Trump, Trudeau and “Moral certainty”
Trump’s tirade, Trudeau’s cop-out, and the wisdom of Mencken
Donald Trump delivered a speech at the UN that should have rocked the world, but does the world want to be rocked?
He actually did us all a big favor. Lacking Obama’s diplomatic and rhetorical talents to slyly perpetrate the big lie Trump has told the dirty unvarnished truth, up front, down and dirty, crude and rude. In his comments on North Korea and Iran he confirmed publicly what too many people around the world know too well- America is willing to casually kill off a few million people here and there in pursuit of its demented ambition for absolute power over the world.
Its record speaks for itself, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, and Libya to name just a few. It is estimated the wars of the 20th Century killed off 125 million people. In the 21st we are well on our way to surpassing that number. Then too, maybe warfare is just our ad hoc solution for an over populated world.
It was a hugely self-incriminating speech as anybody who isn’t among the walking dead knows the absurdity of his claims.Trump blew America’s cover and outed the fascist agenda. In his own-bull in a china shop way- he becomes the ultimate whistle-blower.
His speech was so belligerent at least some silent appeasers must have been aflutter in their cushy enclaves. What is so flagrantly wrong with the present world order is that the US sanctions governments, and kills indiscriminately around the world with impunity. There is no push-back. Where there is no push-back the tyranny only becomes more pervasive.
Does the UN recognize this as the wake up call; or is it going to continue to facilitate the tyranny?
His speech was about political paralysis. The US wants absolute power over the world and has the swaggering military might to do the job. The problem is that to use that military in any major confrontation against its hobgoblin enemies would have an unacceptable backlash resulting in a Pyrrhic victory. So the strategy becomes sanctions, and bullying the world community into submission. In other words a war of attrition, where humanity endures an ongoing and debilitating instability.
Trumps speech was very reminicient of an ill-tempered school boy who can’t have his way. His frustration is America’s frustration at not being able to bend the world to its fascist will.
The abject failure of the US is its unwillingness to recognize absolute power is not attainable. The more it is sought after the more people will resist. It destroys itself trying to attain the unattainable.
Its salvation is to temper its ambitions and become a law abiding member of the global community. It has so much to give if it can overcome its devils. Only then might it become somewhat close to being regarded as the “indispensable” nation.
“Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant”
Mencken no doubt saw his homeland was suffering an overdose of “moral certainty.” When a country sees itself as God’s chosen people, as the “indispensable nation” and its “national security” concerns span the globe a tyranny is born for itself and others.
All too easily moral certainty becomes carte blanche for fascism and as Anatole France suggested a vehicle for cruelty. Hitler, for example, in all his moral certainly, created a hierarchy of evil that killed millions. We appear determined to go down that same road.
Trump, like Obama before him, is hostage to the brokers of absolute power driven by their moral certainty. Trudeau is hostage by choice. As Mencken suggests,Trudeau, along with many others, could be the skeptical progressives. His cop-out becomes a tacit endorsement of Trump’s tirade, and the moral certainty of the brokers of absolute power.
Both Trump and Trudeau have chosen to endorse rather than challenge current moral values which renders them political effigies cast in stone and of no utility. Until such time as Mencken’s skeptics appear – leaders of moral and intellectual fortitude- there is no countervail and the tyranny only deepens.
Of further interest: What can be done?
A silence no longer affordable. Help spread the word