“The lamps are going out all over Europe (and) we shall not see them lit again in our life-time,” the British Foreign Secretary lamented on the eve of WW-1.

Any concerned person can see the global light of reason going out in our time too. Astonishingly, the main impetus for the gathering storm is the USA, and its chief provocateur is currently Donald Trump. Let us note he did not seize power in a coup or via a putsch. Sober and democratic citizens of the USA put him up there by a big margin. (It’s reminiscent of, and yet strongly different from, Hitler becoming Chancellor of Germany—albeit by the slimmest margin of one vote in the Reichstag!)

Increasingly I hear presumably reasonable Americans dismiss Trump as “an aberration,” but I beg to disagree. He is the culmination of Americans’ retrograde romance with reactionary leaders: Nixon, Reagan, Bushes, and an epitome of our xenophobia and supremacist arrogance since “winning” the Cold War. “Trumpism” is indicative of what we have become, from complacency mingled with a jingoistic view of our own pre-eminence. Those two attributes have attended every powerful empire before it fell. Our return to sanity can only lie in recognizing that we are NOT “a special people,” an “exceptional nation,” “leaders of the world,” or any such twaddle. We must refocus our self-view. We are just another country with a large potential for good in the world, and with the same rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness—no more than other people of other nations and countries. If we insist on dominating the whole world, we shall soon capsize it.

Two World Wars were inflicted on humanity because one people, Germans—with their kinfolk of Austro-Hungary—thought themselves too powerful to brook opposition in any dispute, even on matters so minute as a certain bullet fired in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. If a third WW is fought it will probably be because we Americans have developed a similarly grotesque view of our magisterial importance in the world of today. “Those whom the gods will destroy, they first make mad.” And when the blow-back from Trump’s Jerusalem gambit commences, as it surely will, most Americans will scramble to fall in line and “support our president in a time of crisis,” as always. That’s how we enable the endless acts of predatory aggression by our government. But of course we then try to delude ourselves with the tongue-in-cheek disclaimer that “We’re not responsible for the actions of our government.”