Monday, 14 August 2017

ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE

NOT ONE OF THESE BESPECTACLED MEN WOULD APPROVE OF TRUMP
August was once (still is?) called the Silly Season, because less news happened then. Indeed, Malcolm Bradbury's classic novel of the 70s, The History Man, opens with a page on the subject. Ironic, because more than one war has started in August - no month is ahistorical, apolitical. Even the name August refers to an imperial figure. Our editor went away for a fortnight to relax, and like the rest of the world, has witnessed one of the least pleasant August's in living memory, in terms at any rate, of the news.

No point in rehearsing the obvious: Donald Trump and his administration are the worst since Nixon's, and may well be worse. Nixon himself toyed with using nukes in Asia, and harboured hard-hatted rednecks as allies. But the refusal over the weekend to properly condemn extreme-right actions is breathtakingly un-American and unsettling. America has not been as unwelcoming to non-whites since Reagan - probably since the end of Jim Crow.

A tweet the other day was shocking, and informative - from a conservative poet, who must be right-wing, given his comment, it said - "why should I mourn the death of a left-wing protester?" - trying to be clever with the allusion to the Dylan Thomas poem, presumably. But again, where did this permission come from, if not Trump, to be so heartless, cruel and sharp in public statements?

My God. Any death is to be mourned, but more to the point the young woman killed in the car attack was murdered by a terrorising figure - she was innocent - and brave - and good. The person who could not imagine shedding a tear for such a person must be very supremacist, indeed.

America is riven, as it has been before, during the Nam protests, and before then in the Civil War. Some surrounding Trump crave a truly apoplectic apocalyptic schism between Before Trump and After Trump - they are as celebratory of violence and fascism as the Futurists of 100 years ago. This is a horrible time in America. The whole world is seeing a relative decline in good governance, not very good even at the best of times.

There will likely not be nuclear war before the summer ends. But already there is an awful sense that the worst is coming with regards to the Trump world view.
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