Donald Trump is already in Prison.

David Foecke
4 min readNov 30, 2020


So are We.

As of this writing, there is much media speculation, now that a previously unknown Republican member of Michigan’s board of state canvassers dealt a death knell to Donald Trump’s efforts to steal the election, whether he will eventually face the first confrontation with justice that he cannot win. “Will he finally go to prison, once he no longer enjoys Presidential immunity?”

Well, there is no #RealPrison that Donald Trump will ever face that is more oppressive than the one he is in now.

With true freedom, Byron Katie and other spiritual teachers explain, comes not needing love. Appreciating love? Sure. Sharing love? Definitely! Needing love? Nope.

Donald needs a lot of love. Donald needs love so much that I guarantee you that, at this particular moment, Donald is suffering — deeply.

So are we. Definitely. Deeply suffering.

As is our Mother. Earth.

Death. Depression. Homelessness. Children torn from mothers’ arms. Global Warming. The list is endless. I am in no way denying the suffering that Donald has inflicted on countless beings and on the planet.

But let’s not forget Donald. The nation just sent Donald a strong message that there are more of us that don’t “love” him than do. When your need for love is as deep as Donald does, that is hella’ painful.

Psychologically painful. And if you think psychological pain is “just in your head,” I have a opioid crisis to tell you about.

You can pathologize it. You can look it up in the DSM-5. You can name it. That black-hole-of-a-need to be loved has been turbo-fed for the last 4+ years with crowds chanting, “We love you.” It’s not going to just disappear. Not any more than the virus was supposed to.

If the essence of freedom includes freedom from the need to be loved, then Donald Trump may be the most imprisoned person on the planet right now.

Whether his deep need to feel loved continues to threaten that planet may depend on whether he can find a less risky venture to seek satisfaction of that need than continuing to try his hand at subverting #RealDemocracy.

But as he walks out, or is thrown out, the door at 1600 Pennsylania Ave., I am grateful to Donald Trump for teaching me that I, too, am in prison.

Different prison than Donald’s, but prison none the less.

The Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels said, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes truth.” Donald Trump almost pulled off overwhelming #RealDemocracy with Reality TV lies on a global scale.

Donald Trump is leaving me, and all of us, with is the understanding of just how much work #RealDemocracy is.

It took a lot of effort for #RealDemocracy overwhelm the deluge of lies.

Progressives came together like never before. Unions. Youth. Climate Activists. Black, Latinx, Asian, Native. Teachers. Nurses. Etc.

Many of us held our noses about the candidate we were supporting, but we worked together.

Billions of dollars. Hundreds of millions of volunteer hours. Text messages. Postcards. Social media posts. Junk mail.

Phone calls. I made a lot of phone calls (and still am — into Georgia.)

That’s how I learned that I too am in prison.

The phone calls I have been making were Deep Canvassing phone calls. A new political methodology, seeking to have real conversations with voters who don’t think like I do.

After a Deep Canvassing conversation with a Trump supporter, all of a sudden, my prison walls came into focus.

I had never had a real conversation with a Trump supporter before! I live in my self-constructed world of progressive folks whom I agree with.

I have built my own prison walls.

And the modeled-for-profit algorithms of the so-called-social media tools on offer from Facebook, Twitter, and their ilk, help me build my prison walls higher and stronger with every click.

Deep Canvassing is a new #RealSocialNetworking technology, where you keep dialing, or knocking on doors, until you find someone who may not think like you. Then you invite them into a real conversation, at a human level, about things that truly matter to them, and they listen to what truly matters to you.

My prison door cracked open a bit more with each such conversation.

The creators of Deep Canvassing have big plans to expand their efforts, well after this election season is finally over, to continue the work of Healing America.

And we need more and different #RealSocialNetworking technologies to offer more avenues for folks like me to break out of our prisons, and talk to each other.

Here’s the good news. We are blessed that our prisons, our like-minded bubbles, being self-constructed, can be self-deconstructed.

Donald is not so lucky.

For Donald to find freedom from his prison will take him letting go of his need to be loved. The walls of that prison are thick.



David Foecke

Co-founder: East Bay Meditation Center, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Cafe Flora.