You may have heard of Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, in which spiritual seekers are taught the virtues of living in the present moment, rather than stuck in the past or in fear of the future. It’s a good book and a good methodology for spiritual awareness for people who want to live in a happy, stress-free way. And I recently realized that Donald Trump, 45th president of the U.S., appears to have mastered this without effort.
If you asked Donald Trump about his politics a few years ago, he would have said that he is a Democrat, pro-choice, pro-LGBT rights, and in favor of universal healthcare. Bill and Hillary were at his wedding to Melania. Some would say that he became a Republican for purely ambitious reasons, and that may be so. Or he may have simply changed his mind in a single moment, a single NOW that could be undone again at any moment.
Fans of The Donald liked his consistent messaging during the campaign: [white] America first, build a wall, lock her up. But as president, it’s easy to see that as he lives in each moment, his opinions and beliefs are subject to change. A butterfly may flap its wings somewhere in North Korea, and The Donald is off in a new direction. NATO, which was “obsolete” during the campaign, is no longer obsolete. Staying out of Syria now means bombing Syria.
“I do change,” he has said. And he demonstrates this almost daily. His fans find this confusing, wondering what happened to the rhetoric they fell in love with. Stephen Bannon, once beloved, is on the rocks. But then, even during the campaign, managers came and went, waxing and ebbing with the mood of El Trumpito from moment to moment.
Critics say Donald is unstable, changeable, unpredictable. And he is, but only because he is paying heed to the present moment and what it asks of him. Yesterday, Assad could stay. But today, he cannot.
It’s disconcerting for the world to have a U.S. President who does not plan for tomorrow. That’s what his advisers do. They look to the future and try to assemble something resembling coherent policy. But all may be lost in a single moment of whim, a criticism on CNN, a whispered word from a neocon, or a badly played game of golf. Trump, ever on the lookout for what will make him happy in that moment, will forsake all his yesterdays for a validation right now.
Since most of us struggle to reside in the present moment for any length of time, it’s frightening to be led by someone with no thought for tomorrow. So perhaps that is The Donald’s big challenge to us: we, too, can be happier, more relaxed, sleep at night, and avoid continuing nightmares if we can just exist in this very moment and not worry about whether tomorrow will come, or losing our healthcare, or becoming homeless, or killing the planet, or nuclear wars with everyone Donald tweets at. After all, none of it seems to bother him.