What's an American to do?

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
binocular
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by binocular » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:51 pm

SDC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:18 pm
True, but what I mean is, that just by being who you are, that is a part of the national identity. Just because people are constantly trying to define what we're supposed to be, doesn't ever change what we are. And the former can never supersede the latter. Ever.
Of course. It's just tough when one is actually being discriminated against because of one's (original) nationality or race. Being discriminated against like that can bring up one's deepest existential fears, and it's those that are so difficult to deal with.

Circle5
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by Circle5 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:58 pm

and people tell me I'm wasting my vote
You are wasting your vote...

I am no political expert and don't know weather this system can ever be changed. European democracy has never been tried in a huge superpower. The system USA has is a compromise between dictatorship and european democracy. You have 2 parties + a dictator elected every 5 years. (president is also prime minister, is unchangable and names an unchangable government) This would be considered straight up idiotic in any other country. USA itself is not promoting this presidential system when they are building democracies in other countries. They actually oppose it as hard as they can, cause it always leads to military coups. Even recently USA has vehemently protested against Turkey switching to presidential system, making Erdogan into a dictator.

Real democracies, like it or not, are extremely weak. The dynamic is very different in such countries. All the energy is spent on the internal battle. All decisions, including foreign policy ones, are guided by the short term goals of this internal battle. How this transates in practice is not that politicians will try to exploit foreign policy for internal votes. The opposite is what actually happens. They will simply ignore foreign policy because most of the time it either brings zero benefits either causes one loses in the internal battle. This is why european countries are insignificant on foreign policy. The current status quo is with USA dictating it and the weak european countries following it.

If USA were to renounce the 2-party system, that would probably destroy the whole ballance that they have right now, a ballance that allows them to be almost as strong as a dictatorship in foreign policy issues. And the whole world depends on USA foreign policy. Other players are infinitelly worse than USA, promoting nothing but corruption, poverty and dictatorship. Not to mention USA is a fading power, having only 300 million people. It is bound to disappear into obscurity a couple hundred years from now, since the economic gap between the western world and the rest is fastly dissappearing.

If I had the power, I would never do such a huge decision myself. I would never risk disturbing this ballance between democracy and dictatorship that USA has going on right now. The suffering that is caused to USA people doe to internal inefficiency of this system is more than compensated by the great benefits the whole world has thanks to it. It's a price people living in USA have to pay for the greater good. And that includes living in extreme PCness :mrgreen:

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retrofuturist
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:14 pm

Greetings Wizard,
I was raised awash in patriotism and was taught to love people regardless of ethnic, religious and social background, and I believed that this was a trait of the American people. Those people really believed it, they were not being deceitful. They really felt it, and I felt it too. It was sincere, and it was a thing I'm forever grateful for.
Do not lose faith... it will be that way again, soon.

In fact, these good people do still exist... they're just perpetually slandered, shunned, and mischaracterised by elites and the mainstream media as ignorant, low-information, low-intelligence, backwards, back-water, redneck "basket of deplorables", living in "flyover country".

And they're ready to take their country back. :guns:
The people sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and condemn any group that tries to undermine the founding documents that enshrined the values of Americans have abrogated their duty.

We can't trust that those in power will act to protect the country’s population, regardless of their social or financial circumstances.
You are heard.



Patriot
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.


Traitor
1. a person who betrays another, a cause, or any trust.
2. a person who commits treason by betraying his or her country.


Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

dharmacorps
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by dharmacorps » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:22 am

I get where you are coming from. I'm an American, and used to have similar feelings to you about politics. I've come to realize that our entire political system is sick. From the electoral system down to campaign finance, and the morals of the politicians-- it is truly depressing. And it is getting worse. The lies and shamelessness is pervasive, and it isn't just republicans as you may argue. it is the whole system. There are occasional leaders who are good people and try to do well, but it is by far the exception.

What's moreover helpful is to see, this is the inherent nature of politics. It will always be imperfect. That's samsara. You can't put your faith in human institutions to make life better. That's why we practice the dhamma-- to find something reliable inside us, not dependent on outside factors.

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Zom
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by Zom » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:27 am

That's samsara.
Yes, this is better not to identify yourself with any nation. Once you die - there is a high probability you'll change your nation -)

(As this notice says, if you behave yourself bad, you'll be born in Russia :D )

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SDC
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by SDC » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:37 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:51 pm
SDC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:18 pm
True, but what I mean is, that just by being who you are, that is a part of the national identity. Just because people are constantly trying to define what we're supposed to be, doesn't ever change what we are. And the former can never supersede the latter. Ever.
Of course. It's just tough when one is actually being discriminated against because of one's (original) nationality or race. Being discriminated against like that can bring up one's deepest existential fears, and it's those that are so difficult to deal with.
While I have had the deepest of existential fears, I did not have them induced via discrimination, so it would be unfair for me to speak from that POV.

Circle5
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by Circle5 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:14 am

Yes, this is better not to identify yourself with any nation. Once you die - there is a high probability you'll change your nation -)

(As this notice says, if you behave yourself bad, you'll be born in Russia :D )
I've heard that the recent economic catastrophe in Venezuela has happened in order to provide a suitable rebirth ground for USA collage teachers from the 60s who have now reached old age and have started passing out. Though Russia or Romania countryside would do just fine.
While I have had the deepest of existential fears,
I kept telling you about that stuff but you didn't listen :mrgreen:
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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by Wizard in the Forest » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:24 am

I've sort of had the works on my part. I'm a girl so I've had men threaten to rape me before, I'm a Hispanic American so I've had people tell me to go to my own country (!) or I'd be beaten, I've had an aunt tell me I'm going to hell for rejecting Christianity, and I've been told my sicknesses both physical and mental were not real.

The last one had a happy ending however.

I have a rare immune disorder that tears abscesses into my insides that is aggravated by stress, and then good old fashioned depression and anxiety. One of those abscesses ended up nearly in my lungs so I had to be taken to the hospital. A family member or two thought I was malingering until I ended up getting operated on and they were gambling on my chances. After the operation they saw how mistaken their views were and they were able to apologize and luckily I made it (huzzah!).

But I'm afraid of this new wave of pessimism in my life.

It's strange that the aforementioned threats to my well being bothers me infinitely less than the notion of this proverbial gap between me and those very same people that threatened me being completely insurmountable.

The scary bit for me is that there's some people who would still actually never wish to see that what they did was wrong, and that they'd do it again, and maybe to someone else less stable than me. Someone could get hurt.

Then in context of how this relates to the politics of the day, it alarms me greatly that people write off minorities so completely. While I don't think I personally bring much to the table, I sure think there's people like me who bring greatness to this country. I've met DACA recipients and nurses and doctors who are hispanic who commit their every day to helping others. I've seen nurses and housekeepers for the elderly defending the rights of people whose healthcare was taken away because 'reforming healthcare is bad' and I think it's genuinely sad.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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DooDoot
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by DooDoot » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:06 am

chownah wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:02 am
I think what you present is a quintessential example of the dukkha which arises when one wrongly grasps identity.....in this case it is identity as an "american".
Seems like a quintessential example of the dukkha which arises from the perception of a significant diminution of goodness in the world; which results in a diminution of hope & purpose. For example, a Buddha lives only to help good people. When there are no longer any good people, a Buddha would probably have little reason to live. Similarly, when seeing the goodness of society decline, angst or unpleasant feelings arises, even for an enlightened mind.
And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'

MN 26

alfa
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by alfa » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:12 am

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:06 am
chownah wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:02 am
I think what you present is a quintessential example of the dukkha which arises when one wrongly grasps identity.....in this case it is identity as an "american".
Seems like a quintessential example of the dukkha which arises from the perception of a significant diminution of goodness in the world; which results in a diminution of hope & purpose. For example, a Buddha lives only to help good people. When there are no longer any good people, a Buddha would probably have little reason to live. Similarly, when seeing the goodness of society decline, angst or unpleasant feelings arises, even for an enlightened mind.
And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'

MN 26
It's the sinners who need saving, said Jesus, not the righteous.

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DooDoot
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Re: What's an American to do?

Post by DooDoot » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:01 am

alfa wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:12 am
It's the sinners who need saving, said Jesus, not the righteous.
Yes, said Jesus, but probably not the Buddha. A quote from the suttas is required to support a case the above view of Jesus applied to the Buddha.
In the same way, brahman, there is the case where a certain son of good family, out of conviction, goes forth from the home life into homelessness...

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