A three hour plus shared taxi brought me out of the Himalayas to Siliguri, India; a place I’ve dreamed of visiting since I stayed on a tea plantation 21 years ago. I’ve lost Rana’s contact info. But damn I wish I could see him again.
Struggling with a bad back I opted for a nice hotel; for there would be ice for my back. White man’s world. Sort of.
Wandering the streets last night I came across an Indian guy, Donavin, I met in Darjeeling. How we saw each other again in this big city I have no idea. He bought me a beer. Ahhh. India.
Jumping on the local bus to the Nepal border this morning, my back was feeling better. But I had already booked an internal flight from Eastern Nepal to Kathmandu; saving my back from the 10 plus hour night bus ride. A small concession to make as the views will be spectacular.
Jumping off the bus at the border I was met by many people but one guy started chatting with me. “Where are you from? Where are you going? Do you have Facebook?” After I accepted his FB friend request, he saw that I was friends with Chhimi in Bhutan! Wtf? So is he!
We chatted and he said he would meet me at the border after immigration. I love crossing borders by land.
We somehow met (his English was not great) and he shuttled me off to a hotel as he was heading back to his monastery. Settling into my room he asked me if i liked beer. “Why yes” I replied.
The beers arrived and we waded into a discussion. He asked me if I liked our President. Señor Trump. I said no way. He said he liked him. He also said the Dalai Lama was the most important person in his life. Huh?
Now you all know i dislike Trump. I’ve never given a complete answer why. Here it is.
Donald Trump is everything I despise about my country. Everything. He leaves nothing out. A man born into wealth that made it his mission to want more wealth and more self promotion. Real estate, television, hotels. A man that has a strategy of business that is bullying but when he says yes, he means maybe. Or I didn’t say that and I will constantly renegotiate. A man that only sees transactional value in humans and how that transaction will help him. A man that only has “conditional” relationships. Period. As long as the deal is still good, we are still friends. But at any time I might change the rules. To be clear, he’s never done anything in his life OTHER than that. And I disliked him before he was president. THAT guy? Really? You think he cares about anything but himself? Has he ever? Oh but Bob only he can fix our shit because he can’t be bought. Right. That all changed once he was president. Mmmmkay.
Strangely, I don’t see him as a racist but as color blind except for green. If you’re black and rich, that’s cool. As long as you’re not richer than him. In his mind. Because money is his god and his measurement. Notice how he has few if any friends richer than him? Or outside of business? Because he can control the wannabes. Greed is predictable.
I agree with him about a few things. Like the Middle East and our immigration policy. I just don’t agree with his fixes. Or his process.
What is incredibly obvious to me (and not to many of my friends) is that the man knows one mantra. Make Donald Great Again.
Every single one of his policies is set up to foment anger or adulation amongst his base; people that have bought his bullshit. Or aren’t paying attention. And that base is those that have a lot of money, want a lot of money or think that money is the measuring stick. Go ahead, ask yourself. Really.
I’ve worked with men like him. It’s the culture of HIM ! Period! And HIM (well HE) has nothing without money. Zero.
So I’m a Buddhist and Buddhism is very much about your intentions. Not your goals or results.
Donald thinks having a charity makes him good. Even though he was using that charity (wait, not any more! It’s illegal) to enrich himself. His INTENTIONS are always about him, him, him! Follow those intentions!
We’ve heard him say it’s about money. Saudi Arabia can kill a journalist in cold blood because they are buying arms and pay cash. We paid the Kurds so we can screw them over. Your 401 (k), if you’re lucky to have one, is higher so it justifies everything he does. Throwing kids in jail, destroying the environment, holding other govts hostage for his political desires.
So what i have seen is not only has Donald Trump made it incredibly obvious that money and power are his priorities, he has shown me what I’ve always feared, that there are good people in the US that will give up their moral compass for more money. And NOT to just survive. And it’s never enough.
So as I sat back to finish my beer with my monk friend, I knew I could not explain all of that well enough for his English to understand. But the massive contradiction between Trump and the Dalai Lama was not lost on me. It blew me away. Never surprised when traveling.
As I try to bridge the gap with many of my lifelong friends that somehow support this president and his heinous actions and words; because they are lifelong republicans or believe since he has money he’s right or they are afraid to admit a mistake, I have to ask them one question (and this doesn’t apply to my monk friend). Aside from your 401 (k) and maybe a short term job, is the world better off after 3 years of Trump? Are the poor better, is the environment better, is your health better? Is our national rhetoric better? Are your schools better? Are your relationships better? Are your kids better? Are we as a collective society putting the right amount of positive energy into the world? Did Obama call you scum? Fine. You didn’t like Hillary. Admit you were wrong about him! Please!
Or are we buying into the BS of more more more. And that more makes us great? And overshadows compassion. And my Christian friends think that? THAT’S your measuring stick?
It’s not my monk friend’s beliefs. I won’t discount his beliefs. And I don’t wanna discount yours. But he can’t speak or read English.