Donald Trump presidency is dividing and paralysing America … California gripped by Trump psychosis … Hit movie La La Land and hard rock musical American Idiot make timely debut in Oz … Pentagon and CIA salesmen bringing anti-China message to think tanks … Festival of Dangerous Ideas … Great Crashing Bores continued …
Donald Trump: The Great Divider
The contours of the US meltdown are starting to take shape. In its first five weeks, the Donald Trump presidency has divided America right down the middle and a domestic battle for supremacy has been unleashed.
The anti-Trump forces want to de-legitimatise the Trump administration, render it unworkable and drive him out of office via impeachment. Meanwhile, Team Trump is just as determined to prevail by pandering to the military, the police, manufacturing industry, the stock market and Wall Street banks. Trump is focused on building a constituency among the most powerful centres of imperialism. They don’t care much about the “refuseniks” in the State Department, the oxymoronic “intelligence community” or The New York Times because they are institutions distrusted or disliked by the general public.
For the moment, daily leaks and media attacks are not undermining Trump’s popularity rating. If anything, they are strengthening it, especially among his hardline supporters. Let’s face it, this is a US president who said publicly that he could shoot someone in the face on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and his poll rating would remain steady. No, that’s incorrect; following his appalling statement, his popularity actually rose.
The battlelines are being drawn deeply, splitting families, schools, workplaces and communities. The fault lines of the public debate run so deep between Trump-supporting States on one hand and California and New York on the other you can be forgiven for thinking they were in different countries.
Around the world – from post-Brexit Britain and Europe to Russia, China, Japan, Iran and India – the ruling disposition is paralysis with policymakers asking each other, “What’s going to happen next?” And replies there are none.
Fear stalks California
This is an excerpt from a posting on a Los Angeles website. It isn’t a spoof; it’s the real deal:
“Oh my god I have chills. I’m a black American woman and this is a mirror of Hitler’s rise. I’ll be honest; I have a very tough exterior but … but I’m afraid and I haven’t stopped being afraid for my friends, family and associates. I wasn’t terrified when Bush was in office, I wasn’t nervous when Bill Clinton or Bush Sr was president. But now, with Trump, I hide my tears of fear and anguish. I try to appear calm in front of my family but every day since November 9, every day has been sleepless and full of prayers to a god I hope has not forgotten us. Then the inauguration happened and in two weeks this orange tyrant has caused distress and distribution (sic) on a level near apocalyptic dystopia. I protest and refuse to endorse or watch his illegitimate president make a mockery of a job that was never his. It rightfully belonged to Hillary. I can literally see (sic) the gas chambers and the concentration camps. America didn’t deserve this; her people and the world deserved so much more. Pray for us, please, and remember we don’t support Trump or ANYTHING he represents. We are still allies and sisters the majority of us said No to this mockery. Please don’t abandon us.”
This email plea is from Los Angeles, aka “The City of Angels”, the second largest city in the USA (after New York). It is NOT from war-ravaged Aleppo or Mosul where civilian populations are being bombed and besieged by US warplanes and special forces. The website contains dozens of similar postings. I’ve picked just one to reproduce.
Here’s another social media comment from London written by India Knight, a leading columnist with the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sunday Times. She tweeted her outrage at Trump’s presidency concluding with the dejected remark that “the assassination is taking such a long time”. Many of her colleagues were outraged, but she had high-up protection. Her stepfather, Andrew Knight, is chairman of Times Newspapers, and as a result she has been “counselled” and not suspended or sacked.
For the record, if I posted a twitter recommending the assassination of an Australian politician, I would be charged with a terrorist offence. And if I were a Moslem I would face a stiff jail sentence and then be deported.
State of madness
Californians are obsessed with four things – money, sport, TV and themselves. The average Californian’s outlook was neatly summed up by Goldenwest’s song, Fuck you, I’m from California, while its official anthem is the ultra-patriotic, I Love California. With a population of 40 million, it has the sixth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.5 trillion, pushing France into seventh place. The current table of the world’s biggest economies is: US, European Union, China, Japan, Germany, UK, California and France.
Here’s my problem. For years, no decades, Australians have been persuaded to believe that America is the greatest democracy on earth and that is the “land of the free” and the “home of the brave”. Suddenly, it’s all changed. If the aforementioned email from LA is anything to go by, sections of the population are huddling in cellars waiting to be railroaded off to work camps.
Why? Because a billionaire real estate huckster from New York has bought and bulldozed his way into the White House. Inaugurated on January 20, Trump is supposed to have reversed the 240-year history of the United States in just 36 days and turned it into a Nazi hellhole.
This week a group called Refuse Fascism declared its strategy is to “throw Trump out of the White House” while its leaders said that “Trump is worse than Hitler”.
Really? This kind of sloganeering comes from people who know nothing of fascism – except as a swear word – and even less about the unrivalled violence of the American state. Social media Tweets, Facebook postings and Instagram “selfies” won’t bring down the Trump administration and it’s utter nonsense to pretend it will.
I recommend getting hold of a copy of Lenin’s What Is To Be Done? and studying the Bolshevik leader’s views on the subject. It remains applicable today – on the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution.
La La vacuity
If you need to know more about the delusional psychosis gripping many Americans, go to the local cinema and watch the award-winning La La Land. Here is a film embedded in self-absorption and escapism. It is supposed to be an all-dancing, singing musical but the dance sequences must have been choreographed by a camel.
The incomparable Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made their magic decades ago and they remain undisputed stars of the genre. By contrast, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are accomplished actors but they can’t trip the light fantastic to save themselves. Perhaps the moguls who put $50 million into the project think they can make California great again. Good luck with that.
Meanwhile a large number of Californians want to secede and establish an independent state with its own flag, passports and lifestyle.
What of Hispanics and African Americans in this proposed unitary “Golden State”? Not much is said about them although they constitute a clear majority of the population. They are mostly part of an “under-class”, some are even referred to as a “useless class”.
Buckle up, people, this is better than going to the movies. With exquisite timing, the hit musical American Idiot opened this week at Brisbane’s Performing Arts Centre for a short run.
The show is replete with fast-paced, loud, hard-rockin’ and gifted grunge dialogue which has become frighteningly realistic. Asked what country should be invaded next after 9/11, a character replies, “I’m thinking Italy”, while another sings: “Don’t wanna be American idiot/Don’t wanna nation under new media”.
Unfortunately, my friend, you’ve already got it. It’s called Twittering Trump.
Mainstream media for hire
Malcolm Rifkind, a former Tory foreign secretary in Britain and now a private consultant, filled the columns of London’s The Telegraph last September with an essay warning the British government not to do energy deals with China. (How China could switch off the lights in a crisis).
Rifkind, a leading pro-Israeli Zionist, is associate director of the Henry Jackson Society think tank. The Japanese Embassy in London pays the think tank $32,500 a month to spread anti-China propaganda in the media.
The same practice is being conducted in the US press on behalf of a variety of countries – Israel, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Columnists are being bought, advertising supplements booked and “independent” opinions surreptitiously forced down the throats of unsuspecting American newspaper readers and TV watchers.
Is the same thing happening in Australia? I expect so. In the past six months a steady stream of US generals and admirals have been touring capital cities spreading a message of the “special bond” between Americans and Australians and a “shared fear of Chinese expansionism”.
It’s been lapped up by the Murdoch media, Fairfax and the ABC. Whatever happened to the much-vaunted “national independence” that was established on the blood-soaked shores of Gallipoli and in the mountains of New Guinea?
RAAF warplanes are already bombing Syria using satellite intelligence supplied by the US and Israel and a Trump request for Aussie boots on the ground is on its way.
My response? Say “No” to America’s wars!
Festival of Dangerous Ideas*
On his first-ever visit to Australia, Professor Xanthe DeCourcey III will introduce his revolutionary concept that animals are people and trees are human. He dreams of future when cats, dogs and chickens are treated like people while plants and trees can speak to us in a silent lament for peace, happiness and wellness. His ideas are sweeping America and this is your chance to accept his message in socially troubled heartlands like Darling Point and Point Piper. Tickets $890 each or $10,000 for a party of 12. Sponsored by Animals ‘r’ Us shopping marts, the US-Australian Chamber of Social Sciences and the Amanda Vanstone Tax Foundation.
Great Crashing Bores*
That Colin Barnett is a very smart political operator. So is Barnaby Joyce. They’ve done a preference deal with Pauline Hanson for the WA State election on March 11. I reckon the WA Libs, the Nats and One Nation have come up with an election-winning deal. They make a terrific combination: if you vote Nationals or One Nation, that’s a vote to return Barnett as Premier. He’s not Charlie Court but he doesn’t going around sniffing bicycle seats like his predecessor. Having said that, he’s let the WA economy go to shit, unemployment is higher than in the rest of Australia and he wants to sell off Western Power and let electricity prices rip. The bloke’s an economic moron. I hope he gets the arse and Pauline’s screwballs too.
*FoDI and GCB are works of satirical fiction.