The corner is turned
“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” William Shakespeare
The knife went into the Trump debacle when his programme lost its seventh court case in a row. That happened about ten days ago. It looked to me like a corner turned even then. Trump’s reaction plus the leak, apparently from a White House staffer, of the disarray and chaos he has caused confirmed my suspicion. Former President Obama put the seal on it. The corner is turned.
Trump will never recover from his present position. He may have temporary respites, occasional flashes of support. Being a Trump fan has gone the way of all follies forever. His decline is only a matter of time. The detritus he leaves behind will take some clearing up. The loss of face for the most successful nation on earth will be devastating. For the United States to have to mourn its error is shame enough. When the price is calculated it will merely rub salt into the wounds.
Time to start putting all that behind us – I speak as half American. My mother shared a classroom with Lindberg. I have many brilliant cousins in the States. Errors happen, to put it more politely than the usual aphorism. But no day goes by without us remembering how the Stars and Stripes handled the Cuban Missile Crisis, or the assassination of John Kennedy. No achievement of the last century exceeded that of putting men on the moon and returning them safely to earth. Nobody who has ever been to the US missed the open hospitality, the spontaneous welcome, whoever you are, wherever you are from. America is a role model of engagement
A nation that grew from The Grapes of Wrath into the home of Silicon Valley need never regret it’s occasional mistakes. They are the source of learning. Hope that their latest experiment will lead to better democracy, to more responsible office, to another great President. Hope that the world will again admire the American way of life. America deserves it. The world deserves it.
It is an impertinence of the highest order to suggest what the United States should do to recover it’s position in the world. Certainly the internal corrections are for the voters not for foreigners. But the world, as Trump has so dramatically shown us, is increasingly one place, one society, one home. Externally, it has to recognise and work with China, India, Asia, Africa. These growing behemoths are on even steeper learning curves than the US. Culturally different, with different political agendas they are all seeking a financially balanced world. They are open to learning, not always as we would have them do but as rational beings.
When West marries East there is a huge adjustment to be made on both sides. Misunderstandings, language, practices, beliefs, norms of behaviour, all present challenges that cause friction and tears. Reconciliation is the US’s first job. Moral standards and beliefs differ from West to East within the US. They manage making those live side by side. As they do it there so they can do it world wide. A common determination to cope with differences and keep in sight the ultimate goal of a safe, harmonious and prosperous world is enough to steer the ship in the right direction.
There is a common cause that makes the task relatively easy. As the planet heads for a population of nine billion people it’s destruction becomes more imminent. The world is as precious as are our lives. Stirring the recognition of the need for urgent action and individually participating in that action is a cause to unite everyone. Destruction can be an influence for cooperation.
Time to move on, not forgetting our experience but building on it. Omar Khayyam put it well: “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
Good luck to the United States.
For your luck is our luck.