By Deb Conklin
This week on NPR someone referred to Trump as the soon to be ‘leader of the free world.’ I found this stunningly arrogant on so many levels.
- Who still uses the phrase ‘the free world‘? The Soviet Union was disbanded. China has ‘opened its borders.’ The Berlin wall came down. The cold war WAS abandoned – although Trump may reignite it. And the U.S is no more ‘free’ than many other countries. In fact, by any standard that matters – infant mortality, life expectancy, standard of living (financial or emotional)… most of Europe is better off than the U.S. As long as our economy is held hostage by multi-national corporations, we are far from ‘free.’
- One does not become a leader by fiat. Just because Trump was able to get elected the president of the U.S does not make him a leader of anything. He has arguably succeeded in making himself the leader of angry, white, working Americans. But unless he can change his stripes dramatically, he will never be the leader of anything of value – let alone some significant portion of the world.
This arrogance is a major part of what has brought us the this pass – a nation which is arguable the more militarily powerful in the world and has an anti-intellectual narcissistic bully for its President. Until we learn humility; until we discover the wisdom of the everyday people in Latin America and Asia; until we learn to listen to the voices of the oppressed in this country and abroad; we will continue down this path to self-destruction as a nation and as a culture.