Dan Boyle: Time For An Ordinary Joe

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From top: Joe Biden in Ballina, County Mayo during his visit to Ireland as US Vice-President in 2016; Dan Boyle

I’m not expecting fireworks. There will and should be some activity during the first one hundred days of this new administration, but much of that will be trying to undo much of the damage done by Trump. After that the success of a Biden presidency should be gauged by how little the new President says or does.

The US needs to take a deep breath, maybe even go into hibernation.

The drama queens among may soon miss the errant theatrics of Donald Trump. We shouldn’t. He has, however, performed one useful task – he has exhibited and has personified the ugliness of part of the US character.

What was once a national confidence has become the deepest delusion. The USA Number One chants of so many Trump rallies were so indicative. The real fake news has been the belief that the US possesses something the rest of the world aspires to. It doesn’t.

It remains the hub of the global economy, but there is no guarantee as to how long it can keep that status. The challenge for any future US government is to manage how the country can maintain its preeminence without its historical dominance.

The denial of the Trump era has not helped that. The contradictions that have held the country together can no longer hold. There is too much disparity of wealth. Too much inequality in health and education. Too little granting of what for many in the rest of world are basic social and economic rights.

We get a lot of these things wrong here too, but not as wrong as they continue to be there.

One the proudest boasts made by those who support Trump is that he didn’t start a war. It is a hollow boast. US military involvement continued in many places where the US shouldn’t have been and has never needed to be. Some credit can be given for scaling back.

Where Trump has created turmoil has been within the US itself, a violence turmoil born of violent language and intent. As a man who has never been at peace with himself Trump has not been, and could never be seen as, a purveyor of peace.

Where a just war should be conducted is a war on ignorance and hate. The real legacy of Trump has been through his efforts is that each feeds the other.

If Joe Biden can achieve in this, unassumingly, he will have more than justified his election. This, however, will be no Camelot.

What there should be is placemaking. Repairing the damage that been caused while trying to achieve a more proper understanding of what the role, and place, of what the US should be.
There isn’t going to be a next American century but we should all continue to try to bring about better democracy.

That of course is a wider debate about the nature of information, who holds it and how it is distributed. A debate we are all struggling with. If there is any lesson we can be learning from the Trump era, it must be how close we can be to losing even the most basic elements of our democracy.

There are future Trumps whom we need to confront, before they can be what The Donald has been. This is a time for an ordinary Joe.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator and serves as a Green Party councillor on Cork City Council. His column appears here every Thursday. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboyle

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20 thoughts on “Dan Boyle: Time For An Ordinary Joe

  1. eoin

    Yeah, go back to sleep everyone. Deep state is back in control. You have 70 million Americans now convinced of election fraud, the existence of a deep state/swamp, the corruption of the media and the overreaching authoritarian power of the Silicon Valley moguls. If you can’t see that you are either willfully ignoring it or stupid. They now know ‘the Devil exists’. His cover is blown. Can’t see them going back to sleep any time soon.

    1. ReproBertie

      “70 million Americans now convinced of election fraud” that never happened.

      “If you can’t see that you are either willfully ignoring it or stupid.”

      1. VAnon ™

        While I don’t think he was all that far away from the Q Fraperoom
        He was a Senator for a long time and would be well aware of top secret, security level restrictive, dark room committees and action stations
        and there’s absolutely no way that early Q Frape tem could have anticipated the scale it would grow into or
        or the level of consumption

        I don’t – not for a second btw
        believe he would have gone along with the widespread manipulating and fooling people to the point of brain washing
        All that was taken out of their hands by online organised activists horny for followers, interactions, and traffic
        It was third parties outside on the wider internet and social media platforms that drove it on to the extremism of the Capitol ransacking, or the absurdity we saw yesterday
        like convincing themselves that because the swearing was a few minutes before midday its was fake
        or that it was all CGI and Trump was still in the White House

        watching people loose their families, their lifesavings, their livelihoods,
        pressed into rubbing onions into their eyes

        I don’t believe Joe Biden’s ego and ambition was that corrupt that he would have chased the Presidency at this hour of his life – knowing that thousands of people were being groomed to loose all sense of reason and into the grip of suicide

        Don’t get me wrong here, he took the soup, and knew Big Tech had his back
        He knew he was the Useful Fool here

        He also knew from a long ways back he was just making up the numbers for the Obama & Clinton fraternities
        And did alright for himself out of it, a two term Vice President isn’t a shabby end to a life long career in Public Service

        So whether he got it over the line or not last November
        There was still enough votes to get control of Congress and then the Senate

        And how America runs its elections and counts its votes is a shambles they’ve all participated in and neglected for years
        all of them
        even the voters themselves

        My guess is America will ignore what Q caused, and let the Militias etc take them in, and leave it to Law Enforcement to take it from there

        1. Rosette of Sirius

          Perhaps I need to place a /s on posts like that…. ;)

          But for what it’s worth, the great soothsayer Qanon and all the little Qbots out there have demonstrated a whopping 0% hit rate in their warnings, promises and auguries. 0%,

          1. VAnon ™

            Only a matter of time before
            QAnocoholics Anon groups start to appear
            if they haven’t already

            wouldn’t even be surprised to hear there are already QAnon Family Al Anon groups out there

          2. VAnon ™

            Ah no

            Feck

            Although there is some great posters there, I try to avoid Reddit/ Ie
            I’ve noticed there’s too much cogging going on there
            I end up getting stuck in there
            and a few days later stuff appears somewhere else

            Those days of anoraking and lifting off the Boards
            Ahem Gary Sliotar
            Should be well over by now
            Specially has tis no secret who most of us are these days anyway

          3. Rosette of Sirius

            Repro, that sub has been around for ages now and the few times I tried to post it here, it was placed on the naughty step! It’s tragic some of those stories. Like really, really tragic….

          4. ReproBertie

            Ah I know it’s not new, the article is from October last year. There’s bound to be a survivors one in the near future though.

  2. Kate

    Hello, ordinary Dan. There is a “wider debate about the nature of information, who holds it and how it’s distributed” is precisely why Mr Trump’s supporters remained steadfast. The media are bought …..we only have to look at our own Government.

    1. VAnon ™

      so they bought their own
      hello
      AON, FOX Dobbs Hannitty etc, Newsmax ffs

      Nor were MAGA sympathisers boycotting Twitter, Insta, Facebook YouTube and all the rest of them until after the 6th – most of them would still on them give it loads if not banned anyway
      all very well to be be promoting the ideal of an independent honest news media
      but Trump himself led from the top when it came to identifying and being preferential to certain media outlets
      And Twitter served him well for years remember, and if they hadn’t banned him, he’d still be using it

      Also note, it wasn’t the Silicon Valley Billionaires that convinced the Stop_the_Steal people to chatter openly, disclose their whereabouts or where they’re from, or their show their faces, or video and share what they got up to with the World
      That was all their own doing
      Hows that for Independent Media

  3. joe

    Dan, you are a decent individual.
    Would you out of human decency please ask Roderic O’Gorman to have a review of the vile whitewash report into the Mother & Baby homes. I have emailed him requesting same.

  4. Gabby

    I can agree with the concluding remarks of Dan’s thoughtful article: “There are future Trumps whom we need to confront, before they can be what The Donald has been. This is a time for an ordinary Joe.”

    But I think Donald Trump has a unique personality. Any future politician trying to take his leadership role will be much cleverer and devious than Trump, may even claim to be a unifier of divided America before getting elected and then, by White House actions, reveal his true colours. A future expert in duplicity may even pose as “an ordinary Joe”.

    1. Nigel

      Hard for a smart person to authentically replicate Trump’s chaotic energy. They’d have to do and say things no smart person would do or say, as naturally as breathing.

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