Churchill reminded us – “Never, never, never give up.”
We need also to never forget. Never, never, never ever forget. But we will. Time and distance separate us from events. On this day of remembrance it is harder to remember old wars when we were young, or from before our time – especially when contrasted against events of recent days. In time, which we will we always remember, and which will we never forget?
We all woke up the other day to reverberations – not a one-day earthquake, but possibly the birth of the world order changing, or maybe just ‘a change candidate won an election’ – clearly it is too soon to tell, an certainly too soon to rest easy.
We truly do live in interesting times …
The hairdo, the ultimate bobble-head of ridiculous self-aggrandizing and disgusting pomposity is now the ‘defacto leader of the free world’, and so many of us reacted with ‘not the leader of my world, really?’. Exactly. But he now owns, for four years anyway, the bully pulpit.
That term bully-pulpit (think Teddy Roosevelt – a rich New Yorker with a flair for dramatic self-promotion) harkens to an ear of wise men lecturing an unwilling populous to do the right thing, or rather ‘what the bully says is the right thing’. Never has that term been so turned on its head as is this new development.
Donald Trump is President-Elect. He’s no Roosevelt or Churchill – just a bully, but he has the pulpit now and everyone would prefer an earthquake.
And, why am I wasting precious space for yet another rant about him, about that societal decision, on a day reserved for remembering – this Remembrance Day, day for commemorating those who died, who sacrificed so much for freedom and liberty. Wars make things clear – there is a clear separation between good guys v. bad guys, winners v. losers.
During what we call peace-time, the clarity gets murky …
The world seems, as it has been so many times before – at the precipice of danger and horror, when conflict and war are poised, waiting to threaten and kill without remorse, without respect for boundaries or civility, without a choice or a chance for so many. We need to take more than a moment once a year to appreciate our position, need to take more than an ‘evening watching election results’ every four years to understand geo-politics. Whether you like it or not, the most powerful country in the world just elected someone who could be the worst and most dangerous despot we’ve seen since Hitler. But how quickly we forget Idi Amin Dada, Leonid Brezhnev, Mugabe, Kim Jong-Il, Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot – and history books are littered with countless others.
Everything is faster now – truth and falsehood are just as difficult to separate as ever, but now they race around the planet to impact and infect billions in nanoseconds. We still live at the same speed, a year or two at a time and there is now a very dangerous man in a powerful place – he’s not even sworn in yet and his citizens are nail-biting, so many saying ‘what have we done?’ while those who haven’t awakened to it yet are better described as ‘they know not what they have done’.
Lest we forget?
Politicians know how short everyone’s memory can be. Soldiers, sadly, know the same reality but they put their lives on the line, walk into harm’s way for us … and we should never forget.