Corruption in the American Soul Could Destroy America according to Adams and Jefferson

I made the following comments on AJC opinion columnist Jay Bookman’s blog on April 12, 2018: (Link: https://politics.myajc.com/blog/jay-bookman/opinion-all-drink-the-poisoned-chalice/hpc9rM6z16QS9gOZ2WynNP/ )

“I agree with the analysis of Jay Bookman’s opinions, above; however, being almost a generation older than Bookman, I disagree with his timeline assessment. This corruption of the American soul started well before Newt Gingrich, imo. Gingrich was a product of the popularity in our nation of personal greed at the expense of the common good. Please notice the dates in the cut and paste I am sharing here:

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‘Norquist is best known for founding Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in 1985, which he says was done at the request of then-President Ronald Reagan.[18] Referring to Norquist’s activities as head of ATR, Steve Kroft, in a 60 Minutes episode that aired on November 20, 2011, claimed that ‘Norquist has been responsible, more than anyone else, for rewriting the dogma of the Republican Party.’
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Norquist was actually a volunteer for Richard Nixon’s campaign for the presidency in 1968 when he was only 12 years old. Norquist is a Harvard graduate with a MBA. This collective consciousness of looking out for Number One before anyone else, as reflected in how we spend our financial resources as a nation (and states within it) has culminated in the election of Donald Trump, a businessman with a Narcissistic instability in looking out for himself above all others, rather than for the common good of the citizens of America, as a whole. That has been almost 50 years in the making (and was not simply the creation of Norquist or Gingrich, obviously), and I have lived through this perverted change in the American soul. Next, I will post some reflections of John Adams on this subject, when he and others were forming our nation, related to this issue of the corruption of the American soul and our nation’s possible demise, as a result. (My source is the latest book I am reading on Adam and Jefferson, entitled “Friends Divided” by historian Gordon S. Wood.
This book goes into the details of how much influence Adams had in ways like giving the model to most of the colonies in 1776 for creating a Bicameral Legislature in their various states. He was such a pragmatist and historian. Adams also greatly admired Jefferson’s brilliant intellectual mind.

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From the book by historian and Pulitzer Prize winner, Gordon S. Wood, “John Adams and Thomas Jefferson: Friends Divided,” published by Penguin Press, New York, 2017, pages 114 – 115:

“Adams’s republicanism was liberal and enlightened, not narrowly classical. Certainly neither Adams nor Jefferson was so enamored of antiquity that either believed that an individual belonged solely to the political community and that human flourishing could be achieved only within that political community. Their republicanism was not incompatible with the need to protect individual rights from an overweening government. Yet both Adams and Jefferson were classically educated enough to know that republics required sufficient virtue in the character of their citizens to prevent corruption and eventual decay. For this reason, they both knew that republics were very fragile politics, and always had been throughout history. A republic, said Adams, ‘is productive of every Thing, which is great and excellent among Men. Buts its Principles are as easily destroyed as human Nature is corrupted.’ Jefferson agreed.

Americans, he (Adams) said had to anticipate ‘a time, and that not a distant one, when corruption in this, as in the country from which derive our origins (Great Britain), will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them through the body of the people.’

Although Jefferson tended to see the corruption coming from the government while Adams believed it more likely inherent in human nature, both patriots knew that republics demanded far more MORALLY from their citizens than monarchies did of their subjects. In monarchies, where authority flowed from the top down, each man’s desire to do what was right in his own eyes could be restrained by patronage or honor, by fear or force. In republics, however, where authority came from below, from the people themselves, each citizen must somehow be persuaded to sacrifice his personal desires for the sake of the public good. In their purest form republics had no adhesives, no bonds holding their societies together, except their citizens’ voluntary patriotism and willingness to obey public authority. Without virtue and self-sacrifice, republics would fall apart.

Did America have this ‘positive Passion for the public Good,’ this kind of virtue? That was the question that Adams anxiously asked himself as he outlined his plan of government. . . . .”
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When I read this last night, I thought of how much vision and insight both Adams and Jefferson had regarding how fragile our nation would become without authentic morality and virtue in the majority of our citizens. This corruption of selfishness in the American soul has been 50 years in the making, from my observations, and we will lose our republic if we do not see this, and change toward saving our republic from within, by seeing into the depths of corruption at hand and by “excising it from the body politic” of America.

(NOTE: CAPS, above, are mine.)

Who epitomizes corruption in the soul of a powerful politician more than does Donald Trump? His followers, who worship personal power and wealth, must see the light of how their limited and self-oriented consciousness, alone, could destroy this nation.

As Jefferson wrote and stated, over and over again, for a democracy to survive, its entire populace must be educated. Jefferson did not mean educated by corporate- controlled charter schools for personal wealth. He meant educated enough to have an intellectual understanding of the foibles in all human nature and how the rich and powerful could easily manipulate the poor masses, unless those masses were educated in more than simply job skills.

Republicans have been trying to destroy traditional public education as ‘government schools’ for at least 25 years and the lack of financial resources we now see, even in terribly worn out textbooks, is abominable, as a result of their rabid ideology which wants to destroy ‘government’ resources to make life better for citizens.”

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My response to a poster’s comment:

“I have never seen Monticello. This is a journey I MUST make before I die to Virginia to see. It is a miracle that Jefferson, who died penniless, had his home restored early by a Jewish family, not only for themselves while they lived, but also for posterity. I see this gift on their part as spiritual KARMA, coming from God because Jefferson, more than any other Founding Father, was THE ‘Architect of American Liberty,’ as Professor Boles’ book is named.

What one sees of Monticello, now, as I have read, is the vision Jefferson always had for it in his mind for his completed home. He spent his lifetime building that homestead to what it is today. He wanted it to be the epitome of the best of education that America had to offer its citizens, and by that I mean he designed and made it into what it became through his knowledge of architecture, the arts and sciences of which he learned in Europe (and from where he brought back much furniture, paintings, sculptures, books, various artifacts) as well as in his massive readings so that Americans could see that a home could be a place for entertaining others with interests of the mind, more than simply social occasions. Of course, he wanted to enjoy it for itself while he lived but he only completed it about 15 years before he died and he lived to be 82, as I recall. ‘The glory lies in the struggle or journey, not in the prize or destination.’ (quote from my mountain grandfather)”
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Another poster’s comment to Mary Elizabeth:

“There are some neat inventions in the house, you have probably read about them.”
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Mary Elizabeth’s response to that poster’s comment, above:

“I can hardly wait to see Monticello, walk its corridors, and reflect on the mind and soul, if not the ghost, of Jefferson. 🙂 )

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My Farewell Words to AJC Conservative Columnist, Kyle Wingfield

These words words originally posted on Kyle Wingfield’s final column with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as its conservative opinion writer:

“Kyle, although our political philosophies differ, I want you to know that I wish you Godspeed in your new position. You have been an intelligent opinion writer and a person of integrity. We are both Christians, and I believe that someday, the Holy Spirit will find a way to have our differing political philosophies work together in harmony for His purposes. I hope that the Lord will continue to bless you and your family. My very best wishes to you in your long life, ahead.”

– AND –

“A final thought from me for Kyle Wingfield and for the readers of his AJC blog:

My political philosophy, which leans liberal, has had its genesis in my spiritual beliefs which are the core of who I am.

The below is from one of my own blog entries, entitled, “The Interconnection and Mutual Survival of All Life on Earth,” posted originally on April 25, 2017.

“The people of the world seem to have a collective consciousness as well as an individual consciousness.

Brexit is the same symbol of holding to one’s own, even perhaps in being superior to others. I am not sure about the superiority. I am sure about the fear of losing one’s self-survival and the need for protecting it.

The following is a summation of two differing polarizations of thought which I have thought about and weighed since childhood:

–The pull for self-survival vs. the pull toward helping our neighbors–

That philosophical dichotomy is as old as humankind, and, currently, the world’s consciousness is leaning toward protecting one’s self.

The irony is that now, in the world’s evolution, we will not survive individually unless we commit ourselves to the survival of all the other life on Earth, as well as our own lives. We are that interconnected today. Some of us see that, and have seen that, for some time. Others have yet to learn it.

God truly works in mysterious ways. We do better spiritually and intellectually if we simply see what is occurring and leave the judging of others, and of ourselves, to our Creator.”

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My Thoughts About Interpretations of Christianity

“Acts 4:15-22 All the care of the rulers is, that the doctrine of Christ spread not among the people, yet they cannot say it is false or dangerous, or of any ill tendency; and they are ashamed to own the true reason; that it testifies against their hypocrisy, wickedness, and tyranny. Those who know how to put a just value upon Christ’s promises, know how to put just contempt upon the world’s threatenings. The apostles look with concern on perishing souls, and know they cannot escape eternal ruin but by Jesus Christ, therefore they are faithful in warning, and showing the right way. None will enjoy peace of mind, nor act uprightly, till they have learned to guide their conduct by the fixed standard of truth, and not by the shifting opinions and fancies of men. Especially beware of a vain attempt to serve two masters, God and the world; the end will be, you can serve neither fully.

Acts 4:22 Commentaries”

Another Poster:

“That passage is almost as lame as Trumps speach last night. Just bragging and trust me blah blah blah. Now pass the plate.”

If Jesus had any power he would put a pox on Trump.

I know ME, I am missing the nuances and subtitles of the Bible. I can read and don’t need a preacher to interpret for me.

Wasted words, ain’t never been heard.”

Mary Elizabeth, in response:

“We each either, ultimately, have to choose the path of the world, as exemplified in Donald Trump, or the path of the spirit, as exemplified in Jesus Christ.

At least, the election of Donald Trump as America’s president has demonstrated that clearly.”

Another Poster’s Response to MES:

“You are missing the other paths for a good lifestyle.

Buddhism, Hindu, Rastafari, or no god at all.

Christianity has a my way or the highway doctrine.

Faith in Jesus or burn for eternity.

That can’t be true.”

MES, in Response:

“I don’t interpret the words of Jesus to mean that he is the only way to God, skydog. I try not to think in dichotomies.

The way you interpret his message is a message of fear not of love. Love fosters growth not fear, anger, hate, death.

There are many paths to God in my opinion. Jesus Christ exemplified who God is through his life. Love and growth. One cannot close one’s mind to inquiry and grow. Fear is the opposite of both love and growth. Jesus espoused love not fear in the heart nor fear in the soul.”

Another Poster’s Response:

“The Bible clearly states, the ONLY way to heaven is by ones FAITH in Jesus. Not maybe, probably, or could be. ONLY.

I am glad you have cherry picked the book to your liking.

Cherry picking Nostradamus is fun too, but not a way base your life.”

MES’ Response:

“I don’t interpret literally many things. Jesus is the way to God because God lived in him. Learning how that happens is a spiritual quest of many spiritual paths, not just the path of Christianity. Jesus is the way and he is correct in saying that no person comes to know God except through him. That does not mean that other great spiritual thinkers have not, also, found how to internalize God from spirit to human manifestation.

Again, God is a God of love and enlightenment not of fear and exclusion, as I interpret God to be.”

Another Poster’s Response:

“You are side stepping the elephant in the room.

Believe like I do or burn in hell is the doctrine.

I do believe Jesus had some great teachings, but excluding all others is wrong.

I understand the selling point though. It’s about the cash mostly.”

MES’ Response:

” ‘Burn in Hell’ is the doctrine of fundamentalist Christians, but not of all Christians who, like myself, believe that God allows for the freedom of thought.

Thanks for the dialogue. Perhaps others, also, have benefited from reading the thoughts in our discussion. I hope so.”

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My personal testimony related to Christianity which I first posted on Jay Bookman’s blog on March 9, 2018:

“Today, I saw the film of P. T. Barnum’s life, ‘The Greatest Showman,’ with Hugh Jackman. It was wonderful. I urge everyone who has not seen it on the big screen to see it as it is on its last leg in movie theaters, having opened last fall. I want to share this spiritual testimony about this film with this audience. My dear sweet, younger Evangelical Christian sister reminded again by phone to see it yesterday, so I made the point to see it today. A couple of weeks ago, as some of you may remember, I predicted that the tipping point of consciousness on this planet would be moving forward into this century and beyond into understanding the need for egalitarianism of thought toward all human beings and solving mutual world problems through rationality and empathy rather than through war and brute power of any kind. This film exemplifies what I have believed spiritually since I was a child, that there are no ‘freaks’ of human beings, that every soul has merit, and that some day our eyes would be open to see that collectively. Of course, this concept fulfills the words of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln for America as a model for the world, for I believe that no person can be free to be who he or she is, innately, on the world’s stage, as an equal to every other human being, in any society that is not free. That is why we must keep America free from dictators of any kind.

When I was in my early 30s and my sister was in her early 20s, I thought how could we come together as a family in that she and her growing family had found God through fundamentalist Christianity, and God made me to be a liberal Christian. I’m a Democrat. She is a Republican. We have always been close personally, but now I understand that only God could have blended, through love, two sisters who not only are happy together and love one another in the Holy Spirit, but each true to herself still, and each also giving the other breathing room to be herself. I think it is very telling that my sister was the one who recommended that I see this beautiful, imaginative, egalitarian film. She loved it, and so did I. God brings all things together in Him.”

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Prophecy by Mary Elizabeth

I posted the following comments on Jay Bookman’s blog on February 23, 2018: (Link: https://politics.myajc.com/blog/jay-bookman/opinion-the-nra-and-mental-health/QQJlw2smHQajecYaCTDIiO/ )

“I don’t know if the timing is right, but this I want to share from your local Cassandra:

I feel that a critical mass of moral consciousness has been reached at this time in the on-going battle of good vs. evil on this planet, so that, as a people, we will be moving toward the following locally, nationally, and internationally:

(1) The NRA’s best days are behind them, and their decline in importance on the national stage will now start to diminish.

(2) Mueller’s strength of character and intellect will forge a new awakening of pride for our long-standing democratic republic and for the architects of our American Experiment.

(3) The guilty in the Trump-Putin affair will be brought to justice on the American stage for all to observe – all Americans and all people of this planet.

(4) With this tipping point, the world will be moving in a trajectory more aligned with the forces of communion and harmony than of division and conflict to accomplish worldwide common goals which will help us all to survive on our common home, the Earth. The first and probably most important, at this juncture, is our common acceptance of climate change on this planet, and the need for humankind throughout this planet to work together to solve this common problem so that we survive.

(5) The forces of oligarchy, hierarchy, and selfishness will fall, as exemplified in the will of Vladimir Putin. The forces of democracy, egalitarianism, and empathy for all humankind and connection with all life will win. God’s existence and his will are not as mysterious to behold as some might have imagined.

You read it here, first. MES, 2/23/2018 😉

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Later, on that same thread of that same blog, I was moved to share the following:

“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13”

The above spiritual verse, imho, was not meant to be limited to any one church building, but more expansively embraces the whole of humanity, in and outside of the architecture of any religious institution, and embraces the past, present, and future of all human life.

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On February 25, 2018, on the same blog thread, I wrote:

“I agree with the thinking of Jimmy Carter in that video clip, but notice that Carter pivoted from acknowledging that it would take a political movement to create more equitable wealth distribution in America to confirm, instead, that it would probably be the despicable actions of some that will change this fact of a growing oligarchy in America.

Those despicable acts have now been done by Trump in conjunction with the support he has found in the Republican Party, as well as the ever -increasing arrogance and power of the NRA.

Remember to think with relativity, in mind. Even though America has been moving more rapidly toward becoming more an oligarchy and plutocracy since the early 1970s (this time around in her history), if we are so foolish as to allow Russian tainting of our elections and other propaganda to be believed, America could become a highly intense form of an oligarchy without check and balances to change back in the constant pendulum political swing, to a truer democratic republic, as designed. Doing away with all tentacles of Capitalism is no realistic answer. Hillary Clinton well understood this.”
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“Things could not be worse than they are presently under Trump’s Republican rule.

Anyway, remember in my “Cassandra Prophecies” of the other evening, in which I predicted that the tipping point toward a more egalitarian and nonviolent world had now been reached and that will be the trajectory on which this nation and the world would be moving? Having the Democratic Speaker of the House become president next January would be in line with my prediction, although I cannot predict how long that more egalitarian and nonviolent world will be unfolding nor the details which will transpire in getting us there, but I do believe that the tipping point has occurred and that there is no going back, now, to a more ruthless and unequal world, as demonstrated by the fact that the NRA’s power is finally on the wane. We will never have an egalitarian and nonviolent America with Donald Trump and the present day Republicans in power, so the sooner that change can occur, imo, the better for our nation and for our world.”

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Clinton, Trump, Putin, and Sanders in America’s Presidential Election of 2016

This was my response to the article Jay Bookman published on February 19, 2018. Link: https://politics.myajc.com/news/opinion-blogs/opinion-the-guard-dog-who-refuses-bark/oQFsvCPqXpNIWV2Hy6UWiO/

“Nailed all the major truths in one column, Jay Bookman. Pitch perfect closing analogy in which you imply the truth which so many of us yearn to hear announced, officially, not because we hate anyone, but because we yearn for the truth unfolded soon to help in saving America.

Here is a truth many still refuse to see. Hillary Clinton was fighting a battle against 3 indomitable men to become America’s first woman president. Although I greatly admired Bernie for speaking out against what Russia (Putin) has done to try to destroy our democracy, on Sunday, it was obvious to many of us that the great divide between Sanders and Clinton damaged her politically.

She is a phenomenal woman and would have been an outstanding leader who would have embraced public service to America’s citizens and to building relationships throughout the globe. No wonder Putin wanted her gone. We must start becoming better judges of human character in a ‘fake news’ insane world.”
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Who do you believe is speaking truth in the final presidential debate?

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More Workings of the Holy Spirit

My exchange with two other posters on Jay Bookman’s blog on Sunday, January 28, 2017:

MaryElizabethSings:

“The people of America need hope and a way forward along with knowing the truth about the abyss we have fallen into under the unstable Donald Trump.

Cynicism has gotten us into this mess. It is going to require love, compassion, forgiveness to help us heal as a nation. Hateful and snarky words are not answers.”

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Poster #1 in response to MES:

“That is most Dems beliefs. They get slapped on the other cheek and defeated.
Sometimes you must fight back using whatever means necessary or die.”

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MES’ response to Poster #1:

“Last night I wrote to you on this blog that I see only bitterness and anger in you and that it was up to all of us to heal our own souls by practicing love and forgiveness.

I want you and everyone reading this blog to know that I was asleep but somehow the words I posted above seemed urgent for me to post now. I had not even read your angry words and link below. Nor had I read anyone’s words for hours on this blog. That was not my call. I believe it was the call of the Holy Spirit for me to post my above words, now.

I simply answered the call of the Holy Spirit to me.”
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Poster#2 to MES:

“I submit that ‘cynicism’ is not really up but rather the rolls of the way people look at politics have reversed.

Do you not believe Republicans felt the same way over the 8 years of Obama and the Dems feel under Trump?

I have said it many times on this blog. The country is split in almost a 50/50 divide and eventually something has to change or we will continue in this pendulum of how the country feels.”

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MES’ response to Poster #2:

“I have told you before (as well as another self-proclaimed Christian on this blog) that I do not feel the love of the Holy Spirit in your words or soul.

That is between you and God. I simply answer you truthfully as to what I observe in your words and feel regarding your hateful and angry words toward those who do not agree with you politically. No one has all the answers, including me. The best all of us can do is to allow love and forgiveness and compassion to enter our hearts, which is called the Holy Spirit.”
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More on Sexual Stereotyping

I posted these remarks on Jay Bookman’s blog on January 17, 2018:

Here was what my background held per sexuality. Remember I was born in south Georgia in 1942. There were “good” women and “bad” women. That was your choice, women. Just as your career choices were housewife, old maid teacher, or nurse. None of that kind of thinking appealed to me, and I started quietly, in my own mind, to rebel against stereotypical thinking as soon as I was conscious, which was relatively early.

Okay, in that kind of environment, here is what I observed happened to women. (Btw, I think this happened to women throughout the nation, essentially, not just in the South.)

Girls could be who they were innately born to be from the time they were born until they were early adolescents or pre-adolescents. Then, they knew that to attract a man and be considered attractive to others in general, they needed to cast a sexual allure (but not too much) by applying make-up just right, doing their hair in a stylish manner, dressing with sexual allure, but not too much, painting their fingernails and toes, and acting with a soft Southern voice, i.e. Jackie Kennedy, and not be intellectually competitive with men because men do not want to marry (bed) an assertive or aggressive woman. So they lived out this artificial role game-playing for 50 years of their lives (like faking an orgasm) until they were past menopause, somewhere around 60 years of age. At that time, women could again be who they innately were born to be because their romantic lives were pretty much over. So women became more like Katherine Hepburn or JoAnne Woodward, in their old age, wearing comfortable clothes, practical shoes, little make-up, and focused again on those things that truly interested them in life.

All I can think to analyze from this pitiful scenario, is that both men and women have been bamboozled and hoodwinked into buying into silly consciousness of what is sexually alluring. As two other posters have stated, that is an individual call. And, that fact is true within given parameters. However, I am saying that 50 years of the lives of men and women have essentially been wasted when they choose to role play who they are for sexual reasons. Women could not be who they innately were since they were spending so much time in their lives just in trying to look “hot.” Men were not able to discover intimacy in sexual relationships with real women because they had been programmed to get their sexual juices up only when they saw the sexual stereotypes of beauty, such as Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor, as a sexual partner. If their real wives were not that sexually beautiful by social norms, often they turned to adultery or pornography. So, pity for the men, too. Both lost so many years chasing stereotypes of sexual images programmed by society for them, and not by being true to who they innately were meant to be and finding a partner who was, likewise, true to who he/she innately was. At least, that is how I saw it and continue to see it. What do you think? The connection to playing out and believing racial stereotypes was just as damaging to human beings. I can elaborate, if anyone desires me to do so.

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I am saying that both men and women should become conscious enough to reject racial and sexual stereotyping for themselves. I am saying to be true to yourselves, men and women, and be your best self, as you perceive that to be. Then, some other conscious person will come along and be attracted to the real you, and desire you sexually, as well as like you as a friend and companion for life. These will be individual calls because people are individuals. This applies to heterosexuals and homosexuals, alike, as I see it. Be yourself, and your relationships will be real, happy, and meaningful.

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Bonus: Thoughts on how women are unfairly stereotyped today, esp. Hillary Clinton, by best selling author and “The New Yorker” contributor, Malcolm Gladwell:

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/world/malcolm-gladwell-us-election-the-national-trump-clinton-1.3838449

TO BE EDITED:
MES:
Those who thought that thinker, writer Malcolm Gladwell was saying that people rejected Hillary Clinton just because she was a woman were mistaken. What Gladwell was actually saying was that most people today have been programmed to accept only certain traits in women and that women leaders often do not display those traits, such as assertiveness, ego, ambition, and physical appearances that are not aligned with traditional female beauty. Most people, writes Gladwell, do not yet accept individual women as leaders who do not fit these female stereotypes. This is a discussion of great relevance for today of who/what our future leaders will be. Long accepted (and now transcended) norms of all kinds are now being questioned, for the better, imo, with a higher spiritual understanding of who individuals are.

Another poster:
Hillary Clinton lost for a number of reasons, but high up there was the fact that she was closely associated with a foreign policy establishment consensus consisting of policies that are increasingly discredited in the eyes of large parts of the electorate (perpetual war, aggressive interventions in foreign conflicts, etc.) and an economic platform based on a similar establishment consensus (trade deals, etc.).

That and the fact that she ran an absolutely terrible campaign with serious tactical miscalculations rooted in complacency and arrogance, such as opting not to campaign hard in states like Wisconsin.

MES:

Would you please just give Malcolm Gladwell 12 minutes of your time, today, by viewing the excellent interview he gives in the link I provided above? Scroll down to the bottom to view that interview. If you would do that, I think you would see this situation as involving more women who want to be themselves (just as gays want to be themselves openly in society) than simply Clinton, who was a forerunner in this movement. Who women are able to become will determine the caliber of leaders we have as women in America’s evolving future. Why cut off half of the brain or the limbs of authentic women leaders?

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