Over the years, I have wondered about the differences between how our American democracy controls power as compared to other nations. After studying and writing about power for more than 30 years, I have found only one inference: does our priceless freedom to use power account for a major part of the uniqueness of our culture? In addition, do we allow power to be used at times unbridled, in our singular political system and is our freedom to use power for abuse closely tied to the sheer volume of our freedom as contained in the Bill of Rights?
The Constitution places little control over the use of power. We are, perhaps, comparatively, the freest surviving culture with the least concern about controlling power so as not to interfere with our individual rights. If this is so, it leaves a huge “freedom vacuum” that would suck in power allowing it to be misused for abuse.
Alvin Toffler in his book, “Power Shift,” defines three sources of power, wealth, information and violence.
Consider wealth for example. Based upon wealth, Donald Trump certainly is given profound power. Unfortunately, he continues to use his power to speak abusively at the extreme boundary of our sensibilities. His abusive behavior defines his judgement and calls it into serious question. Characteristic of many people with power, he does not apologize, explain or justify his behavior. Yet if he were president, such behavior could be cataclysmic. Other than his characteristic bombastic repertoire, among all the candidates, Trump continues to be more deeply submerged into raptures of power.
Yet I agree with Trump who professes his profound opposition to the Orwellian speech police, i.e., attempts to control speech, abusive or otherwise, in the form of “political correctness” by liberal extremists under the guise of what they claim to be inoffensive or “correct” language to support their political objectives.
We most certainly need someone like Trump to move us in the opposite direction toward a more culturally acceptable articulate balance. Yet, should he continue his verbal abuse, no matter his power, he will pay the price for starting any collapse into the terrestrial hell of blatant verbal and other abuses by all who choose to stoop to such base conduct. Having fallen into the great pleasures contained in raptures of power, and having encapsulated himself in its cocoon, he obscures his judgement, allowing exoneration from responsibility for his abuses and nauseating superiority.
Yet wealth is not enough. Toffler’s definition is not restricted to wealth. Without the kind of information needed to manage political decisions, Trump spins his failures and blusters his unstudied fund of strategic and tactical knowledge alpha male like, hiding his informational dearth with bravado and wild statements of Messiah like promises; much like the nebulous and vague “hope and change.”
In America, political power is nearly anarchical and not always transparent as Trump would want one to believe. Thus, voters have not fully conceptualized him yet, even though, according to the polls, his brand is quite tolerated by many. However, while we may dismiss his violations of our cultural boundaries with his inept dark comedy, international leaders may not. Power transactions among national and international leaders are quite often personal. Uncontrolled and unthought outbursts like Trump’s defecations would prove to be devastating to our national and international relationships, just the opposite of Obama’s harmful sub-assertive international copulations.
Trump’s language may be an attempt to demonstrate that he has more power than the media, Megan Kelly et al. If so, intimidating the media with abusive power may serve him well during a presidential campaign should his current populist base continue to be supportive. But, should he intimidate foreign leaders with his power bravado?
Boilerplate Republicans take notice. Put the candidate’s personality aside and move issues and well-thought out strategy to the front. If Trump can dump his abusive behavior, drop his power driven self aggrandizement by recognizing his investment in rapturous power, stop ad hominem attacks and find a way to learn appropriate assertive behavior on the issues, he has my vote.
Dan Mooney, a 40-year Carson City resident, may be reached at Nevada4@aol.com.