There Is No Real Substitute for People Power, After All
A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted March 26th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
“Oh, we’re off to see the Wizard
The wonderful Wizard of Oz.
We hear he is a whiz of a Wiz
If ever a Wiz there was….”
– From the 1939 movie classic, ‘The Wizard of Oz’
An awful lot of references to scenes from ‘The Godfather’ – a trilogy of movies first released between 1972 and 1990 about an American crime family – have been used by political pundits over the past three or four years to comment on Donald Trump’s campaign for the U.S. presidency and his subsequent two years in the Oval Office.
Given all of the shady and sleazy behaviour of Trump and his entourage, including members of his own family, references to Godfather movies make a lot of sense. But for all the news right now (this March 24th and 25th) around the report that U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller has finally completed on Trump, the life lessons I have so often found in another classic movie, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, seem more fitting now, with Mueller playing the role of the “great and powerful Oz.”
I’m putting Robert Mueller in the role of the Wizard because so many of my friends in the U.S. have been hoping that Mueller – a Vietnam War hero and long-time federal prosecutor – would be the one who would finally uncover enough skulduggery committed by Trump and his clan to run him out of office and possibly even put him in jail.
Now we find out through a four-page letter that Trump’s handpicked Attorney General William Barr has made public that Mueller’s final report, following nearly two years of investigations, has found no collusion or conspiracy between Trump and the Russians, and has fallen short of making any ruling over whether Trump obstructed efforts by Mueller’s team to get at the truth.
To the extent Barr’s summery of Mueller’s findings can be believed, it has left many of my American friends, not to mention many Canadians on this side of the border who loath Trump for what he has done on trade, environmental and so many other issues, feeling very depressed.
And it has certainly deflated whatever expectations many of us had for the outcome of Mueller’s work and even for whatever great and powerful image many had of the special counsel himself.
It is as if, as in a scene in the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Dorothy’s little dog Toto, runs over and pulls open the curtain on the aging, white-haired man who was manipulating the levers that created the illusion of the giant, fiery Oz looming before Dorothy and her friends.
“You humbug,” shouts one Dorothy’s friends, the Scarecrow, to the man behind the curtain after he is exposed.
“You’re a very bad man,” adds Dorothy, to which the man replies; “Oh no, my dear. I am a very good man. I am just a very bad wizard.”
By virtually all reports, except those coming out of Trump’s White House over the past almost two years, Mueller is a very good man and, in fairness to him, perhaps the many millions of people across the United States, and across Canada and the rest of the world, who are convinced that Trump and company pose a clear and present danger, it was too much to expect that the work of one man, however good he is at his job, would be enough to send the orange-hair monster packing.
Near the end of the Oz movie, after Dorothy learns that she can’t count on a Wizard to take her back home, a “good witch” arrives to inform her that she always had the power to find her way home. She just had to discover it for herself.
As someone who has always tried to find the light during the darkest of times, I believe that it might actually be a good thing that the curtain has finally been opened on the Mueller probe after all of the months of inflated expectations.
Better now than later because, as of end of this March, there are 19 months left for Americans to discover and to use the power they collectively to vote Trump out of office.
Better now than later, to shift the focus away from the Mueller probe and onto some of the more critical issues like climate change, economic, social and racial justice and so many others that must be addressed to make life better for present and future generations around the globe.
Fortunately, the Democratic Party in the United States appears to already have a very good slate of candidates, with loads of ideas for making life better for people, vying for the opportunity to run against Trump or against whoever the rotting remains of a once proud Republican Party might be forced to run in his place in the 2020 elections.
No one wizard can match the power people have in a democracy if they choose to use it.
And the best way to deal with a dangerous demagogue like Trump is for people to use that power to defeat him at the polls.
Thanks to any part that Toto played in pulling open the curtain.
To watch the scene in the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, pulls back the curtain, click on the screen below –
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders