Why an Obama Landslide Would Be Great for Our Country.

Via on Sep 3, 2012
http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcn/7811053244/sizes/l/
Photo: marcn

I don’t usually write blogs on political subjects.

My preferred subject matter is spirituality, and its concepts and challenges are generally more timeless and less topical than those of politics.

But one thing that politics and spirituality have in common is the power of ideas to change reality.

In that vein, an idea that I’d like to put out there—at the inception of the Democratic Convention in my native hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina—is that a landslide re-election of Barack Obama would be enormously good for this country. Here’s why:

1. It would give Obama a chance to reach his leadership potential. Given the enormity of the challenges he faced upon taking office—and the recalcitrance of congressional Republicans obviously focused more on getting rid of him than on dealing with this country’s problems—I think Obama has done a pretty good job.

The President is not elected to be a miracle worker, but to provide leadership. A landslide re-election that also gave him clear-cut majority support in the House and Senate would enable him to lead more effectively.

2. It would signal that a clear majority of voters understand the gravity of our problems and have the patience to deal with them. The immense psychological and economic trauma of 9/11, augmented by the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush, sank this country into a very deep hole that it might not have been able to dig out of. President Obama is being criticized for the fact that we are just now clutching our way to solid ground again, when we’re blessed to be getting out of such a deep hole at all.

Americans like quick fixes, and they definitely don’t like the long slog of taking responsibility for their own most grievous errors. When the Republicans didn’t invite their most recent two-term Presidential officeholder to speak at their convention, it was a tacit acknowledgment that they’re just trying to forget a very damaging period of failed national leadership. They hope to convince Americans to forget it as well, by blaming its long-term effects on Obama.

Giving Obama a clear mandate to finish his work will show that Americans recognize the real problems and the tenacity required to ease them.

3. It will give Republicans a chance to overcome their fears and rededicate their policies to true conservative values. The Republicans are running a figurehead candidate whose actual positions are hard to pin down, and even they seem not to like him very much. But their platform is full of outmoded, ineffective ideas:

  • >> trickle-down economics, based in part on a fear of poor people
  • >> restrictive marriage policies, based on a fear of gay people
  • >> just plain weird sexual politics, based on a fear of women
  • >> an unsubtle defense of monotheism, based on a fear of religious diversity
  • >> and a denial of science, based on a fear of science.

That’s a lot of fears, and none of them will be made more helpful or true by being affirmed in a national election.

While I think America’s political discourse needs a voice of real “conservatism” (that is, the upholding of traditional values like honor, integrity, entrepreneurism, service to the country and protection of national resources, both material and spiritual) the Republican Party hasn’t had much to do with traditional conservatism in quite a while.

It has almost been completely overtaken by an amalgam of fears trumpeted by the Tea Party. Those fears arose while the nation was tumbling into the aforementioned very deep hole, and they have not been eased by misplacing the blame for our tumble.

It should also be said that the notion that any such fears are ostensibly “Bible-based” is a desperate justification that could not be countenanced by anyone who actually respects the profundity of the Bible or the teaching examples of Jesus Christ. When people are afraid, they will seek out or imagine almost any kind of authority to certify their fears, and “God” is not infrequently abused in that manner.

While there was a certain bizarre charm evinced by Clint Eastwood’s performance at the Republican National Convention (and I, like the President, still like Eastwood as a public personality and admire him as a film artist), his soliloquy ended up as a telltale symbol of present-day Republicans: a party led by the mentality of older white men talking to, and about, something that isn’t there.

The truth is that poor people aren’t out to hurt America, gay people aren’t out to hurt America, minorities aren’t out to hurt America, and even scientists aren’t out to hurt America. Yet one side of our national political dialogue is largely devoted to such fears, and it’s time for our society to turn away from them once and for all.

A landslide re-election of Barack Obama will not solve all our problems as a nation, a culture or a species.

For some of those problems, we have to turn to the “God of our understanding” and the spiritual discipline of our choice. But as far as politics goes, the landslide re-election of Barack Obama will be a healthy step in the spiritual direction of letting go of fear.

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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About D. Patrick Miller

D. Patrick Miller has been a seeker and researcher of spiritual wisdom for over two decades. He is the founder of Fearless Books and the author of nine books and over 100 magazine and online articles for such periodicals as Yoga Journal, The Sun, Columbia Journalism Review and San Francisco Chronicle. His research spans a wide variety of subjects, including A Course in Miracles, the Enneagram typology of personality, the I Ching, Jungian psychology, yoga, shamanism, cultism, spirituality in the workplace, psychic phenomena, altered states of consciousness, and advanced human capacities. He is the author of THE WAY OF FORGIVENESS, UNDERSTANDING A COURSE IN MIRACLES, and LIVING WITH MIRACLES: A Common Sense Guide to A Course in Miracles. He also provides manuscript assessments, editing, and publishing consultations to other writers via Fearless Literary Services.

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6 Responses to “Why an Obama Landslide Would Be Great for Our Country.”

  1. Mark Ledbetter says:

    This is an excellent argument for choosing Obama over Romney.

    But that's not the only choice. Considering that a vote for either Obama or Romney is a vote for war and a vote for the American Gulag (that is, millions imprisoned for victimless crimes), it makes sense to consider Gary Johnson. He's on the ballot in all states.

    A vote for Johnson would be a vote for peace and freedom, for dismantling both the American war machine and the gulag. He's not going to win so the vote is only symbolic, but it's a symbolism that points America in the right direction.

    The arguments presented here for an Obama vote, excellent though they are, fade to minor considerations in comparison to the problems of war and unjust imprisonment. We discussed this quite at bit at another similar appeal for an Obama vote at:
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/08/obama-vs-r

    Neither Obama appeal is mistaken, as far as they go. But if you feel there's something not quite right in voting for war, there is an alternative.

  2. This is the same tired argument of the vote for the lesser of two evils designed wholly to get you to support an evil system by compromising on your principles. You are voting against Romney, not for Obama. What perplexes me is how you could be so uninformed to think there is a valid difference between the two besides party rhetoric.

    Don't compromise on principle. Vote with your dollars. It's a rigged game, voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil. You will suffer a greater karmic burden by compromise. If standing up for principle results in the other guy winning, how are you responsible? It's called the opposite consciousness.

  3. Dear YogaforLiberty: I don't think anyone in this race is evil, so I could not be supporting a greater or lesser evil. There are good, practical ideas, and ideas that are not so good and practical, and that is the only difference. Let me assure you I am voting FOR Obama (and I think I'm the one who would know what I'm doing) because he's a pragmatist who's done the best he could in exceptionally challenging conditions. With greater public support, I'm guessing he will achieve even more and perhaps come up with better ideas we haven't seen yet. On a number of important points — how to tax fairly and effectively, how society should treat gay people and women, and more — there are clear differences in what the two candidates represent. Romney would likely promulgate and implement ideas that I think have already been proven not to work, and disastrously so, during the Bush administration.

    I am not compromising anything that I personally think, so I have no karmic burden to fear. You would obviously not compromise your principles either, so you have nothing to fear on that score as well. But it's not useful to project your principles onto me, and then warn me against karmic burdens! It's dualistic thinking that leads us into the belief in evil, or the idea that one must "stand up for principle." The one true principle (God, however you understand God) does not have to be stood up for; the Truth doesn't have to be defended, it just is. In the time-bound world of matter and politics, in which we do have to distinguish between what supports Truth and what doesn't. Thus, we need to make the most practical decisions during the limited time in which we experience ourselves here, and practical decisions are best made without fear of God OR evil.

  4. Oops, sorry for the sentence fragment above…. the latter portion of my remarks should read:

    In the time-bound world of matter and politics, we do have to distinguish between what supports Truth and what doesn't. Thus, we need to make the most practical decisions during the limited time in which we experience ourselves here, and practical decisions are best made without fear of God OR evil.

  5. Sally Dubel says:

    This is refreshing and brilliant. I am having lots of fun witnessing folks' reactions to it, thank you!

  6. [...] few men who’ve run for President of the United States in this century, who really understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard [...]

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