Jul 1, 2023Liked by Steve Schmidt

A very insightful interview, thank you for facilitating & sharing. It seems like the unbridled human instincts of greed & fear have become the impetus of modern living!

When life dreams of "the greedy" appear to be threatened, paranoia sets in and unleashes unsubstansiated FEARS directly related to personal losses! Such enormous tension, anxiety & stress has begun to manifest in unfavorable patterns of thoughts, words & behaviors of resistance toward any person, place or thing outside of one's familiar circle of associates.

The level of DISTRUST between those we see everyday, seems beyond repair! Humanity seem to have forgotten that we were all ONE, before race, money, politics & religion separated us!

The only HOPE we have of overcoming such political & religious polarization will be in our willingness to embrace Spirit & Truth!

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Jun 30, 2023·edited Jun 30, 2023

Steve, thank you for this. I've been saying for 5 decades that if Democrats (and independents like Bernie Sanders) would speak more about "engaged spirituality" or "sacred activism" for the sake of justice for all, and promoting all the godly virtues and values (like Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Thich Nhat Hanh, MLK Jr, Bobby Kennedy and Cesar Chavez), they would win probably 75%-80% of elections.

That's why i talk so much about spirituality in these comment threads for your brilliant Substack "The Warning" columns....

There's only one party of the two major parties that in its policy-making truly stands for "the sanctity of (sentient) life." And that's the traditional progressive Democrats (not the corporatist sell-outs like those DLC "new Democrats" led by MacAuliffe, B. Clinton, Joe Lieberman, et al. from the late 1990s onward who kept stealing primaries with corporate mega-donor money).

By contrast, it really does seem that the GOP's fascist authoritarianism seems hell-bent on stomping upon everything truly sacred -- and on destroying life as we know it due to their deregulation policies and other policies preventing any mitigation of climate catastrophe and ravaging nearly all ecosystems.

Not to mention the GOP's unshakeable, draconian opposition to raising the minimum wage, universal healthcare, universal childcare, food stamps (renamed SNAP), etc. etc. that would benefit the vast majority of Americans, not just their corporate overlords.

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What a wonderful, fascinating and timely interview! Thank you for this. I have often wondered however why it is that our truly deeply ethical and honest and dynamic leaders have been cut down by bullets. It makes me think that men and women are fearful of following in that tradition because idealism combined with political action for deep change often bears so high a price. I remember after the ‘60s becoming depressed and despairing that anything good could stay alive in the corridors of world power and withdrew into trying to apply those ideals into my immediate world ~ family, friends, music, RN work. Hearing you and Dr Marcus along with the writings of Senator Murphy gives me hope that there can be a renewal out there. BTW, in my cynicism and despair Bernie Sanders stood out and he had my then Independent vote. I am with the Democrats now as the only party still standing for democracy. May it produce the kind of leaders this video discussed. Brilliant.

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I was 16 and a junior in high school when we learned over the P.A. System that President Kennedy was shot. The most stunning event of my short but optimistic life. Followed by MLK and RFK was beyond belief and soul crushing. These were leaders so many of us admired especially because they were genuine as you said. By the time Reagan came along we were beyond crushed but many of us still clung to those beliefs and I’m so glad I did.

I wasn’t actually a hippie (I couldn’t afford to be.) but that is where my head and heart remain. Since reading this I looked up the Dion DiMucci song (Dion and the Belmonts)”Abraham, Martin, and John” and though I am not a crier this almost moved me to tears.

There really are major differences now that we never could have imagined. Many, many platforms under the heading of social media but are they? Everyone talks and so few listen. Information comes at us constantly and logos are on everything. Sell, buy! Capitalism owns us and our elected leaders. Bezos isn’t a self made man. He has a direct line to pols who are happy to facilitate his financial empire. Unbelievable amounts of money are hoarded by a few unconcerned that so many suffer.

I came to substack because other outlets are jammed. Sell, sell, sell. Buy, buy, buy. Now my substack is overrun by writers I didn’t invite. You can run but you can’t hide. As I listened to this interview at least a dozen text intrusions interrupted. It’s mind numbing and becoming more than I can take.

This is how it crumbles. We grew up with a belief that someone will fix it. I hope we don’t wait too long.

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Jul 1, 2023·edited Jul 1, 2023

Losing human connection during Trump’s era and weakening of it among Democrats is a huge issue since America is a country of all kinds of people. Bringing them together needs much more than passing rhetorics. It is definitely time to reflect on our spirituality and moral values. It is where the spectrum of greatly diverse people come to share a common ground, of humanity, decency, and hope for the future.

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All men ug. If you gentlemen truly believe in those first two paragraphs then make this marginalized and half the worlds population woman happy and take Marianne Williamson candidacy for President seriously. I love Joe Biden he is doing exceptionally well but Marianne has been talking about the spiritual renaissance that needs to happen in this country forever and you media mogul men would do your readers a service by taking her positions seriously in this body politic. I’d really like a reply. Thanks.

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Lisa. This thinking terrifies me because no matter how wonderful Marianne is, she cannot win in America today. So that leaves us with a Republican, Trump or DeSantis or worse, some fruitcake like Tommy Tuberville. A third party candidate thought he could win or at least make a statement in 2000 and we got Bush, very nearly an idiot, who managed to kill about a million people and brought the American economy to the brink. That is child’s play compared to the Republican we would get this time. The system for identifying and grooming U.S. presidential timbre is pitiful. We are stuck with a bad system, the Electoral College, all the breaks the Right gets in the Senate. If Biden is the choice, everybody needs to get behind them and push to undo all this recent harm until the Republicans eventually get the message that would-be dictators cannot win. If you roll the dice on an unknown woman the dice are going to roll right off the table, no matter how super she is.

Biden is a very decent guy who supports women big time, half his cabinet, his SCOTUS choice. And he is doing an outstanding job and cares about everybody. He needs majorities to make things better.

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Thank you Bob for your thoughtful reply and I agree with all you say. My ideal would be for Biden and the media here to include Mariannes very excellent positions she promotes into consideration as we try to move this country forward and away from a Maga nation that unfortunately is way to prominent for comfort. The system we have to work with is severely flawed which is why what you say here is what must be done. I just wish it could all be a more cooperative and United discourse taking in all the good out there and giving credit where it is due instead of this antagonistic and competitive show it always was and continues to be.

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Well said, Bob ~ entirely agree. While it would be great to see a qualified woman in the race the most important thing is beating MAGA. That comes first.

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Jun 30, 2023·edited Jun 30, 2023

Lisa, i agree-- when i first read Marianne's *The Healing of America* book back in 1997 aboard a flight, i wanted to stand up and start quoting it to all the passengers. (Of course my wife would never let me do it!)

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A woman commenter ug. Your blind misandry is quite beyond the pale.

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Ollie, i didn't hear "blind misandry" in what Lisa suggested-- she simply tried to remind that there are certain eloquent women who've been talking about these things for decades (and that's why i included Dorothy Day in my list of "engaged spirituality" heroes / heroines).

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Thank you Tim appreciate you.

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Jul 2, 2023·edited Jul 2, 2023

The hallmark of great leadership is the recognition, knowing and understanding that humanity exists as collective works of thought advanced through inspiration and ideas tempered by trial and error; success and failure.

Throughout human history, the harbingers of hope and enlightenment have been assassinated, literally and figuratively.

Perhaps, Bobby Kennedy's reflection on the assassination of his brother, our President, centered and focused his feelings of hopelessness into action.

I imagine in his grief and despair he felt America's pain and understood hope is intentional when "your suffering is my suffering".

Maybe he found the courage to stand unapologetically, boldly, truthfully and honestly with suffering. He did not look away nor did he judge. He simply offered kindness, compassion, empathy, hope, change and possibility.

Our American Presidents who understood hope rises from the ashes of collective despair include Obama, Carter, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman, Roosevelt, Lincoln and Washington.

As thought creators, our hope is caught in a universal and existential rift between power/greed and enlightenment. We crave truth, honesty, acceptance and tolerance as we poke, prode and explore our individuality among a collective.

Perhaps it is the simple act of self reflection to discover "Who am I" that terrorizes the current global anti-democracy movement. I wonder whether they realize their goal will extinguish the enlightened creative life force within each of us once and for all.

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Amen! Thank you.

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Great conversation. A couple of comments:

1) MacKenzie Scott, formerly Bezos, was involved in the development of Amazon and is giving away her wealth, not building $500M yachts

2) Jimmy Carter's book Sources of Strength would be a terrific read for you, reflections in 3-4 page increments of personal growth

3) I was 9 when JFK was assassinated, and 14 when MLK and RFK were killed. Horrific; I think you are right that we need to recapture the hope and goodness they represented

4) I've been talking to people about not looking at things in a binary way, that current social ills come from a braiding of many policies or lack thereof. The lack of sociological awareness with urban planning means that no one looked at rural kids going to college meant they would move to a city; baby boomers and their kids had lots of kids, and there is not enough housing; we exploited cheap labor to build MacMansions that house 2-4 people; Sam Walton in the '80s pushed his vendors for cheaper prices, so manufacturing began to go out of the US, and with it jobs that supported families. Layer that with the ubiquity of advertising convincing us that we have to buy more stuff. And then the destruction caused by Rupert Murdoch through Fox and the Wall Street Journal...he's a despicable man. But still I have hope. Thank goodness for Chris Murphy, Joe Biden. Gretchen Whitmer, Larry Hogan, Gavin Newsom, Karen Bass, John Kasich etc. We need to shake this thing loose. Thank you for your contribution to bringing the conversation to the forefront.

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