“An anomaly,” he said. “He’s just an anomaly.”
The speaker was a Gold-Star father, Kazir Khan, the setting was the Morning Joe show, and of course the subject matter was the Presidency.
Khan had an interesting take on it all, and one that was well-considered and even generous pertaining to Trump’s mental instability and disrupt-ability.
An anomaly? I thought. Where have I heard that referenced in a similar context, if only fictional?
Yes, it was in Asimov’s Foundation series from long ago. If memory serves me correctly, it was the politically powerful, galactic ruler who fooled the established psychological pre-screening profiles (called psychohistory) for acceptable governing. They called him “The Mule.”
(Geeze, …now I have to look all this up to be sure my memory holds true.)
Ok, here it is:
“The Mule is a fictional character from Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. One of the greatest conquerors the galaxy has ever seen, he is a mentalic who has the ability to reach into the minds of others and “adjust” their emotions, individually or en masse, using this capability to conscript individuals to his cause.” Mule (Foundation) – Wikipedia
“In keeping with the Foundation series being based on the Roman Empire, the Mule has historical parallels with Attila the Hun, Tamerlane, and Charlemagne; he has also been compared to the Roman Emperor Augustus, Adolf Hitler, Stalin and several other absolute tyrants of recent history.” Mule (Foundation) – Wikipedia
“…the mutant Mule […] is not given a personality (in Asimov’s Foundation series), he is merely a powerful anomaly” Colin Manlove
Yes. The Mule was the anomaly that psychohistory could not predict, which occasionally happens in real life. Look at last year.
Do I think Asimov’s character the Mule is what Khan was referencing?
No. I think he was just trying to explain a situation that defies logic in a democratic society that seemingly now risks losing its bearings.
“I’ve lived under Marshall law two times,” Khan, a former Pakistani, explained. “This democracy—this American constitution that guarantees our rights and liberties is solid and stable. An anomaly such as Mr. Trump can disrupt it, but not destroy it.”
So for those of us who are sick of what constitutes for “the news” these days, Khan’s thoughts are actually more positive than expected, or in essence we might otherwise recognize them as:
“This too shall pass.”
But not nearly fast enough.