ability to make good judgments is in question.
Coming to the unprincipled politics, Gandhi called politics without principles one of his seven social and deadly sins. He did not think that politics is a good place for a person with principles as politics is marked by intrigues, dishonesty, lobbying, bribery, and manipulation. A person with integrity is unlikely to last in politics. Our civilization is at cross-roads as it is currently guided more by emotions than by reason and principles. The religious, political, and medical fields are in chaos. Perennial values such as truth, fidelity, respect, and ethical behavior are in short supply. Politicians as other professionals need to be trained in ethics and professionalism. The current election in the US amply proves that the voters in general do not have the training to make discerning choices in the climate of political gridlock/stalemate, divisive and partisan politics. The world ethos, especially the American ethos, needs to arrest its degeneration before it is too late.
About The Author
Dr. John K Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti) spent most of his life as a clinical psychologist in USA. He began his public life as a Jesuit priest. Quite attracted in distinct philosophies, he left the society and founded 'East West Awakening'.