Long ago royalty in courts employed a person called a fool. Now, in today’s language, a fool is someone who is stupid or dumb. However, in those times, a fool was a person who was meant to bring humor to the court and to talk about things that could otherwise not be mentioned, such as criticizing the King or Queen. In fact, Queen Elizabeth, who reigned from 1558-1603, is said to have rebuked one of her fools for being insufficiently severe with her. The fool, also known as a jester or a joker, generally wore a multi-colored coat, hood with donkey ears or a red-flannel coxcomb and bells. If not you are not sure what a coxcomb looks like, just open a deck of playing cards and find the joker. Bada bing, bada boom, there you go.
Now, although there still are several royal courts in the West, none of them have the same power that they did in the past and most political systems have moved on to democracy. And yet it could be argued that the role of the Fool is still being used in today’s politics.
Enter Donald Trump. It was only this past week that the Donald, as he is known, entered the race to become the next President of the United States. Some say, this race, which will last for the next year and a half, is the greatest reality show ever made that has a real impact on all of our lives. However, the Donald is already a reality TV star. In fact, the Donald has made a career of being a showman first and, some would say, a businessman second. He rose to prominence in the 1980s amid the decade of decadence with pomp and circumstance and with an air of grandeur. He has been with the American public ever since. Although the Donald has rebranded himself many times through his ups and downs and in various ventures, his latest role appears to be that of presidential candidate.
Now, in the speech that the Donald gave, he raised a number of interesting points and he even did so without a teleprompter, which is an interesting point. You see, most US politicians today wouldn’t dare show their face in public without a teleprompter. Even the so-called eloquent ones, such as Barack Obama. As proof, just google Obama teleprompter breaks. And why is this? Oratory used to be a requisite for politicians — the gift of the gab, in other words. But that skill is sorely lacking in today’s public servants because the top politicians of the day are unable to come up with their own ideas. They are products of the machine, unable to think outside of the box and unable to speak their own minds. The words and positions they take are simply a part of groupthink. And what is groupthink?
Groupthink is defined as members of a group trying to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences. In fact, loyalty to the group, in this case either the Republican or Democratic Party, requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, thus leading to a loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. There is a reason why politics have become so polarized and boring. Everyone is the same and the positions are the same. The Corporate donors wouldn’t have it any other way. But that is a topic for another time, so let’s go back to the Donald and his presidential announcement.
In his announcement, he made a number of interesting points that many other, more serious, candidates wouldn’t and won’t be able to touch with a ten foot pool. But, these are real issues that average person on the street is facing. Illegal immigration? Listening to many politicians in the West, it doesn’t exist. But, taking a look at the situation across the world, it is a problem that many countries are facing, not just America. Europe is being overrun by illegal immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa. A major battle is currently being fought between European politicians trying to figure out where to place them, and some European countries are rebelling. Heck, even Yemen has a problem with illegal immigrants. In this case, they are from Somalia. The central theme in all of this is the foreign policy that Western countries have which are destabilizing countries. And when Western countries do this, as the Donald said, the poor and the disenfranchised, basically those at the bottom are the most affected and the first to flee. In many times, usually through no fault of their own, they aren’t the highly educated. But we can’t talk about immigration issues. Heck, we can’t even use the word “illegal immigrants” because it is not politically correct. We should use the words “undocumented workers”, as if by simply changing the words we use, the problem somehow disappears.
You see, the Donald is playing the role of the Fool. He is taking about things that the other candidates won’t. The other members of the court, in this case, the other potential presidential candidates, can acknowledge the problem, laugh at it, mock the messenger, dismiss the issue and return to the “pseudo solution”, thus ensuring more of the same.
In his speech, the Donald brought up the treatment of veterans and how they aren’t receiving the proper care that they deserve. He talked the lack of a clear vision for the Middle East and the United States’ failed strategy there. He went on to discuss the real economic situation in America and the high unemployment rate. He touched upon Obamacare and the havoc that it is creating on average American’s checkbook, and about how the real impact will only be felt in 2016 as Obamacare is fully implemented. He specifically noted that — “politicians are all talk, no action. Nothing’s gonna get done. They will not bring us — believe me — to the Promised Land. They will not.” Although that is not exactly true. You see, from the politicians’ point of view, a lot gets done, at least for those in the 1% and the big corporations. But not for the average person on the street. The Donald noted that — “…people are saying, “What’s going on? I just want a job. Just get me a job. I don’t need the rhetoric. I want a job.”
He went on to note a number of issues that American’s really care about the state of the current educational system, the crumbling infrastructure, the lack of a public safety net for the older members of society through Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He discussed the massive debt that America faces and how, in his opinion, the fact that the American dream has died. He even briefly criticized several other candidates, which, more than likely, will be Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Which by the way, is yet again more proof that America has entered a new chapter in its history. Apparently, the so-called “Presidential Crown” is being passed between two families, two dynasties, if you will.
In short, the Donald touched upon all of the real issues that should not only be discussed, but actually be solved. Net result? The people lose and we can expect more the same. The only real question left to be answered is who will be elected – a Bush or a Clinton?