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St John's
Sunday, 25 July, 2021

No power

As various appointees in his administration desert him, much like rats leaving a sinking ship, out-going President Donald J. Trump, is cutting a forlorn and lonely figure. It is not difficult to imagine his bitterness. For example, notwithstanding his pledge to work to ensure that there is peaceful and orderly transfer of power, he still appears grudging and resentful. His speech delivered the day after the fiasco at the Capitol, occasioned by his unwillingness to accept the will of the people, and his subsequent inflammatory rhetoric, appeared forced and stilted. He was uncharacteristically subdued, as though his hands were tied, and he was reading from a script prepared by others who are desperately trying to save the last shred of credibility for American democracy, and the last ounce of self-respect for Donald Trump. Seems, Donald Trump now has to be saved from himself.

Of course, in his delusional state of mind, he is still harbouring dark thoughts that the election was stolen from him, and on that sad premise, he has announced that he will not be attending president-elect Biden’s inauguration. Sigh! What a sore loser! He diminished himself even further by not being magnanimous and gracious in defeat. He lived down to his reputation.

This is what the self-absorbed and prideful Donald Trump has come to –  a shell of a man, totally devoid of all the trappings of power and dignity. There he is –  a fretful ghost of his former haughty and pompous self. “Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon,” but a man with feet of clay, has bitten the dust! And great has been his fall! He is standing before the world in all his nakedness, much like the vainglorious emperor who was found not to be wearing any clothes, but who carried on with his pretentious and foolhardy parade nonetheless. [Hans Christian Andersen, THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES]

The rise and fall of Donald Trump is a cautionary tale to those of like ilk. The people can take but so much abuse and vitriol, and no more. There will come a tipping point – a time when, they will cross the river Rubicon, as did Julius Caesar, and as the late Honourable Reuben Harris once said, “the axe will be laid at the root of the tree.”  Trump thought that he could depend on the courts to overturn the election results. He was rejected dozens of times. He even turned to the Supreme Court, where they did not even bother to give his nonsense a hearing. He then turned to his racist and anarchist thugs to try and stop the certification of the electoral college vote by Congress. In that effort as well, he failed, never mind the disruption by his goons. Seems, the will of the people cannot be thwarted indefinitely.

Consider, if you will, the lyrics to King Short Shirt’s NOT BY MIGHT, a forgotten classic, in our opinion: “Give me liberty or give me death / That’s the cry I hear ringing out across the land / Whether it’s in Uganda, or whether it’s in Iran / Or whether it’s in Grenada or Dominica / For wherever a people are oppressed or downtrodden / They shall rise up with a vengeance that will shake the world / (Chorus) And no power, not by might /  No power, not by force of will / Can stay the wrath of a people’s vengeance / Only when justice overlays the land / And men are free from fear, and free as one / When the fundamental rights of the people are not abridged / When liberty reigns, when justice reigns / And the language of truth pours down like rain / When treachery cease, when corruption cease / There is nothing to fear . . . and where tyranny still persists, dictate and oppress, harass and distress / No power, no power, no power in this world / Can halt a people’s quest for freedom, freedom, freedom / I say freedom . . . “ Hmmm!

Power is a helluva thing! They say that it is quite the aphrodisiac. It can also have a corrosive and corrupting effect. Lord Acton said it best with his declaration, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But history has yet to show us a case where the exercise of power lasted forever. Seems, the loss of power is also a helluva thing! Ask Donald John Trump.

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