All the intrigue, corruption, treachery, violence and treasonous behavior apparent in the world today predates our recorded history.
So, too, does the cleanup after a dark period. Repair, enlightenment and a new golden era often follow bedlam.
Look no further than China’s Song dynasty—one that replaced chaos with a semblance of order and advancements, producing an enviable era of inventions and prosperity.
Read or watch, “Oh, My General,” Ju Hua San Li’s fictitious account of a woman general—disguised as a man—who led the Song military to glorious victories.
One such battle—a heavy, metal-spiked ball and chain assault that crushed the enemy’s massive wall—earned this woman the nickname “Living Hell General.”
What good came of this? Almost everything.
The number of things that Chinese of the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960-1280) gave to the world is mind-boggling: printing, paper money, porcelain, tea, civil service exams, gunpowder and the compass. Add to this architectural, artistic and mathematical wonders.
The Song culture flourished amid the rubble.
Likewise, after the Dark Ages in the West, it was John Locke, and other philosophical proponents of The Age of Reason, who challenged the longstanding abuses of the “Divine Right of Kings.”
They replaced it with the more noble prospect of the “inalienable rights” of every citizen to life, liberty and property—now so familiar and precious to Americans.
If both the ancient Chinese and the 18th century Europeans could enhance their civilizations after wars and revolutions, it now becomes imperative to ask, “Why not America?.”
What improvements will the post-Trumpian world deliver? And who will deliver it?
No need for stories of fictional female generals, however. A real-life general, “badass” Nancy Pelosi, will do.
As her daughter affectionally remarked about her mother’s formidable negotiating skills, “she will cut off your head and you won’t even know you’re bleeding.”
What a win. Schooling the President on the “immorality” of a wall, while keeping her 235 caucus members loyal and united.
Calling out Trump’s non-stop bullying and bluffing—while denying him the august stage of the House of Representatives for the State of the Union address—until he caved and reopened the government after the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
Meanwhile, driving his poll numbers down and her approval ratings up ahead of a 2020 landscape even more favorable to the Democrats in the Senate.
General Nancy’s power has eclipsed the President.
Why? Because of experience, discipline, and her moral compass. Similar to the early Song dynasty and the Enlightenment philosophers, this compass is what sets Pelosi apart from most politicians—not her gender.
As Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, remarked, “I think [Pelosi] always organizes her political strategy around a moral core.” And sticks to it.
Thus, when baited to gloat over the shutdown win, she demurred. When asked to comment on the President’s badly informed assessment of her power, she deflected.
Best not to engage or escalate. Others will do that for her.
Rather, now is the time (just as she prepared early for committee assignments, tasks, and press interviews) that Pelosi must offer “a plan” forward.
As she instructed her caucus about the #Trumpshutdown, “There is a plan. Stick to the plan.”
So, what is the plan now?
The President has no plan B. Except perhaps, a declaration of a “national emergency,” martial law, or his resignation amid a flurry of last-minute pardons—including his family members.
What then? The Special Counsel’s report on Russian meddling will not exonerate the President or his administration, campaign, foundation, or organization.
The findings, thus far, have already damaged all of the above and the GOP.
So, what next?
A glimmer that Pelosi fully comprehends this perilous future, came in her simple question, “What do the Russians have on Trump?”
And after the Roger Stone indictment, “It’s very interesting to see the kinds of people that the President of the United States surrounds himself with.”
So, why will Pelosi still be commanding in the 2019-2020 cycle?
Ironically, the answer lies in the theme song from “Oh, My General.” It’s “Loyalty.”
Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.