ALL LUNATIC FRINGES, LEFT, RIGHT AND OTHER

Several commentators over the past few days have hinted at a new horizon for U.S. politics. They were referring to potential relegation of lunatic fringes and radical influences from both political parties. Not that they will disappear completely, and they shouldn’t. They are a necessary safety valve. However, in a democratic society, they should be confined to the radical fringes.

     Today, we are in an era where the radical/lunatic fringes are front and center of our lives, and that’s not only in the United States. It has happened in the U.K as well, with the advent of Boris Johnson and his BREXIT lunacy.

     Hopefully, we will wake up in ten-years-time to a new world. A world where both sides of the aisle in the U.S. Congress are taking to each other, and working together. A world where the U.S. has re-established itself as a model, and a power, in world affairs. A world where the U.K. has re-joined the European Union. And, most importantly, a world that is united against the creeping and insidious ambitions of China and Russia. Paraphrasing a previous U.S. president’s words, let’s hope we can reach the point where the western democracies can again “talk kindly, while carrying a very big stick.”

     The spate of crony pardons from Donald Trump are irritating, indefensible, corrupt, and, in a sense, pathetic, but they will pass. In ten-years-time, most of the recipients of those pardons will either be dead or insignificant, and that includes Trump if he decides to give himself a pardon.

     Maybe I am anticipating my New Year’s resolutions and wishes, but I think we can anticipate a pendulum swing back to some sort of normalcy in politics. Politicians who actually put the people’s interests first would be a good start. Perhaps we should pass a law that all politicians entering public service have to sign a pledge to put the people’s interest before their own. Violation of such a pledge would result in instant de-frockment with no legal recourse. That might wake them up!

     It’s a relatively short time before Donald Trump, and Boris Johnson, are dead, or at least gone from public life, no matter what happens. So there is hope.

     However, we do have to seriously study and correct those issues in our nations’ development that have thrown up a Donald Trump and a Boris Johnson. I have quoted Tony Blair before, when he admonished all leaders to recognize that all citizens have their point of view, and have their grievances. As a leader, he said, you label certain groups as lunatic fringes and morons at your peril. They may be nuts, but they vote, and they can disrupt your plans, if they feel ignored.

     In western democracies, politicians are elected to serve all the people, not just those from their own political party, or just those who voted for them. Obvious though that may sound, the current crop of elected officials in the west do not appear to understand this basic tenet, or they choose to ignore it. Hopefully, new politicians will emerge who value integrity and service to the public.

     It’s Christmas, and a new year, so I feel optimistic, even though I should know better.

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