Perhaps I am the first to say this: Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is an idiot. He is a bully, a thug and a narcissist, just to name a few of his endearing qualities.
There is nothing special in what I just wrote. There is also nothing amusing in it. What is amusing is the cabal of right wing apologists in Australia who excuse his behaviour simply because he is on 'their side' of politics and must therefore be good. Well, perhaps not so much amusing as pathetic.
Anyway, that is not the purpose of today's newsletter.
The purpose is to illustrate how the inventors of Democracy - the Greeks (yes, we did this as well as providing the language derivative for the kimono) - understood all too well what Democracy was, how it worked and, most importantly, how it belongs to its citizens and needs to be protected by them.
The Ancient Greeks knew that for a Democracy to succeed it required the active participation of all its citizens in the political process, otherwise the void they left by not participating would be filled by the thugs and the third rate operators hungry for money and power.
Only 58% of eligible voters participated in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
The thug and third rate operator hungry for money and power who benefitted from that lack of participation in the political process.
To quote Pericles in his Funeral Oration:
"We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business, we say he has no business being here at all."
Also from this Greek resident of Australia, Andonis Windsopoulos:
"The world is run by those who turn up."
Thankfully we have compulsory voting in Australia. Well, it's actually not compulsory to vote, it's compulsory to go to a polling booth and have your name checked off. Whether you vote or not is a matter for each individual. (I learned this from Andrew Peacock. Who said he was vacuous?)
Nevertheless Citizens, never let it go unchallenged again when some ignorant person says "I'm not interested in politics because it doesn't matter who is in power, makes no difference to me."