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“Shut up. It is I, POTUS who speaks”

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.”

(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.

 

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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15 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    There is little doubt that the USA (United States of Apartheid) has an elected Caucasian President who is totally unsuited for the job of President. POTUS — “Person Obviously Totally Unfit for Service”.

    But what about Australia? Here in Australia, Aborigines make up about 3% of the population yet about 50% of the juvenile detention population are Aboriginal and about 30% of the adult inmates are Aboriginal. Perhaps that means something about people in grass house should not stow thrones?

    Economic disadvantage creates social problems just to survive. The NT government was exposed under Claire Martin as spending dedicated Federal funding for inland camp housing paying (white) public servants in Darwin.

    We do ourselves a great disservice when we ignore the fact the “White Australia has a Black History” because the financial mismanagement of governments at all levels throwing BILLIONS at their corporate mates disguised as building better cities, really forgets that too many Australian voters in metropolitan and regional urban centres do not have adequate housing for their families, food for their kids or jobs to suit their training.

  2. mark delmege

    State police tend to be behind the worst violence – thats State as in the Texan State or New York State. They are the ones responsible for the deaths of a thousand or so every year in the USofA. The Feds have little room to influence state police behaviour. So basically if the state police are acting with impunity blame the state authorities, hold their feet to the fire. Its not really a Federal issue … Of course how the President responds is important, He (its always been a he) could make it worse or not but thats another issue.
    Oh yeah by the way Minnesota is controlled by the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) an affiliate of the Democratic Party as is the governor Mark Dayton

  3. New England Cocky

    From The Conversation:

    https://theconversation.com/i-cant-breathe-australia-must-look-in-the-mirror-to-see-our-own-deaths-in-custody-139848?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20June%203%202020%20-%201639615758&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20June%203%202020%20-%201639615758+CID_66321b2958865ce5fcc3da42b67925b2&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=I%20cant%20breathe%20Australia%20must%20look%20in%20the%20mirror%20to%20see%20our%20own%20deaths%20in%20custody

  4. Terence Mills

    Donald Trump holding up a bible is like Hannibal Lecter holding up a cookbook.

    Grotesque !!

  5. Kronomex

    Terence Mills June 3, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Donald Trump holding up a bible is like Hannibal Lecter holding up a cookbook.

    Would that book be “To Serve Man”?

    mark delmegeJune 3, 2020 at 6:35 am

    “State police tend to be behind the worst violence…”

    In that case what would you call the responses to protestors in Hong Kong by the State Police, which is an arm of the CCP? Polite intervention?

  6. Ian Hughes

    Outstanding article, John.

    As I was reading I was constantly thinking about how Australia is on a similar path to the US & not that far behind. Substitute Morrison for Trump etc and the message still rings true – it’s a question of degree.

    This is not the land I want to leave for my children.

  7. Kronomex

    The Donald; POTUS – Psychotic Old Turd Understands Shit.

  8. Vikingduk

    BunkerBaby, BunkerBoy, BunkerBitch, BunkerDon, the coward in chief, president Wun Dum-Fuc. Oh how they love this insane creature. The rise and fall of the American empire right now, live on your tv. The despotic liar in chief well enabled by the morally bankrupt cowards of the Republican Party and his braindead supporters. Wonder what out liar in chief thinks of his great mate donny dumpster? Is it go harder, spanky, might is right, show em who the man?

    What a horrible shitshow from an supposedly civilised race, allow the authoritarian fascists control over our lives, no consequences for their outright incompetence, no consequences for their lies, no consequences for their traitorous ways, no consequences for the damage inflicted on this thing called democracy.

    Meanwhile the virus lives on, meanwhile global warming, like rust, never sleeps, meanwhile 17,000 international students line up in Victoria for food vouchers, meanwhile an unknown number of people live on the streets, meanwhile, when I last heard, 21 victims of domestic violence died in the first 21 weeks of this year.

    Well done Australia, we fighting the good fight, never apologise for nothing, never admit mistakes, on water matters, cabinet in confidence, don’t accept the premise of the question, fuck ya all, born to rule, so shut the fuck up, do what you’re told, yes master.

  9. jaq

    And yet, Trump calls for his lapdog, and even after all of this , Little Scotty goes straight to his master, like a good doggy.
    And we dont have the same problem here?

  10. Judithw

    NEC – good article. Just a note (fyio) – everything after and including the “?” In a URL is metadata & can be safely deleted 😉

  11. New England Cocky

    From The Guardian:
    1) https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jun/03/nsw-police-minister-elliott-horrified-indigenous-teens-language-slammed-gladys-berejiklian?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlBVVMtMjAwNjAz&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTAU_email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayAUS

    2) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/02/australia-still-turns-a-blind-eye-to-aboriginal-people-dying-in-police-custody?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlBVVMtMjAwNjAz&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTAU_email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayAUS

  12. James O'Neill

    This is the man the American electorate chose, and this is the man to whom the Australian government pays ritual obeisance. The Americans can deal with their own problems. There is no need for Australia to be part of the same mess. A change of policy is needed in Canberra as much as it is in Washington.

  13. B Sullivan

    Correction James O’Neill. This is the man the US electoral colleges chose. Only 28% of those Americans allowed to vote chose Trump.

  14. Zathras

    Trump has somehow managed to combine the effects of the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic, the 1930’s Great Depression plus the 1968 Race Riots into a single package within a 6 month period.

    He may not be entirely responsible for each but he obviously lacks the ability to deal with them and none seem as important to him than his re-relection or his golf handicap

    Meanwhile he has alienated many allies, sabotaged international agreements, cosied up to tyrants and replaced any possible talent in his cabinet and advisors with yes-men and relatives.

    Karma?

  15. Bruce Winchester

    Did anyone else notice how smoothly and confidently Trump gave his President of Law and Order speech?
    No cue, no stumbling over long words, none of the usual mispronunciations or incorrect choice of words. All seemingly right off the cuff. Thoroughly rehearsed in front of the vanity mirror of the bunker bathroom the night before perhaps?
    Months ago when the word “hydroxycholorquine” first rolled effortlessly off Trump’s lips, a commentator (I forget who) suggested it might have already been a product in his share portfolio and he had had time to get it right.
    He enjoyed that Rose Garden speech immensely. It was the dictator speech he has always wanted to give. The grim irony was that while he spoke of supporting peaceful protesters, tear gas canisters could be heard falling among peaceful protesters in nearby Lafayette Park. And now he denies any knowledge of the incident, but insists no tear gas was used.
    Some will recall how disappointed he was not to have tanks and missile launchers in his inaugural parade and had to put up with tractors and marching bands instead. In the last few days he has at least had tanks. Lets hope that will be the limit of his militaristic dreams.

    God, if there is one, help America.

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