Donald Trump is a Test (Public)

Extending love, compassion, and kindness to all living beings is a common thread in many spiritual practices. How do we do that for Trump?

Is Donald Trump worthy of love? His moral compass (if it can be called that) appears to point at nothing but himself. No sense of reverence for anything else seems to sway the needle. No matter which way he turns, he appears, resolutely, to find his way back to self service.

This unrelenting service to self has led to four indictments comprising over 90 felony counts. It’s hard for me to overstate the danger of someone who appears to sacrifice any person, institution, or country for their own benefit. Could Trump break the United States? Would a broken United States upset the balance of global power and slide the world into war? I worry.

And yet, on a higher level, I see what appears to be Trump’s almost perfect self service as a test. He is a human being. And I view all beings as worthy of love. Given that, can I offer love to Donald Trump? Can I do that despite my perception that he is doing all he can to hollow out our democracy and it into his own personal totalitarian state? It seems like the ultimate test.

If I want to love all beings unconditionally, I can’t say to someone, “I love you and wish you well unless you destroy the country, democracy, the world, etc.” Nor can I say to someone, “I’ll love you even if you throw some people under the bus, but not if you take down the country.” Where would I draw the line?

The idea of extending love, compassion, and kindness to all living beings is a common thread in many spiritual practices. If you and I can extend love, compassion, and kindness to Donald Trump, I offer that we can do so for anyone. We can even do so for the perhaps Donald-Trump-like parts of ourselves that we might have thought unlovable.

And how do we offer this love while protecting ourselves? How do we extend love and compassion to Donald Trump, the man, while resisting the actions of Donald Trump, the persona? It might look like this: “I understand you wanted to stay in power. I imagine it stings not to be elected to another term. And while we empathize with you and your feelings. We will resist you imposing yourself on us or controlling us. And we will not attempt to control you.”

I suppose that’s one of the problematic things about a punitive legal system. A person is found to have exerted control over another. Then the state exerts its control over that person by fining or imprisoning them. It feels a bit tit for tat.

How do we differentiate ourselves from a Trump-like persona? We do it, I offer, by not attempting to exert control. Donald Trump, it appears, has attempted to sway the election, to exert control over the electorate, and the institutions of state for his own gain. It appears that he attempted to serve without being asked. Offering service without consent is control. If we do not want to control, I offer that we not serve without consent. Love does not dominate.

Love understands, and accepts, and forgives. And love unites. If we can see all beings as connected, and worthy of love without condition, I think we can usher in a world without judgement, without hate, without fear. We can usher in a world united in joy.