Under Pressure describes the world since 2016. British David Bowie married to Somali Iman and teamed with Queen preceded by 35 years the political winds that hit the world in 2016.
2016 is the year that the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union with Brexit It was also the year that Trump took over as US president after Barack Obama, and it was probably the year that Putin saw a green light for his plan to crush Ukraine in a campaign started two years earlier.
Trump’s shocking win over Hillary Clinton on a tecnicality put the whole world on edge. Protests were staged the very next day throughout the world baffled by how America the great and the beacon of democracy had chosen to be led by a crude business tycoon who bragged about grabbing women simply because he saw himself as a star who could get away with it. As his four-year term wore perilously on with increasing rancor and strife, it became ever clearer that the danger Trump posed was greater than mere bad behavior.
Cats have nine lives and worms regenerate lost body parts. No telling how far down the vulgar path Trump will be allowed to leads his small but dangerous part of his country. But one thing is clear. the first part of his assault on democracy has ended with a few big bangs.
Show and tell, compare and contrast are two basic tools of persuasion. Trump continues to deride Democrats as vicious communist socialists as if the two weren’t mutually inclusive. But seaasoned Joe Biden avoids the fray and carries out a rebuilding America platform. America as a whole notices the difference between the two leaders. This was evidenced by big losses for Trump annointed candidates in the 2022 midterm elections. Then came the long-awaited report on the 2021 near coup.
The report was an inspired document, as were the public hearings themselves. They spoke in painstaking detail using down-to-earth language about a horrific event Americans couldn’t associate with their own country. Once opened to the truth, the eyes of upstanding humans can’t remain clenched. We are programmed by evolutionary genetics to live by learning. A big lesson comes right before New Year’s eave when the Trump tax returns are released to the public after seven years of Trump claiming a pre-emptive audit that never took place.
Taxes are the ultimate take-down. They captured Al Capone when law enforcement with all its resources could not bring justice to bear down on him. The mystery of the tax trap and its effectivess lies at the heart of the Trump mystique that nearly ended democracy.
“Only little people pay taxes,” the Queen of Mean Leona Helmsley quipped to a jury of her peers in 1989. The blithe attitude cost her four years in prison plus community service and a $7m fine. The little people who pay the taxes that make this great country possible are the exact opposite of the greedy rich. In the Oval Office, Trump and his enabling allies made out like bandits. They hid their money off-shore and they cut funding for the Internal Revenue Service while entangling business ventures to a complexity that God himself needs time to sort out.
Multiply that complexity by nearly 200 countries dealing with Trump equivalents to get a glimpse into what the New Year holds. Then look at signs showing we’re headed in the right direction.
Trumpism is losing steam in the US. Brexit is proving a disaster in the UK and the social media call for it to end is growing. Social media is also propelling rform in countries strangled by despotic leaders, including Iran and Afghanistan. Most promising at a very high human cost is the stand Ukraine has galvanized against a lawless Russian invasion.
Democracy is at stake in the New Year of 2023. Good leaders manage communication of the way. So sit back, little people of the world. In God we trust and he’s doing a great job.