He did it again; such incredible hubris! I’m watching the evening news; the arrogance! How did we get here? I’ve never seen this before…but wait, I have; I’ve read about this in history books.
I voted for him; we needed “a change”. I hear those words echoing, aching painfully throughout our world’s history; Out with the old, in with the new.
Suddenly, I realize that it isn’t a mystery as to why we are where we are politically today . We are exactly where we are supposed to be, exactly. The pendulum swings again. The infamous don’t create the events, the events unleash the infamous.
History is full of people who became infamous by filling the vacuum created by the events of the times in which they lived. We praise or blame the person for their deeds, but seem to remain mystified at how they came to be. We then fail to accept that we, the people, created the perfect environment for them to flourish; and they usually do. General George Patton, a brilliant military tactician during World War II, lamented that the war would soon end and with it, his purpose. It was “his time” and he felt that destiny had made him for that specific event. Ronald Reagan was the right person at the right time in America and he excelled. Was he a great person or was he the “right” person for the time or both? I doubt that Adolf Hitler would have had his “rise to infamy” at any other time in history, had the after-effects of world war I not fomented the perfect environment for his existence. He didn’t create the world in which he lived, but he certainly “excelled”, tragically, within it.
I belive society creates the dilemma, adds a degree of desperation and then grinds to a stop. It is here that we, at our weakest, create the environment that unleashes those who are waiting for infamy, and grants them essentially “free reign”. We then seem baffled by their behavior but unable to contain them. History records the results. And with the assistance of the media, a Cult of Personality emerges.
Is it “cause and effect” or the flawed fallacy of “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” (Latin: “after this, therefore because of this”)? In other words, A+B=C. This may be loosely true. We may have “created” the “present” by our past actions. Think about the last X years; political gridlock, very little momentum and a feeling of insincerity and disconnect by the people towards the politicians. For whatever reason, we seemed to stall; enter, Donald Trump, the anti-politician and well, here we are.
I am haunted by the words of George Santayana; “those who do not remember the past, are doomed to repeat it”.
To be clear, it is not my intention, in any way, to suggest that George Patton, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler share any similarities, other than they each possess(ed) a position of great influence over the lives of the people they represent(ed) and they each emerged at the exact time in history when their “talents” were a perfect match to the environment they occupied.
I believe President Trump exists not only because he was elected, but because we also created the ideal environment for him to thrive. The vacuum is filled by those who are the most capable. Those who, left unchecked, would be king. We, the people, created the environment for him to flourish and he is doing exactly what he was meant to do. Good or bad, it is now his time and place in history.
In the end, history judges us all. Who will be our next villain, savior or king? The answer lies within the problems that we (humanity) create and who among us waits, undiscovered, to release their full potential and claim their place in history, be it good, bad or indifferent; unfortunately though, we usually “reap what we sow”.