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When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States in 2016, every politically aware progressive American came to understand that there was a crisis in American politics like never before. But if you are a student of history or if you cared deeply for progressivity in your country, you could have predicted this crisis three decades ago, at the time of the Reagan presidency.
It takes years and years for money from the rich to “trickle down” to the jobless. On the other hand, even from what little I knew about economics at the time, the recession was part of a periodical business cycle—popularly called “boom and bust.” Even if nothing much were done, the economy would reset itself.
Lying Garbed as Policy or Ideology
The economy did recover in Reagan’s time and without much trickle down going into effect. Indeed, Reagan’s successor George H. W. Bush, also a Republican, had to raise taxes to protect the economy. But ever since Reagan, Republicans discovered something critical that changed the face of politics in the U.S. ever since.
What they found out was this: Lying works when garbed as serious policy or ideology. If you are a partisan, you give your party the benefit of the doubt whenever there is confusion. Of course, communist countries like Soviet Russia (before communism went kaput) and China had been doing this ever since when, but in the U.S., this was a new tactic.
Before Reagan, Republicans had to go along with Democrats as far as Keynesian economics was concerned because nobody had any better idea. But after Reagan’s success in selling voodoo economics (George Bush’s name for Trickle-down economics), Republicans began selling other voodoo ideas to their faithful under ideological garb with equal success.
One such idea was neo-conservatism that said, a military intervention in the Middle East is worth it because it will spread American democracy in countries saddled by old-fashioned feudalism and/or dictatorships. The idea seemed ideologically sound enough to distract the American public from the real reason for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which might have been as mundane as greed for middle Eastern oil.
In the same spirit, Republican ideologues have tried to sell government supported health insurance programs with free market competition making it a bonanza for insurance and pharmaceutical companies. When you are faced with life and death health issues, obviously free market psychology does not apply. But tell that to the Republicans.
The comedian Jon Stewart once said, “Since the opposite of pro is con, the opposite of progress is Congress”; he was talking about a Republican congress. Meanwhile, Democrats, under the leadership of President Obama, went ahead and pushed through a government-supported health insurance with a so-called individual mandate. Young people were forced to either subscribe to a health insurance they didn’t yet need or pay an extra income tax, which would surely be a hardship on some of them. This was clearly curbing the freedom of choice of these young people.
Opening Up for the TEA Party
If the true spirit of democracy were followed, then one would first educate young people, make sure of their support, and then enact the mandate to help health insurance for the noninsured. This was not done. So, in the next congressional election in 2010, their staunchest opponents formed the TEA Party, which skillfully used the Obama health insurance program (Obamacare) as a foil to arouse a coalition around non-college-educated white males, many of whom were racist, sexist, and homophobic, to take control of the Congress.
Mainstream Republicans, many of them still old-fashioned conservatives, went along with the TEA party rebels thinking that they had no choice under the American tradition that anyone can run in any party’s primary. Actually, there was a choice of changing the party rule. But, of course, if the TEA Partiers were forced to run as a third party, their wins would come at the expense of the mainstream Republican Party. Justifiably, no Republican wanted that. They remembered the lesson of Ross Perot’s presidential candidacy too well.
In this way, thirty or so TEA Party Republican congressmen held the rest of the Republican party hostage and made Obama a lame-duck president for domestic issues (okay, not exactly true; Obama ruled by issuing executive orders) for the remainder of the six years of his two terms.
Then Came Trump
Then came Trump. Trump, a billionaire and a reality TV personality, came to political prominence by stoking racist tendencies in TEA party Republicans via the Birther movement, challenging that Obama was born in the United States. Surprisingly, instead of producing his birth certificate immediately, Obama hesitated, and the movement grew. Of course, eventually, Obama produced his birth certificate and Trump sort of withdrew his claim. So, Obama joked about it at the 2011 White House Congressional dinner:
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
But as you know the joke was on Obama. Five years later, in 2016, Trump was elected president, thereby completing the neoconservative agenda of win-at-all-costs, lying, Russian intervention, and what not.
The United States presidency can be a very powerful force when backed up by both houses of Congress and also by a conservative Supreme Court. By the tail end of 2018, Trump, in just two years, had successfully dismantled most of Obama’s legacy including the individual mandate of his signature Affordable Care Act. Trump’s success is largely due to the fact that he can lie very effectively and label the opponents’ outcries as “fake news” also very effectively. Even the liberal media continue to present the Trump Show instead of serious policy discussions.
The Perpetual Crises in Washington, DC
Trump’s presidency has brought about unprecedented perpetual crises in Washington. Initially, it was North Korea’s nuclear accomplishments and Trump’s reaction to them. Then later, the crisis question hovering over the capital was this one: Will Bob Mueller, the independent investigator of Russian interference in the 2018 election and its connection to the Trump campaign, be fired by Trump or be allowed to do his job and release his findings?
And, of course, other crises have followed; there is a crisis at the Southern border—inhumane treatment of children whose parents seek immigration. That latest crisis is revitalizing racism and white supremacy in blatant terms, and almost the entire Republican Party seems to gleefully go along with it.
We are getting warmer towards homing in on the real issue, which is as follows: Ever since the Republican Party subsumed the so-called Moral Majority into its base, there has been a conflict of values within the party. Religion comes with values. These religious values often sharply contradict the profit-oriented, often greed-based values of the traditional Republican base—the aristocrats and the plutocrats.
Republicans seemed to have been looking for a surreptitious way of giving up on values altogether. In Trump and his dictatorial practices, the Republicans have found the solution to the value-conflict—rule by a populist dictator who can go against values with impunity by stoking his support base’s prejudices and fears.
In this way, the ongoing crisis conditions Trump creates is exposing something deep. Clearly, there is something rotten about the United States right now—value-erosion. We better look into this fast.
In 2008-2009, it was the economic crisis caused by the same problem -- unbridled greed -- which is not an American value. The Bush and Obama administrations did not do anything to get to the root of the problem. They lost one window of opportunity. Now we have a second window of opportunity with the 2020 election.
The Chinese ideogram for the word crisis stands for both opportunity and danger. Right now, Democratic politicians are only seeing danger in the crisis conditions that Trump creates. Trump’s incendiary rhetoric against his Democratic opponents and the liberal news media very well might have influenced the Republican terrorist, also a Trump supporter, who mailed pipe bombs to some of Trumps’ “enemies” as well as the mass killing of Jews (a first in the United States) in Pittsburgh soon after.
As in the case of the August 2019 white supremacist act of domestic terrorism in El Paso, the temple shootings could be directly traced to Trump’s rhetoric. But “hating” Trump as a response to his fear-mongering, fighting one negative emotion with another, is a short-term approach. Also, it keeps the focus on Trump. Trump is much better at using negative emotions than any of his Democratic competition.
The Roots of the Ongoing Crisis of Values
For changing the show in the theater and also for a long-term outlook, we better look at the roots of the ongoing crisis of values of the great social institutions of the United States. Unnoticed by almost everyone, there is an ongoing crisis also in liberal education in schools. Oh, we notice the short-term problems: crowded classrooms, lack of motivated and talented teachers, teachers’ unions maintaining the status quo of mediocrity, and all that. But do you know that liberal education in America is not liberal anymore? It does not liberate students from dogma. It shifts them from the religious / Christian dogma to another, the dogma of scientific materialism. And by doing so, it contributes to value erosion in a major way.
In contrast, the Republican leaders siding with their religious base are anti-science and anti higher education. They push school vouchers that shift students from public schools to private more religiously-oriented schools. All this from purely political motive, mind you, to pay lip service to the party’s religious base.
In this way, there is a new lower education/higher education diploma-divide in society. People of higher education get better jobs; under Democrats who support big government, they manage the big government bureaucracy. This has exacerbated another enemy of democracy—elitism.
Traditionally, the Republicans were the elitist party consisting of aristocrats and business plutocrats. But now Democrats have also become an elitist party consisting of meritocrats, the higher educated scientific materialists.
What is worse, the Democrats also are rapidly becoming hypocrites as far as values are concerned. Scientific materialism, belief in a science of matter governing humans, does not support values beyond basic survival. Democratic leaders talk about humanistic values; they know fully well that their science does not support these values. In this way, Democrats, too, more and more pay only lip service to values.
Political polarization has gone so far that the whole business of the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution has fallen into jeopardy. The legislature has no operating room unless the same party gets control of both houses of Congress, which has seldom occurred in recent years. In this way, the executive branch rules via temporary executive orders.
Quantum Physics: Integrating Science and Spirituality
Meanwhile, the leadership of both parties neither seems to know nor care that a paradigm shift has been under way since 1925-26 with the discovery of quantum physics that has thrown the paradigm based on scientific materialism out the window by integrating science and spirituality, thereby making room for an integration of the materialist and religious worldviews. Why? Because the mainstream scientists kept mum about the paradigm shift or denied it outright with sophistry not because of scientific evidence but because of their dogmatic beliefs. This is the big secret of today’s science.
And of course, current religious practices including Christianity do not necessarily subscribe to the spiritual values that quantum science is rediscovering. With regard to spiritual values, religious leaders in the main are talkers rather than walkers. It has always been this way. This is the big secret of the religions.
In summary, the biggest threats against democracy are elitism, the erosion of values, and political polarization based not upon principles but power struggle. Under a worldview polarization between religion and materialist science, the political parties affiliate with one or the other perspective. Neither party walks the talk as far as values are concerned.
All political parties—liberal or conservative--are elitist. In this way, politics has become elitist and value-less with political parties struggling tooth-and-nail for power all over the world. These conditions are not sustainable; this struggle will inevitably create a situation like the French Revolution in the eighteenth century. That is the real crisis.
There is an additional tragic side to all this in the U.S.; people here are legally allowed to have guns, including semiautomatic assault weapons. At a May 2019 political rally in Panama City Beach in Florida, Trump trying to incite hate towards Latinos amongst the crowd, which included white supremacists, bellowed, “How do you stop these people?” Somebody shouted back, “Shoot them.” The mostly white crowd cheered, Trump laughed, and a young white supremacist a few months later did carry out that message in El Paso.
Is there a cause-effect connection between Trump and the killer? One can hide behind, “guns don’t kill, ideas don’t kill, people kill.” But ideas do kill; over sixty million people got killed because of ideas similar to white supremacy in World War II.
Domestic terrorism and the terrorism at large prevalent today are both a terrorism of ideas; don’t doubt it. There is something rotten about the two worldviews that people live by today and the way politicians manipulate people’s worldview prejudices.
A Real Solution: Integrative Quantum Worldview
Fortunately there is a real solution. Worldview integration is underway based on quantum physics and its generalization—quantum science. In this worldview, values are scientific, evidence-based. Elitism vanishes at the personal level, when our political leaders walk these values, following the new science of leadership.
Quantum politics based on the integrative quantum worldview is the answer to elitism, value erosion, and the lack of moral leadership that has given rise to the current political quagmire.
©2020 by Amit Goswami. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher,
Luminare Press: LuminarePress.com
Quantum Politics: Saving Democracy
by Amit Goswami, PhD
Our democracy is founded upon the ideal of giving equal access to human potentialities of life, liberty, and happiness to all its citizens. Today, in Trump’s America, we are far from that ideal. This book considers both the short-term problem of politics, namely erosion of values, elitism, and worldview polarization, and, of course, Trumpism and the long-term problem of how to make politics into a real science for making an equitable society. Quantum Politics uses the new science and demonstrates that democracy is the only scientific way of governing a nation. The key is to bring human values and creativity into the picture and combine the exploration of power with the exploration of love. In this way, we can integrate the values in our society with every human being.
For more info, or to order this book, click here. (Also available as a Kindle edition.)
About the Author
Amit Goswami is a retired professor of physics. He is a revolutionary amongst a growing body of renegade scientists who, in recent years, has ventured into the domain of the spiritual in an attempt both to interpret the seemingly inexplicable findings of curious experiments and to validate intuitions about the existence of a spiritual dimension of life. A prolific writer, teacher, and visionary, Dr. Goswami has appeared in the movies What the Bleep do we know!?, Dalai Lama Renaissance, as well as the award winning documentary, The Quantum Activist. . He is the author of numerous books, most notably: The Self-Aware Universe, Physics of the Soul, The Quantum Doctor, God is Not Dead, Quantum Creativity, Quantum Spirituality, and The Everything Answer Book. He was featured in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?, and the documentaries Dalai Lama Renaissance and The Quantum Activist. Amit is a spiritual practitioner and calls himself a quantum activist in search of Wholeness. For more information, visit www.amitgoswami.org