Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent


The State of the Union as Rorschach Test

posted by Admin

It was surprising how President Obama’s State of the Union speech went down. Immediately afterwards, television pundits offered clashing descriptions: prosaic, bread and butter, Clinton-like, an extension of the liberal agenda outlined in the Inaugural Address, uplifting, aggressive, and so on.  More than many Presidents, Obama has become a lighthouse and a lightning rod at the same time. He is the object of projection from all sides.

 

What I heard was something really unusual: inspiring sobriety.  The speech laid out an agenda that was far from leftist.  It was a considered assessment of social needs, postponed priorities, and a difficult future.  In this regard Obama departed from FDR, who was struggling to restructure a collapsed landscape, from JFK, who was launching a new era of power, and from Bill Clinton, whose laundry lists of programs came at a time of rising prosperity.

 

Obama spoke to an anxious nation by sounding upbeat and optimistic. He has little chance of getting much legislation passed.  In the face of bitter partisanship even over pro forma matters like getting his cabinet appointed, he decided not to cloak himself as the happy warrior.  He was more like the ideal citizen, a responsible patriot who wants the best for everyone.

 

It’s amazing that the speech didn’t exude discouragement.  In a different vein, it could have come from Cassandra, the princess of Troy who was doomed to know the future but never to be believed.  Every point that the President made, if enacted, would benefit all of us. He is intelligent, adult, informed, far-seeing, and willing to embrace both sides of the aisle.  He knows better than anyone else how irrational, ill-tempered, and reactionary the opposition is. But he chose his tone of inspiring sobriety for a good reason. America won’t move forward until everyone comes to their senses.

 

The Republican response, delivered by Sen. Marco Rubio, was a classic case of burying your head in the sand. With widespread disgust at Congress, a new generation of voters that wants government to make a difference, a resounding defeat last November, and talk of Republicans rethinking their message– none of that mattered. Rubio smoothly delivered the same message that came from the Republicans a month into Obama’s first administration: We are the party of no.

 

Obama will no doubt surprise us by how much he achieves against this background of opposition, division, and angst. There is talk that the Senate is quietly working out deals on the toughest problems that face us. But the real issue comes down to that now familiar phrase, the tipping point.  The country has probably reached one. The reactionary right is on its way out. But they hold enough power and have indoctrinated enough people that getting off in a new direction will be painfully slow. Obama will have to use all his gifts to push the pedal and convince Americans that there is dawn rising over the next hill.

 

www.deepakchopra.com

Follow Deepak on Twitter



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Do Your Emotions Help You or Hold You Back?
Recently, a close friend of mine made the remark that our emotions for the most part are basic, primal, immature, and unevolved. Ever since then, I have been ruminating on the validity of this statement. If our emotions are basically primitive, then how they be our allies, especially on the path to

posted 10:52:25am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Powers of Mind: In Praise of Subtle Actions
At a time when the mass of headlines seem to be about the brain, artificial intelligence, robotics, and smarter computers, not enough is said about the mind. When reduced to a mechanism, the mind somehow is thought to turn into the brain, with no difference between them. It's true that the brain see

posted 10:51:38am Jan. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Can Science and Religion Save Each Other? (Part 2)
Science is used to being dominant, and religion is used to being defensive--these are familiar poses for two worldviews, the one being on the rise, the other on the decline. Generally when an entire belief system is on the decline, it steadily disappears. There's no need to believe that the king's t

posted 10:29:24am Jan. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Can Science and Religion Save Each Other?
A flurry of controversy surrounded the astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson two weeks ago when he took a jab at religion in the name of science. It began Christmas day with a mischievous tweet: “On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton

posted 3:36:40pm Jan. 05, 2015 | read full post »

How to Save the World--A Simple Answer
Around a decade ago, when I first started posting at Huffington Post, one entry considered the world's four greatest problems. They were over-population, climate change, pandemic disease, and refugeeism. Despite the suffering and fear it creates, terrorism affects far fewer people than these four is

posted 10:11:57am Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.