Hail to the creep by Trevor Plumbly
The cringe machine
I couldn’t ignore the guy any longer. As with Hitler and a couple of other despots, we’re likely to have to pay a heavy price for pretending it’s really OK. I know that it’s stretching things a bit to make those comparisons, but aren’t there some eerie similarities? Trump’s campaign rallies fell short of Nuremburg and the stiff arm salute, but the rhetoric got pretty close. The message was familiar and basic; paying court to the unemployed, the disgruntled and the racists creates a natural division and, as with Hitler, a Messiah will lead them. The lead up was political drama at its best and we all watched, firstly spellbound, then appalled at the consequences.
A whiter house
Just as the Jews were blamed for Germany’s woes in the 1930s, in Trump’s America the problem lies with Muslims, Latinos and the odd Chinese if there’s any blame-room left. The bonus with this is that the targets are easily distinguished from ‘real’ Americans. His supporters and apologists may well claim that his actual power is limited, but how healthy is it to have a racist, sexist, largely unstable man representing a leading world power? Ironically, a power whose own constitution was forged on the principle that ‘All men are created equal’. America sets great store by its relatively free society and instils in its children that the presidential office embodies those qualities of freedom and equality; the thought of young minds being influenced by Trump should be enough to alarm any caring parent.
And all that jazz!
As a Brit I can’t say I’m greatly proud of Theresa May’s approach; it smacked of cap-in-hand, ‘Hey Mr. President come and have a royal reception’. Since when have we been so gutless? The man is patently dangerous to reasonable thought, but like most talented orators, he tailors sugary paternalism and ranting bigotry to suit his audience, while remaining a bully in most senses of the word, regarding those less fortunate as weak rather than vulnerable. Whether it’s a question of trade issues or immigration, the authoritarian tactics are already showing, cosily tucked behind the ‘America First’ mantra. Thus far, he has attacked the presumption of innocence, bad-mouthed judicial decisions, attempted to intimidate any of the media that disagree with his policies and denigrated many of those charged with his country’s security.
I’m not simply scared, more bloody terrified. You should be too.