Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

Sometimes I do wonder whether I’m in some kind of paranoid coma fantasy that I can’t wake up from.

 

If you’d have explained that a party that had been in power for seven years as the majority in parliament had overseen anaemic growth across the economy and a ballooning national debt, and their message was essentially: “Blame everyone else, we’re the only option. We haven’t fixed it yet, but give us another term and we’ll try to fix it by then”; then explained that they were on course for a landslide General Election victory on the back of insulting and antagonising officials of an organisation we are about to leave and desperately need a good deal out of, I’d have scoffed.

 

Even with our appalling anti-intellectual media, surely our population could not be cheerleading the biggest act of economic suicide in a generation, and getting excited at the prospect of the organisation we need a good deal from telling us to fuck off, because we don’t really need those bloody foreigners telling us what to do and we’re going to resurrect the Empire, only with less bloodshed and slavery. The famed magical money tree of the Commonwealth only needs its ripe fruits plucked by the mighty hands of Blighty, and there will be peace and prosperity for all. No more immigration; and shiny unicorns for all in this Brave New Britannia. Nothing can go wrong as long as we TRUST THERESA MAY; the tabloid loudhalers screech at us.

 

Theresa May, who has done a remarkable volte-face from “Brexit isn’t a good idea” to “Brexit is the only idea to make Britain great again”, also has a husband who seems to have done remarkably well financially out of her Brexit decisions thus far, and has misled parliament on the misfire of our nuclear defence system, but our eager media is far too busy splashing headline over headline on whether Corbyn would ever find a reason to (get America’s permission to) use said anachronism. It’s got to the point where it sounds like when you were at school and used to wind each other up with hypothetical scenarios. “What if a dragon was at Buckingham Palace and about to eat the Queen; would you use Trident then?”; “What if Putin annexed Surrey and drew a hammer and sickle on the Union Jack at Westminster? Then surely you’d use Trident, right?”

 

I had to pinch myself when I heard the Prime Minister talking about launching a FIRST STRIKE nuclear attack as if it was some kind of computer game. On what planet is a nation’s leader boasting of unleashing an unprovoked holocaust across the world a positive thing that we should nod to and respect? This is brinkmanship for the braindead. Listen to what she’s saying, it’s Kim Jong-Un-esque. She would wipe out millions of civilians and poison the earth for generations, and presumably the target nation would also be nuclear-armed (Russia is normally the go-to bogeyman), so she is basically telling us all that she would happily sign all of our death warrants on a whim. HOORAY! ALL HAIL OUR GLORIOUS LEADER WHO WILL BLESS AND KEEP US FOR EVERMORE.

 

We mock America for Trump, but we are well down the road to our own Trump. Right now it is an inevitability. Trump became possible because American partisan politics became more and more debased and devoid of intellectual rigour that the dumbasses became orators. Suddenly, battles for policies and visions became battle to defame and whip up hysteria. A baseless and racist slur became an actual mainstream campaign to call into question Barack Obama’s citizenship credentials. Evangelicals would throw God into everything: all emotion and no logic. The ‘Tea Party’ movement formed from a bunch of slow-witted malcontents to an actual influential pressure group with arms in government.

 

How does this reflect the UK’s situation? It’s the ad-hominem trash talking and the general infantilisation of political discourse. We don’t hear reasoned critiques of policies any more: it’s just character smears, implied negative associations, false narratives and ‘Back to the 1970s’ tropes. The fact that Corbyn’s proposed manifesto is hugely popular, but many people won’t consider voting for him, based on the media onslaught and constantly repeated narrative of ‘weak leadership’ and erroneous ‘hard-left’ labels thrown around like particularly sticky mud.

 

How gullible are we to vote back in a party whose leader doesn’t respect her ‘people’ enough to actually meet and talk to them? Who refuses to debate with Corbyn unless it’s in a sanitised House of Commons where the toffs bray along to her rubbish and scripted jibes are practically auto-cued for her. Who repeats two phrases endlessly like a malfunctioning child’s toy? Where is the vision? Where are the ideas? If we fall for this shit and return the Tories to office, we will have our own Trump eventually, because the population are responding to demagoguery with relish. If Farage joined the Tories and became leader, he would be PM at the first time of asking, I have no doubt.

 

I’m not sure how we go about resetting this ignorance of expert opinion, academic backing or actual policy justifications when all the money (and the voting system) is on the side of those who will hold practically untrammelled power for the foreseeable future. When we get our British Trump, will any right-leaning voters realise things have gone too far? Probably not, as no parallels in history are ever reviewed. We are Great Britain, free to make our own mess way in the world again, and you’d better not provoke us, because we have strong and stable fingers on the holocaust button whenever Dacre gives the word.

So, ‘fake news’ is now practically a fully fledged moral panic.

 

As we tend to do in the modern West, the lazy term has now been claimed and recontextualised depending on who is using it.

 

‘Fake news’ to the BBC is any blogger or independent media which does not agree with the mainstream consensus.

 

‘Fake news’ to the government is anything which threatens their agenda, regardless of truth.

 

‘Fake news’ to Donald Trump is anything critical of him or his statements.

 

‘Fake news’ to me, and I hope most others, is a nonsensical lengthening of the conveniently short and punchy synonym: LIES.

 

Just like I don’t consider terrorism worse because someone of Arabian heritage rather than a white nationalist committed it; like I don’t consider theft worse because a drug addict committed it rather than an investment banker defrauding seven figure sums; LIES are LIES regardless of their messenger.

 

Fiction; fabrication; falsehoods, fake news; plenty of alliteration but not enough clarity. They’re lies.

 

Donald Trump is a pathological liar, possibly even convincing himself that his lies are truth. Theresa May is a skilled liar, honed by the party that perfected the art. “There is no crisis in the NHS”, she says; with one statement implying that the BMA, junior doctors, nurses, NHS staff, independent media, clinicians and medical experts are all engaged in some labyrinthine scaremongering conspiracy.

 

Rupert Murdoch, Paul Dacre and Richard Desmond’s newspapers consistently headline stories which are demonstrably lies, and yet are only required to print retractions the size of the cheapest version of classified ads. So long as the lies only aim at individuals or organisations that can’t sue them for libel, they’ll continue to do it with impunity.

 

Why do power structures lie? Well, we know that power structures seek to either reinforce the status quo, or take more for the elites. The liars seek to confuse, bewilder, divide and distract opposition to their agendas.

 

The curious part of this whole charade is that it’s almost certain that a lot of these ‘fake news’ blogs are actually funded by the extreme right who already have tentacles in government. After all, if the opposition make headway with their factual arguments against you, the best method of attack is to seek to discredit by implying that you can’t tell fake news from truth, so best just not question the elites. Just look at Alex Jones: the prototype conspiratorial idiot paid to consistently discredit serious opposition by implying they’re all raving maniacs.

 

If we’re going to really tackle the ‘scourge’ of ‘fake news’, we need to do what we should have done a long time ago: equip children with the ability to critically think and examine news sources objectively. But of course that would lead to a population harder to govern. So, call me a cynic, but I have a feeling this “war against fake news” will simply be a front for crushing dissent from any non-mainstream institution. You have been warned.

Clown. Imbecile. Cretin. Bigot. Dimwit. Demagogue. Dictator.

And now President.

We joked about nobody dumber than Bush possibly getting into the White House, and we tempted fate. The US has imploded in parody.

America has today finally reaped what it has sown for the last thirty years, with news as entertainment, fiction as truth and reality television as dystopian reality.

The years since 9/11 spent ramping up racist rhetoric, moronic conspiracy theories and vacuous nationalist libertarian slogans as ideology have seen some very loud Frankenchickens coming home to roost and shitting all over everything. The Tea Party nutjobs, pro-life simpletons and God-bothering hypocrites have taken the wheel, drunk and without insurance.

All we can do now is try and stay on the grass verges and hope they run out of gas before doing too much damage.

I’ll leave these thoughts with a paraphrased comment I read under an article earlier today:

“So long, America, it’s been fun. We await the rise of the next Evil Empire.”

Whenever I see an American comment (referring to Donald Trump) “We can’t have an incompetent, reactionary moron in the White House”, I always wonder why they’ve neglected to add ‘again’. Is there some form of collective amnesia, driven by the media, in relation to George W. Bush’s disastrous reign as President?

As the last millennium drew to a close, it’s fair to say that most ordinary people in the US and UK felt great hopefulness about a future where the Cold War had ended, the old right-wing parties had been ejected from office, their economies were booming, and the advent of the internet was growing apace.

Of course, little did non-seasoned politicos realise the seeds of destruction were being planted in the US by the so-called “centre-left” Democrats, what with their Alan Greenspans and their repealing of Glass-Steagal. On the surface though, the West seemed more optimistic than at any time since the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’ was ended by the Oil Shock and the ‘New Right’ of Reagan and Thatcher. Perhaps the ‘Third Way’, espoused by messrs Blair and Clinton, really was the correct remedy for the sicknesses of globalisation.

Then, in 2000, it happened. The genial, managerial style of Bill Clinton was replaced, controversially, by the braindead ‘aw shucks’, God-fearing, gun-totin’ jingoism of Dubya. From illegal wars to enormous national debt increases, it’s hard to hypothesise just how his eight-year tenure could have gone worse.

The swathes of destruction wrought by his merry band of chickenhawk Neocon cronies across the Middle East saw that terrorism was added to labour, goods and capital on the list of free movements in the ‘free market’. (Note how the modern version of ‘free’ tends to cost a hell of a lot of money, and involve restriction of personal liberties – another modern perversion of the English language as business jargon infiltrated the political classes.) The ‘War on Terror’, Patriot Act and expansion of Guantanamo Bay traded privacy and humanity for speculated security. We all got used to being spied on, after being metaphorically waterboarded by images of terrorists at every airport, of bombs in every backpack, of jihad on every street with a non-white face in. They hated us and our ‘freedom’, we were told. You’re either with us or the terrorists, the chimp screeched.

But, if we flash forward to the present, upcoming US election, with the two most derided and unpopular major candidates in living memory standing, we see that this was directly caused by ‘Citizens United’, another Dubya abomination of allowing the Koch brothers and Goldman Sachs to effectively select the President themselves through unlimited bankrolling. Donald Trump is the result of both Citizens United and the nurturing of crackpot Tea Party extremists infiltrating all levels of the Republican Party, while Hillary would not be where she is without Citizens United, who allowed her to see off the strong challenge of Bernie Sanders.

It sums up Bush’s legacy that his reign was book-ended by 9/11 and the 2008 financial meltdown; the two most profoundly catastrophic and traumatic events in recent history, which ensured that the heady optimism of 1999 was paranoid fear by 2008.

So don’t talk about Trump as if you don’t know how his presidency would turn out. We already have an idea what happens when you put a braindead, greedy buffoon in the White House, and its nauseating legacy will stretch out for decades.