When things get crazy slow everything down and go back to basics. The great truths have not been repealed….ignored, yes…but not repealed. Consider:
NATURE (AND POLITICS) ABHORS A VACUUM (PARMENDIES, PHILOSPHER, GREECE, 485 BC)
The Office of President of the United States is essentially vacant. The occupant is happy to spend his days at parades and lavish ceremonial occasions. He has learned how to execute a handshake. Actual leaders like Merkel in Germany, Putin in Russia, and Xi Jinping in China allow him to mug and act like a boor. They smile in a tolerant sort of way. Then, they go about the business of filling the vacuum. Others have plans for “properly directing” an easily manipulated Empty Suit in the Oval Office. Sheldon Adelson has plans for the Suit. He didn’t kick in $35 Million to the Suit’s Campaign for good government. For that kind of money one ought to be able to vaporize a Country (like Iran) for Pete’s sake.
PRIDE GOETH BEFORE THE FALL (PROVERBS 16:18)
The Suit is all about appearances. Did the other leaders really look happy to see him? Are they “strong” leaders? The Suit likes leaders who kill their dissidents and opponents. People like Duterte in the Philippines and Putin in Russia are his kind of guys. He likes to huddle and “joke” with these guys and mug for the cameras giving the implied message “we’re special people, we’re killers. We know how to get our way, we never apologize, get out of our way we’re going to another parade in our honor.”
PATRIOTISM IS THE LAST REFUGE OF SCOUNDREL (SAMUEL JOHNSON)
Politicians love to wrap themselves in the flag. Nixon was a master. He represented the “silent majority”. The people who opposed him were not, in Nixon’s view, “real Americans”. To emphasize the point, he became the first President to wear an American flag lapel pin. Now, its standard attire for conservative politicians and FOX TV hosts. The threat from an “outside enemy” is fertile ground for a politician with sagging poll numbers to mine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done that for a long time. When the Suit’s job approval numbers dip under 30% (they’ve been as low as 33%) there will be people in his ear making the case for a “preemptive” strike on Iran. Who’s going to stand in his way? There hasn’t been a “Peace Lobby” worthy of the name since the Draft was abolished.
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE (JOHN 8:32)
Exhibit One for this truism is Hilliary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders. I never felt like I was getting the whole truth from Hillary or that she felt what she was saying in her gut. With Bernie what you saw was what you got. With Hillary there was too much behind the curtain…it garbled the message. Hillary fit in just fine at Goldman Sachs…three speeches $675,000. With Bernie it wouldn’t work so good. They’d have to get him to clean the soup off his tie and they probably wouldn’t like what he said.
IF YOU SEE BLUE SKY GO FOR IT (JOHN KENNEDY)
The corollary of this would be “he who hesitates is lost”. Kennedy applied this in his political life. He had served a couple of terms in the House of Representatives and was feeling stuck. His friends Richard Nixon (seriously) and George Smathers had advanced to the US Senate. Kennedy took a chance and challenged popular incumbent Senator Henry Cabot Lodge in a strong Republican year, 1952. He won by three percentage points. He saw Blue Sky again in 1960 and beat his old friend Nixon for the Presidency.
Blue sky exists when there is a vacuum. The Suit (“it’s incredible…it’s a disaster…we’ll see what happens”) has left an enormous vacuum. Who’s going to fill that vacuum? Other countries will…Russia, China, maybe France and Germany. How about people here in the US. Who’s got the guts, energy and vision to confront the stifling conventional wisdom that cries out to be challenged? Who’s willing to take it to the streets?
As the Suit would say, “we’ll see what happens”.