Things really are as bad as they seem

Image links to Project Syndicate Article: ‘The Madness of King Donald’


I’m sceptical about a lot of the Trump-bashing in the media: his derangement makes the corrupt, warmongering ‘normal’ establishment look good, as the rehabilitation of big-finance, pro-war Hilary Clinton demonstrates. Moreover, while I loath him and everything he purports to stand for, I feel a certain sympathy for his misguided supporters; the sinking, poorly educated, deluded white Americans who have a legitimate feeling of disenfranchisement from politics as usual, even if a large part of that disillusionment is racist, stupid and fatally misdirected.

It’s like my sympathy for Brexit leave voters here in the U.K.: it does not mean I like them, but I understand the underlying sense of alienation which has been co-opted into a servility towards an establishment they believe they are challenging. Rather than vote for their own political and economic interests, they have voted for a cartoon bulldog and looked to a succession of bizarre comedy turns – Gove, Johnson, Fox, Leadsom and Davies to name the front-runners – to fill that fantasy for them. It’s a failure of understanding and a lack of attention. Like Trump voters in the U.S., they are gullible and ignorant, but their votes have to be respected, even if their politics doesn’t.

However, over the past year, Trump has descended into reckless, bunker-mentality madness. Now, the establishment which tried to contain him has given up on him. If this article were about anyone else, I would regard it as an act of outrageous cruelty: a crime against decency. The fact that I regard it, rather, as an important read, demonstrates the desperation of the world situation at the moment.

Similarly, I think we have given the Leave movement its turn: it’s a disaster and it is time to reject polite acceptance. From now on, I am an official Remoaner. The people spoke, and their voice was racist, self-harming gibberish, and it left lunatics in charge, floundering to serve their own interests rather than their public duty.

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