Friday March 18 2016
When I wrote my piece titled ‘Only in America: Looking at Trump from Down Under’ I must confess that secretly in the labyrinth of my being I thought the American people were too intelligent to succumb to Donald Trump’s populist outbursts.
Stupidly I, like many others, assumed that over time his utterings of nefarious intent would be seen for what they were. The ravings of a pathological ratbag intent on obtaining power by any means. In my piece I covered the man’s personality disorders, his inappropriateness to even be considered as the Republican nominee and then I tied together current Australian conservatism with that of the American right.
As the Republican debates got underway it became apparent that Trump was not just a flash in the pan contender. People actually loved him for his bigotry, for his racism, for his anti-immigrant rhetoric, for his uncouth mouth, for his incitement of violence at his rallies. The more he did so the more they cheered him. The more hatred he spat out the more his supporters encouraged him. Even reciting an oath of allegiance on his command.
They loved him for his prejudice, his lies, his sexism. His racist tweets, and his offer to pay the legal fees of those who commit violence. His supporters worshiped when he advocated the use of torture and the murder of terrorist’s families.
They almost wet themselves when he gleefully told stories of executing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig blood. And they fell over themselves with excitement when he compared refugees to ‘snakes’ and claimed that ‘Islam hates us’.
They applauded him when he tweeted racist images and racist lies. When it took him 48 hours to disavow white supremacy there was not a murmur.
Cheers and raucous joy arose at his rallies at his every hate filled denouncement of minorities and everything he sees as un-American. As if America has some sort of ownership on all morality and righteousness.
Having observed this man, his vile behaviour and listened to his rhetoric, the anger he elicits, and the reaction of the American people to it I have to admit I was wrong. Rather than Americans seeing him, as I thought they would, for the fool he is, they are embracing him as their champion.
If I was wrong about Trump I also regrettably have to concede I was wrong about the American people or more particularly Republican Americans. Wanting a person like Trump as President speaks as much about their mindlessness as it does about his inappropriateness.
At some stage I reconciled that he might win the Republican nomination but could never win the Presidency. Am I also wrong about that?
Commentators are saying that if he gets the nomination we will see a more reasoned Trump. A more lucid personality.
The logic of this suggestion escapes me. I know who he is, what he stands for, and it frightens me. It should petrify the world.
My thought for the day.
‘The pedlars of verbal violence and dishonesty are the most vigorous defenders of free speech because it gives their vitriolic nonsense legitimacy. With the use of free speech, the bigots and hate-mongers seek to influence those in the community who are susceptible or like-minded’.