The good news about President Trump…

In the world of politics it cannot be denied, he is a breath of fresh air. What he says in public may be nonsense, but I wish some of our politicians would say what they really think occasionally, instead of being afraid of the media response.

And unlike other world leaders, who would have waited months or even years, Trump met the leaders of North Korea and Russia while his diplomats were still drafting the first sentences of documents designed to say as little as possible.

Had Obama accomplished as much he would have been awarded a second Nobel Prize, to help us forget he earned the first one for nothing more than having brown skin. Okay, Obama would have made a success of detente while Trump made a pig’s ear of it, but still.

The best thing about Trump is his lack of subtlety, his starkly naive behaviour that, unlike the rhetoric of previous American presidents, and political leaders generally, hides nothing. And because of his child-like unawareness about how others may view his manner and values, he has exposed the bare-faced ruthlessness of American capitalism to the world’s astonished gaze.

However, while the clown provides unending opportunities for media entertainment and outrage,  the corrupt electoral process which brought him into power remains unexamined and unreformed. This is not surprising. The electoral process benefits those who possess economic power. It is not democratic but democracy is not the aim of those who wield power. Freedom is what they seek, freedom to plunder.

Meanwhile, as the clown is performing, backstage, the props of state, the few restraints that interfere with the freedom of wealthy individuals and corporations, are being brazenly removed. So brazen that finally, Americans are slowly waking up. Instead of not voting in droves in elections fixed by billionaires, an alternative is looming. Bernie Sanders is no longer alone. Democratic socialism, which only a few years ago would not dare speak its name, may be on the way to joining the mainstream. See the election of Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez.

In the meantime, by comparison with the major states of Western Europe, and New Zealand for that matter, America currently seems like a primitive and dangerous rogue state. But really, this is not new. We have Trump to thank for making it explicit. We also have Trump to thank for warning us not to follow the USA into any more military adventures, like Iran for instance.

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Chris Horan

Chris is a former social worker, probation officer and Family Court counsellor, living in Hawea in the South Island.