At least twenty-five million Americans are unemployed. On an epic dexamethasone steroid bender, President Trump has treated their fates in the form of additional assistance solely as a political issue. On October 3, lying oxygen-deprived with Miss Rona in a hospital bed, Trump tweeted for Congress to “get er done.” Three days later, feeling invincible and without notice to anyone, the President “instructed his team to stop negotiating until after the election.” During a brief period of lucidity, the President realized politically the tweet made him look like a twit. He again reversed course, stating, “Negotiations are moving along, Go Big!” Although possibly attributable to drug-induced psychosis this is how the President handles every issue. Having no idea what to do, he says anything and ultimately does nothing.
To think he will come to the rescue after the November 3, election, is living in his delusion. His greatest fear is getting “fired” by the American people. In the event he loses, he is unlikely to become altruistic. He’s let the American people revolve in a recession for six months when he needs them most. If he wins, what incentive does he have to help the American people? He spent his first four years consolidating America’s wealth; he’ll spend the next four lifting the lower classes?
His chief negotiator is Mark “buzzkill” Meadows, a far-right, Tea Party, looney. He is well known as a deal-breaker, not a deal maker. Like many Republicans, he thinks the Federal Reserve links to his personal bank accounts and affects his credit score. Ignoring Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s repeated calls for more government economic assistance.
A Biden presidency with a Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress could write Americans a blank check. However, this outcome is far from certain. Second, the new stimulus legislation would likely pass in March of 2021. Since all programs will have expired, Americans must reapply. Based on the fiasco of implementing the first bailout, money would not start arriving until possibly June. Too much would come way too late. The result will be nine months of depression-era hardship for average Americans. With Congress’ median net worth of $1 million per representative, they have the luxury of thinking a promise of a few thousand a month is worth more than a few hundred a week now.
Washington’s message is clear, “Take a right at the light, keep goin’ straight until night, and then boy your own your own.” To survive and ultimately flourish, you must be willing to accept reality. Start by giving up hope. Hope ain’t a strategy. “We’re all addicted to hope – hope that the doubt and mystery will go away. As long as we’re addicted to hope, we feel we can tone our experience down or liven it up or change it somehow, and we continue to suffer a lot,” writes American Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön. “When we feel suffering, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. Suffering is a part of life.”
Next, as hard as it may be, take this ongoing junk show for an opportunity. An opportunity to change your thinking, the way of thinking that made you susceptible to others’ incompetency. The way of living that made you complicit in your own demise. “There is something aggressive about approaching life by trying to flatten out all the rough spots and imperfections into a nice smooth ride.”
The current circumstances present a unique opportunity to stop dying and start living. “Death is wanting to hold on to what you have and to have every experience confirm you and congratulate you and make you feel completely together. Running away from the immediacy of our experience is like preferring death to life. We are killing the moment by controlling our experience. Because sooner or later, we are going to have an experience we can’t control.” Sound familiar?
You can dwell on the past, fret about the future, or live in the moment. “In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.” But by definition, an opportunity is only present in the present.
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