Monday, June 18, 2018

Neil Macdonald - "This Is America"

In Neil Macdonald's considered opinion, Donald Trump is no aberration. If anything, he says that Trump "represents the true soul of America."

Along the southern border, families with the will and the heart to flee misery and seek asylum are being torn apart — the parents charged and prosecuted and deported, rather than welcomed through open doors. Their children, alone and terrified, sit numbly in tent cities erected by ICE, Donald Trump's freshly empowered immigration enforcers, who keep visiting do-gooders away, even papering over windows to hide what's going on within.
A woman sent back to Guatemala without her son tearfully wonders if she will ever see him again. 
A former Republican first lady compares the detention centres to the Japanese-American internment camps of the Second World War.

A former military general, and former CIA and NSA director, noted that other governments have separated children from parents, tweeting a picture of Auschwitz-Birkenau's railroad spur.

Most of the criticism has invoked morality, or Christian values. But this president is clearly uninterested in either, despite his closeness to evangelical Christian leaders and his own avowal of faith.

He's sensed that his voters, which are really what count, want ruthlessness, and that they can easily be persuaded to see it as patriotic: a notion he eagerly promotes.

Any criticism he treats as just politics, the easiest course of action in a country where even Supreme Court decisions are regarded as partisan.

The stated purpose of his policy is to make it clear to the world that having the "will and the heart" to get to the shining city on the hilltop will leave you in prison and your children at least temporarily orphaned. Trump wants to build an actual wall around the hilltop city, one with no doors, topped with concertina wire. Judging from his successes so far, he likely will.

Tearing Up the Neighbourhood

As for America's race issues, suffice it to say that white America has not had so bold a champion since George Wallace and Strom Thurmond. Take a moment and look at Virginia's new Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, Corey Stewart, backed and praised lavishly by the president.

Which brings us to [Reagan's] hilltop city's free ports, humming with commerce. Trump is single handedly putting an end to that, too, making something else clear to the world: rules-based trade and commerce is for chumps.

To him, America's allies are weak fools – he actually taunts them publicly – who need to understand that what counts is American power, against which they cannot prevail. Either they accept his terms, or he crushes them. Already, he's labelled their exports a threat to America's national security.

Trump's War Against Truth and Democracy.
As journalism professor Jay Rosen has persuasively argued, Trump is clearly winning his war against the media, an institution Trump has described as a great danger to America. 
Fact-checking, the essence of journalism, no longer matters much, says Rosen, because it carries no consequence. 
Politicians, caught lying, used to at least stop repeating the lie, even if they wouldn't admit having lied. Being a proven liar was just too uncomfortable. No longer. Trump lies easily and overwhelmingly; he couldn't give a toss about fact-checkers, and neither do his supporters. 
The brazen lie is now of no more consequence than serial philandering or consorting with foreign enemies who want to corrupt elections. 
Donald Trump, who loves winning, is winning. He is beating America's allies, he is crushing America's media, he is demonizing and desiccating American law enforcement, and hinting that in the end, he might even use his pardon power to sweep away rule of law. He has in fact already done so. 
In her op-ed for The Washington Post, Laura Bush asked for compassion, kindness and morality. This is not America, she argued
Well, yes it is. Trump is America, and America, it turns out, isn't so exceptional after all.
No good will come to Canada if we have political leadership that will not accept reality. America is no longer our ally or even our friend. It has fundamentally changed even if so many Americans have not. America's "bought and paid for" Congress won't stand up to their homegrown despot. Neither will America's ideologically compromised Supreme Court.

Ordinary, decent Americans are being subverted as much as anyone else. Today their own Supreme Court ensured they will still be electorally abused by gerrymandering.

The Western alliance needs to gather and figure out how we're going ahead against this new America. We have to cut ourselves loose from this ogre.


Trailblazer said...

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.


The Mound of Sound said...

Yeah, maybe once, Trailblazer. Americans were or once imagined they were something other than they are today.

Deacon Jester said...

Neo-American neo-christianity:
Suffer the little children to come unto me and I will cage them in an abandoned discount store and never let them see their parents again and oh yes I will make sure they suffer.

Trailblazer said...

There is something about the children being held in an old Wal*mart that I just cannot connect!

At the end of the day, Canada plus the EU plus China if motivated have the economic power to counter the USA.

Also; we must confront the reasons so many people from third world countries wish to leave their homeland and live in North America and Europe.


Anonymous said...

Every time a sanctimonious weasel throws a temper tantrum of self-righteous indignation an angel gets its wings!

These performances keep getting hammier and hammier. More and more absurd. Wave your hands more! Go even MOAR hysterical! Cry wolf louder!

Where was the Fake Media when Bush and Obama were spreading war and chaos across the Middle East and the Americas – with respective wars on terrorism and drugs that caused floods of mass migration into Europe and America?

They were providing cover just like they beat the drums of war to get America into Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place. Just like they did Vietnam. Just like they did the 2000s housing/derivatives Bust Out. Just like they did everything else that is filthy and rotten with the world.

They weren't tugging on the heart strings while tens of thousands of civilians were killed by American drones. Or the tens of thousands of lives lost to gang and cartel violence that destabilized governments across Latin America. Or the tens of thousands of African American lives stolen with absurd "three strikes" legislation that created the "era of mass incarceration" for prison-sweatshop payola.

All this Fake Media hysteria is about trade. Trump standing up against free-trade globalization, of all things. Can you believe it?

All their filth and lies and crimes against humanity just to mooch MOAR money. These filthy things cannot take their money with them, but they will take their filth with them. The universe has been around a lot longer than these barbarian animals with their Nazi-concentration-camp idea of civilization. One day they will wish they were never born.

(You do it to yourselves, you do. And that's why it really hurts! You do it to yourselvesssss!)

Mark Warburton said...

lyrics from LouReed "Dirty Boulevard"

Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I'll piss on 'em
That's what the Statue of Bigotry says
Your poor huddled masses, let's club 'em to death
And get it over with and just dump 'em on the boulevard

Anonymous said...

MOAR sanctimonious drivel.

Before the post-truth post-modern era of Cultural Marxism, there were moderate levels of legal immigration and a moderate political debate as well. These days fanatics try to shout you down over the most ridiculous things.

Lookie here: some Canadian Nazis and Adolph Hitlers:

'Last resort': Why Canada indefinitely jails immigration detainees, including kids

Trudeau tries to reassure Canadians over irregular immigration [Reuters]

"In this Reuters clip Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that despite irregular border crossers, the Canadian immigration system is working and Canadians can feel safe."

Canada indigenous women were coerced into sterilisations, lawsuit says

Unknown said...

I'll go with Big Country:

Why are faces filled with anger
That should only shine with youth
It's just a shadow of the people we should be

Scott in Montreal (on mobile)

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 0155

Neil Macdonald has never been a sanctimonious weasel, you fucking dolt. But I'm sure your grasp of his past reporting from around the world is zero.

Meanwhile, where were you, you excuse for an "I told you so" self-appointed gloater over progressives? Hiding out in your parents' basement playing video games until you arrived as a fully-formed idiot allowed to finally venture out and proclaim your disdain for everyone and everything, no doubt. But doing nothing concrete to help. Too much like hard work. Never even helped a senior with shopping cross the road, I bet - more likely to advise them to buy an electric wheelchair because "anyone" can see that's they need.

Yeah, I need you lording it over me and other progressives as much as I need a boil on my arse. Why don't you go and do it to yourselfffff, you tosser?

I've had 70 years on the planet, long enough to figure out who actually has a grasp and in their own way contribute sincerely to societal betterment, whether I agree on every point or not with them. And then there's people like you who just try to tear things down. Please point to a Conservative blog where you issue similar criticisms of their perceived lack of intelligence. I'd bet there are none to be found. If there are you're a nihilist - if not you're a simple troll, probably serving as an internist at the Fraser Institute or one of similar ilk.

But of course, at heart it's all about you. Isn't it? The smug, preening narcissist emerging to make lordly pronouncements over the output of lesser minds. Incognito. It's such a thrill.


Anonymous said...

We might be narrowing you down to be a Brit. The last place we need advice from. Also explains the two-faced criticism. Last time I ran into it was an old bore on a soapbox at Speaker's Corner. Size up the crowd on a given Sunday afternoon and have a go at insulting them. What juvenile fun!

Check your spelling, mate.


Anonymous said...

"I've had 70 years on the planet, long enough to figure out who actually has a grasp and in their own way contribute sincerely to societal betterment"

Or in other words you're a neoliberal Boomer who liquidated the civilization your parents, the Grand Generation, fought so hard and sacrificed so much to bring to the world.

Boomers are the spoiled-little-bastard generation who spent their entire lives in their parents' basements. And now you hand down to future generations a big fat nothing -- aside from mountains of ubiquitous debt.

That's why Americans elected Donald J. Trump: to clean up the mess you made selling out. That's what all your squawking is really about: the shame of being bested by a game-show-host!

Get ready to suck it! Cause Trump is the King of All Media. He's in it to win it. He doesn't need bribe money paid in speaking fees. That's chump change! He'll make WAY more than that in merchandizing alone!

Northern PoV said...

Donald Trump is no aberration

sounds familiar ;-)

thwap said...

I've been reading this anonymous Trump fan's comments here for a while and some of the stuff that he says about trade deserves (in my opinion) less dismissive replies that they've been getting.

Of course, he errs when he omits the fact that trump has stated out-loud the US-American workers are too expensive and how a lot of the crap that he sells is manufactured in China.

Here too, he makes a decent point by saying that Obama, Hillary, Bill, dubya, dubya's dad, Reagan, even Carter (to a lesser degree) had all caused enormous amounts of pain and suffering. Trump is indeed standing on the shoulders of giants.

But notice how he goes from listing the horrors perpetrated by Trump's predecessors and then fails utterly to reach the sane conclusion that therefore, TRUMP IS AS VILE AS THEY ARE.

For these reasons, the Trump fan will always be a figure of contempt.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon, I don't want to steal your mother's thunder, but you're an asshole. When legitimate criticisms are levied at Trump you try to deflect them by criticizing Obama or Bush. By the way, there's a world of difference between what Trump says and what he does, what he promises and what he delivers. He's pulling your pecker and you kinda like it. So, despite what PLG says, just fuck off.

Anonymous said...

9:17....What will happen to our Country if everyone in the world who wants to move to Canada got to move here now? Chaos is a state of extreme confusion and disorder. Putting a dozen dogs and a dozen cats in the same room would lead to utter chaos. That doesn't mean I don't think what is going on isn't wrong because it is. Canadians are soooooo blase they go to bed thinking when they wake up in the morning "everything will be okay". Anyong

Karl Kolchak said...

"Ordinary DECENT Americans" -- who, the 1 or so percent of us who condemn American atrocities no matter which side is committing them rather than just when the OTHER side does it? Or who plain just don't care as long as they have their big SUVs, sprawing suburbia and flat screen teevees?

Please stop acting as if Trump is the problem, when it is AMERICA and the determination to continue pursuing the American Dream even as doing so destroys the planet that is the real problem.

The Mound of Sound said...

Karl, I realize partisanship has gotten to a point of lethal toxicity, but do you really believe you're in such minuscule company, 1%? Are the other 99% a lost cause? If you're right, what hope remains for America? Is there no way it can be turned around? If not, where do you see it headed? How does this end?

Anonymous said...

"But notice how he goes from listing the horrors perpetrated by Trump's predecessors and then fails utterly to reach the sane conclusion that therefore, TRUMP IS AS VILE AS THEY ARE."

The Fake News Media doesn't seem to think so... They had no problems with what Trump's predecessors were doing. They were all on the same page. They were all being paid by the same upper-crust moochers.

Trump is putting an end to the Friedmanian neocon/neoliberal era – when no one else was ever going to do it. (Given the opposition he is generating by doing it.)

He stopped a Cold War revival with Russia. (For which he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize – if it meant anything.)

He ended the practice of mass-murdering Muslim civilians that sent waves of refugees into Europe and is now mopping up the war against ISIS. (Seems all he had to do was stop arming terrorists.)

He's bringing Fair Trade and social tariffs to the world in place of free-trade globalization (that not only marks Western wages to global markets but creates a deregulating race-to-the-bottom making global environmental regulations impossible.)

"The gig is up."

Yes, Trump uses existing global supply chains. He's a businessman, not a martyr. But he's putting his money where his mouth is by changing the rules – and taking so much ridiculous flak from the Fake Media and its brainless cattle.

What has a dirty hippy ever accomplished except flap its gums? Just think: you sanctimonious martyrs do it all for the void and the void couldn't care less. Same as everyone else.

(Every generation has its socialist revolutionaries waiting on a messiah who never comes. They are actually manufactured in Establishment universities into becoming the worst enemies to their own causes – and bled dry in the process. A lot of people look upon their snarling sour pusses and think: they deserve it. Welcome to the Machine.)