Laws, systems saved America

Trump supporters

Supporters of US President Donald Trump clash with police and security forces when they stormed the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021.

Photo credit: Joseph Prezioso | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Our political landscape is highly polarised and likely to be amplified towards the 2022 General Election.
  • I shudder at the thought of somebody pulling a Trump, given the demonisation of local solutions like the ‘Handshake’ .

The Make America Great Again (Maga) slogan that Republicans (nay, Donald Trump) rode on has proven to be the greatest irony of our time. Instead of walking his talk, the 45th US president stood atop the Statute of Liberty and publicly aired the dirtiest linen that nobody imagined would obtain from the Land of Promise.

We had seen the Trump brigade hop from one court to the other, losing in every instance. Even the judges that he had appointed disagreed with him. That’s what well-founded systems and institutions do.

As Aristotle makes this clear in his De Anima, human beings are naturally base animals. That is why laws and regulations exist; for only the latter can protect individuals from themselves whenever their base impulses overpower their rational other. 

‘Big Brother’ demonstrated the fickle nature of its democracy. But that the attempted ‘insurrection’ was arrested, paving the way for transition, illustrates the benefits that accrue to civilisations which anchor their institutions on firm laws and systems.

Our political landscape is highly polarised and likely to be amplified towards the 2022 General Election. I shudder at the thought of somebody pulling a Trump, given the demonisation of local solutions like the ‘Handshake’ .

Whereas I am not an ardent supporter of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) train, ostensibly due to the way it was handled, much more its drivers’ intolerance to constructive criticism, I would vouch for the section that touches on introduction of the offices of the prime minister and official opposition. These may save the country, albeit for a while, given our nature of politics.

It’s easier said than done to preach about transformation of the economy as that won’t happen in a politically unstable environment. Kenyans don’t engage in post-election violence spontaneously. They are incited by individuals aggrieved after losing, fairly or otherwise. It’s all about our unprogressive culture and systems, which we should re-engineer, rather than playing the fictatious Platonic republic.

Mr Osabwa is a lecturer at Alupe University College. wosabwa680@gmail.com

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