Trump isn’t only wrecking America

Angry rant follows…

Trump has a total disregard for morality. We focus on his lying and grifting but this can easily be generalised to other moral considerations. He thinks about the world using a lot of crass and outdated stereotypes but Trump is not sincerely racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic in the way that he really is sincerely misogynist. For the most part, his other bigotries are things he casually puts on, like costumes, when he feels the need to pander to the various bigots who support him and to play different political tribes off against each-other*. It is not that he actually believes in putting kids in cages. It is just that he believes that it serves his purposes to do so and that he doesn’t care about anything else.

In a way, this is even worse than if he really believed in the terrible things he says and does. It is not even a battle between moral perspectives. It is a battle between values (any values!) and complete amorality. Maybe Trump was the real “Post-modern Neo-Marxist Nihilist”** all along?

So, anyway, we are here to talk about India.

Er, what!?

Stay with me here! This is going to make some sort of sense.

The BBC reports this:

So that is up to 1.9 million people removed from the electoral register and worse…

“India says the process is needed to identify illegal Bangladeshi migrants. It has already detained thousands of people suspected of being foreigners in temporary camps which are housed in the state’s prisons, but deportation is currently not an option for the country. […] If people lose their appeals in higher courts, they could be detained indefinitely.”

Obviously, these people can’t be deported to Bangladesh because they are not actually Bangladeshi citizens! Instead India just makes them stateless and bangs them up, like that is any sort of legal.

Now, I know that the BJP have always been a bunch of right-wing, Hindu nationalist, sectarian shitlords but they were not quite so blatant about this racist/Islamophobic shit last time they were in power. They also didn’t try to rig an election that time. I wonder where they got the idea that they could get away with this from?

“And in an echo of US President Donald Trump’s policy to separate undocumented parents and children, families have been similarly broken up in Assam.”

Ah, yes. That will be it. Voter suppression of ethnic/religious minorities? Denial of citizenship to long-standing residents and even actual documented citizens? Indefinite detention without proper trials or legal representation? Family separations? Poor conditions in detention? Ignoring the law and the Constitution? Deportations insofar as you think you can get away with it? Yeah. That’s Trump’s malign influence alright!

It’s not just Trump and Modi. You have Bolsonaro in Brazil, Orbán in Hungary, Netanyahu in Israel and, of course, the main man himself, the master of puppets, Putin in Russia (and also, lets not forget, in Ukraine, illegally). Putin and Trump are normalising unacceptable behaviour and making a mockery of democracy and human rights on a global scale. I’m not saying that Trump actually puts them up to it. Just that, when authoritarian tosspots see Trump getting away with it, it weakens any sense of propriety (or shame) that might have held them back and emboldens them to try the same things themselves.

Here in the UK we see Brexit sliding further and further into the hands of the far-right as mainstream politics just ceases to exist. Facts are irrelevant now. Blame is to be heaped only on the victims not the perpetrators. The people trying to save the UK are the ones branded “saboteurs”. An outcome that the Leave campaigners all assured us was not even possible (i.e. No Deal) is now being touted as “The Will Of The People”***. The denial of facts. The resentment of criticism. The denial of consequences. The tribalism. The blaming of the victims. It’s all very Trumpy!

This is the problem. The world has more than its share of really nasty bastards who are kept in check, not by any personal morality, but simply by what they calculate that they can get away with. Trump has redefined ‘what they can get away with’ to give them far more licence to behave badly. This is the new normal now, even in countries previously thought to have relatively robust democracies.

Even after Trump has gone completely senile, and been exiled to some maximum security golf course, the baseline of what is morally acceptable has been changed worldwide. This will take many decades to fix. Not all countries will be able to fix it. Not all will live to see it fixed.

To mix my theatrical metaphors, the evil that men do lives after them aaaaaand it’s Springtime For Hitler…

Oh gods! That was depressing. Lets end with some words from a real American.****

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

– Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail


* – If you want proof, look at the way Trump takes the anti-Semitism on and off depending on who he is pandering to. You will see him sucking up to Jewish Republicans one day and trashing Jewish Democrats using blatant anti-Semitic dog whistles the next. Then he does his “both sides” thing again, desperately trying to avoid alienating anti-Semitic neo-Nazis the day after yet another mass shooting by neo-Nazis. He doesn’t have a position on this. He simply doesn’t care about anything other than himself!

** – Yes, I know there is no such thing.

*** – This despite literally 0% of people voting for it in the referendum. Neither the Leave nor Remain positions advocated it. Leave went to great lengths to repudiate it. Combined support for the parties that openly advocate “No Deal” has never gone over 50% in any election.

**** – What I would give for a few politicians today who could string together sentences like that! That, and do so in the service of genuine moral principles rather than their own sordid careers!

August 31, 2019. #Brexit, Politics, Sensible.

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