The first presidential debate happened between 45 and former vice president Joseph Biden. To say that it was a disaster is an understatement. For a presidential debate, it was very “unpresidential” with 45 resorting to constant interruptions, gas lighting, bullying and sending an affirmative message to the “Proud Boys” (code name for a white supremacist group) telling them to “stand down” and “stand by”. Biden was not as outrageous but he still did his own version of fighting back telling 45 to “shut up” and calling him a “clown”. This exchange was both entertaining and heart breaking at the same time. If it had been a reality show on Bravo, I would have enjoyed it thoroughly without the residual guilt. The fact that one of these two men will rule this country, however, left me feeling shameful for being amused at all. No matter who started the fight, when you go low to meet an opponent, especially one with narcissistic tendencies, you often diminish your own “crown” and lose moral high ground as well. In reality, this debate represented the underlying conflict residing in the consciousness of the American psyche since its formation – – an authentic “unveiling” of our country’s long struggle with race, classism and the propensity to resort to tribal tactics for power. Previous presidential candidates were able to mask their real feelings for the sake of civility but not in 2020.
I am not going to judge their actions too harshly now because in one sense I feel relieved to see everything “unveiled” and out in the open. Some Americans typically expect our political figures to be appear perfect and collegial at all times which is not authentic – – and definitely not consistent with the character of 45. This presidential debate, however, revealed the shadow side of America – – conflicted, divided and narcissistic. Europeans have often referred to “US” as “the ugly Americans” based upon a book with a similar name describing how some American’s behavior (arrogance) is viewed abroad. To remain in a state of अविद्या (Avidyā) – – “not knowing, not perceiving, not seeing, not understanding” – – is what got us here in the first place. But once clarity and perspective is gained, it is assumed that one then has the ability to make better choices in one’s own best interest and for the sake of the country. How can this ever be wrong? It is from this position that a more perfect union could be reimagined fueled by a spiritual rebirth – – call it “Nu Amẹríkà“ – – forcing “US” closer to the grandest ideals and trUth held within a democratic society.
This Nu Amẹríkà could emerge soon born from conflict, ignorance, hate and love into a distinctly new creation. In spite of the recent political debate, I am hopeful dreaming of a society with more promise and uniquely “US” similar to the musical genius of jazz. Our country could reflect a chemically infectious Nu sound mixing different instrumental components forcing “US” to improvise possibilities in the moment – – not static but with fluid movement – – and creating a different outlook not stuck on what was but what could be. It would be so cool to reinvent this country using our collective pain and love to catapult a world filled with new options. It basically comes down to building upon the lessons from our collective past and bridging the gap between love/grace and fear/hate. We can either look into the abyss and stay down or go up to a higher energetic frequency. Today, I cast my vote for embracing this Nu Amẹríkàn vision with its infectious rhythm radiating the love and empathy for humanity still residing somewhere deep within our hearts and soul.