I started this post two weeks ago before violence erupted at the Trump political “stage shows.” The events of March 11/12 prove my point. Actions have consequences.
In Buddhism we call it Karma. Jesus taught that you will reap what you sow. Either way the message is the same: actions have consequences. It’s not just a moralistic matter, it’s a principle of nature: cause and effect. We’re seeing this play out with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. I was writing about bullying, name-calling and juvenile antics, but we are already seeing those actions and consequences escalate. When the leading Republican candidate tells his angry crowd, “go ahead and knock the crap out of them… (referring to protesters) I’ll pay your legal fees”, not too surprising when someone sucker punched a protester. AND, it doesn’t take much imagination to envision how the protesters might react; just as they did by organizing and showing up at the Chicago event with even more opposition. Of course, the tension escalates and BOOM, violence breaks out. One action leads to another… aka Consequences.
I was originally writing about the embarrassing spectacle and likely consequences, but now we have concrete examples of cause and effect. Punching isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of resentment and a high probability for more violence. When Trump tells his followers that he can’t understand why “Muslims hate us”, that tells me he isn’t aware of cause and effect. For years, going back to the 1950s, we meddled in Middle Eastern affairs, tossing out a dictator or two, to assure access to oil. We became the enemy because the USA was a big bully. But, if he can’t see it in the mirror, or the microcosm (his own events), doubtful he can anticipate the larger macro world consequences. Shouldn’t our Presidential candidates have the vision to SEE cause and effect on a personal, national and world basis? Seems obvious to me.
If we foul our drinking water, we get poisoned. When we pollute the oceans with a world of waste and hazardous chemicals, sea life dies and eventually so will the oceans. When the oceans die, so will we. Sadly that process is well underway according to many oceanic experts. Cause and effect is in play with fracking. Doesn’t take a genius to see that if we destabilize the ground with high pressure chemicals and water, the earth will rumble and collapse. Cause and effect is pretty obvious “to anyone with eyes to see”, as Jesus said. He also taught “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (from Sermon on the Mount, as reported by Matthew and Luke.)
So, if Jesus were here with the “evangelicals” I can’t imagine He would endorse the Trump philosophy of building walls, closing borders and declaring enemies. He would compassionately welcome immigrants the way we once did:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
(The inscription on the Statue of Liberty, part of a poem by Emma Lazarus, written in 1890.)
What has happened to THAT America? A nation of immigrants, the gracious, charitable America heralded in our songs and anthems? That’s the America I want to see again! A place with good Karma, liberty and justice for ALL.