Every time we talk about a person we form opinions about them, rather than developing solutions to common problems. That’s why I didn’t plan on writing about Donald Trump at least until long after the GOP anointed him a savior on par with the author, Ronald Reagan, of his campaign slogan. People come and go, but our common problems remain.
I planned on writing about cool local things, like how Wilmington arts and academic communities are flourishing against great odds; how cutting edge locally headquartered global ventures like the Full Belly Project have been solving problems and relieving suffering throughout the world for over 14 years; or how cool it was to have nationally known meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg teach folks how to stop and take a breath just in time for campaign season.
But Super Tuesday’s results, the GOP establishment’s buyer’s remorse, and Mr. Trump quoting Il Duce conspired against me. At least “The Don” chose one of Mussolini’s better quotes, “Better one day as a liar, than a 100 years as … hey, get that guy outta here! I’d like to punch him in the face take out his family. You gotta take out these terrorists families—capisce?”
Lack of discipline is another reason I write about Mr. Trump. Rubbernecking is a huge aspect of The Don’s meteoric rise from two-bit hawker-in-chief to GOP nominee. Not talking about him is like trying to not stare at fender benders on College Road.
In a desperate attempt to stop Trump or polish his brand, it’s possible the RNC may resort to hiring a meditation teacher. I’d rather write about meditation anyway. Meditation attempts to reduce human suffering rather than stimulate and profit from it. Let’s say they hired Sharon Salzberg to teach The Don to meditate.
Scratch that. (What could a woman with blood coming out of her eyes teach The Don, anyway?) What if the GOP hired renowned meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of “Full Catastrophe Living.” How might that first session go?
Jon Kabat-Zinn (JKZ): Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
The Don (TD): What kind of loser crap is this? Everybody knows I’m breathing out. The Chinese know it. The Mexicans know it. The Pope knows it. Have you checked the polls? I beat everybody, hands down, breathing out.
JKZ: Breathing in …
TD: That’s dumb. I’m not an in-breathing kind of guy. Bill Clinton says he smoked weed but didn’t inhale. Bill Clinton was a liar. Down to the bone, Slick Willy was a great liar. Even if he didn’t inhale pot, I go one better than him: I never inhale. Period.
JKZ: Mr. Trump?
The Don: You deaf? Poorly educated? Poorly educated people love me! Inhale? Me? NE-VAH do I inhale. Exclusively exhalations.
JKZ: Mr. Trump?
TD: Only losers inhale. Who invented this mindfulness crap—the Chinese?
JKZ: People have been breathing to relax long before there was a China, but formal practices like these may have started in Asia.
TD: A communist thing—could be a Buddhist thing. Pray it’s not a radical Islamic terrorist thing. I can say it: ‘Radical Islamic terrorist.’ Can you?
JKZ: Breathing is faith-neutral.
TD: My breathing and my coffee are Christian. Boycott Starbucks! I will protect the rights of Christians to my last breath. My. Last. Breath. After that, we’ll build a wall and kick Buddhist butt again! We’ll win at breathing again!
JKZ: Breathing isn’t a competition.
TD: What good is it? Back off. You’re breathing my air.
JKZ: You can’t own air.
TD: If you can’t own or buy it, it’s communist and socialist. Everybody can be bought. Except me. I’m funding my own campaign 100 percent. I could shoot people on 5th Avenue and not lose votes. Strength. As commander in chief, I’ll never let my troops meditate. It’s weak. Like our current lead from behind guy. Un-American.
JKZ: The military has been teaching Mfit, a faith-neutral meditation program, to Marines for much of past decade.
The session might go for exhalation after hot-air-filled fact-free exhalation. As easy and fun as it is to parody The Don, after the chuckle, how many problems have we solved? How many Trump-a-holics will change their hearts and take the pledge? Maybe it’s time to take a breath, and refocus our efforts on solving problems and relieving suffering.