Congratulations America – you just elected your first Hitler. No, seriously: I don’t think comparisons with Hitler are exaggerated. OK so Mr T doesn’t have the paramilitary chic that Adolf and his pals had – in fact he has no chic at all – but he doesn’t need it. Because it’s not surprising, given our current reverence for money, that the next fascist dictator should be some kind of uber-businessman.
OK so he’s not a dictator – yet: but then, neither was Hitler when he was elected. Just like Mr T, Hitler promised to make the country great again; just like Mr T he blamed blacks and gays and Jews (for Jews read Muslims) for the country’s ills. Fascism doesn’t come with a gas chamber; it comes as your friend, promising jobs and money and pride and ‘greatness’ (whatever that means.) In Britain it came as Brexit, guaranteeing to ‘take back control’ (whatever that means) and more money for ‘us’ instead of ‘them’. I suspect that in many people’s minds what ‘control’ meant was ‘control of our borders’ and what that meant was immigration. We don’t want them here. It’s as simple as that.
No, fascism comes as your friend, separating you from ‘the other’, the one who wants to do you down, the foreigner, the immigrant. We’re going to build a wall between us and them (and in this respect totalitarian communism is exactly the same as fascism) to keep them out: we’re going to round them up and tag them and keep tabs on them and if they step out of line we’re going to throw them in jail or deport them.
This is no different from what Hitler did – or Stalin, come to that. First you separate ‘us’, the good guys, from ‘them’. On our side are the white males, their females who fall into line, all of whom are obviously straight. On the other side are Muslims (public enemy no. 1 and this century’s Jews) gays and all the rest of the quiltbag rag-tag; black people (obviously) and white women who step out of line.
Sure, Mr T doesn’t have the power to do what Hitler did – yet. But neither did Hitler when he was elected.
Of course it’s easy to be smug, to look at the Americans and say, here’s a bunch of people who went over there and took the place from the indigenous population – and now they hate immigrants? What a short memory they have!
But our memories are even shorter. Why do we have so many refugees from Syria? Could it be something to do with the fact that we are bombing the hell out of their country? But god help anyone who shows these people compassion. Maybe if we want a picture of the future, rather than a boot stamping on a human face as Orwell so cheerily prophesied, we should picture a man stabbing Jo Cox and shouting ‘Britain First!’ Because it’s Us that matter – and They are taking over – and anyone who helps Them deserves to die.
I’m ashamed of my country. I’m ashamed of Brexit and I’m ashamed of the so-called special relationship. I don’t want to live here any more.
3 thoughts on “Congratulations America”
Obama couldn’t close Guantanamo, so I doubt Mr T will succeed in any of his outlandish plans, such as building the wall; It’ll all end up being a joke and next time around someone sensible will be elected, just like how it went from pretzel-choking-can’t-string-a-sentence-together-Bush to Obama. Not that it’ll change much.
You could be right about the wall, but there are other things he might well manage to pull off, such as repealing Roe v Wade (abortion rights) as well as the one thing Obama did manage to pull off, Obamacare. But aside from all that it’s about the climate created by those at the top: under Obama racism was there but not respectable; under Trump it is already coming out of the woodpile along with all the other horrid prejudices Trump espouses. His voters may not support all of these but they allow them – and what you allow is what will happen
Like a lot of business people at his level, Trump occupies an ethical vacuum: it would be wrong to describe him as a fascist (although he is certainly supported by fascists), or as a racist (although he has, apparently, appointed a white supremacist to his cabinet), or even as a homophobe (he has attended a same-sex wedding, despite having a VP who takes a ‘biblical’ view of gay rights). The fact is, Trump doesn’t give much of a damn about anything that isn’t related to (his own) business. I predict he will delegate legislation on social affairs to people who have strong opinions about them (this is bad news), while he concentrates on the economy (his ace card) and foreign affairs (building bridges with Putin, and giving him a green light to carve up a weakened Europe).
He is also reputed to have a very short attention span (all of his books have been written by ghost writers, one of whom is now fearful of his life and his family’s safety) and my guess is he will find much, if not all, of the business of being America’s CEO, desperately boring. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lasted only two years in the job, before quitting – something for which there is no real precedent (I doubt if he’ll be impeached).