Tuesday, March 21, 2017


The then-candidate Trump argued that President Obama was too predictable. The president now certainly lives by his former mantra, making the unpredictable the new normal. Not a day passes without tweets and lies being launched at random from a psyche which appears to be in permanent meltdown or denial. Many explanations have been given:  the historical perspective (a Jacksonian outlook) or the attribution to a chaos theory emanating from Trump's "Svengali", Steven Bannon.  Obviously the president only hunkers in some self- created parallel reality, nurtured by his family and a couple of sycophants. His reality checks are non-existing and his refuge otherwise is nurtured by Fox News and by the populist rallies wherein the fools applaud the maker of their coming demise.

Observers try to find some rationale in the incoherence. Extravagant theories (Rousseau versus Voltaire) are the more incongruous since the current tenant of the White House doesn't know either. This is just a primitive culture war waged against the State in favor of the Commonwealth. It is nothing more than some Cromwell coup redux, with a Republican Congress paying the part of the Rump Parliament. In the short-term this is looking bleak, but now as then the Restoration is waiting. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court might be taken hostage (for how long?) to this hostile take-over.

America is losing its advantage in this scenario. The US was always able to find redemption, even after blunders and lies. They were able to find forgiveness by way of a soft-power which was envied and desired, until now. They were seen as the desirable alternative, open to being challenged, open to attracting the best world-wide, open to the immigration of minds and hearts. Prof. Joseph S. Nye's "The future of power" should be mandatory reading today !

Now, coastal "open" America  has become a "no-go zone" for the current administration, engulfed in paranoia. The Putin fixation is the more bizarre , since Russia was never able to compensate for its mistakes and aggressive behavior. Unlike the US, it could never muster an inch of soft-power to compensate for its transgressions. China is too Sino-centric to become an alternative.  For now, America has lost this attenuating, measured added value of being "for the good". The new budget is all about hard-power, military spending. The arts, the environment, LGBT and freedom of choice issues, former battles won against AIDS and Ebola now seem threatened. 

Suddenly the EU looks better again. It never lost the added-value of history, culture and creativity but is political achievements, so promising earlier, stalled. Trump's negative image might bring some hope to the many who saw Brexit as a requiem for a project.  Disney's Beauty and the Beast was released, while the beast sits tweeting in the White House.  For how long? The Russian "connection" is not going away and many in the administration might regret today having slept with the enemy yesterday.

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