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Right, left and indifferent: The source of shared anxiety in this election year 

By Sunday, Nov 6, 2016 Viewpoints 6

West Stockbridge — We live in a time of great comfort and of great suffering, of incredible security and intense fear and we recognize that we ourselves are responsible for the sadness, misery and violence in the world through our actions and our propensity to assuage our own anxieties and fears by projecting evil onto others.

The overwhelming and widely recognized anxiety that we seem to share in the perpetual run up to this election is that both candidates cast shadows over the entire political soul of our nation. They each represent, even if only to the opposing party, a disease – a malady that on one side takes the shape of a dark and bitter view of the world populated by demonized foreigners in the form of terrorists, immigrants, and helpless refugees displaced by wars that we are largely responsible for; and on the other side, populated by a world in which our desires, needs and wants rule the day. In essence that is the current “liberal” party’s agenda  – masked perhaps in very light-shades of compassion.  Both parties share a propensity to represent their particular take on our narrow interests with absolute moral authority. And both parties seem inclined to represent mostly the interests of the very wealthiest among us.

We cling to notions akin to manifest destiny on the one side — or moral authority on the other. Oddly, at least from an historical perspective, we enjoy nearly the best quality of life ever, yet we live and operate in fear.  We enjoy the richest, most secure nation in history… I’m not sure why – while others, many others around the globe suffer in unimaginable ways.

Whether one’s distain is attached to the candidate’s racism, sexism, nationalism, avarice, arrogance, unmitigated self-interest or greed…and the list goes on depending upon which side you are on… neither candidate offers us much hope of a cure.

Our collective anxiety (shared by those on the so called right and the left) is that we know that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to the world and that neither of these candidates seems ready for that undertaking.

To be clear, I am secure in the belief that Hilary Clinton is by far the only qualified candidate and certain that her opponent is a thoughtless, self-serving bully who would reek havoc on our nation and the world; but I am also aware that there are many self-respecting souls across this large country who would viscerally disagree.


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