“I still believe in a place called Hope.”
~ Bill Clinton, 1992.
In America 2017, hope has left the building. Hate has walked in, pimped out the White House with gold furnishings and started a real life version of Lord of the Flies.
Obama was in the White House for 8 years, and managed to navigate the pitfalls of presidential incumbency without embarrassment, scandal or loss of dignity. Trump has been in the White House for less than two weeks and already the new administration is acting like it is the last days of Saigon.
We live in discombobulating times. We are witnessing a surge of right wing populism across the Western world that is unparalleled since the 1930s. This form of populism has been conveniently repackaged and rebranded as the “alt-right”, but this is a smokescreen for what it really is, namely, white supremacism or even fascism.
Despite the rebranding of fascism under the moniker of “alt-right”, we are witnessing similarities along the historical curve shown in the 1930s:-
- Financial crash
- Decline in living standards
- The rise of right wing populism
- Xenophibic nationalism
- Hatred of “others”
We need to think this through before it is too late. Because history has shown us that this story doesn’t end well. History of this sort should never be allowed to repeat itself.
There are however, some naunced differences. We now live in a world where the Chancellor of Germany warns the President of the United States that he is contravening Geneva Convention.
History has turned on its head.
Trump has started his presidency like a bull in a china shop. He has issued a stream of executive orders that violate the human and civil rights of people firmly established by common decency, founding values, the law and the U.S. Constitution.
Unlike most politicians, he is actually implementing what he promised on the campaign trail. The wall, Muslim ban (albeit through selective county by country banning that avoids countries that house many of his businesses) and overseas abortion aid cuts have already had the ink spilled from his pen through signature by executive order.
These are huge issues that are being pushed through without due diligence or understanding of process or a need for parliamentary or legal scrutiny. Therefore, what needs to happen right now is a strong will against Trump’s actions from the leaders of the global community.
Theresa May had so far failed to do this. Backed into a corner due to Brexit, she is being compicit by her desperate need to cut a free trade deal with America. After her toadying hand holding performance with Trump, she is creating the impression that she prioritises a grovelling trade deal with America as of more importance than standing up to a fascist.
Throughout history, Britain has taken the lead in standing up to fascism. Theresa May is betraying our proud heritage with her appeasement. Shame on her.
Trumpism is not something that can be appeased and swept under the carpet because it’s good for business to do so. He is in the most powerful office in the world, and such, he must be scrutinised, and called out to when he fails on policy or bullies soft targets into submission.
Right wing sympathisers, supporters and the politically naive claim that “It’s all going to be ok.” or “Its all just liberal fake news” or “The Republicans won’t let him destroy the GOP.”
This denial and apathy is not enough. Trump’s executive orders will have an immediate impact both within America and throughout the rest of the world. For example, the Muslim ban could very well result in a rise of islamophobia hate crimes in America or Syrian refugees being tortured or murdered when they return to their homeland.
Bizarrely, those who are Pro-Life/anti-abortion and anti immigration appear to think that the life of a feotus is of more importance than a child fleeing almost certain death from tyranny and war in Syria.
None of this is good, apart from an idealistic thought that springs to mind. Perhaps I am being naive, but just maybe Trump will inadvertently create a force for good. He may become the catalyst for the world to wake up from watching reality TV and take collective action to end right wing populism. However, this is unlikely. The fascists are in charge and they are not going to relent without an enormous fight.
Let’s call it for what it is. This is gangsterism politics. It is a coup against civil liberties. The words written on The Statue of Libery, that represented a founding value of America and immigration are being shredded:-
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
Hope has left America. All we are left with is Trumpton, USA – A place called hate.