Quote: All too often, on the long road up, young leaders become servants of what is rather than shapers of what might be (attrib. John Gardner)
Definitions: Status quo, existing situation or condition (Cambridge English Dictionary)
Divide and conquer, (1) to gain or maintain power by generating tensions; (2) to accomplish something by having several people work on it separately (idioms by The Free Dictionary)
In context: Simply put,, democrats promote social justice while republicans advocate personal rights. That distinction took a dramatic turn when the law-defying Donald Trump started grabbing all he could with the great powers of the American presidency at his disposal.
As Trump and his republican enablers trample constitutional norms and values, they divide democrats and prime them to be fodder for their conquer of the world’s goods. That’s obvious as democrats scrabble to salvage values each consider most crucial to ensure, thus splintering the party into ineffectual sects. Perhaps American democrats would be better off if they could unify their personal aims into the context of a global status quo.
Freedom is the hallmark of America, in large part because of its Constitution-based stability. The result is a cake-like status with the big chunks going to go-getters and the rest to those who make their living by keeping the big guys going, Under Donald Trump, the big guys get all the cake they want in any way that suits them and the little guys fight each other for crumbs because a third of Americans are in love with the Old West romance of the renegade hero.
Jesse James was such a hero. killed by one of his own when the gang was finally cornered by the law. America was won by the “taming of the west,” through shoot-outs as a prelude to spreading the rule of law, but the romance of the notorious outlaw became folklore. Jesse James is seen by many as an American Robin Hood according to Wikipedia and plenty of other outlaws are still admired for their brazen gall and for their opportunistic skills.
In today’s world where Washington is the new American “Wild West,” Donald Trump will not likely go down as a “Robin Hood. He is, however, lionized by the base and many republicans as the ultimate American gangster who managed to steal the country’s crown jewels, the powers of the American presidency.
A lifetime career as a snake-oil salesman was certainly useful to Trump in carrying off this feat. With an eye toward personal gain, he scopes the field, identifies the vulnerable and their needs, persuades with exaggeration and fabrication comically delivered from behind a sporting facade. Adept at closing up shop when the law nears, he finds new territory for hawking his nonexistent cures.
Grand as those duplicitous skills may be, Trump would not have propelled himself into the White House had he not stolen the country’s airwaves at the same time that he gouged its material wealth. Loud, obnoxious and objectionable to most, he is a media magnate on the scale of catastrophic natural disasters. His horde of like-minded admirers thus hold the American status quo hostage, Republicans slavishly pay homage to the Pied Piper. Democrats squawk and get drowned out in the noise however they regroup.
America is mierd in the Trump swamp and a glance around the world may suggest a way to tame the new “Wild West” of Washington. Getting back to basics may help. Who are the good guys and who the bad? Even in today’s complex world, would any good guy ever brag about shooting someone just to prove he could get away with it? Shoot, even Jesse James had higher aims.
Further in line with higher aims, would anyone in a globalizing world where economics and health are interdependent, would any truly good guy advocate separation instead of unity? Would good guys isolate their society from the rest of the world so that crime and corruption can be carried out with impunity?
Every country in the world has its own particular challenges in part because of history. A central issue in America is that of racial inequality. That, however, has less to do with true ambivalence about superiority or inferiority based on race than on the fact that currently there is a social hierarchy based on history. In a global world where America is the “melting pot” for people from the world over can become American, the current status quo as defined by the Trump explosion is an anomaly, a travesty and a sacrilege..
America needs a new sheriff in town. OK, so adventurous America had its experiment with Trump. But now it is time to restore America to its true status quo. It is time to relegate Trump to the dustbins of history.
If necessary, let Trump go down with the base as a legendary outlaw who got away with the country’s biggest prize. Even that will be a step below Jesse James who had more basic aims for renegade behavior..