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When Buddhists support Donald Trump

Discussion in 'Political Debates' started by Morning Star Dhamma, Nov 3, 2018.

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  1. Morning Star Dhamma

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  2. Morning Star Dhamma

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    Came across the following silly article about how Trump might actually be a Buddhist. Opinion | Donald Trump, Accidental Buddhist
    Completely tongue-in-cheek. Plus I don’t think it quite gets the anatta concept right. How Buddhists can openly support Donald Trump, and show open contempt for Trump’s opponents, is perplexing. For example, here a link to Buddhists actually defending Trump’s use of the word “animals” to describe immigrants: Yesterday Trump Called Latinos "Animals" - Dhamma Wheel
    The reality is uglier than these Buddhists Trump apologists let on. As discussed in the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...arisons/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.364201c392b3

    I am not familiar with the Buddhist teachings that it is OK to dehumanize other people and incite violence. But it also appears this particular Buddhist forum has created a different forum to encourage non-Trump supporter to just go away to. Ever so friendly.
     
  3. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I'll bet your just dying to wonder why any Buddhists or as some prefer as within the article's paragraphs, any "Buddhist", would ever go that route. I mean, they don't talk like Buddhists, they don't act like Buddhists....... Hot balls of iron Batman!! ;0]

    As a hint, it's noteworthy that compassion isn't always going to be something gussied up and pretty. Trump is as much an aspect of Dharma as Hillary Clinton is.

    Given in consideration of the fact that she was Trump's opponent during the election that was backed up with notable zeal by Democrats among the left along with all the wonderful policies that come with those packages. I can see how swallowing the whole fish can be a daunting endeavor, but damn does it ever creep up on you from time to time.

    When considering these kinds of existential questions, It causes some pontificating as to how these things become exclusionary among Buddhists and "Buddhists" aside from any preconceptions that could come up with it all. As with all the others too incidentally. Opps....... There I go again.
     
  4. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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  5. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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  6. Morning Star Dhamma

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    Good point. Why should we expect Buddhists to be any different from any other type of human being? There's an old Sunday School song with the refrain, "they will know we are Christians by our love," but these days it's hard to recognize the love in the general Evangelical Christian endorsement of Trump's cultural war. Nothing exclusionary about any of what we see in politics today, I suppose, with regard to the faithlessness of people of any and all faiths vis-a-vis our core civic ideals.
     
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  7. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Exactly. Matter of fact, the single nastiest person I've ever seen on message boards that I've been on over the years was actually a Buddhist monk out in California, and one other person on those same boards p.m.ed me and told me just how shocked he was to see this guy rant and rave whereas he never saw that side of him in person.
     
  8. Morning Star Dhamma

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    Could you post a link to the interactions? Thanks.
     
  9. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Since it's more than 20 years ago, I can't.

    It was on the AOL message boards, btw.
     
  10. Morning Star Dhamma

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  11. Morning Star Dhamma

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  12. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Approaching things in the raw is imo the hardest part of Dharma.

    You don't want to approach it, you don't want to look at it, and you don't want to talk about it but it's always going to be in your face, like that 'red hot ball of iron' that we could never quench or dislodge from our throats.

    It seems a lot of the issues with participants and members of Dhammawheel are similar with that when I was with the now-defunct Buddha Chat of which I had frequented and participated quite a bit.

    I remember days when I was hesitant and even intimidated to log on and involve myself with the 'debates and conversations' there that left me with the feeling of loathing, shaking, and reluctance as it was a consistent struggle between precepts and expectations involving the issues of who and what a Buddhist is supposed to be and how a Buddhist should act in terms of right action and speech in face of realities.

    I definitely supported Donald Trump. In fact, I voted for him and don't regret it. I also practice Bompu Zen.

    I suppose it takes years of experience and a degree of 'seasoning' to work out the meaning of the sage advice of 'running towards whatever scares you the most'.

    That area of conflict between expectations and the realities involving Dharma and Tathagata in this lifetime resulted in a lot of refinement and tempering as to what's more important in terms of identity or living it's teachings at the the cost of identity.
     
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  13. Morning Star Dhamma

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    Deep respect for your thoughtful comments. I would hope that political disagreement is no barrier to sharing Dharma discussions. However, I think racist, anti-Muslim and similar comments, and name-calling, unfortunately will be a barrier in most contexts. You suggest it is no different on Buddhist discussion chat sites. On this point, I agree.
     
  14. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I certainly have political opinions just like anybody else who shares that passion. For me, it's a type of Dharma combat of which I exercise those opinions and points of view in forums of debate and discussion even to the point of getting the equivalence of the keisaku stick squarely on the back from time to time.

    However at the conclusion of such exchanges , I attempt to maintain mindfulness that each and every discussion, points of contention, and points of view, controversial and non-controversial are inherently empty.

    Even those barriers that are created through hateful and hurtful means have no actual substance, of which remain empty as with all phenomena for which those who have the realization, will be able to navigate effortlessly.

    It will be obviously more difficult with those still struggling and contending with stronger egos that will continue to have issues and problems whenever encountering the harsh realities brought about by hateful and hurtful means while navigating through such things.

    I suppose from an outsider view, those lacking particular realizations, or those newer to Buddhism, it would understandably be quite a shock to the system to see such 'taboo' subjects liberally manifest among practicing Buddhists!
     
    #15 Nowhere Man, Mar 23, 2019
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  15. Morning Star Dhamma

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    Yes, I think that even from an insider view, it can be a shock to the system to see practicing Buddhists engage in racist or anti-Muslim comments, and the like. The "emptiness" nature of phenomena does not provide license to engage at the mundane level in a manner that sows discord and aims to offend. The mundane teachings also have their place in the practice.

    Out of curiosity, when you say you do not regret voting for Trump, is it because of his policy positions, or some other reason? I think some continue to support Trump out of political expediency, but others support Trump because he has become a symbol of the normalization of formerly "taboo" points of view. For example: https://www.vox.com/identities/2019...aland-shooter-white-nationalism-united-states
     
    #16 Morning Star Dhamma, Mar 23, 2019
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  16. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I think by excising of what is considered as negative and undesirable, has an effect on Buddhist practice to which through avoidence of such unpleasantries leads to a cloistered cafe' mentality , whereas religion gets put into a box of conformity and expectation. As a result people seem to jump into it and get stuck within the enclosure. I've experienced this enough with Christianity and have seen this manifest plenty of times in Buddhism, to which I quip this as Cafe' and coffeehouse Buddhism. It's very pleasant of course, but I find it's not the whole fish in the deep pond. It's why I chose the wild fox aspect of Buddhism. unfettered and reckless. (Or is it?) Don't look like a Buddhist, don't talk like a Buddhist, don't act like a Buddhist....... It might be a reckless way to go about practicing Dharma because it doesn't conform with what people expect whenever they envision a Buddhist. Buddhists must act a certain way, Buddhists must talk a certain way...

    Killing the Buddha has proved to be quite a realization. To what means I can't say, but as far as I can tell it always leads me back to emptiness.

    As the political thang goes......

    Trump wasn't my first choice. I was actually hoping for Ben Carson at the time.

    I still voted for Trump because as anybody can attest in New York that Trump is a bulldog that when he sets his mind to something, he will do everything in his power to get it done.

    Trump also for me was that perfect 'stick of dynamite' that politics sorely needed and promptly shoved up their 'you know what's' good and hard and proper.

    The stagnation and business-as-usual mentality that was prevalent throughout the political scene by entrenched political elites showed no signs of letting up anytime soon, and frankly is slowly destroying the country imo. I haven't been disappointed at the results so far since Trump took the presidency in spite of his personality and honestly Trump seems far more sincere than past nominees who seem more interested in advancing their own careers and personal affairs than that of the country. Trump weither one loves or hates him actually accomplished numerous aspects of his platform and promises to which we are seeing positive results with a number of them so far.

    He's done notably better than I thought which is why I don't regret my vote. Originally I just wanted that 'stick of dynamite' to blow up the status quo and business as usual mentality of which I got my vote's worth and then some as a Republican.
     
    #17 Nowhere Man, Mar 24, 2019
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  17. Morning Star Dhamma

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    You certainly did. I guess I find it surprising that Christians, Buddhists and others who profess to adhere to certain mores of truthfulness etc. continue to support Trump, particularly given his ongoing lies, insults, racist comments, and divisive politics which, I believe, harm the United States. But I am increasingly coming to agree with you that these labels of "Christian" or "Buddhist" that people apply to themselves don't make them different from any other human being with regard to their propensity for greed, hatred and delusion.
     
  18. Srivijaya

    Srivijaya Active Member

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    I used to occasionally post on Dhamma Wheel myself. I noticed a phenomena on the web and social media in general, which seemed to come to a head in 2016. There was (and still is) an explosion of Alt-Right views and DW had its fair share of sympathizers. I remember calling some troll out on an incoherent and sexist Red Pill theory that 'women had lizard brains and didn't pay tax' (don't ask). That a troll would post such stuff hardly surprised me - that quite a few members actually supported his views did. Many also don't differentiate free speech, hate speech, lies and propaganda, so you can't debate it with them. I don't think you can take the views of a handful of Alt-Buddhists as being representative.
     
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  19. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    One thing is for sure: you can't treat "Buddhists" as a voting bloc. Being an individual and having your own mind, and not having your mind overcome by a collective Mara is one of the great features of Buddhism.
     
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