Although he doesn’t read or present well, President Trump made a fair fist of showing regret at the murder of Minneapolis citizen George Floyd at the hands of its law enforcement officers.
He did the right thing and instructed the FBI together with Department of Justice to move quickly to investigate the incident.
Sadly, that’s where it ended. The metaphor (representing the suppression of people of colour, holding them down refusing to hear their muted calls for help) of a bended knee on the throat of the victim was being shown all around the world, and with the victim’s last breath so went any lasting admiration I ever had of the United States of America.
But Trump, unable to maintain any form of dignity, quickly returned to the base instincts of the depraved and again began tweeting.
The objects of his decadent thinking were the Minneapolis citizens – who whilst engulfed in riots and surrounded by flames – protested the death of one of their citizens.
It was as if the pent up fury of racism had found another gasp of protest.
Trump tweeted his evilness defining the protesters as thugs and the mayor as being from the “very weak Radical Left” and that when “the looting starts, the shooting starts.” It was so inflammatory that Twitter hid it from view on the grounds it was “glorifying violence” – The President had been censored. The remark was one he conveniently saves for occasions like this and this “looting, shooting” remark had its genesis in the racial unrest of the 1960s.
Then last Friday, while the world looked on at the total despair of its black citizens whose lives, in the land of milk and honey, were looked on as being of less value, expressed themselves, with violence and fury, the President of the USA called a press conference in the White House Rose Garden.
But Trump, as men of his ilk do, was intent on changing the subject. He would do so by shifting the blame for his coronavirus response and withdraw the US from the World Health Organisation.
There would be no mention of George Floyd and no mention of the protests at all. It was the coward’s way out, and he is well-practised at it.
On the same day some hours later he appeared conciliatory; “I understand the hurt, I understand the pain,” he said.
They were the words from a man without an empathetic bone in his body. A man devoid of any common decency – unable to find words that would console a nation that was dripping blood from wounds that he alone had opened.
No sooner had he said, “I understand” he was tweeting his usual insaneness using Twitter to divide the country:
“In Democrat cities you can get arrested for opening a business, but not for looting one.”
Presidential candidate Joe Biden, by way of contrast issued a subdued message:
“The original sin of this country still stains our nation today, and sometimes we manage to overlook it…
“We just push forward with the thousand other tasks in our daily life, but it’s always there, and weeks like this, we see it plainly that we’re a country with an open wound. None of us can turn away. None of us can be silent.”
Former president Barack Obama also released a statement urging white Americans to remember that “for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’ – whether it’s while dealing with the healthcare system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.”
My statement on the death of George Floyd: pic.twitter.com/Hg1k9JHT6R
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 29, 2020
(If this tweet is difficult to read, see larger copy of message at the bottom of this article).
As I write, the protests and the looting is spreading across the country. With a pandemic on its back and over 100,000 dead America needs leadership of the kind that brings people together. Galvanises their thoughts and gives them hope.
All they have in Trump is a narcissist, a megalomaniac of immoral mouth of gross indecency.
He is 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.
The Lamestream Media is doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy. As long as everybody understands what they are doing, that they are FAKE NEWS and truly bad people with a sick agenda, we can easily work through them to GREATNESS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
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 utterly 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 every 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.
America has an undisputed ignoramus of first world order, as President.
A man who cannot bring himself to speak the word sorry nor mention the name “George Floyd.”
All that comes from his pursed gutter lips is the bile of hatred, vengeance, violence and revenge.
The political, cultural and intellectual discourse of American politics has been so effectively muted by the contamination of those who would seek power for power’s sake has all but been erased.
The American exceptionalism in the land of milk and honey that Presidents spoke so proudly of now belongs to a bygone era.
The people of this once enlightened society feel betrayed by a lack of leadership, of vision.
Capitalistic neo-liberal ideology has won the day and we have given up. The words we use to describe these events, the austerity, and the lack of transparency; uncontrolled capitalism and the death of truth are of themselves devoid of concern and fight.
Sure, America has advanced but the price is gauged by the exploitation of the poor and middle classes. The price the country has paid for its progress is measured in wars and seductive illusions about culture.
Advancement is about a perception. Not what is but what we perceive it to be.
And in their powerlessness Americans have listened to the voices of the absurd, to the promises of demigods and racists in the absence of ideas about how to fix our democracies.
It’s called long-suffering irrationalism. The people no longer have the patience or desire to soberly examine policies that effect lives and politics has been relegated by the media to a 24/7 sideshow.
Americans who cannot see that the great American dream has ended hear the voice of Trump. Those who have lost faith in institutionalised politics see no future.
What used to be a beacon of light to the free world, “the American Presidency” is now but a reminder of the decline of a once great nation.
The far Right has gained a foothold because the people have become dissatisfied with capitalism and democracy.
The government produces slogans and promises repetitively until the people are conned into believing them. They deal in the illusions of social progress and prosperity. They refuse to acknowledge any reality that might concern us about the future. That is what Trump is doing now.
In the November election the people will either not vote at all, or vote for extremists. Few people trust politicians or have faith in government.
Americans live a life of permanent malaise and think little about what makes the nation tick.
It is on the verge of democratic collapse. Politicians have little incentive, or even the capacity to change the democratic structures because they are so locked into neoliberal corporate capitalism.
To quote an old but timeless article from 2016 by Chris Hedges titled ‘American Irrationalism’, he writes:
“Life is lived in an eternal present. How we got here, where we came from, what shaped us as a society, in short the continuum of history that gives us an identity, are eradicated.”
How has it come to what we are seeing now? America has allowed itself to believe the lies of the right, not being interested enough to vote and perpetuating the malpractice of racism.
It fell for the mantra of hatred, inequality, violence and fear that was so delicately indoctrinated in them for decades.
The people permitted themselves, to believe all the bullshit, and incoherent absurdities mouthed by self-serving politicians.
The people also decided to disbelieve science and facts and instead trust their feelings.
In short, they allowed themselves to be deceived into believing that poverty is the fault of the victim but wealth comes from virtue and both are the natural order of things.
Good democracies can only deliver good government and outcomes if the people demand it. Unfortunately, we have forgotten just what that means.
My thought for the day
Presenting facts to people who have reasoned by virtue of their feelings that they are right is totally futile.
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