- How the country has outlived many a monomaniacs and fools during its existence
‘In America, anyone can become President. That’s the problem.’ remarked the legendary comedian late George Carlin known for his scathing wit, piercing humor and ability to mock the failings and foibles of the so-called high and mighty. Carlin, who died a decade back in 2008, is not around to witness first hand and ridicule the rise and ravaging of Mr. Donald Trump’s (Mr. T) presidency and is desperately missed. The problem Carlin pointed out has become the real, orange-faced, and straight out of reality TV predicament. Not only the US but the entire world looks gape mouthed at the shenanigans and silliness of Mr. T.
A falling out between twitter-happy Mr. T and his Pakistani counterparts inauspiciously happened on the very first day of 2018. Allegations of a double game by Mr. Trump were countered by naming the sins on part of US by Pakistani gentlemen from the civilian and military side (Yes, both are on the same page. Whose page this is, we don’t know). America had suspended security aid to Pakistan entirely and put it on a watch list for violations of religious freedom. Both countries have been to similar places before. The Pak-US relations, as old as Pakistan itself, have braved the betrayals (Read 65 and 71 wars) and outlived bonhomie (Read Ayub’s initial tenure, Musharraf’s era and Afghan War) multiple times.
Once again, we lament that sacrifices of our soldiers and commoners haven’t been appreciated, acknowledged and applauded. US, on the other hand, blames that we’ve been in it to mint dollars and dollars alone while shielding, even actively abating the ‘good Taliban’ who weigh the lives on our side of the border differently than Afghan ones where they wreak havoc. It reminds one of the word ‘frenemy’-A friend who is an enemy, an apt word to summarize the recent sparring between Pakistan and USA. If Pak-India relation resembles the ‘Saas-Bahu’one then Pak-US relationship graduated from friends with benefit to a marriage of convenience gone stale.
The central character nowadays is none other than President Trump, a man who has seen it all, experienced it all, savored it all, exploited it all, and tamed it all in the United States of America. The man has sold land, erected casinos, hosted his own reality TV show, marketed steaks, wrestled in WWE, accompanied divas and grabbed them from wherever he liked; a true maverick who has realized the American Dream beyond his (or anyone else’s) wildest imagination.
And this person, dear reader, who is mercurial at best and at worst a manic septuagenarian on steroids, heads the world’s sole hyper power. The nation that was once ruled by giants like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kennedy is in the tiny claws of Mr. T whose credentials are dubious, whose mental state is questionable, and whose infamous achievements are pathetic.
Divorced from the understanding of past, wherever he looks he sees shallowness. The curse of ‘now’ denies him the vision and wisdom to weigh and place things in their right order. And most importantly, who knows not when to speak out or shut up. Pity how the mighty have fallen.
Yet, there is still hope for the melting pot called USA where people from around the world came, dwelled and prospered. It has seen the lows before and marched on through the thick and thin of time. It has witnessed and overpowered societal upheavals, survived civil war, got over its isolation, stumped slavery, got over economic dire straits and have proved an exceptional case in comity of nations.
And in the heat of the moment, let us not forget that the world owes a lot to the ‘Land of the free and the home of the brave’. On the wings of countless innovations, inventions and discoveries in the fields of science and technology of the United States of America roared ahead during the last 70 years. It has also enriched the imagination of the world through the poetry of Whitman, cynicism of Hemingway, satire of Heller, extravagance of Fitzgerald, shrewdness of Kessinger, and moral clarity of Chomsky. America single handedly shaped the world we live in today.
It would be really hard if not downright impossible for a ‘very stable genius’ to undo what millions have achieved. In the meantime, let us all pray to God to help Americans and the world from the demented and malicious Mr. T.