A TOAST TO TRUMP AND RUTTO
They are disrupters. Ordinary human beings who go against the grain. People who are ‘crazy’ and courageous enough to go against the ‘way things are,’ and voice what is ‘not supposed to be said’
This week, allow me to celebrate two mavericks. I will begin with the first. A long time ago, in a remote village called Tumoi, there was a brainy, skinny Kalenjin boy who questioned anything, inspected everything and explored everywhere. He was a little rebel who never accepted things as they were. He went on to be a vocal youngster in the Nairobi University student leadership, a firebrand adult in Parliament and a trailblazer in the Council of Governors. A few weeks ago, he confronted the state itself – the arm of the government that is dressed in blue and wields tear gas canisters. For his valiant efforts he was awarded a broken nose.
Across the oceans, the other maverick is nothing but a genius. At least now we know. Like a bull in a china shop, he crashed his way into the White House. His surprising political genius drew from his business acumen. He based his campaign on identifying the needs of the target market. After some market research, Donald Trump found that what his consumers demanded was misogyny and white supremacy allusions. And he got the doctrine spot on with his Bible-wielding running mate. In short, he fed into this electorate’s appetite unashamed.
Unsavoury as he may be, Trump represents a disruption to political order, and a revision of political discourse. However, his term in office will be a pale shadow of his colourful campaign, or will it? As Mario Cuomo said: “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose”. Whatever the case, his will by far be the most intriguing American presidential term.
What Isaac Rutto and Donald Trump have in common is that they are disrupters. Ordinary human beings who go against the grain. They are people who are ‘crazy’ and courageous enough to go against the ‘way things are,’ and voice what is ‘not supposed to be said’.
History is replete with people like these. The truth is, the disrupters are in the end the changemakers. Among the rebels, radicals and renegades who shaped the world, not a single one of them was a sheep. Mahatma had to have the heart of a lion to break the British Salt Law and lead thousands in a trek towards the sea. Civil rights activist Rosa Parks had to have nerves of steel to sit at the front of the bus. And don’t forget that Jesus Christ was perceived as not just a rebel, but a criminal by the establishment of the day. And He suffered capital punishment for it in the end.
While gutsy historical hellraisers are celebrated by some, they were actively denounced by many. In the 19th century when the automobile was invented, the then Pope condemned the innovation as the devil’s own contraption and it would slow down heart rates.
This was for the simple reason that it was too radical an idea. Too different. Too disturbing. Like Isaac Rutto. Speaking of which, if I were in his shoes, political paranoia would take me to a far-flung hospital in rural Croatia, let alone South Africa, to reconstruct my broken nose. As Andrew Grove says: Only the paranoid survive. Particularly if the paranoid one is a threat to the status quo, and is unafraid of being defiant.
In my view, the world should not be terrified of disrupters, instead they should be celebrated. They are the ones who ensure that we are not collectively herded in the same direction, century after century. And with that I wish Trump a successful presidency. And to Rutto, a speedy recovery. May he soon return to continue shaking things up – unapologetically.
THE DISRUPTERS ARE THE CHANGEMAKERS. THE WORLD SHOULD NOT BE TERRIFIED OF DISRUPTERS, INSTEAD THEY SHOULD BE CELEBRATED. THEY ENSURE THAT WE ARE NOT COLLECTIVELY HERDED IN THE SAME DIRECTION, CENTURY AFTER CENTURY