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|When the first set of wars began in Iraq, we were repeatedly told that we would all be pressed into “shock and awe” as we beheld the US air assaults on our television sets. Indeed, it was an amazing display of “smart bombs,” big bombs, and penetration bombs. Since those bygone days (and multiple more incursions), we have heard the phrase, “shock and awe,” as it applies to many things military and otherwise. Whoever expected it to apply to a sitting President of the United States?
President Trump came on the political scene as a billionaire upstart in the world of politics where he had never held a major political office of any kind. Several generals have made it to the presidency but, to my knowledge, never anyone who had not served in the political-social realm at some level. In fact, being a senator or state governor has practically been a prerequisite to the office. Not for Mr. Trump; he went from zero to the Oval Office in a straight line.
His candidacy was one shock-and-awe experience after another. Politically speaking, he shot himself in the foot so many times by what he said or implied that no experienced observer believed he would survive another week. We’ve had a number of Teflon Presidents to whom nothing “stuck,” but ne’er a bullet-dodger who shot himself repeatedly. Talk about political shock and awe; he gave the leaders of both parties momentous gasps of, “He said what?” and “This time he’s finished for sure… Ok, he became the candidate, but he will never make it through the campaign.” Nope, wrong again. My shock and awe continues to defy the laws of political gravity on multiple levels. Those of us familiar with the process are still waiting to wake up from this incredibly elongated dream.
Since entering the Oval Office and right up to his latest trip to Europe, President Trump has daily broken so much political china that no leader’s kitchen sink is safe. The phrase, “He will never recover from this,” could easily be put on bumper stickers around the world, and we would all get the reference to President Shock and Awe, no context needed.
New Paradigms Can Make Us Look Like Fools
If President Trump has proven anything, it’s that Bob Dylan was correct: “The times they are a-changin’.” For reasons known and unknown, much of our current social systems are broken and hemorrhaging. Only God knows what will emerge from the subterranean cracks in the foundations. Clearly, the left-right paradigm no longer works in its attempts to fix anything. Hate is gradually replacing reasoned compromise, and worse than that, the compromises of the past are highly questionable at best. Yes, the Cold War is over—or was over—but acting as if it isn’t will guarantee that it isn’t. Those who have read George Bernard Shaw or seen My First Lady know what I am saying; treating somebody a certain way reinforces the likelihood they will stay that way. I am not defending President Trump, but I strongly believe it is this concept that he is ineptly trying to apply with President Putin. The reaction of both our parties proves they think and reason from the old Cold-War paradigm. As a Christian, I’ve found myself wondering who poses the greatest threat to God’s will: Mr. Putin or the “progressive” children of Lenin and his centralized “we have to manage the common fools” state here in the US.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how deep this rabbit hole goes. What massive paradigm shifts are coming that we will foolishly press our past reasoning skills against, only to be left feeling like children because they not only don’t work, but they make things worse? Mr. Trump is a prophetic sign of some kind, and that goes well beyond the millions of disillusioned American citizens who energetically cry out to “drain the swamp.” And fill it with what? There will be a limit on how much shock and awe leaders can take. This is surely a day for genuine prophets and those who can accurately extrapolate current issues into the future. My advice to myself and others is to weigh our reasoning carefully; if the game has changed as much as it thinks it has, old paradigms won’t get us where we need to go. I think that is…
THE BOTTOM LINE.
P.S. Mr. President: Work hard on separating Mr. Putin from Iran. That is where that ball must go.