America must lock and load

America must lock and load

The plight of America is a matter of concern for us all. After WWII the US created the Marshall Plan – officially the European Recovery Program. It also supported NATO as a key balustrade of world peace and played a leading role in harmony between competing nations and enterprise-driven growth. The accession of President Trump to the White House changed all that. He rejected the US role of leader of the Western World. He denied the threat of climate destruction. He reduced leadership standards, already in decline, a lot further. The length and breadth of behavior, from personal to political to diplomatic, was dealt a blow from which it will never fully recover – by a man who should never have even been considered for election.

His supporters and friends will soon find out how fickle his loyalty is. That is, those who have not already done so. Is there a redeeming feature to this man? Possibly one. He woke up a lot of cosy, sleepy people bordering on complacency about the safety of the world. Other events contributed to this sudden realization that all was not well. Climate had, for twenty years, been known to be a victim of human development. It had been acknowledged for at least ten. The thought most people had was that governments, those in authority, “they” would take care of it, preferably by year end. ‘Not in my lifetime’ summed up attitudes to personal responsibility for putting it right. The world was ready for a maverick. But we wanted a decent one.

Impeachment is a long and tedious process. None of us wants an American President to be impeached. We all lose some of our stature when that happens, even if we didn’t personally vote for him. Being half American I feel this very personally. Great people are not saints, they are human beings who achieve much and fail, like the rest of us, some of the time. Provided their failures are admitted, understood and atoned, that doesn’t detract from their greatness. But, whether President or Prince, they need to show humility.

For the United States the coming weeks will be as distracted by impeachment as Europe and Britain have been over Brexit. And each of us will wonder what on earth we can do to try to scramble out of the disastrous ditch our politicians have dug us into. That it was partly our fault will merely exacerbate our anxiety. I suggest there are three things we can think about – and act upon – in the coming season of festivity and hope.

Who shall we vote for the next time we choose a representative in our Parliament?

In the past many, including myself on occasions, have voted for whoever’s policies benefit us personally. It is understandable. We are selfish survivalists and we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t. But there are seven billion of us now – and counting –  and we need policies that benefit us all not just our personal interests. We need to think hard about a responsibility we have often taken lightly.

Significant numbers of people devote a lot of their time to helping others. Thank God there are so many kind humans around. We should find some better way to recognise them than tin medals and obscure titles. Perhaps an extra vote or two for the demonstrably worthy? Why not? It costs nothing and invests – in a very literal sense of the word – in good people. Let us seek to make this modest move in the interests of recognizing good behavior more practically.

No one person can solve the climate disaster that is happening. But seven billion people can. If all of us reduce our personal consumption by ten percent we will at least delay that problem while we work on technological solutions of which, potentially, there are many. It has to be a combined effort though. And to get it going we need everyone to entreat their families, friends and neighbours to join the band of World Workers. I am a World Worker. Are you?

We all need good leaders and we need the biggest economy to provide the top leader. We have already waited too long.

The United States must lock and load.