Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Forty-Five is an Absurdity



I wish I had the words.

Just for a little minute I wish I was an Oxbridge or Harvard Professor of Philosophy say, and had the gift of words – elegant, succinct, penetrative but simple, along with an in-depth grasp of my subject.

I don’t. 

My issue is the contradiction, the improbability, the absurdity that is Forty-Five as President of the United States of America. I know, right. It’s happened; there's nothing I can do about it so just get on with my life. But my life is a part of the whole of life, and part of the whole is reflected back by this particular Forty-five. He reflects something of all of us. He is simply a magnifying glass and a harbinger. But we don't want to acknowledge that; we would prefer to bludgeon the messenger to death.

Something about this whole thing thrums in the deep hinterland. It has captured my attention and won’t let go. Absurdity has always demanded that I stop and take a deeper look and try to discern what stands behind what is appearing. Indeed the whole world is grappling with the absurdity that is a Trump Presidency.

Just bear with me for a minute or two while I make an ‘out of left field’ contextual connection. Its good to project a little light into the darkness.

A 'sparkling sensation' on Strictly
For those who have been following my posts recently you will have read about my, um slight obsession with Oti Mabuse, a choreographer and professional dancer of superior ability who has enchanted many people around the UK. Born into apartheid, for me she is an improbability; a mould breaker.

Partnered with probably the best celebrity dancer ever to enter the Strictly Come Dancing annual fest, and having accumulated the highest scores of the series, they did not win. Why? It didn’t make sense. Then I understood. I thought I was watching a straight up and down dance competition; I wasn’t. So much more was going on.

It is exactly the same with Donald J Trump.

We look at this billionaire businessman with zero experience of the whole Washington political scene. We see a rich, self-indulgent, misogynistic, vulgar nasty guy, with lawsuits pending who will not release his tax returns and says he is smart to avoid paying taxes. He boasts about his despicable behaviour toward women and to my mind incites racial hatred. Yet, against all expectations he simply snatches the Presidency away from all comers. 

How is that possible? Why would most of America vacate those values they purport to hold dear? Something more, apparently beyond anyone’s ability to understand, is going on. 
Trump’s whole campaign and eventual win made no sense. Yes, the CIA Director’s late intervention in the electoral process worked in his favour, undoubtedly; and it is highly likely that there was some external meddling in America’s democratic process.

On the Campaign Trail
On the other hand Hillary won three million more of the popular vote. She had money bags; her backers were more articulate and powerful than Trump’s. Many in his chosen Party (because he chose the Republicans, they didn’t chose him) publicly disowned him and voted against him. And yet he won. Trump’s win made no sense. 

The fact that Trump became President is an absurdity.  

When you encounter absurdity in life, take another look. It asks whether you have noticed that an outmoded pattern of behaviour no longer serves you. It generates momentum as a recurring experience personally or globally. It’s a constant underlying rhythm which at an inopportune time explodes into reality, shattering your complacency. Something needs to change. 

Donald J Trump is an improbability; a mould breaker. He is in fact, as Charles Prince of Wales recently described climate change, ‘the wolf at the door’. Many are in denial about the potential for devastation that his presidency represents. And, just as climate change, it is highly likely that it is our behaviour that has hastened or even necessitated his arrival. What delicious irony!

In the UK the 'something' that needed to change triggered Brexit. In my view, regardless of her stance at the time, Forty-five's newly found Maggie-May is a closet Brexiteer. Between them they will break a whole lot of moulds, as did Reagan and the Iron Lady; and many of us will feel intense pain. That is inevitable when entrenched patterns get broken. The legacy of Maggie Thatcher's reign remains today in the suffering of many who have never recovered. 

Does progress demand sacrifice? Yes, when we are offered choice options that are mutually exclusive and requires a shedding or discarding in order for a new wholeness to emerge. The problem is that kind of 'sacrifice' is painful and devastating to go through; it is often forced upon us; it is never of our choosing - except for people like Ghandi and Mandela who deliberately chose. They are rare.

Trump is the growling wolf with bared teeth standing there simply refusing to budge despite all our efforts. But what does he portend? Why is he in our lives at this time?  In my book nothing is a coincidence, nothing simply happens. There is reason and purpose to this but on the surface, to the uninitiated, it is cloaked in mystery. 

For many of us the arrival of the 45th POTUS and Britain’s Brexit have shaken the very foundations of our world, the ground on which we thought we stood. The ‘new world order’ is not yet in place and we are fretful in this angst-ridden and chaotic era. But what is really going on?

Absurdity draws our attention to something we refuse to look at or acknowledge - are in denial about - always to do with us, individually or collectively. 

You know that I am not done with this. So, I’ll be back.

No comments:

Post a Comment