The GOP town hall meeting in Milwaukee, Michigan on March 29, 2016, gave voters another chance to witness and observe the character and behavior of the three Republican candidates, as well as their own words. Voters are frustrated that the conduction of this campaign makes it so difficult to get through the current personal attack climate and into the actual issues. But the ongoing, contagious ‘dis-ease’ caused by the character of the campaign is a lesson in itself. Spiritual principle suggests that there is a solution.
Mother Teresa once said, “I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.” Spiritual wisdom suggests that what you focus on matters. If your focus is on what you are against, just as is the focus of this campaign so much of the time, that’s what you are going to get; as your thoughts, words, deeds, and attitude will follow your focus.
But if your focus is turned toward what you want, that’s where your thoughts, words, actions, and attitude will go; thus releasing you from the paralyzing effects of finger pointing, blame, and frustrated anger; opening up space, energy, and opportunity to do what you can do about the situation. Turning our national focus away from the appalling nature of the campaign (what we don’t want) and toward the honest, considerate, dignified presentation of vision, facts, goals, and issues (what we do want) will honor spiritual principle.
During last night’s meeting, John Kasich said, “If name calling, and bringing in spouses, and ripping each other below the belt, and wrestling in the mud is the new politics, we all need to stand against it. Our children are watching.” That is the frustration, the fear, the discomfort of what today’s American voter is dealing with.
Governor Kasich’s statement speaks to the problem, but let’s take that a step further into spiritual solution:
Mother Teresa would not have attended anything standing up against the downhill slide of dignified American discourse. But she would have been at the head of a rally for the return to common decency, self control, and respect, in word and deed. She would have been ready to promote what she wanted.
Perhaps extricating ourselves from the current campaign’s ways, focusing on what we want, and modeling what we want is a wiser, more productive way to move the current state of politics into a direction that we can comfortably share with, and leave behind for, our children. Perhaps we must consider getting what we want by doing what we want ourselves.