Friday, December 2, 2016

Trump and Just a Little About "The Quickening"

When Everything Old Becomes New Again
Will the status of this Old Testament term regain relevance?
Will the Trump Presidency be a repeat of the Babylonian Captivity?
We're not talkin' Lamentations here, we're talkin' quickening.

The Babylonian Captivity [image - Chabad]
In roughly 600 BC Jerusalem fell and its residents were marched off to Babylon. Just about every possible model which might explain how this happened has been presented since then.

Of interest here, however, is a certain term and concept which began to appear frequently in the Biblical record in this period -- that is, in the years prior to, during and following the Babylonian period. That term is the "quickening."

Happily, the term used in the Bible also has a convenient, secular definition which can help develop the point of this post.

quicken [GOOGLE]

1. make or become faster or quicker.
"she quickened her pace, desperate to escape"

synonyms: speed up, accelerate, step up, hasten, hurry (up)
"she quickened her pace"

2. spring to life; become animated.

"her interest quickened"

We see the repeated usage of the term in a number of the Biblical Psalms. A few examples [and estimates for their rough dates of origin] are the following:

Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
1023 BC Psalm 71:20

So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.
539 BC - Babylonian Captivity Psalm 80:18

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
44 BC Psalm 119:37

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
44 BC Psalm 119:50

Although these examples refer to a process of "increasing belief and determination," the term can also indicate an increase in the rate of "happenings," often as a prelude to the realization of a Biblical Prophecy. 

In the usually rather stolid and unchanging world of these "BC authors" rapid change was the exception, not the rule. When the rate of these ancient changes began to accelerate, such a worrisome departure from the norm was often interpreted as a warning if not as "solid evidence" of an approaching deific "punishment" or "tribulation."

In such cases the "events of the world" were seen to be "quickening," that is, "springing to life, becoming animated." [2nd definition, above]

The World Goes "Old Testament Biblical" On Us.
Looking around through a "new lens"
Calling Trump the anti-Christ is probably making things too simple,
and, possibly, being too optimistic.

There is nothing supernatural about Donald J. Trump.

It might be somewhat easier to come to grips with our unusual situation if this were, actually, the case. At least it would seem more like a movie.

However, this post is about quickening. That ancient term begins to become much more relevant when we consider some of the events and developments which have been to "jump" into our reality since sometime in the Trump political campaign. Things have really changed. Many "unfortunate" aspects of both our domestic society but also those aspects of much of the rest of the planet seem to have really taken "a turn for the worse." 

Most of these "bad arisings" have, in fact, been attempting to "arise" for some time. A general inclination by foreign states -- including actively hostile ones -- to maintain a peaceful "atmosphere" around the plant, the general decency of citizens in the US society and the gradually improving living conditions for various populations all around the planet seem to have been keeping such impulses "bottled up" for a while, but for Donald Trump liberating such toxin from its "captivity" and igniting it as violently as possible is, apparently, considered an opportunity for implementing a "winning business plan."

More Than A Few "Dark Angels"
They're now pouring out of the pits in legions.

As for the "Terror of the Moment," that "business plan" is suddenly and unexpectedly revealed to be quite successful. Trump -- along with whomever might have been "designing" his political effort -- correctly measured the amount of raw, racial hatred there was to be found among the voters. Further, it was exclusively raw racial hatred as a "single source supplier" to The Donald.

Almost as effective and useful as the bigotry, there was, in fact, yet another very useful "thorn in the side" of his political base. Although prognosticating the mischief emerging from the racial enmity might have been simple enough, a similar prognostication as to this "other motivator" isn't as reducible to a few catchy phrases.

All manner of rationalizations have been offered to explain why so many Republicans hate and fear black people. Some of these, breathlessly over simplified in a stridently amateurish tone, might actually be explanations of a sort -- especially when other factors such as the Civil War, forced busing, the history of implementing such things as the Voting Rights Act and the constant racist bickering of plenty truly icky priests and preachers are added to the mix.

However, the election has revealed something else, too, a long festering, rancid cloud of inferiority fears which turns out to be just as raw and savage as the racial hatred. As Trump's Americans became less and less educated and less and less economically secure, the worsening conditions of life almost inevitably drilled these crippling inferiority complexes to ever more deeply into the primal levels in this demographic's mentality.

For years -- and certainly through the course of numerous Presidential elections -- those voters who were destined to become Trump's supporters had been politically ostracized from the process. The far more literate, prosperous and glittering urbanites of the coasts had comprised the Blue Wall while the dusty, forgotten grumblers in the "fly over states" repeatedly failed to garner sufficient "campaign temerity" to tip the electoral college.

It hurt. Election after election, both with respect to campaigns and outcomes, fundamentally defined by what the Trump supporters consider political correctness had left them in an isolated predicament -- discouraged, ignored and abandoned -- squarely below what amounted to a Damocles' sword of educated modernity. Not being particularly savvy with respect to economy and government, the causes and conditions causing their misery remained a mystery until Trump appeared to tell them whom to blame.

Today, although fewer than a quarter of Americans voted for Trump, his election victory has "lifted the lid" which has been containing these unsettled psychologies. The nature of the ongoing injuries is hardly a mystery to those Trump voters currently inhabiting these forlorn wastelands created by decades of savage Republican wealth redistribution, but accurately placing the blame on the misery's actual instigators turns out to be far too complicated for the hill billies and bigots who elected him.

This dangerously over simplified analysis on the part of the Trump voters, at this point, presented an unsuspected political attraction. Once the President-elect staggered from the dust of a historically useless election campaign [both sides, unhappily] the victory was perceived as full license for "anything goes."

Predictably, since then "anything has gone."

Trump Inspired Bigotry 
Gushes From Parents to Their Children
So much for suspecting that it was genetic.

Things seem to be quickening. MeanMesa suspects that one feature of this phenomenon of quickening is that, once it has started, it gets significantly worse before it begins to subside.

[Note from MeanMesa: The following article is heavily excerpted here with the intention of making a point. The entire content is riveting. All visitors are strongly recommended to visit the original Southern Poverty Law Center article to read for themselves. SPLC site]

The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 National Election On Our Nation's Schools

The Ugliness Is New

In the course of just over a week, over 10,000 people responded to the survey. Collectively, they submitted over 25,000 comments. Nearly all respondents identified themselves by name, email address, grade level and state. More than 1,500 signified a willingness to go on record by giving permission for Teaching Tolerance to share their contact information with the media.

Many teachers made a point of saying that what is happening now is something new. It’s not, they explained, a different response to an election result, but an unleashing of a spirit of hatred they had not seen before.

Here are some of their comments.

“I have seen open racism, spoken, for the first time in 23 years of teaching.” 

“I have never directly encountered race-related harassment in our school until after the election this year.”

“There have been more fights in the first 10 weeks of this year than in the first 10 years of my career (this is my 11th year teaching).”


“Words that I have not heard in the past — racist, bigot, pussy, slut —are now used by my fourth-graders.”

“This is my 21st year of teaching. This is the first time I’ve had a student call another student the ‘n’ word. This incident occurred the day after a conference with the offender’s mother. During the conference, the mother made her support of Trump known and expressed her hope that ‘the blacks’ would soon ‘know their place again.’”

“I teach in a primarily white, upper middle-class school that largely supports Trump. Unfortunately, there have been divisions between students since Trump’s win. My African-American students are refusing to work with the white students who supported Trump. Students are no longer looking at each other as people, but are looking at them as who their parents supported. It is no longer about issues, but about hate and fear and disagreement and all the things we work our tails off to teach our students to be careful and wary of. My heart is breaking.

And it was especially broken when the 12-year-old white male student saw an x on another white male student's paper and said to him, ‘Here, let me help you,’ and proceeded to draw a swastika on his paper.

And our admin is telling us NOT to talk about it.”

“There is a lack of trust in the school right now. Many students are unclear
as to how to talk to each other.” — HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER, WASHINGTON

“The day after the election a line of students (mainly Hispanic) was formed at lunch. A student (African American) told one of them to ‘Go back to Mexico.’ A fight almost resulted from his comment.”

The results of this survey are not scientific. The respondents were not selected in a manner to ensure a representative sample; those who responded may have been more likely to perceive problems than those who did not. But it is the largest collection of educator responses that has been collected; the tremendous number of responses as well as the overwhelming confirmation of what has been anecdotally reported in the media cannot be ignored or dismissed.

Frequency of word usage in SPLC
 survey of 10,000 educators.
"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

 Barack Obama

It's clearly quickening.

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