JUNE 2017

By Jon D. Melegrito




..."Of checks and balances"

...continued from index page

 Observed Rodney Jaleco, editor of the Washington DC-based Manila Mail: “Never thought a Washington invite to a Philippine president can draw such controversy, intriguingly for both inviter and invitee. Sign of the times? America has laws against alleged human rights violators visiting, that some accounts say was the reason he was denied a visa when he was still Davao City mayor.”

Meanwhile, “The Greatest Show on Earth” is folding up – at a time when we need it the most. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had its final show at the Verizon Center recently, part of its farewell tour. No more tightrope acts to take our breath away. No more miracles to marvel at. The Circus shut down in May.
“But it feels like exactly the wrong time to lose the circus,” observes the Washington Post, noting the political turmoil we’re in today. “Have we ever been more in need of miracles?”

So now we’re left with the only circus in town, the one orchestrated by the Alt Right, Fox and other fake news artists, thin-skinned autocrats and Russian hackers.
Yes, we are in need of miracles now more than ever. We long for “the unshakeable trust embodied by the trapeze artist; the unity of human and animal perfected by the lion tamer; the dream of staring down fate and carrying on with grace.”
It is what it is, however, and the merry band of alternative fact-makers are the ones we’ve got in the next four years. So, don’t bother sending in the clowns.

They’re here.

We will always love trapeze artists and circus clowns. And in our fantasies, we are always running away to join the circus.

But, as it happens, the real world intrudes, waking us rudely from our dreams. As in the days of Watergate, it calls us to keep eyes and minds wide open and carry on with grace as we contemplate our fate.

Washington DC based Manila Mail Editor Rodney Jaleco puts it aptly: “What's happening in DC today may be seen as an excellent case study of a government governed by checks and balances. The fact that courts can stop, albeit momentarily, Trump's most questionable decrees or that a segment of the Justice Department can create a special counsel against the wishes of the head of the executive branch, speak volumes about the inherent strength of American democracy and the wisdom of the nation's founding fathers.

I can't help but marvel at their incredible foresight to see the threats to democracy in all their possible forms, in all the masks they may wear across the millennia. I remain cynical about politics and politicians; still, I can rest easy witnessing today the unfolding of another chapter of American democracy.

Whatever happens henceforth will be the result of process not whims, from an adherence to the rule of law rather than empty bluster, and more importantly, in deference to principles, not the distorted ambitions of a man who believes everything ‘is so easy.’ Nope, democracy is incredibly hard and complicated and messy...and just awesome!

Just so proud of America!”



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