Thursday, January 17, 2019

What Would Happen if the World's Most Powerful Nation Elected a Narcissist?

D. T.'s two-year journey into our collective consciousness may be described as a reality show where the bumbling star is a walking study of narcissistic personality disorder.

I have tried very hard not to allow T - - - P's name to grace this blog, which is where beautiful ideas of science and engineering are supposed to be explored, but I cannot write about general relativity and the standard model (that is what I was hoping to do today) without first getting this nonsense out of the way.  Once through, I hope to be able to emerge from this fog and think clearly.  Some Americans might identify with that last sentence, and deem it applicable to the past three years of their lives.

It seems that this sad man has infiltrated our minds to the point where otherwise reasonable people have developed CNN addictions, tuning in for hours every day to witness the "Gotcha!" moment.  They want to know as soon as possible that the bully's alleged criminal activity has caused him to be stripped of his powers, and left him somewhere that he can no longer harm the planet.

And harm the planet he has, in almost every conceivable way.

At first, I thought his worst long term offence would be to remove the United States from The Paris Agreement that was established at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  He has also attempted, and sometimes succeeded at tearing up other precautionary measures that seek to protect our fragile biosphere from us hominids.  Then, when he did all of that, it occurred to me that these would not be his most long term devastating affronts to the species.

This frightened tiger's legacy will likely be his battle against truth.  Any scientist with any care in the world should fear a future where regular people think facts are worthy of debate.  This man's presidency coincides with the introduction of the idea of the 'Alternative Fact'.  I still do not know what such a term means, but I do know what it attempts to accomplish.  This man who brags about his love for the uneducated has attempted to uneducate the educated, so he may love us all.

My message is simple: I care too much about myself, my family, my friends, and my students to let that happen.  D. T.'s time is short, and humanity's struggle to find its way is seemingly endless.  Our spirit is indefatigable.  Our collective efforts cannot be undermined by one narcissist and a few of his minions.  It is insulting for them to think that it might.

This brief but seemingly eternal fog will lift, and as an engineer, I cannot help but propose a solution for how it might end without violence.  I will close this rant by elucidating a potential solution...

The reason I refer to D. T. as a frightened tiger is because he is without critical thought, and he is presently cornered by his own absurdity.  What he has done thus far in such situations is to deny, deter and distract.  The only thing that might distract America sufficiently such that he may briefly escape this mess and go golfing is a far bigger mess he has the power to impose.

Here is how violence may be averted:

Someone must distract the frightened tiger, perhaps until Michael Cohen appears at the House Oversight Committee (currently set for February 7, get your popcorn ready), a day that may well lead to D. T.'s conviction.  It is essential that this event not be derailed by some horrific plot that intends to deter and distract.  I hope that some responsible adults who are not his minions have a close eye on him and his arsenal of weapons today and over the coming days.  Perhaps they can lie to him (it needs to be people he trusts, like right-wing media) that everything will be fine for him, so there is no need to do anything rash.

Then, when the dust settles, and D. T. possesses no power to speak of, a new leader must emerge.  He or she need not be bold, nor charismatic.  For all I care, he or she may be camera shy.  It is critical that the new leader be an adult who is committed to unity and has a steadfast determination to maintain civility during the transition from absolute chaos to more regular levels of chaos.

Perhaps, with some vision and leadership, the leaders of this world will help guide our species to an age of reason - this planet requires this of us if we are to inhabit it in such great numbers for an extended period of time.  Despite the many backwards steps we have all witnessed in recent years, and not just in America, I remain hopeful that this ship's course may be righted; all we need are some courageous captains, and a majority of willing passengers possessing critical thought and the resolve to visit voting stations when it counts.  Further, they need to keep a close eye on the captains they elect, and hold them accountable should they lack the resolve it takes to navigate this complex and delicate ocean.

I would like to fund a wall in the shape of a circle.  I propose that D. T. spend the remainder of his life inside the confines of this wall to protect the rest of us from him.  And while I am dreaming, can his new home block twitter access?


P. S. : I have already written two volumes out of a planned four in a Popular Science Book Series (in March, I intend to mail out a Book Proposal seeking a literary agent for representation), and I can proudly state that the only leaders I have referred to in any way in the text are people of true substance, like Carl Sagan.

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