Last night, while brushing my teeth I had a moment of enlightenment and I finally understood what is going on in the present elections in America.
Or let´s say a glimpse of enlightenment that suddenly gave me a perspective of how I could at least bring some sense to this bizarre spectacle.
It came with the word …
I suddenly realized that I see both candidates as dinosaurs – remains from an age long passed that somehow made it into our world.
Clinton seems old to me
I am not young any more (turning 50 next year), but I am a generation younger than her. And am more sensitive to internet security than she is – however sending sensitive email through a private server, because it is less complicated than using government servers could have happened to me as well.
And I was in my diapers when she was protesting against Vietnam and for women´s rights (at least I guess she did). Most of this had to do with being able to make your own choices as a woman – without the dominance of men or the government. As a woman I am thankful for many of the good freedoms the women who were before us helped to achieve. But still a lot of the women´s rights language seems outdated. It sounds as if we still need to fight – whereas many younger women still see the need to discuss and explain and sometimes negotiate. But not fight. Rather find ways how WE men and women can work together.
And yes, the bizarre idea to define it as freedom or right of a woman to take the life of another human being – even if it is before birth – to me seems totally wrong.
Trump seems even older
With his High Noon – I am alone on main street – is there anyone I can shoot – style of communication and action this man seems to have jumped out of a time machine from the early days of the Wild West (as portrayed in movies, in reality it probably was slightly different). Movies where it is clear cut: The good, the bad , the ugly. Also he seems to be playing all roles in the movie himself… thinking he is good, while he talks and behaves bad…and ugly…well…there were some comments on his hair…and his communication style… he seems centuries old.
It all seems like reality TV, but the weird thing about it is that it seems to be real reality.
Why did two parties choose dinosaur candidates?
So why on earth would two established parties select two candidates that are old or even vintage? How can people lead a nation when their views and manners seem outdated and older than the nation itself and most of the people they represent.
I guess the answer is the same as usual: When we face too much new, too many changes we withdraw to the old.
I see the same in my country. When Angela Merkel at the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees courageously said „We can do this!“ she was dreaming of a flexible, welcoming, modern, integrative Germany. It inspired many – 10% of all Germans actively help refugees in one way or another. And it frightened more.
I guess in the same way as some Germans were frightened , the Brits were frightened about the new and changing world – slightly less British then before I would say, Mortime – and voted exit. And maybe Americans got frightened by the new world their president wanted to embrace.
And – like Angela Merkel he did not have the personal or communicative or political power to keep the dream of a flexible, integrative society alive in his nation.
The frightened ones go back to old patterns of us vs. them. Fear and rejection. The same game everywhere. Nothing new under the sun.
That is not only a problem of the right. It also is a problem of the left. I sometimes cannot believe the slogans I hear at left-wing demonstrations. They are half a century old. The us vs. them patterns haven´t change.
The WE-world does not exist in their heads either.
So what now?
I guess in a few weeks the Americans will vote one of the dinosaurs for president. I hope and pray that it will still be good – somehow. Not just words. I seriously do. I promised to myself that I will spend more time praying for the candidates than discussing what they do or say. A hard promise to keep with all the noise…
And for you in America
In those four years stretch yourself. Talk to strangers. Invite them into your home. Learn new stuff. Open to a world that is new to you. And gets newer every day. Revisit your values – how do you think life can be lived in the best way – and see how you can live them in this world.
And then – in 2020 nominate and elect someone who is at home in this modern – ever changing world and can be a good leader in a WE world.