Now I will freely admit that I’m no fan of Trump … nor the right-wing in general; neither the “moderates” (although one could question just how moderate the “moderates” are) nor the extremists. But with the latest shindig at CPAC, the Republicans have made themselves laughing stocks.
To deviate into the cesspool of christianity, the Trumpists are doing exactly what pissed off Moses so much – worshipping an idol :-
You shall not make for yourselves idols
Source: Leviticus 26:1
But if you insist of worshipping an idol at least have some aesthetic sense about it. A shiny gold statue? Tacky. Shorts made out of the flag? Not just tacky, but a breach of the US Flag Code. It’s laughable that a foreigner with dislike for rampant nationalism knows more about respect for the US flag than those ultra-nationalists.
Now that Trump has been rejected by the US electorate, it is time to examine just what caused him to be elected in the first place. It’s all too easy to blame the electoral system (and there are issues with that), but fundamentally Trump got a lot more votes in 2016 (and 2020) than a self-obsessed failed business-critter should have done.
A big part of the MAGA phenomenon was (and is) frustration with mainstream politicians. Yes, there are other contributing factions – evangelical “christians”, far-right racists, the so-called “alt-right”, and traditional Republicans (who may have been reluctant but voted for him nevertheless).
But there is an immense level of frustration with the current political landscape with both political parties beholden to their corporate masters. And ordinary working people (who may not always have the most sophisticated political knowledge) have the urge to vote for “something different”.
Or in other words, “populism” or anti-elitism. Which is not always a bad thing especially if you pick the right elites to be against. But Trump’s brand of populism was fake – he promised to drain the swamp and just jumped in.
Fox News had a poll (don’t laugh – their polling is well done as long as they aren’t just polling their viewers) which was surprising – the US public overwhelmingly support more progressive values (universal health care, etc.) than either of the mainstream parties.
And that’s the key – neither of the two main parties is aligned with the interests of the electorate. Trump appeared to be anti-establishment, and those who didn’t see through to his con-act may well have voted for him because of that. Especially as he lacked corporate donors in 2016.
And that’s the key – the mainstream parties represent the interests of the corporations and not the electorate. And in the long term that is dangerous.
When is “terrorism” not really terrorism? When it is a fake label attached to something lesser by those who want to condemn something without a strong argument against it.
Terrorism is using violence or threats of violence (“acts of terror”) to attempt to achieve political or religious goals. It isn’t all acts of violence and a certain level of (threatened) violence is required.
It certainly doesn’t apply to a group of protestors marching down a rich white suburban street at midnight shouting to wake people up. That’s annoying as hell, but hardly terrorism.
Acts of terror include (but are not limited to) :-
Flying planes into buildings killing thousands.
Blowing up shopping centres, business buildings, places of entertainment (pubs), etc.
Shootings – in mass shootings, or individual cases. Or any other form of extra-judicial execution (i.e. lynching).
There is almost always a certain level of randomness in the attack, although it will tend to target certain subgroups of a society. There is also an element of propaganda to the act (the so-called propaganda of the deed). Threats of violence can also be classified as terrorism too – if the threat is associated with real violence in a way that elevates it above the “ordinary” threats – such as leaving a burning cross on someone’s lawn in an area where the KKK operates.
It is common to see non-terrorist acts labelled as such by two groups – ones who want to blacken the name of a protest group, and those who accidentally trivialise real terrorism by equating the individual’s terror at a relatively trivial incident with the kind of collective terror that real terrorist acts are supposed to cause.
For example, one of the events that triggered this post was a tweet claiming that BLM protestors were terrorists because they were marching through a rich suburban neighbourhood at midnight shouting to wake people up. Just because a particularly nervous suburbanite feels “terror” at being woken up by protestors doesn’t make that march terrorist. It may be a dickish move, but it’s not terrorism.
To claim such a trivial act is equivalent to a terrorist attack is an insult to those who have been in real terrorist attacks, have been in bomb scares, or just waited for the phone call letting us know whether a loved one was okay.
And protests that degenerate into vandalism and looting aren’t terrorist acts either. Whilst terrorist acts can involve property damage the main thrust of such acts is threats against life. And anyone who thinks property damage is anywhere near as bad as threats to life is someone who needs to re-examine their values.
Besides which there are a fair number who believe (and in some cases have the evidence to show) that the looters weren’t protestors · they just took advantage of the confusion.
And for officialdom to label protestors as “terrorists” is dangerous because all of a sudden you’re seeing legitimate protestors being criminalised with some rather draconian punishments that can be brought into play. If anything, it is a warning that your government is veering towards repressively authoritarian.
And yes that’s a reference to Trump’s shower of thugs.
@AOC seems to have poured a dramatic amount of petrol onto the fiery discussion regarding Trump’s border concentration camps by simply calling them concentration camps.
No matter how many people assume that ‘concentration camp’ means a Nazi extermination camp, that is not what ‘concentration camp’ means. As one dictionary states :-
A campwherepersonsareconfined,usuallywithouthearingsand typicallyunderharshconditions,often as a result of theirmembership in a groupthegovernmenthasidentified as suspect.
Although that is not from the full Oxford English Dictionary, I have checked with that definitive work and it’s definition agrees with the above.
The relevant Twitter threads are filled with agreements and disagreements, and it is the later I’ll take a closer look at.
At least in some instances; more than a few consist of approximately “Well they’re illegal immigrants so they deserve it” which is so repulsively disgusting that the only appropriate response is a good slap.
The next objection is along the lines of: “You can’t call them concentration camps; that would be disrespectful to the 6 million Jews that the Nazis murdered”.
Funnily enough, it’s rarely mentioned that the Nazis also killed 11 million other people as well as the 6 million Jews. Almost as if there is a politically acceptable “holocaust denial” (strictly speaking the Holocaust is only the Jews; there isn’t an acceptable ‘cool’ name for the entirety of the Nazi crimes against humanity).
Let’s correct a few misconceptions about Nazi concentration camps (and there have been plenty of other concentration camps around the world) :-
The concentration camps were first created in 1933 to hold political prisoners and union organisers. Those targeted for starvation rations, brutal treatment, and slave labour rapidly grew to include homosexuals, Romani, communists, socialists, the disabled, Poles, Slavs, Soviet POWs, and just about anyone who could be labelled “undesirable”.
Jews were also targeted as soon as the Nazis came to power but weren’t sent en-mass to concentration camps until 1939 when they were forced to live in Jewish “ghettos” (effectively concentration camps).
The extermination camps were set up in 1942 to speed up the “final solution”; approximately 90% of those killed at these extermination camps were Jewish.
There is also “But Obama did it first” (these camps were first instantiated in 2014 under the previous administration). This is distinctly reminiscent of the wailing child that gets caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar “But someone else did it first”. As I understand it, the scale of the previous administration’s camps was far less than now, but give me a time machine and I’ll still go back and tell off Obama.
Now back to our original topic. Is it fair to call the border camps ‘concentration camps’? They certainly meet the dictionary definition, and there are genuine reasons why the comparison with the Nazi concentration camps is entirely appropriate.
That is not to say that the border concentration camps are comparable to the Nazi concentration camps in 1944, but there are many disturbing parallels to the Nazi concentration camps in 1934. The time to stop these camps potentially evolving into something similar to the Nazi concentration camps of 1944 is now.
Liam Fox has claimed that Trump protesters have “embarassed” themselves by protesting Trump’s visit to the UK. He claims that we have a tradition of being polite to guests (at least until they throw up on the carpet, piss in the wine, and try to have sex with the host).
Well, I didn’t invite that jumped up rancid little toad who is Putin’s lickspittle and quite possibly the closest thing we’ve seen to a major free world leader being a Nazi. So I am under no obligation to be polite to the bankrupt crook.
Besides which, with his unreasonable and unhinged attack on NATO, Trump has been pissing in the wine, so it would not be unreasonable to slam the door in his face. Of course I’m not being “diplomatic” but I’m not a politician so I’m not being paid to be polite to the kind of person resembling that which you instinctively scrape off your shoe.
To USians who might feel a bit insulted by how their president is being treated; well if you did your job properly and didn’t elect someone with the brains of a pea-sized petrified panda turd who separates children and puts them in concentration camps then we might treat them with a bit more respect.
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