Martin Luther King Week this year shares the spotlight with the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. The legacy of King, America’s foremost Black civil rights leader and symbol for equality and Trump, perhaps the unwitting standard-bearer for White supremacists and other nationalists provides a historical contrast that cannot be overlooked.
The influences they represent are like two ships passing each other on the high seas as they pursue courses going in opposite directions.
The great expectations and excitement that began with the energy of the great awakening that was the Renaissance in the middle of the 15th Century appears to have hit another low point in the history of the Western World.
This goes to show that a super power like the United States is not immune to the vagaries of decadent trends that can lead to the demise of a world order. The agents of demise are all around us looking out for themselves rather the good of all of the community.
There was a time at the end of the Roman Civilization, for example, when the leadership of the empire could be bought and sold for personal gain. We are not there yet, although the conspiracy theories that can undermine the important structures of self-government have put the country on notice for serious reflection.
President-elect Trump, the chief instigator of conspiracy theories in attempts to bring down a sitting president, beat his opponents, discredit the press, trash our heroes and diminish people of all kinds is now facing the point of that same sword. You have heard the saying: “those who live by the sword...”
Christopher Steele, a one-time British spy for MI6, created an investigative report ordered by Trump’s political opponents that if proven true puts Trump at least in the awkward position of having to explain why he has, during his campaign for president, been carrying the water for Russian political interests and Putin himself. The conspiracy theory is that Russia has vital secrets on Trump that will not be revealed if the new President behaves himself and allows Russia to exercise its will on the world stage.
This can explain candidate Trump’s denials of Russian meddling in the election designed to help him win. It was only recently that, after “overwhelming proof” pressed into his hands by American security agencies that he agreed that Russia did get involved in the American election.
At the same time, he was adamant that the Russian intervention did not change the outcome of the election. While that may be true, the Russian action and his denials do cloud the issue of his legitimacy and his right to be President.
Just like his questioning of Obama’s birth in America that would go to the legitimacy of the President to be in office, Trump now finds himself being questioned as a Russian version of the Manchurian Candidate. The conspiracy theory can be taken as far as to suggest that President-elect Trump is the face of Russia in America.
So much for conspiracy theories and those that delight themselves in using them especially for personal gain. Conspiracy theories are a lot like the truth in that there is a two edge sword element to them that can make the user also become the victim.
To date, Donald Trump has been able to excuse most of his personal and political indiscretions as actions of a novice politician and outsider. What will be his excuse now that he is the ultimate insider.