Disturbing and Familiar

Watching the president elect’s inaugural address last Friday I was struck by two things; one: that this was a remarkably coherent speech, and two: that bits of the address were eerily and disturbingly familiar.

The coherence was not expected as the President’s streams of consciousness, ramped up by contempt and vitriol, are rarely focused or logically ordered. A recent speech at CIA headquarters supports this opinion.

The president started off well. His respectful tone towards Chief Justice Roberts, Presidents Obama, Clinton, Bush, and Carter were appropriate and dignified. His exclusion of Mrs. Clinton was perhaps not nice, but one wonders if ‘President’ Clinton would have mentioned Trump or Bernie Saunders. Trump then got to the meat of his discourse. In a movie-trailer worthy synopsis, he pointed out the perceived problems with the ‘carnage’ happening in the United States.

He proceeded to isolate the USA, on the way to making it great again. ‘From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.’

The familiar echoes were the ‘giving power back to the people’ and ‘building with American hands’. And then there was the Charlie Sheen moment, when ‘America will start winning again, winning like never before.’ The echoes of Bane, of John Frederick Paxton, and oddly of Bernie Sanders, seem at odds with a speaker, who rarely evokes anyone but himself.

The imagery of an American heartland littered with broken people, rusting dreams, and crumbling infrastructure is not altogether untrue. Coming from the newest resident of the White House, the statements seem a tad disingenuous. To be fair, the image of the 45th president striving mightily to protect people, and using every breath in his body to change the course of mighty rivers may fill some with hope.

Now comes the big moment. ‘Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who ‘are all talk’ and no action, constantly complaining, but never doing anything about it.’ I am reminded of the scene in Monty Python’s The Life of Brian where the talk is all of ‘not just talking’.

‘The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.’ As if the point needed to be underscored.

That this individual, so long divisive, so long derisive and so often disinterested in anyone but himself, could talk of healing, of racial harmony, of a shared creator. That he could speak of caring what happens to a child in Detroit or Nebraska under whatever sheltering skies he may see in his mind’s eye. These statements can only bring back the impassioned question of Joseph Nye Welch, “Have You Left No Sense of Decency?”.

 

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Respect and Dignity for family and loved ones of Air Asia QZ8501

For family and loved ones: Please accept our condolences. Grief does not happen on a schedule. You need time.

Untuk keluarga dan orang yang dicintai : Terimalah belasungkawa kami . Duka tidak terjadi pada jadwal. Anda perlu waktu.

For the public:

Please give families and loved ones time, support and respect.

Untuk masyarakat:
Tolong beri keluarga dan mencintai waktu yang , dukungan dan rasa hormat.

For all the airport staff, military, support crews and rescue personnel: Thank you for your efforts under these horrific circumstances.

Untuk semua staf bandara,militer,kru dukungan dan personil penyelamatan:
Terima kasih atas usaha Anda dalam keadaan yang mengerikan.

For the Mayor of Surabaya Tri Rismaharini and East Java’s Governor H Soekarwo
: Thank you for your care, decency and Leadership

Untuk Wali Kota Surabaya Tri Rismaharini dan

Gubernur Jawa Timur Soekarwo H :

Terima kasih atas perawatan Anda , kesopanan dan Kepemimpinan

For President Joko Widodo: Thank you for your leadership and example.

Untuk Presiden Joko Widodo: Terima kasih atas kepemimpinan Anda dan contoh.

For the press: You are a public service. Please respect that and begin to
act with some measure of decency, professionalism and respect. If you can’t manage that, then reflect on your humanity.

Untuk pers : Anda adalah pelayanan publik.
Silahkan menghormati itu dan mulai bertindak dengan
beberapa ukuran kesopanan,profesionalisme dan rasa hormat.
Jika Anda tidak bisa mengelola itu, maka merenungkan kemanusiaan Anda.