Bob Schwartz

I’m with Stupid and Stupid Is Me

I see that today a few people were reading a post I wrote a little more than a year ago, You Can Stop Worrying About Trump Being the Republican Nominee. But You Can’t Stop Worrying.

At the time, David Duke, ex-KKK Grand Wizard, gave Trump his imprimatur, saying he was in essence “one of us.” I totally believed this would end Trump’s chances of the Republicans giving him the nomination.

I was wrong about so many things. I overestimated the Republican Party. I underestimated the haplessness of the Democratic Party establishment. I overestimated the news media. I should have known better on all those scores but as the poet/political analyst Emily Dickinson said, “Hope is the thing with feathers.”

What I wasn’t wrong about, then or now, is this:

Forget all the talk about people flocking to Trump because of their frustration and anger about political gridlock and ineffectiveness. You don’t have to take a deep dive into the research to see that tens of million Americans want to roll back progress not to the Reagan years, but to the years before civil rights and other modern principles of tolerance and equality. (My sad favorite remains the Trump supporter wearing a baseball cap saying “Make Racism Great Again!”).

These people may not be your friends, but they are your neighbors and fellow voters. Whether there are enough of them to elect a President of the United States is an open question.

That open question is answered and closed. I am stupefied. I’m with me, and I’m with stupid. And for the moment, so are we all.

Crow and heron, goose and crow. And fish.

“Now, about what it means to realize conclusively that what is unborn and marvelously illuminating is truly the Buddha Mind: Suppose ten million people got together and unanimously declared that a crow was a heron. A crow is black, without having to be dyed that way, just as a heron is white—that’s something we always see for ourselves and know for a fact. So even if, not only ten million people, but everyone in the land were to get together and tell you a crow was a heron, you still wouldn’t be fooled, but remain absolutely sure of yourself. That’s what it means to have a conclusive realization. Conclusively realize that what is unborn is the Buddha Mind and that the Buddha Mind is truly unborn and marvelously illuminating, and everything will be perfectly managed with the Unborn, so that, whatever people try to tell you, you won’t let yourself be fooled by them. You won’t accept other people’s delusions.”
Bankei Zen

“You, Sir, if you want to stop everything below Heaven losing its original simplicity, you must travel with the wind and stand firm in Virtue. Why do you exert yourself so much, banging a big drum and hunting for a lost child? The snow goose doesn’t need a daily bath to stay white, nor does the crow need to be stained every day to stay black. Black and white comes from natural simplicity, not from argument. Fame and fortune, though sought after, do not make people greater than they actually are. When the waters dry up and the fish are stranded on the dry land, they huddle together and try to keep each other moist by spitting and wetting each other. But wouldn’t it be even better if they could just forget each other, safe in their lakes and rivers?”
Book of Chuang Tzu