A whole new world

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - Brian-Paul Welsh Brian-Paul Welsh is a writer and pub­lic af­fairs com­men­ta­tor. Email feed­back to col­umns@glean­erjm.com and bri­anpaul.welsh@gmail.com, or tweet @is­land­cynic.

THE PLANET is still slightly dis­ori­ented af­ter the mas­sive shift in the polls that took place last week. Many per­sons emerged from the twi­light to be greeted by a world that seemed slightly askew, and with news­pa­per head­lines scream­ing what had ini­tially seemed unimag­in­able in this epoch, a new cap­i­tal­ist-in-chief is about to be crowned in the em­pire, amid a seis­mic shift oc­cur­ring in the king­dom’s cul­ture.

A long and dis­tract­ing sea­son of pageantry be­daz­zled the vil­lagers with in­tense mo­ments of shock and awe, cul­mi­nat­ing in an overnight cliffhanger and the sur­prise de­feat of the hero­ine, fi­nally trumped by the vil­lain.

Un­like his pre­de­ces­sors, this new em­peror is not cloaked in pre­tence. He says what he means, and we think he means what he says. What we can say for cer­tain is that, with him, we have wit­nessed the cul­mi­na­tion of 30 years of mean­ing­ful ac­tiv­ity as a leader in pub­lic opin­ion. The ty­coon be­came king in the great white north, once more rais­ing the flag for the myth­i­cal Amer­i­cana.

He is no fool. Be wise. He has writ­ten nu­mer­ous books and there is a wealth of ma­te­rial freely avail­able go­ing back decades that reveals the as­tute­ness of his logic and the quick­ness of his wit – no mat­ter your taste in his style or de­liv­ery. You must first study the mind of the man in or­der to form a worth­while opin­ion.

RISE AND FALL OF ICONS

In the ebb and flow of this civil­i­sa­tion, we have ob­served the rise and fall of nu­mer­ous icons. They awaken some­thing mean­ing­ful inside us, ex­cit­ing that which we value and stand in defence of. We bore wit­ness to such a mo­ment when the post-racial myth ex­ploded and the lib­er­tar­ian veneer imploded over the course of a marathon cam­paign trail lit­er­ally lined with dead bod­ies, mis­sions to Mars, and the threat of a nuclear Ar­mageddon. This could only have happened in the USA!

The prom­ise to re­turn a cul­ture from the waste­lands and up­lift a once mighty peo­ple to great­ness again was heard and caused a tremor among a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Amer­i­cans, many of whom ex­pressed feel­ings of ne­glect by their tribe as the king­dom ex­panded to also in­clude a no­tice­able num­ber of for­eign­ers.

Pre­sid­ing over a frac­tured or­gan­i­sa­tion at a time of global volatil­ity is an un­en­vi­able po­si­tion for any CEO; and in this in­stance, the Chief, renowned for his re­lent­less­ness, has made it one of his many mis­sions to shed the weight of some un­de­sir­ables. Many are now sit­ting com­fort­ably af­ter scram­bling to en­sure their names were on the good list, while oth­ers face an un­cer­tain future in a coun­try with a leader they think might be in­ter­ested in build­ing walls in­stead of bridges.

The stakes are high in this game of thrones and the new king of the hill must surely recog­nise that pub­lic dis­quiet is bad for busi­ness. Ev­ery ef­fort will surely be made to ame­lio­rate the ten­sions and re­turn the king­dom to some new sense of sen­si­bil­ity af­ter this sore was wit­tingly lanced by the white knight.

The world watched as tox­ins oozed from the can­cer­ous le­sion de­lib­er­ately un­cov­ered af­ter be­ing al­lowed to fes­ter for decades. As we ob­served the sep­sis in metropoli­tan so­ci­ety from the sup­posed safety of our long-suf­fer­ing vil­lage, many held the fore­bod­ing sense that this ac­cu­mu­lat­ing en­ergy would cul­mi­nate in the cre­ation of a whole new world, and, for many, it al­ready has.

SO­CIAL IL­LU­SION

What will hap­pen now that fac­tions have been en­er­gised by rhetoric un­be­com­ing of a wise leader? With the so­cial il­lu­sion of the past decade shat­tered be­fore our very eyes, what will be the cul­ture of this new lib­eral repub­lic?

Some al­ready fear the worst and are pack­ing their bags just in case they have to re­turn to Jam­rock and cash in on the pros­per­ity prom­ise. Oth­ers, like my­self, are sim­ply watch­ing the sea­sons change.

The global com­mu­nity is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sud­den shifts in old par­a­digms and regimes. It can no longer be guar­an­teed that the world as we have come to know it will ex­ist to­mor­row. As power is vested in iconic fig­ures, we must, there­fore, be for­ever mind­ful of power’s ab­so­lutely cor­rup­tive na­ture.

When the dust set­tles af­ter this political earth­quake and the USA be­comes the United States of Trump, per­haps those among us so in­clined will fi­nally pull to­gether the time, ef­fort, and re­sources nec­es­sary in or­der to cre­ate the long-awaited United States of Africa.

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