Donald Trump and the Search for a Grand Narrative

Donald Trump News inspires certain rabidity in people on both sides of the divide. It is important that reasonable people sieve through the madness and say it is enough.

“When brothers fight to the death, a stranger possesses their inheritance” — An African Proverb

I was already halfway into this piece when I stumbled upon the proverb above and I thought this would be a fitting foreword to my thought on the political situation in the United States.

The Issue…

The world has watched the cat-fighting between the democrats and the Trump Administration. One would assume, and as common sense dictates, that at a moment where the world faces a different kind of existential threat that here is an opportunity for the United States to show global leadership but what did we find instead, Trump and the Democrats are trading blames like incongruous school kids and “smaller nations” like Taiwan and South-Korea have become an example on how to respond to a pandemic.

The outbreak of a virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan was concealed by the Chinese Communist Party, harassing and disappearing its citizens who attempted to warn the world until it got out of hand. It is fair to concede that much of the world was completely blindsided.

By the time the world could wake up to the reality, much water has gone under the bridge. In the United States, “the greatest nation in the face of the earth”, while other countries readied for impact, the democrats and republican party politicians were tangled in an impeachment squabble against the president Trump.

The Democrats…

By the time it had escalated in the United States, the CNN had moved from calling it the “Chinese Corona Virus” in a tweet to accusing the president of racism for similarly referring it to the “Chinese Virus”.

A black Trump supporter wears a sign on Fake News

New York city officials had gone from endangering their citizens by encouraging them to step out and continue their social engagement without care to accusing the president of lacking leadership in dealing with a totally avoidable outbreak.

President Trump continued to vacillate between calling for a cancellation of flights from China to declaring the virus it a Liberal Media Hoax- depending on which crowd he is working.

If we accept that Trump failed in handling COVID19, it is equally important to recognize that the democrats have made this event into a political cudgel for which to slam Trump at every turn and are wholly uninterested in any progress that does not terminate in the embarrassment or ousting of their political foe- Trump.

When Trump expressed his hope at finding a treatment for the virus in Hydroxychloroquine, it was not suddenly, a novel idea, it wasn’t an idea given to Trump in a dream — it had had a successful trial test in South Korea and France with very clear positive results greatly enhancing survival rates in particularly South Korea.

“Anti-science”, “stupid”, were words used to describe Trump’s suggestion. In fact, when some careless people suffered Chloroquine poisoning from consuming Chloroquine from aquariums, the media blamed Trump.

Yet within a four day period, The Governor of Michigan, Democrat, Gretchen Whitmer had gone from threatening to revoke the medical licenses of medical practitioners who prescribe Hydoxychloroquine to treat Coronavirus in Michigan to asking the federal government to send her state Hydroxychloroquine to treat corona virus patients.

Knowing that the drug had worked elsewhere and had been used to successfully contain the COVID-19 virus, why was the liberal leaning media particularly against the idea? At every point, it is clear that this ring that the Democrats have chosen to bear has completely possessed them- there was a sense that no cost was too great, not even the lives of citizens, in this game of thrones.

The Politics…

It is a bit curious that the media in attempting to denounce Trump for expressing hope in a cure tried to direct a narrative of national gloom and hopelessness. The implication of such a narrative- its crippling effect on the economy- is certainly very clear to its purveyors. But again, the democrats and their sympathizers in the media were completely possessed by this ring they have chosen to bear.

All the above seem apparent but what is happening in the grand scheme is that the democratic party, its zealots and sympathizers in the media are working to deny Trump of a grand narrative.

The French president in a 2017 interview noted that journalists have become killers of grand narratives. In his word:

“We need to develop a kind of political heroism. I don’t mean that I want to play the hero. But we need to be amenable once again to creating grand narratives. If you like, post-modernism was the worst thing that could have happened to our democracy. The idea that you have to deconstruct and destroy all grand narratives is not a good one. Since then, trust has evaporated in everything and everyone. I am sometimes surprised that it is the media that are the first ones to exhibit a lack of trust in grand narratives. They believe that destroying something is part of their journalistic purpose because something grand must inevitably contain an element of evil. Critique is necessary, but where does this hate for the so-called grand narrative come from?”

Political heroism is Trump containing the effect on the U.S economy by managing what narrative becomes dominant or Trump expressing hope for a cure in a drug that has been proven elsewhere or Trump choosing action over crippling fear; it is Trump sending the U.S Navy to help with the outbreak in New York, never mind that Rachel Maddow reported with such bubbling authority that Trump was lying when he announced it. All of which are things the Democrats were surprisingly “unhappy” for. It is why at every moment, the zealots among the Democrats continue to harp on a Trump “Katrina”- a moment of failure in leadership.

At the end…

Trump may not be the friend of the press and the press shouldn’t be but it seems to have prepared for that situation with his fits of now-famous Twitter outbursts. Some may argue that Trump’s siege mentality is unhelpful but we may also note that some of his outbursts have been necessary; like in the recent occasion during a coronavirus press briefing that Trump had lashed out at a reporter, accusing him of sowing fear; or the time he had rightly dismantled a reporter posing a question based on a deliberate misquote by the platform he represented. At a time where American politicians and party zealots should come together, the media isn’t losing sight of its main goal- to shoot down every grand narrative that could put Trump in good light.

This seed has been sown and it is unclear when it ends.

trump at a political event
Trump at an event

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