When Trump hit a Bump
So Trump hit a Bump
Noticed something about Trump over the past couple of weeks? Oh, he’s still rambunctious, spreading fake stories and being unpredictable. But his look has changed. Watch his eyes – not the pupils, which are manipulable, but the surrounding sockets, which aren’t. We’re all ageing, of course, and the wrinkles appear, slowly at first, then with a rush, as if with a message.
A certain weariness has appeared, somewhat like a stag at bay. The Russia Episode can’t have been easy, especially the retraction and then the partial retraction of the retraction. He’ll lose his retraction count if he’s not careful. Maybe it was this that caused the bump in the road. Perhaps a group of his more recent appointees issued an ultimatum. They, too, are getting weary. Perhaps his wife has had enough. Or the Republican Party as a whole. Who knows?
I doubt it’s a turning point. There’s still a lot of fire in the President’s belly, I think. The corner probably has not yet been reached. But big bumps warn us of impending tricky driving, something that may affect the elections for the next term. If it were only Trump, I wouldn’t mention it. There are other signs of resistance appearing. President Obama’s Mandela Memorial speech with its overwhelming reception – especially the parts directly critical of the current administration -, the BBC’s publication of the Cambridge Analytics Saga, increasing visible hostility from firm-grounded Republicans – all straws in the wind. When you have enough of them you’ve got a haystack.
The fun of contradiction wears thin after a while. Stand-up comedians shock first, amuse next and finally dry. “I’m not thrilled…..but I’m letting them do what they feel is best” is the comment of a surrendering leader. Again, just another straw in the wind. So what do I think is going to happen?
A combination of the power of the Big Six companies is attracting governments everywhere to consider legislation that limits such arbitrary and seemingly uncontrolled power – or at least the damage that it can do. This is a long-term struggle and it will be won not by laws but by people pressure. The accumulating evidence that such vast sums of money earned and owned by a few giants of industry empower people whose interests may be far from democratic is seeping slowly through to the electorate. People are becoming wary of power and of attacks on democracy.
The concept of Inclusive Capitalism is still in its infancy. It will, I think, grow steadily over the next decade. As it does the chances are that we will return to a more normal set of international political values, to leaders who respect the process of respect and to followers who grow up even if slowly. There are already billions of people leading normal lives, bringing up children in sensible ways and behaving with a supportable level of honesty in spite of the examples being set them.
Steinbeck put it best in The Grapes of Wrath: “The last, clear, definite function of man – muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need – this is man”.
I very much agree with Bob Gattie’s suggestion that everyone should listen to Barack Obama’s Mandela Memorial Speech.
The tide hasn’t turned but the bump in the road may bring us nearer to it doing so.