What to do with all this outrage?

This level of outrage is unsustainable.

Perhaps like you, I am feeling utterly outraged far too often these days.

According to Deepak Chopra:

“In any situation of maximum stress, a person’s coping skills are severely tested. Stress is maximized whenever three elements are present: repetition, unpredictability, and loss of control. Repetition is supplied by Trump’s constant presence on all media. Unpredictability is at an all-time high, thanks to his policy flip-flops and neck-wrenching mood swings. Loss of control has been mandated by the right wing’s take-no-prisoners, make-no-compromises stance.”

Merely reading the news—the “fake media,” as Trump calls it—feels overwhelmingly exhausting and emotionally draining. Thus, I turn away from the media (social or otherwise) for a bit. Taking a digital detox each Sunday has become one of my strategies for sanity. It’s sometimes tough to find the balance between burying my head in the sand and reading obsessively about my home country’s politics.

Lately, people have started comparing the USA to Nicaragua and other “banana republics.” I live in Guatemala and the government here is plenty corrupt (thanks in large part to the CIA’s intervention in the mid-1950s, the effects of which still echo in Guatemalan society today), yet my day-to-day life is good and gratifying. I am thankful to be able to turn away from the news and play with my little girl, take a walk in nature (a.k.a. our neighborhood), and meditate over a cup of warm hibiscus tea.

Still, the outrageous outrage returns every other day or so with more news of further shenanigans, overt corruption, and intentional deception from our greedy, lying, reality-star-in-chief.

Pussy. Politics. Patriarchy. Power. Paradigm.

These P-words are punctuating my frustration with the system and society as it is. It was hard enough for me to believe that anyone would actually vote for Trump, and it’s harder still to fathom that large swaths of American citizens and Republican party leaders still support his atrociousness.

According to the liberal media, impeachment is imminent—after the mid-term elections in 2018 when Democrats will surely take back the majority of the House and Senate. Can we really wait that long? Eighteen more months when it’s only been four months so far of nonstop absurdity, harmful policy making, and blatant disrespect for the Constitution? Please, no!

Keep reading

Make America Kind Again

The “Golden Age” from 1945-1972, was an exceptional phase of American history. Looking back upon this era now widely considered to be the epitome of American prosperity, historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote, “Gold glowed more brightly against the dull or dark background of the subsequent decades of crisis.”

The vague, much-repeated promise to recapture the wonders of this era was the foundation of Trump’s winning presidential campaign. Its slogan, “Make America Great Again,” falsely promised a return to the fairy tale past that never existed.

The Golden Age was marked by the explosive economic growth. This was a new kind of economy, one of mass consumption. The right maintained its hold on political power and control throughout most of the world. By the 1960s, it had become clear that capitalism was forging ahead, winning the ideological race and leaving socialism and communism in its dust. Interestingly, the terms “capitalism” and “capitalist” were considered taboo and, therefore, were not widely used in print or in conversation until the late 1970s.

Postwar capitalism cohesively combined economic liberalism and social democracy. Welfare expenditures began to dominate a much greater portion of public expenditure. Under the stabilizing influence of expanding and interventionist welfare states, international rates of manufactured output quadrupled and international trade grew tenfold. The spread of consumer capitalism to Europe led to this exponential growth and increasing interdependence.

The Golden Age coincided with the culmination of an 8,000 year period in which the vast majority of human beings on the planet had lived directly off the land. Along with this ending came a promising new beginning: the emergence of an increasingly urbanized and industrialized world. The collapse of the peasant class across most the world was dramatic, even more rapid than the dissolution of Europe’s peasantries in the nineteenth century.

Alongside the migration from the countryside to the growing metropolitan areas came a wave of new technologies. This was the dawning of the globalized age of the automobile. Mass production in the style of Ford was extended to new kinds of production, from house construction to junk food. McDonald’s was a postwar success story. Technology spread: telephones, plastics, TVs, computers, and domestic electronics ever decreasing in size and increasing in portability—these things that had formerly been luxuries became part of everyday consumption.

Along with the sharp increase in manufacturing came the unfortunate and unacknowledged by-products of pollution and ecological deterioration. Yet, as Hobsbawm wrote, “The dominant ideology of progress took it for granted that the growing dominion of nature by man was the very measure of humanity’s advance.” Civilization bulldozed through the jungle without showing any mercy or regret. Keep reading…

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