When left isn’t right and right is wrong
The political terms Left and Right seem to be extinct. When President Xi of Hard Left China is advocating globalisation – aka free trade – and President Trump, Diehard American Republican, is making America great again by sealing her borders – aka protectionism – I find my (former) Centre Right position pretty incomprehensible. Has the Centre gone soft?
Looking, as you do, on the bright side, I suspect that the world has woken up to the fact that pigeon-holing everyone is a bad idea. Not everything that’s right is wrong; not everything that’s left is right. Society is like the humans who constitute it, full of nobly knees, warts and all. The political mantra that we are all individuals usually masks an intention to prove that we aren’t. But we are. I’m told that I always want to buy things that don’t exist. Funny because they always seem to exist sometime later.
What should we watch for in this upside down world now President Trump is in the White House?
The relationship between rhetoric and reality is usually fairly well defined and understood. Politicians, like the advertising agencies of old, know that they must keep a certain distance between truth and persuasion but that it must be consistent. Now we are in the so-called post-truth era, that more-or-less acceptable gap has gone. We don’t know which is which.
Life inevitably has to settle into some form of intelligible communication. The meaning of much of the nonsense that has been talked will begin to emerge. What none of us knows is the objective. If it is war we are in a perilous situation. I suspect there are several war mongers among the make-America-great-again brigade. From the days of opening up the West, through the Civil War to WWII the Paths of Glory have been through the guns. It appears to have been forgotten that they lead but to the grave.
The American system of government is commended in political literature for its ability to create checks and balances. It is currently looking a little ragged on this score. The next two years will be a testing time to see if it still works. If it does, the White House will not have it all its own way and we may be able to rest easy. At present I think the presidency sees checks and balances as purely financial instruments associated with banking.
Perhaps the biggest stumbling block for the new administration is the extent of the divide between the citizens within America. The New World has never had the phlegmatic view of political opinion that Europe has. Where Europe fights because of fear of conquest America fights because of ideological differences. The unacceptable economic divide represents a critical ideological split. Those who cannot have dreams must suffer nightmares.
It’s not a scenario anyone calling themselves human can want. It’s not an example Syria, Ukraine, Nigeria – and many other parts of Africa – need. It’s a scandalous misappropriation of the great scientific and social advances the last century has brought. But it’s the will of the majority.
As such it is going to happen.