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Only in America: A look at Trump from Down Under (part 2)

Continued from Part 1

From Down Under we see a sick deluded man of no redeeming features, full of racial hatred, bile and misogyny. A deluded, pathetic liar unsuitable for the highest office in the land, if not the world. He sees complex problems and impregnates them with populism and implausible black and white solutions.

He is a person of limited intellect and understanding only capable of seeing the world through the prism of his own wealth. The far edges of knowledge seem to have passed him by. Matters requiring deep philosophical consideration seem beyond him.

His opinions on subjects of internal and international importance are so shallow that one would think he spent the entirety of his youth in the wading pool at the local swimming pool, or six years in grade 6 and never academically advanced.

He is a crash through politician with a ubiquitous mouth. Trump remains an incoherent mess who bounces back after each disaster thinking he has been impressive while those around him are laughing their heads off. Entertaining in a uniquely American way he might be to the hillbillies, but leadership requires worldly character.

Is America to have an ignoramus of first world order as President?

And so, it came to pass that America did elect an ignoramus of first world order as President. And look at the state of the nation now. A nation with a President whose mental health is seriously being questioned; so erratic has his behaviour become.

It might be said that my description of Trump has descended into what Americans call hyperbole.

If I have, I make no apologies.

Wow. Only in America.

It’s not as though there aren’t alternatives. America could elect its first women, Hillary Clinton as President. She has knowledge, an abundance of experience and the quintessential quality of resiliency in the face of failure. She is no quitter.

On the other hand, a man like Bernie Sanders has a way of grasping the intestines of an argument and presenting a plausible answer that is simple to understand, and at the same time enthuses and leads people into an all-embracing narrative that inspires.

If character is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of life, governing moral choices and personal and professional conduct, Donald Trump is devoid of it. He is nothing more than a walking, talking headline for all that’s unscrupulous about American politics.

Character is also an elusive thing, easily cloaked or submerged by the theatrics of a presidential campaign. His transparency is there for all to see. We sit before our televisions and watch his antics and ponder at the gullibility of the American people and say…

“Only in America.”

Mind you, we would say that about the quality of the Republican candidates, the power of Rupert Murdoch, the evilness of Fox news, of repugnant gun laws and the NRA who seem to have power over who is elected, the Republican hatred of Obamacare and the disdain for science and the utter contempt religion and televangelists have for logic.

So much so that I have come to the conclusion that one of the truly bad effects religion (any religion) has on people is that it teaches that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.

We become bewildered and confused when Americans describe themselves as the great democracy, yet few bother to vote and in an election can only do so on a work day. We are apt to laugh. We think that’s an absurdity. A contradiction of democratic principles. Is it really Government of the people, by the people, for the people as Lincoln proclaimed? “Only in America,“ we whisper.

When talking about character I cannot but mention President Obama. Was there ever a president so constrained by his own Congress?

Republicans and the right-wing media with all their propaganda have sought to create a fictional President who is the opposite of the one known outside the States. Twenty-five per cent of the population still believe he is a Muslim and a large percentage, including Trump, still believe he was born outside the States even though the facts prove otherwise.

Such is the power of the right-wing media (Fox News) and an accumulation of feral shock jocks. The GOP (the Republicans – the ‘Grand Old Party’) is even accused of deliberately not passing bills in order to make the economy worse. In fact, 54 Conservative Tea Party members actually signed a pledge to oppose everything the President submitted to the Congress. 33 Bills were put forward to outlaw Obamacare.

There are those who say that President Obama was, indeed, a good man and a fine executive, but found himself under the “constraints” mentioned but was unsuccessful because he was not aggressive enough in standing up to the Republican Congress. Lyndon Johnson would have pushed similar policies on the domestic front but would have realised greater success because he was a “bastard” and master of the political deal. I cannot vouch for the veracity of that but in fairness it is worth mentioning.

However, we in Australia wonder what this remarkable man might have achieved had he not had so much obstruction.

When in his State of the Union address, he ventures this observation:

“Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have a go at it, you’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.”

… We look on with incredulity and listen to the sound of silence from the Right and say …

“Only in America.”

Around the world we are at a point in time in our history where ‘change’ demands it be listened to. Where the events of recent times scream for it. It only requires a voice to demand it on behalf of the people. American conservatives will soon have to realise that for the good of the country their politics will have to change. That they cannot resist change in the foolish assumption that they can make permanent that which makes them feel secure. They must realise that change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence.

I could have written this now, today, and it would all be as fresh as it was back in 2016. It is not just a fluke, a moment in time, that men like Trump are born into the world. They are made by the thoughts and actions of others who pass their evil on.

But what is it that occupies the minds of men and women of the conservative right that they need be so malevolent in their thinking? That the power of wit, truth and persuasion with reasoned thinking and argument no longer suffices. That sledgehammer thinking will win every argument. What is it in the backgrounds of these people that causes their narcissism, their inability to accommodate difference or equality?

Is it that hatred is simply passed on from one generation to another? Is it born of ignorance?

There are in my view three psychological types: those who know; those who know when they are shown; and those who have no interest in knowing because of their inheritance of hate. They are the feral Philistines.

Conclusion

On Facebook last year during a discussion on gun control (a subject in which I find even the most moderate people lose all sense of objectivity) a person who I shall not name suggested that I had no right to comment on the subject because I wasn’t American. When I questioned him as to whether free speech was only gifted to Americans, he rather angrily shouted, in print, words of obscenity at me. I retorted that I felt that our support, fighting side by side in every major conflict, with America gave me every right. And I did.

We were of poor Irish background and my education didn’t extend much beyond primary school. My world view, and sense of social justice fermented in my youth and came to fruition over time and was influenced by the injustice I both saw, read about, and experienced.

Although we embraced the Mother Country it was American culture and politics that was to shape my future.

By the time I turned 21 I was firmly in the camp of social democracy. American music was my passion. American film my entertainment. Books such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck opened my eyes to the injustices of the world.

JFK was my hero as was Bobby later. This quote from Bobby still resonates with me:

“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages … It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom or our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile” (Robert Kennedy, 1968).

The United States has given us many things. Some things I have at times detested like its blatant racism and interventionist foreign policy but at the same time admired its preparedness to act as international policeman. We have both grown from immigration and are the two most multicultural countries in the world. There is a shared commonality.

Please continue to give of yourself, America, but under no circumstances give us Donald Trump. He represents everything that is wrong with your politics and we don’t wish to inherit any more of it. Enough is enough.

And recently came the news that Sarah Palin has endorsed Donald Trump. My eyes moisten. Days later she blames Barack Obama for her son’s arrest on domestic violence charges. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Only in America.

I am left to ponder what another four years of Donald Trump might look like and it is climate change that concerns most.

It is in this area that Trump’s environmental malice is likely to be felt most. Along with our own Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil — in a Trump second term may be better known as an axis of evil.

They are all guilty of already fatally undermining the Paris Agreement.

It may sound rather shallow at this stage to say that the world needs America to stand up and be counted, but it is the truth of it. Trump actually holds the future of the world, as we know it, in his hands.

It’s a shocking thought but one we must confront. This is but one of many reasons why the American people must reject Trump for a second term. It is a necessary imperative before his mental state becomes any worse.

My thought for the day

The left of politics is concerned with people who cannot help themselves. The right is concerned with those who can.

Take your pick, America.

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21 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Sadly JL you have left unsaid that the problem Trumpery creates while corporate America makes hay among the chaos which is other even less capable politicians in other countries follow this example and impose their own personal prejudices upon their own people. Mediocrity is its own reward as we have seen with the Australian FTTP Internet project, initiated by Labor and deliberately undermined by the COALition of RAbbott & Turdball allegedly because Murdoch owned Fauxsmell feared competition from streaming at that time. Now IT&T subsidiaries are making a fortune re-building the COALition disaster to the original Labor standard, ten years after the event.

    The USA (United States of Apartheid) has ”given us” the wonders of trickle down Reganomics for the rich, militarisation for the NE military industrial complex and social chaos for the remaining unworthy working classes, poor and unemployed. Now the world sees that the American Dream in reality is the American Nightmare that was completely trumped by the ”fair go” social welfare of Australian society.

    Australia has to stand on its own two feet and cease this English encouraged colonial cultural cringe to all things foreign. English & American education is better than Australia… wrong!! English & American manufactured products are the best in the world … wrong!! Australians cannot do world standard scientific research … so very, very wrong!!!

    If Australians want to be respected in the world then they must stand tall on their numerous fine achievements and touch the forelock for no other country. Take the 1942 Scullin view, ”Australia before England” or any other world power. Government spending should be mandated to Australian products, as once occurred with Commonwealth cars. Taxation paid should be a matter of pride in community development rather than government largess to the undeserving wealthy and corporates, as happens in Scandanavia.

    “Mate, I’m an Australian. Get used to it”.

  2. John Lord

    “Mate, I’m an Australian. Get used to it”. I rather like that NEC>

  3. Henry Rodrigues

    One is for sure, that crinkled old bastard who pollutes our politics and politicians, is no Australian. And damn those who work for him and those who take his coin.

  4. Mickey

    JL i think this line pretty much sums up most conservatives -” That sledgehammer thinking will win every argument.”
    You can’t debate or argue a point even with definite evidence because of the way that they think !

  5. Bill

    Trump is Trump. The Republican Party back in 2016 won the lottery they probably didn’t intend to win when they put up an outrageous showman. I read that the elite, especially the Big Tech backers of Clinton were furious with the result, she was meant to easily win in accordance with the propaganda blitzkrieg they funded. Silver lining? The neo-fascist plans of the parasitic elite suffered an unscheduled but temporary delay. It doesn’t matter which Party gets in, they’re all hacked by lobby groups guided by Think Tanks. Power sits outside community control and voters will never get at the manipulators. Real concerns of any community? Meh, what’s that? The elites set the agendas and they run the propaganda war. America is supposed to be a Republic and not a democracy, so whatever happened to ‘We the People’ and the centuries long fight to achieve freedom from slavery from the wealthy elite? If you want the corporate fascists to win, just keep believing the msm narrative, don’t think it through, it’s all good. You don’t need a silly Constitution, trust the corporations, hail E-mperor Gates and his E-ugenics agenda, go shopping online, move the deckchairs in your life, roll up your sleeve and get ready to get chipped and hydrogeled.
    Or push back, let your Local Member or Regulatory Agency know what you think is right action on any given issue. I do.

  6. wam

    A couple of days of cut and paste, lord?
    Did you mention his influence:
    over justice?
    eg Trump has installed two Supreme Court justices and 205 judges overall to the federal bench – all for lifetime appointments.
    over tax?
    The law was the biggest overhaul to the nation’s tax code in three decades, and the president pitched it as “rocket fuel” for the American economy.(s Business Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig)
    over military (not including selling arms)?
    The Space Force is the first new military service since the US Air Force was created in 1947.
    over prison reform?
    Trump signed the First Step Act into law in December 2018, marking the first legislative victory in years for advocates seeking to reform the criminal justice system.(The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress.)
    over terrorist killing?
    “Last night, the United States brought the world’s No. 1 terrorist leader to justice,” Trump said at the time. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”
    with cruelty?
    The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal border crossings led to the separations of at least 5,500 families and saw children placed in cages.
    over iran idiocy?
    Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw the US from the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018 has induced chaos throughout the Middle East.
    over obamacare
    What Trump has not done in his first three years is offer a replacement for the Affordable Care Act.
    All of his pluses don’t compare to the economy or the virus but????
    ps
    biden is left??? darryl will tell tell you you’re dreaming

  7. Stephengb

    NEC

    When you blame Australia’s cultural cringe on someone else, are you not encumbered with that ery cultural cringe you despise?

    I quote
    “Australia has to stand on its own two feet and cease this English encouraged colonial cultural cringe”

    As an English born dual citizen (42 years in Australia) I can assure you I have been hearing Australians lament about their so called cultural cringe.

    When are Australians going to Stop blaming everyone else and take ownership for the stuff you don’t get right, instead of just the ownership of the stuff you do get right.

    Responsible adults take responsibility for the bad stuff as well the good stuff

  8. Stephegb

    JL

    Best article yet Mr Lord.

  9. Jack Cade

    One of the youtube news stations had a clip of a deranged Sarah Palin on this morning, clearly indicating that – as Paul McCartney so eloquently would have put it – ’I think substances may have been involved, Bryan.’ The woman is not the full bottle, and has never been. The point of the clip was that she was the running mate, 12 years ago, of the sainted McCain, and hence it is the entire Republican Party that is mentally unstable. Remember that Dumbya. was a borderline simpleton but the Federal Court supported his brother’s manipulation of the electoral process, for two terms. Trump is just a normal Republican.
    And there are millions of them.

  10. Freedomlover

    Enough Trump bashing. We get enough of that from the Democrats. A vote for other than Trump is a vote for the Deep State.

  11. Jack Cade

    Freedomlover

    Yes, leave the poor man alone…

  12. Roswell

    “A vote for other than Trump is a vote for the Deep State.” 😳

    You have to be effing joking.

  13. Vikingduk

    Freedomlover, yers, you are obviously of the stable genius herd mentality school, a supporter of trump the magnificent, that much maligned narcissist, that perfect physical specimen of morbid obesity, that really triffic truth teller, the coward in chief, Putin’s puppet, I mean, how dare anyone criticise the bunker bitch, this thing obviously deserves at least twenty more terms to show us mere mortals what a bat shit crazy drop kick can do in a world of insanity, jeez, watching this thing called trump melt down is priceless.

    So, whose deep state are we discussing here? Spanky and the elephants’ moral bankruptcy? Their quest to retain power no matter what? Their ability to lie, deceive, distort, hinder the right to vote, enable this psychotic, malignant moron? Is it that deep state or do you have something else in mind? Please elucidate.

  14. Jack Cade

    Vikingduk

    A simple ‘fuck oft’ would have sufficed. Not that I have any quibbles with any of your adjectives – or nouns.
    As they say – Only in America…lynch land.
    In one respect,though, he is right: the same people will run the country whichever of the two combatants prevail.

  15. Anne Byam

    Congratulations John, on your 1000th article … the two parts of which I have enjoyed and agree with.

    The article is excellent and thank you —- 1000 times for your contributions over the years.

    ,,,,,

    NEC

    If Australians want to be respected in the world then they must stand tall on their numerous fine achievements and touch the forelock for no other country.

    Couldn’t agree more. The sooner we rid ourselves of the overt and especially covert influences from the American mob, the better it will be. They are propagandists, and the world has swallowed much of it. And they believe their own propaganda which will contribute to their undoing and ultimate downfall.

    They label themselves exceptional ? pffft. Couldn’t be further from the truth.

  16. Jack Cade

    Anne Byam

    They are exceptionally unexceptional..,

  17. Vikingduk

    Jack Cade

    Maaaate, you’re right, a simple fuck off would have done the job, but I was feelin a little verbose, strange little critters they are, quite cuddly, so l thought I’d rabbit on, use up some words, give the impression I was more than fuck right off freedomlover, you misbegotten child of a pox ridden whore. I might return to Deep State now, me and my little verbose, think up some more witty bon mots. Prost, dudes.

  18. New England Cocky

    @Ann Byam: Thank you for your kind words.

    @Stephengb: As a Pommie scared to let go of all the advantages of Mother England I fear your comments show the umbilical cord remains firmly in place. Perhaps during the past 42 years you have missed out on reading some of Australian colonial history, or maybe just accepted that England has taken down Australia ever since 1788 and are happy with that.

    Personally, apart from teaching the Poms how to play cricket may I advise you that in WWI tanks were an Australian invention and Australian General John Monash is credited by knowledgeable historians with ending the Western front in the planned 22 minute battle. Now try and find any comment in an English military history book that tells about the incompetence of the English High Command at Gallipoli.

    In WWII monarchist and WWI avoider Robert Menzies is credited with exerting some control over Churchill during his manic periods in the early days, until Scullin demanded and got Australian troops returned to defend Australia against the Japanese.

    After WWII Australians were encouraged to buy ”Imperial” meaning English made. This meant that London Conference shipping back-loaded manufactured products to Australia and forwards loaded with wool and other primary products. PM Stanley Bruce, a Pom, had sold off the Australian Shipping Conference to English interests before the war and received a peerage for his troubles.

    Then England decided that Europe was a better trade partner than Australia and the colonies were excised. Now Boris wants them back.

    When are the Poms going to realise that history passed them by with the loss of Empire following WWI.

  19. Michael Taylor

    NEC, our email is playing up. Can you kindly resend me your email?

  20. Andrew Smith

    Trump represents what has gone wrong in not just the US but the ‘Anglosphere’ of especially the UK and Australia too, for multiple reasons and with various players supporting transnationally.

    Although we may see what is wrong with Trump and the hypocrisy of him, supporters, radical right libertarian policies and the GOP, but they don’t.

    One aspect that drives me crazy is how media, PR and politicians are being complicit actively destroying and/or compromising previously accepted norms of language, memory, institutions, expertise, ethics and behaviour enabling radical right libertarian policies to be enacted (even by simply giving every utternace of Trimp ozygen, ditto Pauline Hanson et al. and Nigel Farage et al. in the UK).

    Meanwhile, supporters of Trump policies or those of similar views, demand the right to whinge, moan and complain about everything/one they don’t like or which creates dissonance, which in turn destroys balanced narratives, divides communities and even normal conversation.

    Apart from economic ideology and policy, they are forcing supporters and others to choose, promote and demand that white Christian nationalist culture remains pre-eminent (without stating clearly); set against changing demographics which means an eventual dead end for their culture…… or the ‘great replacement theory’.

  21. wam

    NEC
    the poms and ming are tragic but old jack lang was rooted by the pommie lovers every bit as bad as jardine
    ps
    lord to ignore any good by trump is poor

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