The Coming of the Enfant Terrible
For the sake of clarity:
“Leviathan” in this context is our next door neighbour (U.S.A.)
En.fant ter.ri.ble is from the French via a couple of definitions:
- “a child whose inopportune remarks cause embarrassment”
- “a person whose startlingly controversial behaviour embarrasses or disturbs others”
Over the last number of years I have written a couple of articles ( see website ) on the state of our ever-present neighbour by examining the topics of the times, ie. drugs, immigration, race, terror, “oops” as in Brian Williams, etc. Much of that is still up for discussion and lives in an environment which becomes more toxic on a moment-by-moment basis.
But, for purposes of this article hitting your desk in 2018 all of the foregoing pales in comparison to how the daily (and I do mean daily) buzz all leads back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Niccolo Machiavelli once opined the intelligence of a nation’s leader could be found in the caliber of people surrounding him; and Niccolo knew a few things about leadership and how to use it.
What flows from the White House today reflects directly on the lawmaking ability of the U.S. Congress; let’s take a look at the flotsam emanating from that oval-shaped office.
– Leadership by name-calling and retaliating to criticism by relieving himself in every sandbox on the block.
– Negotiating delicate international issues by threatening to tear up all previous agreements, nuke the “Hermit Kingdom,” build a wall to keep out the undesirables and then cave in to an economic enemy (China) when they put on a parade for him.
– Declaring war on the nation’s press, deep-sixing the front line media talking heads and installing the daughter of a ‘back-woods preacher’ as his press secretary whose persuasive personality verges on zero.
– Threatening to “drain the swamp” in Washington by installing a team to do so and then draining that swamp – does he need a drawbridge or what?
– Displaying a questionable work ethic which is often late to the legislative process (too much golf ?) and is personified by sitting on the can at 2 a.m. and spitting out tweets a 5th grader would be proud of.
– Embarrassing the nation’s intelligence agencies by refuting the undeniable truth the little body builder from Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Tick, tick, tick – time will tell.
– Showing the American public a presidential persona they didn’t vote for, namely a total lack of vocabulary, acidic verbiage and the inability of reading a script prepared for him.
Does the foregoing all seem petty and can the nation as a whole function in an atmosphere of chaos? Our neighbours live in a great country and have survived previous unqualified White House loose cannons. I’m optimistic they can survive the ‘enfant terrible’ currently residing there. However, this delusion of reality is not just in front of the American people – it’s before the world, and the world is nervous. HURRY SUNDOWN.
Let me finish with a tidbit from the author of Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes (published 1651)
“…and when men build on false grounds, the more they build, the greater the ruins”.
Brian L. Curry