Last July I was invited to lunch at the Middle Temple by a friend of mine, a slightly eccentric QC who is also a brilliant raconteur. The temple was originally the headquarters of the Knights Templar and after their disestablishment in 1312 it became the haven for lawyers it still is. The panelling in the dining hall is covered with the painted coats of arms of, I think, the original noble families although as my friend said, with a straight face, that it had been “redecorated” about 1600 pointing out half a dozen suits of Spanish armor, trophies from the armada, hanging under the high window sills. We talked about his favourite subject – Brexit then the subject of violent political controversy, including murder, such as America is now experiencing.
The discussion ranged to the survival of society in such situations and my friend offered the following intelligence confided to him by a scion of a very old English family; when violent controversy arose in Britain, from the time before the Tudors, to the present day, the family rule was that the eldest son was always required to side with and support the opposing party while the family continued to support the conservative side. That way, as history proved, the family had its interests somewhat protected, no matter who won. I would therefore like to suggest, in that same spirit if you like, for the benefit of our blood pressure and mental health, that SST should consider the possibility, remote if you like, that the Democrats, BLM, Tlaib, Ocasio-cortez, Sanders and even Antifa supporters may have some valid points, however vile their expression. In my opinion, such an understanding may lead to a way forward to the benefit of the country.
On a warning note, I fail to see how America can maintain its current economic and military dominance in the long term if the tensions now on display are not resolved. I suspect that maybe Gen. Milleys memo was an admission that such tensions already exist in parts of the armed services and if unchecked they will have a negative effect on effectiveness. There is no existential threat to bind us together in common defence at present.
Yes, I know the Democrats are vile scum sucking communists, so what? There are major issues that need to be addressed if America is going to continue to thrive. https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/08/the-en-banc-court-of-appeals-switches-and-denies-a-mandamus-in-the-michael-flynn-case.html and under the pressure of the pandemic these tensions are surfacing now. As a local nobel laureate has pointed out, these communities no longer have the energy and resilience to bootstrap themselves into a better life so parables about the American dream don’t help. They now have very little to lose and what’s worse they see the Amazon’s, Googles, Facebooks, AI, robots and other new technologies and their super rich overlords preparing to permanently suppress them as China is now doing to its citizens.
Make no mistake, the very rich lead a very scared existence and they will make use of their political power to protect themselves. The days when labourers – the vast portion of the population, were valuable enough to be listened to and paid a living wage are long gone. Left to themselves, our politicians and their rich and powerful backers are going to turn the majority of the population into serfs again, with credit cards and mobile phones if you will. I say again, look at China. Our overlords are looking too – with envy!
I think whoever is in power needs to focus on decent jobs, education, healthcare, infrastructure and of course good public administration. If we focus on buzz words, identity politics, political phobias like “fascism “ and “socialism” we are doomed. I also believe that despite his weaknesses, President Trump has a good understanding of what is required, a least better than his Democrat opponents, mired as they are in identity politics.