Microdosing for Republicans

June 2, 2017 Originally published on SFGate

I used to think it was so simple, that the most obvious, overarching problem facing fundamentalist Christian Americans, pseudo-macho politicians and puny, big-stick dictators alike was largely one of gross sexual ineptitude, all that angry old-male megalomania and grim saber-rattling stemming merely from gloomy carnal repression and warped Puritanical anxiety, all resulting in a desperate need to compensate, to prove their value and their sad macho mettle in pretty much any way possible.

Buy some guns, get a Hummer, forsake your soul to a megachurch, start a war with Iraq, worship Fox News, whine about female empowerment, never think for yourself, turn Republican and fear and hate upon just about everything that doesn’t conform? Just for starters.

To be sure, all those were certainly hallmarks of the Bush era, and it led to the concomitant trope that if only the repressed conservatives of America would free themselves from the tepid chains of fundamentalist Christian panic and, you know, get well and happily laid once in a while, they’d surely calm the hell down and the world would might survive a few more generations.

Ah, youth.

I don’t quite believe that anymore, and not only because my understanding of the world has become more sophisticated, or because all those brittle conservative males have become any less oppressed, or any less ignorant of god.

Exactly the contrary. It’s because the modern political world – white conservative males in particular – have taken a turn for the worse, the darker, the more spiritually hostile. As the world these men inhabit contacts and shrivels, as their influence decreases, their actions only turn more ruthless, their souls more dim.

Translation: There is no longer any room for quaint notions about sexual oppression and getting laid. No more jokes about furtive gay hookups in the bathroom, senator. The tepid sexual anxiety that was at the root of so much damning scandal for the GOP and fundamentalist Christianity in the ‘90s and ‘00s has given way to something far more gruesome, and far more devastating. And Trump is leading the charge.

So, what now? If vile Trumpism is no longer only about old white guys compensating for raging feelings of inadequacy, if all their hateful trolling not just pushback against their own increased cultural irrelevancy, then surely they are on the verge of true and violent collapse, threatening to take us all down with them. And so maybe what these lost boys really need, is a far more intense sort of… cracking open, before it’s too late.

They need to see Earth from space. They need to volunteer in a slum in India. They need to imbibe large amounts of peyote and spend a week in a sweat lodge in the desert, crying out to the ancestors. They need to drop ayahuasca with master shamans in a Brazilian jungle, and have a personal reckoning with the One True Mother. They need to witness their own bloated egos explode into a million fractal shards and reassemble into the shape of a giant, undulating butterfly with wings of blood. Hey, it’s a start.

Too much to ask? Of course it is. So maybe they could just dive into the latest trend of, say, microdosing. Maybe some intrepid D.C. interns could, I don’t know, spike the congressional coffee with sufficient micrograms of LSD, psilocybin or MDMA, just a little bit, every single day, for the next few years. And the entire White House, too. And see what happens.

After all, microdosing is in. It’s the freshest, most viral pathway to heightened awareness. It reportedly reduces depression, aids creativity, tickles the anima’s synapses just so; it just might be the magic elixir, the thing mystics have known for millennia and science is now beginning to understand, the idea that hallucinogens (and, increasingly, various strains of THC), even in tiny, barely perceptible doses, can soften the ego’s roughest edges, aid in perception and generate feelings of delight and ease. What’s not to like?

Of course it makes sense. Of course millennia of deep hallucinogenic experience across myriad cultures and millions of humans would translate directly to the notion that a small bit of same, every few days, could help a person, you know, reconnect. With spirit. With nature. With the planet. With his or her fellow man.

Could it maybe, just maybe, help the viciously maladjusted, spite-filled modern GOP relocate the one human quality that’s most lacking in Trumpland today: empathy? Of course it could.

Longshot, I realize. And of course, Trump himself is way too far gone for any such transformation. Never has an American president been so sadistically, so enthusiastically lacking in basic concern for humanity’s well-being. Never has an American leader been so entirely bereft of warmth, fundamental decency or moral literacy. And never have so many Republicans gleefully followed him right into the bleak abyss.

But then again, who knows? It’s worked for anxious moms. It’s worked for business types, yogis, teachers, mechanics, doctors, writers, students, athletes and authors, ancient masters and modern intellectuals, gurus and saints and gods.

Jesus almost certainly enjoyed a great deal of hallucinogens, if he wasn’t one himself. Buddha was a walking indica cookie. The gurus who channeled the Vedas, the most ancient, most mystical spiritual literature on human record? Come on.

So then, a humble call-out to the D.C. interns, the disgruntled White House staffers, the furious FBI agents, the beleaguered reporters, the miserable wives and daughters of congressional Republicans, et al. Let us happily conspire to perhaps start dosing the most hateful and morally egregious among you with various (increasingly legal) compounds of wow, and see what transpires.

And of course, save a good amount for yourself, too. We’re all in this together. That’s what the mushrooms tell me, anyway.

Mark Morford has been an award-winning columnist and culture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate since 1998, which probably astounds him more than it does you. He’s also one of the Bay Area’s premier yoga instructors, leading classes, workshops and retreats in SF and around the world since 2001. Read his latest stories, follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or just visit markmorford.com. Or email him.
Mark Morford

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