By Wesley Ewell
Opinion Columnist
Cape Cod Daily News
26, 2019

Something most unusual happened at the first Democratic presidential debate. It was not only the number of women on stage, and it was not only the broad cultural and ethnic diversity among the candidates, although both of these are unusual by historic standards. What was most unusual this time was to have a candidate speaking spiritual truth to power.

Marianne Williamson, an author and activist, will not be our next president; she may not make it to the second round of debates. But she has broken new ground in political discourse by proposing a government of love instead of leadership by fear. Love and its opposite - fear - are probably the two most fundamental human emotions.

Hatred of others arises from fear, while compassion for others is the ultimate expression of love. Ms. Williamson has basically - in the simplest terms - defined the difference between Trump Republicans and the rest of the country: one group is motivated primarily by fear and hatred, while the rest of us are more likely to be compassionate in our thinking and behavior.

This has nothing to do with religion; there is already too much religion in politics. A large portion of the Trump Republican base profess to be Christians, but their beliefs, words, and actions directly contradict the teachings, words, and actions of Jesus Christ. Throughout history, religion has been the cause of conflict, while truly spiritual people have always sought peace.

What is now emerging is a fundamental truth that is understood by a growing number of people. That fundamental truth is that our planet is undergoing a monumental shift from two millennia of violent conflict, tribal thinking, and cultural differences. We are slowly but inevitably moving into a new paradigm of thinking and acting cooperatively, peacefully, and compassionately.

This shift frightens many, especially those who have benefited from war, corruption, and the suppression and exploitation of others. It also scares people who have become comfortable with the old ways because that is all they know.

The political center is gone. There can be no more fence-sitting. Every individual now must make the choice to either strive toward an enlightened life of unity and compassion or to cling desperately to the old dark energy of fear and violence. The shift will not happen quickly. It may take several generations before the old thinking dies off enough to be replaced by the rule of peace, cooperation, and love envisioned by Ms. Williamson.

In the meantime, it is refreshing to see that we have at least progressed to the point where an intelligent, thoughtful, and articulate woman can stand on the same stage with members of the old guard and confidently state that every being on this planet is in this together, and that we need to stop fighting and begin working cooperatively for the benefit of all.

Wesley Ewell of Bourne and is the author of the book “What’s Happening - Making Sense of 2012 and a World in Chaos.”