The Trump Shtick Ricochets in Georgia


What on earth could an American president have to do with the situation in Georgia? A lot! And here is the catch: in the first place, American pop culture has been amazingly influential worldwide over time, and Georgia is no exclusion from the rule. Suffice to say that America has uniformed billions of men and women in blue jeans and T-shirts around the globe; American talent has made the whole world play and listen to jazz. On top of that, the American dollar has been the dominant currency in the world’s fiscal organism since America was introduced as a nation; the tentacles of American capitalism widely and effectively spreading all over the place; the American military power has become an omnipresent and omnipotent presence on earth; America has turned into an informational force, dictating to humans what, where, when and how to do the things they do, and lastly, America has acquired a final say in all pivotal international decisions, the world desiring to stand up against it but not being able to do so.

This is the overall background that any US president would enjoy when compelled and willing to demonstrate the American clout over other nations, Georgia included, although very flimsily. President Trump is a vivid case of that power show. The electoral battle cry differs from president to president in the States. For instance, the insipid and watery Obama campaign wanted to attract the constituency with the promise of redistributing the American wealth so that everybody would get a piece of the cherished pie, but the post-Obama conservative wannabe Donald Trump made a well-targeted shot at a fiery moralistic idea that America is first . . . and he won the case.

Notwithstanding all kinds of controversial judgments against the American multifaceted presence in Georgia, the Trump political catchword was but guaranteed to have a sharp effect on the average Georgian heart and mind. Just imagine translating the American slogan ‘America First’ into Georgian, and then adapting it to Georgia’s spiritual reality: ‘Georgia First’. This could trigger a billow of the Georgian dormant but still impulsively vibrant patriotism, which, if accordingly nursed and channeled, could turn the country upside down. I call this a reflection of Trumpism in our little land of social and political drama. Trump’s image and action, his style and approach encourage the idea of maintaining traditionalism in the land where family values are untouchable and sacred, but currently at risk.

Trump’s treatment of the American mainstream media and his attitude towards the way the nongovernmental organizations work and behave has ruined in Georgia the myth about the unquestionable righteousness of media and unconditional political honesty of the nonprofits. The Trump manner of doing politics has ricocheted in Georgia’s direction to somehow modify the public approach to the unreserved style of action of minorities like the gay community, unbridled freedom of human behavior and totally uncontrolled limits of the freedom of speech. Understandably, after two hundred years of the Russian imperial dominance and seventy years of soviet depression, the people of Georgia have delighted in the open air of freedom and independence, not even giving a second thought to the idea that freedom never comes by itself – it is always accompanied by the strings of citizen responsibilities before the nation and its individual members.

The golden rule of a civilized society is not only the unbridled flaunting of the banners of freedom of speech, freedom of behavior and freedom of conscience; civility dictates persistently that one’s own freedom in anything should not limit the freedom of others. The standing conservatism of America is currently holding up this particular principle of interaction in a normal society, representing a good sample of behavioral model for our Georgia too. This is the good influence of the West, although the western neoliberal waves of lifestyle often get stuck right in the middle of those good old conservative ways.

In a word, Trump’s traditionalism, mixed with his conservatism, has turned into a great reminder for Georgia that it is not just the unreasonably boundless freedom in a neoliberal style that rules the world but certain other well-weathered philosophies of life too.

By Nugzar B. Ruhadze

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08 August 2019 18:50