We all might be dead by the time you read this.
“Aha!” you say, “You’re wrong there, because if I’m dead I can’t be reading anything at all!”
That just shows you’re confused. Anything is possible in our new world, where facts are the things on Facebook you agree with and truth is whatever makes you feel good about yourself.
Don’t worry if you’re feeling confused about the international situation. We’re all mixed up and muddled over what the hell is happening.
Sitting down for my pub breakfast last Saturday, I glanced at the paper to discover that China had all of a sudden become the voice of reason.
“Beijing warns there can be no winners in conflict.” screamed the headline in The Guardian. Would this be the same China that’s closing in on Taiwan?
Don’t feed your confusion by trying to make sense of what’s going on. Don’t start to doubt what you know. Don’t consider anyone a smidgeon more worthy of respect because they have used weapons of mass destruction.
Don’t confuse respect with fear.
Just accept that you should be confused right now. If you weren’t, that’d be something to worry about. Be confused but fear nothing.
It’s as easy to laugh at the Leader as it is to underestimate him, so neither visualise him as a Simpson’s character (oops, too late!) nor as Joseph Stalin. Is this At Home With The Kardashians And Their Nuclear Missiles or a dangerous man consolidating his position?
Trust your human instincts. The Leader is what he is, and you and I know pretty well at what level his good ship intelligence floats around in his head puddle.
Yer man is reading Despots for Dummies, the idiot’s guide to attaining totalitarianism, and so far everything’s gone with much tremendousness.
After the victory, the Leader needs to create widespread confusion. Show time and again that truth is irrelevant, that scandal is puny and that it’s perfectly acceptable for opinions to change 180 degrees in a heartbeat.
Say one thing and do another. Ban objective media from the White House. Declare your number one intention is to replace Obamacare and then force that replacement to fail, leaving Speaker Ryan to carry the can.
Talk long and loud of America First. Bray about how you’re not going to go to war, because from now on it’s all about making America great again at home, when all of a sudden you realise that those coal mining jobs you pledged to West Virginians just aren’t viable for business any more, while mega-bombs are worth billions.
When your links to Russia cause problems, send 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles into the night skies over Syria, saying to your accusers
“Look over here. I am very visibly pissing off Putin right now, so go to hell with your Special Prosecutors and impeachment for Treason!”
Having repeatedly declared you wouldn’t go to war, you’re now fighting against two of the three sides in Syria’s messiest of civil wars. You’ve verbally attacked China and then tried to make friends with them. You’ve used Afghanistan as a mega-bomb advertisement location and threatened that least predictable of nuclear powers: North Korea.
To be fair, the tone was set early and clearly at the inauguration, insisting we should not believe what we saw with our own eyes. But wasn’t the Leader was merely a puppet, manipulated by Bannon?
Apparently not. Enter more confusion.
The Leader didn’t like the way his Chief Strategist was upsetting his family, so even though Bannon won the election with his data mining and rustbelt rhetoric, the Leader has sidelined his alt-Right ideologist, firing him from the National Security Council, while simultaneously installing his family into the heart of his home and regime, just as any self-respecting dictator might do.
With his daughter ensconced in her own office in the West Wing, the Leader has burdened her husband with a portfolio so absurd in its magnitude, he’s doomed to fail.
Previously a New York estate agent, Jared Kushner is now responsible for solving America’s opioid epidemic; diplomacy with Mexico; diplomacy with China; reforming care for veterans; reforming the criminal justice system; redesigning the entire government structure (a practice traditionally much-loved by despots - keep an eye on this one) and, lest we forget, also bringing peace to the Middle East.
“Err, thanks Dad. I can call you Dad, can’t I?”
“Sure son. You go right ahead and call me Mr. President Dad. That I like. Bigly.”
In Chapter Two of Despots for Dummies, a major terrorist incident on domestic soil occurs, at which point all those confused people turn to their Leader, because they no longer know up from down nor left from right.
Having spent so long scrabbling around, frantically trying to prove his wrongs and their rights, they now can no longer distinguish one from t’other.
The Leader looks down upon them and says
“Told you so!”
and presents them with whatever form of martial law, army or police state that best suits his needs.
This colyoom still feels that the American people are far too strong in number and spirt to let their freedoms be taken from them, but it’s happened to some damn wonderful people in the past.
Now it’s up to us to make sure we stay in Chapter One.
But don’t listen to me. I’m confused.
So maybe you should.