By Michael L Jarvis, London UK
That the President of the United States of America, Donald John Trump chose the song My Way, immortalised by Frank Sinatra, as the choice for his inaugural presidential twirl, speaks volumes.
Whatever the decibels of the strains of that Sinatra classic oozing from those finely-balanced ballroom speakers, it must certainly have been loud enough to discern the lyrics.
Was it the perfect song choice for the occasion or was it more the soundtrack of what to expect from the Trump presidency?
Surely, someone would have known that My Way is a song reflecting on one's achievement.
It’s an homage to self; been there, done that, did it my way. Past tense.
Or, was President Trump bookending his inaugural presidential address with a declaration signalling what could be his song choice at the end of his presidency... whenever that is.
Whatever the rationale for that song choice, whoever made it (was it President Trump’s choice the same way he wrote his inaugural speech himself?), it was bold and confident, even brazen.
Or was it just not noticed that My Way is in fact an end of process, laudatory paean to self?
If so, it would hardly be surprising given the image Mr Trump either wants to project of himself, or the opinion many (supporters and detractors alike) have formed of him.
Is it confidence, over-confidence, ego, self-assuredness, megalomania?
A leader cannot be a shrinking violet and one does not get to be President of the United States of America showing any signs of such.
Donald Trump is no shrinking violet.
But the job calls for a delicate balance of tact and toughness.
America first! (on repeat) might be intended to show toughness but it lacks tact – and comes across more rough than tough.
Furthermore, which leader does not project their country as their priority?
Somethings are already known. Tact underlines that.
Policy declarations that point to an obsession with insularity in a world which has relied on the United States to lead from the front, risks creating a void that only opens doors to uncertainty.
Anything suggesting pulling up the drawbridge and withdrawing is a script for isolationism that is impractical in today’s capitalist, globalised world.
Even communist China is preaching the advantages of globalisation.
Like democracy, globalisation has its imperfections but it’s still the best of a bad lot.
Whatever the illusions of his allusions, does President Trump risk unwittingly courting an alliance of right-wing nationalist parties globally.
Or, is My Way a pointer to doing things ‘the Trump way' under a guise of ‘the American way'?
It was indeed a curious song choice to celebrate an accomplishment of a process that is just starting.
But what if that was the intention? Mr Trump has achieved his goal of becoming President of the United States of America.
That itself is an achievement which by its very nature is more than just noteworthy. It is historic.
And if it is indeed true that Mr Trump decided to run for the presidency after he was roundly roasted (humiliated even) by his predecessor, former president Barack Obama, that would add further validity to the song choice.
It would cast President Trump in the light of the ‘everyman’ overcoming impossible odds, ‘sticking it to the man’.
Mr Trump sees his presidency rival Hilary Clinton, and ex-president Obama as part of that Washington establishment that he detests – and which they all have vowed to change. No success this far.
Mr Obama's ‘Yes We Can' call to action didn’t quite make it to the summit of Capitol Hill.
Will President Trump with his appeal to America’s proverbial ‘everyman’ fare any better? Will it be his way or no way?
Will he be able to put My Way on replay?
President Trump, although he got the votes and claims to be the voice of America’s ‘everyman’, is – let’s face it – no ‘everyman’.
But he got their attention and their votes: “The power is now back where it belongs – with the people,” said the billionaire President who never had to live the life of the average ‘everyman’.
But he was an outsider, a political underdog, who beat the odds and his opponents, and won. His way. On behalf of the ‘everyman’.
Yes, the record shows he took the blows and did it his way... and won.
But that was just the campaign to get elected.
That’s only part of the journey.
Now the real work begins.
Will he have it his way?
Put that song on ‘hold’ until the full journey ends.
24 Sep, 2019
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