TORONTO - It is too easy to fall prey to the intellectual laziness inspired by the Trump Presidency. And too easy to come up trite statements about his competency in the job (questionable), about “what possessed us to vote for him” (some still admit that they did), about his confusion regarding issues of importance to the Commonwealth (does he care?), about the outcomes of his petulant, truculent megalomania (they matter!).
Countries and Leaders often painted as thuggish now look a little less so in the context of the vacuum in US leadership. And Leadership, among other privileges and responsibilities bestowed upon those who exercise it, involves the obligation to identify what is morally right, promote it and discourage what is clearly wrong.
This is not a partisan argument.
Reflect for a moment on the troubles visited upon the Catholic Church for the perceived and real intransigence in the face of documented abuses. Or the condemnation heaped upon the Muslim societies because Islamic religious leaders seem incapable or unwilling to decry violent behaviour of some of their followers.
Who could have imagined that in the middle of a “world crisis with nuclear implications”, the man entrusted with the most crucial role in resolving it would not have the ability to see the rot emerging beneath his own feet. That he would not have the ability to seize the moment and act decisively at home, where citizens need to understand collective, strategic purpose.
Instead, only garbled and muffled mutterings that sustain aggressors adding to the indignity visited upon the victims, individually and collectively.
Yes, words matter. What is unsaid is as important as what is. Even the “gunslinger-in-chief” should know that. Donald Trump’s “silence” speaks volumes.
On the world stage, China now utters the most significant phrase appropriate to the North Korean “crisis”: we’ll stand by our ally if America attacks first; if North Korea pre-empts an American attack, it will do so knowing China will leave N Korea to its own fate.
Donald Trump prefers “Fire and Fury”, hyperbolic repetitive phrases and reassuring statements – sarcasm intended - a’ la threatening “locked and loaded” to show that he is serious.
Domestically – in Charlottesville, Virginia - the White House (the Presidency of the United States – POTUS), is incapable of identifying the danger presented by extremist factions within American society denouncing them at every opportunity.
One dead, sixteen injured in an upwardly mobile, arguably “progressive” University city of 50, 000 inhabitants where 1,000 police and security forces had spent weeks preparing for the worst.
A nation that with every passing day is emerging as a society divided along racial and religious lines and no leadership to bridge the deepening chasm that separates citizens on the “the other side”.
Welcome to Trumps’ America. It is worth a nuclear War against North Korea, and the hundreds of thousands of lives it will destroy, to protect that.