On Presidential “Debates,” Strait-Jackets, the End of Patriarchy and Capitalism

On watching the presidential “debate” Tuesday night, I asked myself: “What was that?”  It certainly was not a debate nor was it in any way presidential.  It was indeed an experience of presidential barbarism, of an unhinged person on the loose with all the powers of the presidency at his disposal. 

“Subdude street art, Shoreditch” Detail of photo by duncan c on Flickr

The person with whom I watched the “debate,” who is not an American citizen but a green-card holder from the Philippines, commented: “The next debate Trump should not wear a suit but a strait-jacket.”

Yes, a strait-jacket.  NOT just for Mr. Trump but for all the demons in the room with him who made him the human being he has become (and that hopefully, some day, after his sad empire collapses entirely, may experience a redemptive moment before he dies).  Clearly, the man is under great stress and for good reason.  The release of his taxes, a fate he resisted with all the legal minions and fellow republican party enablers he could muster, has clearly driven him to an edge.  I think he is up at night both twittering and imagining what wearing an orange jump suit will be like. 

Among the demons in the room lighting his fires of rage and sadness of soul were his father—well known to be a member of the KKK, racist to his depths, brilliant at playing the money game and dodging taxes, who, as those who knew him best related, loved no one including his sons.  A sad state of family affairs indeed. 

“Oppression.” Image by Petri Damstén on Flickr

In the room too was Rupert Murdoch, father of Fox “News” and propagandist in chief for denial of climate change and enabler of others who for some strange reason don’t love mother earth as much as they do the power that money can buy.  In the room were the Koch brothers who devoted a life time to destroying the judicial system as we know it.

In the room too were Trump’s republican enablers, especially Mitch McConnell (called “Moscow Mitch” for a reason) who led 99% of his Republican senators to hold a putative impeachment trial without any witnesses. 

But last night we were all witnesses: Witnesses to something very big: Patriarchy was on trial, patriarchy was exposed, its emperor had no clothes.  The essence of patriarchy is Domination, Abuse, Power-over, Bullying, Reptilian brain unleashed—it was all on full display last night—even the moderator was abused along with us citizens who had tuned in anticipating a presidential debate. 

“The Miser,” painting by Jan Steen (1627-1679), on Wikimedia Commons.

I know bullies; I know patriarchy.  I wrestled with Popes Ratzinger and JP II for 12 years; in their quest for domination, they killed theology and theologians (i.e. those who dare to think) in the Roman Catholic Church, silencing and at times expelling 108 of us.

Not just patriarchy was disrobed last night but also capitalism and what it does to the human soul.  By feeding greed and exalting it, capitalism steals the soul, deprives it of its powers of compassion and caring.  That too was on full display, the sad and small and angry soul of a life-long worshipper of money.

See Matthew Fox, The Pope’s War: How Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved.

Banner Image: “Trump.” Photo by IoSonoUnaFotoCamera on Flickr.

Do you sense that both patriarchy and capitalism are on the ropes?  Does that give you hope?  What comes next?

The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved

The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic Christianity.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.”   — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

6 thoughts on “On Presidential “Debates,” Strait-Jackets, the End of Patriarchy and Capitalism”

  1. Avatar

    Absolutely accurate. I only watched for about 10-15 minutes and my heart was racing and I felt very ill. I had a nightmare and was unable to sleep. The next day my body ached as if I had been physically beaten. I finally talked with a good friend and began to release the knots of pain and blocked energy that I had empathically absorbed in those few minutes. I wrote a letter about my life story and further healed. By about 7pm on Wednesday, I had finally recovered almost completely. Multiply that reaction by the entire viewing audience and you have a verbal display of a psychic pandemic on display for everyone to see.
    Before it started, I lit a candle for Biden’s protection. I hope he refuses to subject himself to another encounter. God help us all. Thank you Matthew for putting it into words for all of us to process.

    1. Richard E Reich

      Daphne, thank you so much for your comment. I too agree with you that what we watched in the Presidential debate was, as you write, “a verbal display of a psychic pandemic on display for everyone to see.” But if there is to be a cure for this “psychic pandemic” it will take our combined voices–this time expressed through our votes. So let’s get out there and vote!

  2. Avatar

    Thank you so much for your newsletter this morning. I share your newsletter on my Facebook account, I was impressed with the empathy you displayed in your comment ‘hope he finds redemption at the end of his life’. I feel he is between a rock and a hard place with all his past choices. I feel sorry for him because of what he grew up with and sorry that he is passing on his father’s legacy to another generation.
    In 12 step programs we often hear that a person has to be brought to their knees by the life they are living (hit rock bottom) before they see a light.
    I pray for all God’s children, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. God brings good out of the bad. I know this because I see it happening in all parts of the world during this pandemic.

  3. Avatar

    Everyone is your brother and comes from the Divine! Including the current President. There lies the challenge to love him, even though you do not agree with him, his lifestyle or behavior. I encourage you to listen to Tina Spaulding——who channeled Jesus——40 days and nights. Jesus supports the current President in his views of Freedom. I am an Empath and the negativity from the Meditations is overwhelming. We know we have a lot of challenges right now and focusing on positive solutions will help. Thank you for encouraging us to think, feel and act for love, forgiveness and compassion!

    1. Richard E Reich

      Elizabeth, it is true that our all of our brothers and sisters come for the Divine–even our current President. Any channeled message however, purporting to be from Jesus, that ignores the twofold issues of compassion and justice has to be questioned. This issue however isn’t the point. The point is that what you see as negativity in the Meditations is simply “truth-telling.” Though it may seem negative, we must always be willing to tell the truth when it comes to injustice from wherever it comes. And it is our responsibility as justice-makers to do our work even when it seems negative–after all, even Good Friday was really NOT the result of any good intent of the Jewish officials or the Roman rulers…

  4. Avatar

    The most distressing aspect of the “debate” and its aftermath, for me, is the denial exposed by those who continue to defend this president and his administration. I pray for him every day. Despite the destruction he has wrought on the constitution, all our democratic traditions, and the environment, he is a pitiable and broken man, who has never experienced love–no one has ever truly loved him, and his rage and emptiness are projected outward to all who are around him in response. And yet, he is a child of God, bearing the image of God within, even if he does not know it. As such, I am bound to love him, forgive him, and view him with deep compassion, hard as that is.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: