ZHUANGZI ON THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS VII

Blog:  Bernie Sander’s campaign slogan is “A Future to Believe In”. That puts us off a bit. Wasn’t Obama’s slogan “Change We Can Believe In”? We believed and we have become very disappointed and disgruntled as a result. We don’t want to go down that road again. Do you believe in Bernie’s “future”?

Zhuangzi:  I sure do. I believe in everybody’s future—even Ted Cruz’s. There’s sure to be a future, even when there’s no future left in it. I mean this idea of a future is a human thing, isn’t it? So, yes there will always be a future until there are no humans left to believe in it, and I do. That’s the view from Dao—as you put it (and I like that, by the way). But Bernie’s “future” is also about a specific possible future and I believe that that future is more or less possible. So, since it is one that truly cares about people, why not support it? I find Ted Cruz’s possible future to be people-negating, so I oppose it. But I can live as happily in that future as in any other. If I couldn’t, then I couldn’t live happily in any present, including this one.

B:  But how possible is it? I mean, even if he wins how likely is he to actually accomplish any of his vision given the perpetual obstructionism of the Republicans?

Z:  Very unlikely indeed! But we’re not dependent on success, are we? We allow our humanity to follow its inherent humaneness. That doesn’t depend on success or fear failure. Our hope for a more humane future doesn’t depend on realized outcomes, so it’s really a kind of non-hope that won’t lead us into despair and disgruntlement.


B:  Just to complicate things further, some people think that if Bernie wins and accomplishes little the “experiment” will have been attempted and will be subsequently abandoned.

Z:  Yes, maybe that’s possible. It’s all very messy and complicated indeed. But I want to be careful not to over-think things—that just leads to a calculating mind—and before you know it we’re voting for Trump or Cruz because we think things need to get worse before they can get better. No, I’m going to follow my humanity and let things transpire as they will.

B:  So are we.

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