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The greatest showman, or the greatest threat?

Last Tuesday I watched the greatest ever political-showman address the American nation – or more likely – his political base.

With black solemnity, President Trump tells the nation that he will stop the domestic acts of terror. He will do so with greater violence. He will dominate the streets.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) is well remembered – among other things – for this famous comment:

“The duty of a true Patriot is to protect his country from its Government.”

Trump said that America was founded on the rule of law. The forefathers would be turning in their graves. America was founded on freedom!

The protests spread like a festering ulcer across the United States making a vain attempt at overcoming an unpretentious and legitimate frustration over decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the USA.

Trump, in characteristic fashion, was condemning the violence he and his capitalistic ugliness were ultimately responsible for.

Condemning the violence of the protesters and promoting his.

Not once in his callous speech was there a hint that the protesters might have a point. That the knee had been bent over inequality and injustice for too long.

There is no offer of peace from the leader of a once great nation, no extending the hand of reconciliation, just showmanship.

There was none of the persuasiveness of Kennedy or Clinton or Obama. The showman ended it with a walk to a church outside The White House. A very special place, he said. The symbolism couldn’t be missed. God was on his side.

The only people he impressed were the racists themselves. God bless America.

“Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

He didn’t include the police and military.

His empathises on the Second Amendment (right to form MILITIAS and BEAR ARMS) made the hairs on my arms stand on end. Was he seriously suggesting that militias were a possibly.

When a nation grows so powerful it tends to abuse its power, then slowly becomes authoritarian.

He talked about the protesters, rioters, and looters, for almost his entire speech. He spoke about George Floyd for 10 seconds.

As Trump claimed to be an “ally of all peaceful protesters,” federal police were violently clearing them out of the way with tear gas to ensure the president had a clear pathway to a church.

There with a Bible upside down, he posed. It was the showmanship of the dictator, with a dose of Hollywood.

My thought for the day

When you push people beyond their capacity to understand their victimisation you can hardly expect them, during demonstrations, to behave rationally.

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14 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Trumpery (COD n, showy but worthless) lives in a brain fart that makes the size of the Canberra bubble look miniscule. But will the American citizens in 2020 take their demands to the ballot box that has been corrupted by voluntary voting, computer programming corruption and Supreme Court bias?

  2. Jack Cade

    George W. Bush has said Trump dies not understand Merka.
    Trump wears a Merkin on his head.

  3. Josephus

    It is of some comfort to discover that soul searching is taking place in Australia as a result of the racist ugliness that is the USA, China, Burma, India, Rwanda and to some extent Hungary. Here it is easy to say sorry then do nothing much about it . Yes, Mabo happened, but the Makarata is ignored and its aims lied about, houses retain asbestos and are overcrowded, artworks sometimes bought for little while the white middleman makes a fortune, high ATM charges in remote communities, lower life expectancy, worse domestic violence even than among white Australian males.
    The US is more advanced in its neofascism, Trump more pernicious perhaps than our sanctimonious PM, who thinks it ethical to take his girls, sic, on a secret holiday while the country burns, who thinks fatalistically that his god made the social order. yet if we are poor it is our fault (predeterminism or free will? These people are of low intelligence).

    The US is our future. Has the current plague woken us up? Not this government, wedded to the accumulation of goods; we must open the tattoo parlours! Must reopen the gambling dens in the RSL clubs! Must soon stop subsidising the jobless though.

    Morrison has a photo taken of him waving his arms at his god? well, why not. How ironic that Trump holds the bible upside down. The Satanist cultists I quizzed in 1970s London told me that an upside down cross was their symbol.

  4. Henry Rodrigues

    And today the evangelical leaders of America all praised the criminal and gave him with their blessings.
    Will our own Scummo the religious fanatic, do the same ??? I am sure he would like to but his advisers would probably not approve.

  5. wam

    “… a once great nation,…” That is the fear that drives the support of big talking, big walking trump bible waver. Smirko another big talking big walking bible waving liar his once great balance of the books and a million jobs
    The racism in america is vicious, the non-white population is large, visible, the supporting white population is also large and visible. The slave history is known and condemned but ‘blackbirding is almost unknown.
    Aborigines in American are on reserves and, like Australia’s Aborigines, invisible to most of the population. How did 432 deaths in custody since the royal commission get past over???
    ps
    “With black solemnity,…”
    “beyond their capacity to understand their victimisation …”
    what do you mean vs what does it read????

  6. John Lord

    Wam. The WHY of it.

  7. MrFlibble4747

    Is it it just me or is the “Indigenous teen assault” in NSW being amped up a bit too much?

    On the video alone it is difficult to determine anything extreme occurred, the officer went quickly from a relaxed pose whilst talking to the teens into action mode when something threatening was said.

    Extreme would be tasering or shooting, using a trained technique to quickly subdue someone who was threatening is not in the same league as the George Floyd murder in the US. Watching the “Indigenous teens” family “taking the knee” this morning is a conflation that is too much to take.

    Picking this incident is a dumb move as there are so many real and extreme wrongs done to our first Australians.

    Calling “bullshit” on this one! Time will tell is the officers actions were over the top in this incident but it it definitely not a George Floyd moment by any stretch of the imagination and trivialises the murder in the USA by attempting a “Me Too” link!

    A good way for their lawyers to maximise their profile and fees tho …………

  8. Kronomex

    Showman? No. Desperately frightened (like most the republicans) of black people..gasp, shock…daring to help remove him, The Greatest Intellect, Most Stable Genius, Diplomat, etc, etc, the world has ever seen at the election in November? Yes. The blow to his ego and massively bloated self-importance would be shattering.

  9. wam

    thanks john.
    I was foolishly thinking the black was tasteless under the circumstances but was too chicken to say so
    Similarly the blacks are too thick to understand the reason behind racism. That does fit the slave stereotype of the southern states and in Australia, refers to the Aboriginal stereotype.
    Mr Fibble every thing is amped and ramped up to sell lies and exaggeration abound.

  10. ajogrady

    Two long standing complete myths are again being exposed and busted.1. That America is the United States. America is in the grip of a civil war. That America is the land of the free and that all men are created equal in the eyes of God is a concept rather then a reality. 2. That the L/NP in Australia are good economic managers and Australia. The L/NP’s forte is over promising press conferences and photo shoots and under delivering on every critical point of good governance. Also that Australian is the land of the free and that all men are created equal in the eyes of God is also only a concept and not a reality to many Australians and their families.
    What is an undeniable fact is that both the people of these countries have allowed themselves to be manipulated and coerced to vote against theirs and societies best interest.

  11. Jack Cade

    ajogrady

    As you know, The Lucky Country’ was misinterpreted and the misinterpretation became the Gospel Truth in the eyes of the interpreters.
    The books full title was ‘The Lucky Country (Run By Fuckwits).

  12. guest

    MrFlibble4747,

    I see where you are coming from, but I find it difficult to make ethical judgements about some incidents because we do not always know the details of the incident, let alone the historical background. It might be too easy to blame victimisation on one hand, or claim legal justification on the other.

    You say it is difficult to tell whether “anything extreme occurred” earlier than what we saw. and the policeman had “a relaxed pose” until he was driven when “something threatening was said” and the policeman went into “action mode”, “using a trained technique to quickly subdue someone who was threatening”.

    But as you say, what was threatening is not clear.

    What the bystanders saw was quite clear. Someone called out that the policeman had driven the boy’s face into the ground, and it was clear the boy had little chance to protect his face.

    As you say, this could be a deliberate police tactic, not the same as the one applied to George Floyd in the USA. So is it a matter of degree only?

    Perhaps there is more to it. You say: “”Picking this incident is a dumb move as there are so many real and extreme wrongs done to our first Australians”.

    Alright, so the policeman in this case did not poison the water hole, put arsenic in his flour, drive him over a cliff or shoot him on the spot, but there is a history of many wrongs and to many different degrees here in Oz.

    History tells us 28% of Australians who are First Australians are represented by 28% of people in prison. Some 432 deaths in prison have occurred over a relatively short time. Incidents in a youth prison in Darwin have been declared illegal

    So the people who witnessed the treatment of the boy in NSW were upset and bent their knees in sympathy for the boy. They did not burn cars and shops or loot buildings. But they did say in this way that this kind of treatment is of a kind – just a matter of degree.

    Perhaps some of us might say that it was all “a conflation too much to take”. Perhaps it is a matter of not standing in the same shoes with the same understanding.

    How this matter will be viewed over time, I do not know. It is for others to decide.

    But I am wary of your accusation that lawyers will “maximise their profits and their profiles” as if this incident is merely a matter of pleading victimisation from which people make profits, as if it is some kind of monitary business.

    This is about the treatment of people. There is lot of talk about respect these days, even if other people are opposed to us in some way. What I can say, is that both the incident here in NSW and the one in the USA are upsetting. Perhaps I am just a softie, easily persuaded. But in these incidents I think of the extreme as in the song “Strange Fruit”. We might not be at that extreme position here in Oz, but we have a way to go in our treatment of First Australians.

  13. Jake Bullitt

    Mr Flibbles real name is Arnold Judas Rimmer.
    Or he’s channeling him…
    One or the other.

  14. Stephengb

    Well said Guest.

    It seems to me that the treatment of people by the policeis clearly problematic for both the police and the general public, however it is also clear that our indiginous public are treated even more problematic than the rest of us. That this is a fact is pure racism !

    That the Police and Judicary place a disproportionate number of indigenous public in our correctional institutions, indicates that this racism is institutionalised.

    Institutionalised racism is without doubt a stain on Australia and Australians.

    Having read many comments on social media it would appear that there are a significant number (perhaps 40 – 50%) of population who are in favour of racism and make no attempt to hide that fact.

    For me, I know that there are many racists in my homeland of great Britain but I have never in all my 72 years seen such brazen expressions as I have here in Australia.

    It’s disgusting.

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