Like so many, I’ve become a news junky, especially since Donald Trump became President.
For those who care about government policy as a vehicle to help improve our nation’s quality of life, who believe in the partnership between government, the private sector, NGOs, and religious communities in moving the nation forward as a just and compassionate society, and who yearn for a foreign policy that is strategically sound, peace-oriented, and dignified – Trump is anathema.
Yet, despite my strong interest in the news, for my own well-being – and perhaps for yours too – we need to be able to step back and disengage from time to time from the toxicity of politics in general and the malignant narcissism of Trump in particular.
To these ends, I was moved this week when listening to an interview of the veteran conservative commentator George Will (a never-Trump former Republican) of The Washington Post by Preet Bharara on his “Stay Tuned with Preet” Podcast (July 18, 2019).
“One of the invaluable messages after the political intoxications of the 20th century is that politics should not be what defines your identity; that government has a great and stately jurisdiction but it’s not everything. And if you are looking for excitement; if you are looking for spiritual fulfillment; if you are looking for the meaning in life, don’t look to politics because we see what happens when mass movements become intoxicated by political movements fighting faiths, fascism, communism and the like that try to envelop their lives – it’s not healthy.”
Our challenge, therefore, ought to be to stay engaged but maintain our emotional, psychological, spiritual, and creative balance while at the same time registering new voters, fighting voter suppression and foreign intervention in our elections, and voting in a new president and democratic controlled Senate in 2020. Along the way, as Will suggests, we need to be able to step away enough to be able nurture our hearts, minds, and souls in ways that are restorative.
Marilyn Szatmary said:
It is so lovely to hear your voice, even in print. Your words are so valuable to those of us suffering through these horrible times. Last nite some of us joined Rabbi Jocee for a meal with some homeless folks at The Center at Blessed Sacrament Church along with FoodCycleLA who provided the wonderful meal. It was a warm and wonderful evening and also gave you a chance to think about what you have.
Bonnie Pastor said:
Amen! Thanks for your ever insightful comments, John.
Shelley Baruch said:
Hey, John,I really applaud you for all the steps you take to create sane and comforting thoughts for the general well being of us all. It ain’t easy to do but you are doing it with your usual classy style.Love,Shell