TORONTO - Two weeks into his Presidency and the Donald is still befuddling his critics. It seems that they are only now beginning to discover who he is and what he represents. Too late. The election took place last November.
Since then, despite protests and the remonstrations of experts and “leaders” everywhere, he has repeatedly reinforced one theme: heck with the rules, we’re doing it my way!
Political insiders and communications professionals are developing a new industry trying to figure him out. Meanwhile, as people and the Media get “comfortable” combatting one flare-up, he starts another fire.
There is nothing he is unwilling to “offend”. He boasts about his proven business acumen (a euphuism for cutthroat, unscrupulous business practices) as he muses about or threatens trade deals. Countries – ours included – scramble to prepare for some revision or accommodation to placate his demands. Experts emerge out of the woodwork with advice on the “whys and hows”.
There is nothing to figure out. His approach is simple: “if you have what I want, I am taking It”. No ethics, no moral code, no guiding principle, no sense of collective responsibility to mitigate his approach other than the goal to “Make America Great Again”.
Everything is justified by in the context of that “ideology”, that “movement”. We’ll give power back to the people who rightly own that power, he and his surrogates repeat.
A renowned mid-twentieth century thinker and historian, Christopher Dawson, whose views were shaped by the European/World experiences pre and post two World wars, in his The Movement of World Revolution (1959), observed that those “who come to the top in revolutionary movements are never the wisest or the most farsighted of men”.
Do not expect too much, in other words. For those who followed his rise to the Presidency, Trump’s wife, Melania, made equally insightful observations: I have two boys at home, one is eleven, the other just happens to be seventy years old.
Observers are at a loss to find a rationale in his Cabinet-making, his intemperate public musings, his seemingly irrational Presidential Orders…and so on. He does not appear to distinguish between policy and process or the inter-relationship between them.
People are “piling on” with their criticism. The “ideology” and “philosophy” that served as the underpinnings for the structures that sustained social order domestically and maintained a semblance of international co-operation in foreign affairs are being challenged by the Trump Doctrine.
There are no rules but his rules. Since he has, to date, proven himself to be the most amoral of private/public figures in recent memory – at least in Democratic societies – we can expect to live under the aegis of “alternative facts”; no matter the circumstances.
His supporters (and he has many) trumpet their victory in this “war of ideas” on America’s future – and ours. In such a “war”, Professor Dawson observed that “it is the crudest and most simplified ideology that wins”. In other words, “we’re good, they are evil”, therefore all should unite behind me to right all wrongs.
If people, like the millions of women who braved great odds to march against “Trumpism” immediately after The Donald’s inauguration, are concerned, professor Dawson would remind them that history is not very comforting.
He says, the world has “seen great and highly civilized countries [become] infected by epidemics of ideological insanity, and whole populations … destroyed for the sake of some irrational slogan”.