The Weekly Notebook – beginning of the end of Trump

The beginning of the end of President Donald Trump

Next Tuesday, November 6, is Melbourne Cup Day which Australians know as “the day that stops a nation”. This year, the following day, Wednesday, November 7, is when we start receiving results from the US mid-term elections and thus becomes “the poll that stops the world”.

I’ll be glued to the television for the Melbourne Cup – the only day of the year I ever watch a horse race – and the following day I’ll be glued to the “mid-terms”.

Three results are possible:

  1. President Donald Trump’s Republicans win majorities in the House and the Senate;
  2. Ex-Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s Democrats win the House and the Senate;
  3. Republicans win one of Congress’s two Houses but not the other and Democrats do likewise.

On the eve of polling, Republicans and Democrats are both calling for a “surge” by their respective “bases”, saying that the vote will restore peace and order. They’re wrong.

Whatever happens in the US mid-term poll America will remain divided down the middle. Indeed, the poll won’t mend the divide, it will deepen it.

Emotionally and psychologically voters “on both sides of the aisles” will feel cheated, betrayed, marginalised … and very angry. A minority of zealots will feel that the ballot box is no place to settle the stark issues facing Americans.

Armed with handguns and automatic weapons, some zealots have already begun shooting other Americans who they don’t like, e.g. African-Americans and Jews, and are sending letter bombs to political opponents.

Americans who are opposed to guns are getting even by driving their opponents off public platforms and private venues such as restaurants and university campuses. What’s next?


Gun lobby rally

At present, shooting and bomb incidents are relatively isolated but Chicago remains a flashpoint where 457 people have been murdered this year, mainly with guns. While politicians and the media declare their abhorrence of guns, sales are going up. Why are people arming themselves? What do they think is going to happen? Ask yourself: “If you lived in America, would you buy a gun?” No, you’d probably get out and fly home.

Central to the fear and paranoia gripping America from top to bottom is President Trump. He has become the embodiment of all that is violent, sexist and nasty about American society and, it must be said, he’s earned this dubious place in history because of his vanity, self-absorption, delusions of grandeur, ignorance and philistinism.

But what happens when Trump survives a potential election rout in the mid-terms and continues his brutalising rule? Will all the anti-Trump energy simply disappear until the next presidential election in November 2020? I don’t think so. Much of that insurgent energy will be directed at his impeachment and driving him from office.

Will the pro-Trump camp sit back and allow this to happen? I don’t think so.

More than a century ago, a great Australian poet said “don’t blame us if a tyrant sated by greed uses his power to stay in office and blood stains the wattle”. It was, of course, Henry Lawson in his 1891 poem Freedom on the Wallaby written during the Shearers’ Strike which led to the formation of the ALP under the Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine.

What’s the American equivalent of “blood stains on the wattle”?

Purge of the Nationals

The State Executive of the NSW Nationals is purging Nazis, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites and racists from its ranks.

It follows documented revelations in the ABC Radio’s Background Briefing programme that far rightists had infiltrated the Nationals and its “youth” wing, the Young Nationals.

Eric Butler

The National Party, formerly known as the Country Party, has been the target of far rightists for decades. Under the guiding light of the late Eric Butler, the Australian League of Rights has repeatedly attempted to infiltrate the Nationals, the Coalition partner of the Liberal Party.

Butler’s nefarious activities were exposed by Mr Justice Reed’s Royal Commission in South Australia in the late 1930s and then by Mr J.A. Guy’s Board of Inquiry appointed by the Commonwealth Government during World War Two to identify pro-Nazi fifth columnists.

In 1946 the Victorian League of Rights published The International Jew, a violently anti-Semitic work, and branches of the movement were established in South Australia (1946) and Queensland (1949).

With the start of America’s Cold War against the Soviet Union, Butler’s movement built its influence by gaining new members, publishing pamphlets, leaflets and posters and receiving large donations from the anti-communist cause.

The Communist Party, left trade unions, some Labor Party members and left-wing journalists took up the cudgels to expose Butler’s infiltrators.

As historical researcher Andrew A Campbell noted, the ideological platform of Australia’s far rightists was the “rejection of liberal society [and] stressed the incapacity of liberal society to meet ‘the communist threat’, for liberal institutions were seen to be corrupted and infiltrated by a galaxy of conspiratorial enemies: communists, intellectuals, atheists, secularists and Jews.” (The Australian League of Rights by Andrew A Campbell, Outback Press, Melbourne, 1978).

In recent years, Butler’s views have been espoused by the Australia First Party which has fielded federal, state and local candidates (largely unsuccessfully) across Australia. But while the Butlerites pursue “open” politics as a tactic, they also bury supporters in other parties and movements where they push their far-right agenda.

Larry Anthony

When Butler died in 2006 he was hailed by supporters as “The Lion of Freedom” while his obituary in The Australian was headlined: “Fascist fruitcake held surprising political sway” (13 June 2006).

In 1971 the Country Party’s assault on League of Rights influence was led by party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Doug Anthony. This week’s purge was led by his son, Larry Anthony, the National Party’s president and former federal MP for Richmond.

The parties not reviewing membership lists to expel alt.righters are Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party and Bob Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) and a few non-parliamentary fringe cliques.

News you may have missed

“Hours before unveiling plans costing half a billion dollars [$500 million] to expand the Australian War Memorial, director Brendan Nelson called for the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force to ‘damn well get on’ with his inquiry into misconduct allegations against Ben Roberts-Smith VC, Australia’s most decorated soldier. ‘We want to believe in our heroes,’ Dr Nelson, an ex-Liberal Party leader and former AMA president said.”

Brendan Nelson: $500 million makeover

The price of a Brazilian

Taking the cue from President Donald Trump, Brazil’s newly-elected right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has confirmed Brazil will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Bolsonaro’s poll victory was financed by the CIA and Israeli billionaires on condition that he submits to the embassy transfer. Will Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison be next?


  1. Brendan NELSON the grinning hyena of the disneyfication of the War Memorial. The one who denies the Frontier Wars have any place within his version of the War Memorial. The one responsible for the noise and clamour of the national shrine. What a travesty he is creating. And what of all those who have served – and returned – maimed of body and spirit – their lives made hell by the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. Where is the War Memorial advocacy for the living?

  2. The extraordinary extravagance of the new War Memorial ($500 million) with its spooky underground bunker, shows how little the politicians, committees, and weekend warriors understand the suffering of the actual combatants. They struggle with PTSD and are overdue for real help. Grandiose buildings and even Invictus Games are not the answer.
    And most importantly there must be a remembrance of the indigenous people who fought during the invasion of this country. Their heroic sacrifices in the face of overwhelming odds, modern guns and the duplicity of some of the settlers should be prominently featured.

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