After all their hard, creative and persistent efforts it’s heartbreaking watching Kenyans now destroy their beautiful society. Then again the heartbreak feels the same when I think of what Trumpism is doing to America.
The Kenyan government defies court orders to turn the country’s TV stations back on. The Trump government defies laws passed by an overwhelming vote in Congress to impose Russian sanctions. Yes, there is protest and outrage but not enough so both governments prevail in their anti-democratic slaughter of freedom and liberty.
Less than a hundred pitiful protesters showed up in the streets of Nairobi today to protest the 7th day of the government shutdown of its three major television stations. As weak as they were, they were met with tear gas.
The government pulled the plug because the stations covered live the mock swearing-in ceremony of Raila Odinga, the loser in the national election.
The court promptly issued an order suspending the shutdown pending the court case on February 14, but police prevented the order from being delivered to the relevant authority.
Encouraged that the public doesn’t seem to care much, the government began arresting people associated with that mock swearing-in ceremony. When that provoked no public protest, the government even dared to arrest one of the lawyers for the opposition for doing no more than his job.
Kenya is dive bombing into the oblivion of its past, and its citizens can’t raise enough protest either within government institutions or on the streets to prevent the annihilation of the beautiful Kenyan free state.
As an American I was so hopeful that Kenya could take the values that America had created and seemed recently to be abandoning – freedom, liberty and respect for justice and human rights – and mold them into a modern and enduring society.
Instead the current Kenyan government took its instructions right out of the play book of America: if you don’t like something a legislature or court tells you to do, don’t do it.
Without law-and-order there is no plebeian society, only empires and dominions. There will be crazy King George’s and benevolent Jomo Kenyattas, but there will no longer be the will of the people. There will be soaring stock markets and grand parades, but the ingenuity of the individual will be screwed away into the catacombs of history.
A more powerful imperative than law-and-order is emerging in both societies: stability.
But the human desire for independence – freedom – is a pretty strong one. No authoritarian regime is going to conquer climate change or cancer, end poverty or put a man on Mars. Those lofty feats come out of the fireworks of free thinking, so if we want these spectacular advances in humanity, the evil ones will have to be vanquished.
And the evil ones are slowly but surely revealing their true colors. These and other dastardly events are created by the virus of Trumpism. It’s a horrible, unbelievable back stepping of human accomplishment.
#MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, #Occupy are some of the social movements that have been so successful so fast we don’t understand them. When they coalesce into the giant hashtag Freedom, we’ll finally see the light at the end of this long and horrible tunnel, this dream of death.