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“Hand holding a reflective glass orb near an arched hallway” by Michal Lomza on Unsplash

Clowns, Butterflies, and Paul Ryan

By Mike Meyer

It may be time to revisit our options in changing the fate of this country and planet. We know we are in a time of accelerating change, not just technical but driven by all encompassing technology. The complexity of this is beyond our experience and scares the hell out of me. That means we must watch all levels of changing human activity from local to regional to planetary and the expected response or responses to triggering events may be strange and may, themselves, trigger new and even more surprising reactions.

Remember that the US is no longer in the lead. With a century of being the leading culture and then economy and then military empire we all are programmed to look for the answers in the publicly displayed entrails of America. When things get strange it has always been best to look for hints of what is to come and how to deal with it from what happens in America.

That ended with the failed election of 2016. While there are a perennial set of traditional opportunists who will claim the mantel of authoritarian ruler to lead the return to past greatness, they are a distraction and not part of the future. These types barked their support for one of their own in Donald Trump but they are, by nature, loaners and impulsive so they cannot trust anyone. They know that they are totally untrustworthy themselves.

We have an excellent illustration of this in James Comey’s new book describing a cringe worthy conversation with Trump on the so called pee tape. Trump seemed to be struggling to convince Comey that he wouldn’t enjoy that. The problem is he seems unsure of himself.

By January 2017 the world had changed and power was in flux with Germany and China establishing a new, at least interim, balance of power. China is now very, very powerful and Germany is cool. Who knew?

While the authoritarian opportunists are dangerous and can cause disasters, they are short term. The planetary order has begun to redefine itself and America is now a sideshow. In that sense we are providing the clowns while the next acts are taking their places.

So what can happen? The Republican Party is collapsing. Paul Ryan was their smart hope and he is an obnoxious fake. That’s been known for several years but the pretense needed to be maintained by all. Leaving to spend time with his family, however it is phrased, is the classic stereotypical cover. By its very tattered nature it is a major signal of failure and a white flag. No wonder the remaining Republicans in Congress are panicked and checking their oligarchs for continued support. They are all considered dumber than Paul Ryan and if he admits to being stupid where does that leave them?

These are the sudden and surprising changes that can become the butterfly in Brazil generating the tornado in Kansas. And a sudden trip to Oz.

Cusps of change

There are dynamic pressure points that may break unexpectedly. All I can do is itemize the most obvious. None of these are new and none are previously unknown but they need to be watched for change.

What happens to Trump and then to Pence is up for grabs. If Trump is forced to resign Pence is a far stranger and more dangerous problem. He is so far out on the fringe of archaic religiosity that I don’t think he can do anything. If he does do something it will be horrible. If he is forced out . . Wait, the speaker of the house is the next in line. No, that doesn’t work.

This would appear to be an opportunity for real change out of necessity. We have had examples of that with the breakup of the USSR. The close similarity of the two has been haunting me and many others for years.

A breakup into more independent regional alliances may be a route to a new stability. A succession to Orin Hatch as President pro tempore of the Senate could hold things together to do this. The sudden insertion of a new speaker would be disastrous given the current contenders of a failing party.

As this comes apart many groups and all of the oligarchs who control the country through their owned agents in Congress will be fighting to retain rule. This puts the disastrous and dangerous asset consolidation in the oligarch’s hands as the point of greatest contention. If they simply retain control it will not be hidden as it is now by the careful control of the major media who, incidentally, are all owned by those same oligarchs. At the very least this will greatly erode the remaining illusion of legitimacy for the current political structure. When pretenses begin to fall they all tend to come down.

This, again, suggests major change to establish a new structure and order domestically. I think that is not something that most people want to yet admit as a goal but this could mark a very quick change in that attitude. As I have said elsewhere, the quick rats are already scampering for the exits. And the whole thing can suddenly catch fire.

Watch closely in the coming days. We live in very interesting times.

Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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