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February 1, 2017 / Congau

Polite Politics?

Politics is not a gentleman’s sport. It’s not about how you play the game, but all about winning and so it should be if we are to take the politicians seriously. After all, politics may ultimately affect the lives of millions of people and if a leader thinks he knows what policy would make the best solution to social problems, of course he should pursue that policy regardless of formalities.

Now this Trump, that new Emperor of the United States, certainly seems to think he knows what is right. I happen to disagree with him and I think his opinions on most issues sound disastrous, but that’s not the point here. I just can’t blame him for trying to do whatever it takes to get his program through. If that means taking shortcuts; if it means setting aside some of the regular procedures of policy making, so be it. If you really know how to cure many of the ills of this world, you can’t let etiquette and knightly notions of fair play get in your way; that would be selfish, wouldn’t it? A leader who is afraid of confrontation, is not a leader; he is just a caretaker.

If only Obama had not been such a gentleman, the world might have been a better place now. He had such pretty visions, but when he met obstacles he politely bowed aside. He sounded radical at first, but for fear of offending anyone he safely appointed mainstream assistants. His record is a pale display compared to what he promised.

And now there is Trump. Already he is acting like Napoleon singularly intent on getting his extreme measures through. We can only hope for Waterloo.

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