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’

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices - DAISY MARITIM-MAINA Po­lit­i­cal econ­o­mist

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

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