Risk Mitigation Case Study -- President Trump Edition: Part Two, Resurrection
The last post was my Empire Strikes Back... this is Return of the Jedi (but no Ewoks).
Keep Calm (and Carry On)
Since the election happened there's been a lot of, well, flailing around. But just because some things are bad right now (lessons learned implies you have your eyes wide open) doesn't mean we have to get fatalistic. In fact, panic and fatalism are the worst responses to, well, pretty much anything. They are extremely unhelpful in every circumstance.
The most distraught people I've seen are suffering from major cognitive dissonance. Their idea of the world and their idea of what the world was going to be are way out of alignment with reality. If you can remain clear eyed and objective -- both about the things that actually impact you (note, different than things you may be concerned about or care about) and what changes are occurring -- you will be in better shape, practically and emotionally.
Remember that fear leads to anger... which explains pro-Trump voters as well as anti-Trump protesters.
Good Ideas are Contagious Too
Trump's no Hitler (for example, Hitler was a skilled orator who could string coherent sentences together -- oh snap!). There's a chance that his worst ideas could be laughed off the stage. I hope so. If you want to help make this happen, you need to avoid labeling 90 million people as bigots. First, it's not true. Second, it's not helpful. Yes, I get the line of thinking that goes "these people saw the racism and didn't think it was a deal breaker..." but remember, many Hillary supporters saw the war mongering, drone strikes, pandering to Wall Street, and general corruption and didn't think those were deal breakers either. No one's hands are really clean.
You can't know what's in people's secret hearts. If we react with anger, we just drive us further apart, which is what the power brokers want. Honestly we need to demand better options. The two least popular politicians in history (hyperbole, but not by much) don't make for a great result for anyone. Of course we can be legitimately angry with bigotry where we see it... of course we can and we should. We should tolerate everything but intolerance. But angry with half of all of us? Anger leads to hate...
The Government Doesn't Care About You -- It's Up to Us to Care About Each Other
This new government may do, shoot is already planning to do, things I don't like. But they were doing things I didn't like before -- for the last eight years too! The systems of power in the US (and most of the rest of the Western World) are hopelessly corrupt and broken. Corporate titans and political titans are THE SAME PEOPLE... and they don't care about us. Other individuals in business and government are likely great people, but they are snared in the same system.
We need to stop expecting the government to fix things. Honestly, whether you are the staunchest social conservative (why are you here?) or the most liberal progressive, we need to take care of ourselves and each other. Sure, it'd be nice if the government played a role, but even when they honestly try they fuck stuff up.
When we are torn apart (inside and outside) we are fodder for this machine. We battle for scraps or struggle to change the system while they cash in. And no, I'm not talking about school teachers or doctors. We need to define who the enemy is here. I'm talking about the .1%, those who have accumulated more wealth and power than every other demographic.
And remember, power is as important as money (rich people can pay to have someone killed, powerful people don't have to pay).
Please go and read this... I'll wait. It was soul healing during my own dark night. Because hate leads to the dark side...
People are Squishy and Prone to Being Good
As I said before, people are squishy. Most -- seriously, the vast majority -- just want to have safety and security, raise families and prosper. The difference is that some see it as a zero-sum game where winning means that someone else loses and losing means that someone somewhere else is winning. Our society loves this. Others are more collaborative and see that in society more people winning tends to help everyone win, except that our own system seems broken in this regard. When only a tiny minority are winning most of the prizes, then both groups feel lost and out of their depth.
Our current society doesn't fulfill our needs -- social, economic, spiritual. That makes us weak, prone to manipulation, easily turned against one another. Indeed, all of us can be turned -- more easily than we'd like to believe. We can be turned to the dark side or to the light. Keep focusing on the light.
A Little Light
Choose proactivity, productivity, love, and light. Always.