On Bastille Day in America.

Watching the self-indulgent speech by President Donald Trump at his inauguration, it was as though he believed that his promises to the people of America were unique in world history. He was wrong. The same speech could have been made as the Bastille fell in Paris in 1789.

But the difference was that the continuing turmoil of the French Revolution eventually did bring about change. Trump, today, is promising change that he cannot deliver. We all agree that he can be expected to deliver turmoil but his choices of cabinet appointees are all promising the status quo.

With his usual exaggeration and bombast, Donald Trump told that cold damp crowd on the National Mall that “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”  And his sans-culottes supporters voiced their approval.

While the sans-culottes (literally: without pants) supporters of revolutionary leader Robespierre in France in the 1790s were assumed to be lower class, they were found to include the middle-class French who rebelled against the French landowners. In the earlier American Revolutionary War, the rebels were led by the landowners who were rebelling against the absentee English lawmakers. With billionaire Trump at the helm, we can only assume that the Americans without pants have finally realized it’s the landowners and their politicians who have caused their problems.

But beyond his dark forecasts of an America beset with drugs, its borders unprotected, its factories stilled and rusting, its schools losing out to gangs, its armies depleted, we are no less clear on what Trump really will do during his term in the White House. Dragging America into the darkness of trade protectionism, sabre rattling and some imagined dictatorship of a police state will hardly make America great again.

Trump’s supporters now have their hero in the White House. Neither he nor they have a clue as to what he is going to do next.

The government of Robespierre ruled in Paris for a year during France’s Reign of Terror. Robespierre died at the guillotine as so many that he had sent there. President Trump is now busy signing away the legacy of his predecessor. His first order of business is vindictive. He is beginning the process of disillusioning his sans-culottes followers.

The challenge is to the gamblers among us. Within six months the calls for his head will drown out the mindless slogans. Within a year, the road to impeachment will be paved. Will Trump last 18 months?


Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me


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