Don’t give Trump a chance

15 Nov

noam-chomsky-neoliberalism

 

There are situations that arise from time to time in which to act with civility may cost you your life, metaphorically or literally. If you haven’t encountered such a situation may your good fortune continue, however, I’d argue that the world has collectively come up against just this challenge with the endorsement of Donald Trump as President-Elect of the United States.

Over the last few days I’ve read what to me are profoundly stupid calls from the US, from Australia and from other countries, to “give Trump a chance.” He may “settle down” once ensconced in the Oval Office. Actually being president may “tame” him. He “only campaigned as he did to win,” not because he really believes all that stuff about punishing women who have abortions, deporting “illegals,” building a wall, banning Muslim immigration, dismantling the health care system, and men’s freedom to sexually assault women.

The wall is interesting. It exists only as a metaphor, claimed more than a few commentators, it is the wall in our minds. How baffled they must feel to hear that Trump is already discussing materials.  Yes, a wall is a clichéd metaphor (we don’t need no education on that) and, what a surprise, it also has a concrete reality. Ask any number of nations about literal walls. Donald is no innovator in this field. Yet many in the US media did not see this, as well as much else including Trump’s victory, coming.

Here in Australia we have a “ring of steel” to protect our borders, and I feel fairly confident this is a metaphor but who can say for sure anymore?

Australians need to proceed with caution when pointing our shocked fingers at what people who wish to be civil now describe as “only” Trump’s means to his end. Decades of torturing asylum seekers and refugees who arrived here perfectly legally by boat, because an influential number of voters believe it is acceptable to do that. Supporting both major parties in their transgression of every human decency and the UNHCR Convention as well. We are disqualified from planting our flag on the means to an end high moral ground. As was pointed out by Naomi Klein, Trump is at this point still talking about a wall. We already have one.

Trump was “only campaigning as he did to win” has to be a justification given life and voice by those who value winning above all else. Have they forgotten already the vileness of Trump’s campaign, or do they minimise the horror, given that it brought him victory? Is everything secondary to winning? Trump thinks so. When questioned on his campaign tactics he shrugged off all criticism. “I won,” he said.

This piece by George Monbiot describes Trump as the product of a neoliberalism that found its political expression through Margaret Thatcher’s enchantment with the theories of Nobel Prize winning economist Frederick Hayek. Competition and winning the competition is the neoliberal credo: democracy comes a very poor second.

He (Hayek) justifies this position by creating a heroic narrative of extreme wealth. He conflates the economic elite, spending their money in new ways, with philosophical and scientific pioneers. Just as the political philosopher should be free to think the unthinkable, so the very rich should be free to do the undoable, without constraint by public interest or public opinion.

Trump certainly seems set upon doing the undoable (in the sense of the morally and ethically undoable) without constraint of any kind.

Women well know the limits of civility. Asking a man set on harming us to please don’t rarely works, for example. Civility doesn’t work with despots and tyrants and psychopaths, and people who care only about winning. They will sneer at your civility, indeed, they will crap upon it.

Donald Trump is a man entirely willing to cause harm in order to achieve his goals. How any one can doubt this for a nano second is beyond me, given the nature of his campaign and the vile forces of hatred he has unleashed already against anyone who isn’t white and male.  So if Oprah Winfrey advises us to have hope, as she has, I say, WTAF is wrong with your head, lady?

Giving Trump a chance means overlooking or accepting his manner of campaigning, which in itself should disqualify him from high office. Giving Trump a chance means normalising the most base of human instincts. Giving Trump a chance means endorsing a savagery towards our fellow humans that will eventually deaden every communal and societal instinct we possess. Giving Trump a chance means surrendering to the dehumanisation of ourselves and others, a path with which we in Australia are already overly familiar through our treatment of refugees and Indigenous peoples.

This is not the time for civility. This is the time to call a spade a fucking shovel, and refuse to allow Trump’s narrative to be normalised, as it will be in this country unless we fight back, by politicians and media, many of whom perceive great gains in assisting the elevation of Trump’s narrative.

As Monbiot concludes, those who tell the story run the world. Let it not be Trump’s story, and the story told by those in this country who share his beliefs.

Let’s not give him, or them, a chance.

 

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87 Responses to “Don’t give Trump a chance”

  1. Ian Law November 15, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    There are chilling parallels with the anti-Semitism of Hitler. Commentators sought to excuse this as merely a tactic to gain electoral support. There can be no doubt that Trump used his vilification of Muslims, Mexicans, gays and women to rally support for him.

    Did it work? On balance it certainly seems to have. Especially as individuals harbouring bigoted views have become emboldened by the approval Trump has given to their views. Hate crimes have risen, and many leaders have failed to speak out against Trump’s vile views. It is no answer for him to now call on Americans to unite.

    The backgrounds of those Trump is appointing to his team, including VP-elect Mike Spence, show that the bigotry espoused by Trump is likely to continue under his administration.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson November 15, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

      I agree, Ian. I think Trump is thoroughly duplicitous & there’s no point in believing anything he says.

      Like

    • Moz of Yarramulla November 16, 2016 at 8:05 am #

      Trump used his vilification of Muslims, Mexicans, gays and women to rally support for him

      I would go further, and say that to many supporters the vilification was the point. It still is – look at his advisors/inner cabal or whatever, and tell me none of them are primarily interested in pushing others down. It’s not about using bigotry to get power, it’s about using power to push bigotry.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 8:58 am #

        Agree, Moz. Vilification was the point. As it is here with Hanson et al. If they had any genuine interest in the welfare of people struggling they’d address the issues rather than claiming it’s because of one group or another.

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannaart November 16, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

        Thinking of the “pro-lifers” whose only concern is an unborn foetus – not its life after birth – its future, let alone the well-being and future of its mother.

        The bigotry stems from feeling out of control – a belief if they control everything, the world will run like clockwork.

        Like

        • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

          It’s self hate as well. Projected onto women.

          Like

          • diannaart November 16, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

            So much about human frailty is a result of hatred projected onto others.

            Hanson and Muslims
            Trump and anyone who disagrees with him

            Liked by 1 person

  2. paul walter. November 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

    Trump and his crew are bikies who will smash up America.

    On the “wait and see” bit, just on FB where some dill was saying “wait and see”, so I replied that while folk are “waiting and seeing” he will have taken them down to their socks.

    I have a lot of smart Americans on my FB list, but Tea Party Republican statesiders are “dumber than a sack of hammers”, as the yanks tend to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 15, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

      I can’t get my head round this wait & see garbage. Are people really so terminally fucking stupid?

      Like

      • paul walter. November 16, 2016 at 12:00 am #

        Who won the election, again?

        Liked by 1 person

    • helvityni November 15, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

      Paul, my second best friend is an American bloke living in Oz, I feel his pain, especially as both of us are not very impressed with what’s happening here since Abbott got the top job, now we have an Abbott clone and Ms Hanson to contend with….

      Times are tough both here and in America, at least in Britain, Teresa May seems quite reasonable or should I say sensible for a Tory.

      Like

      • paul walter. November 16, 2016 at 12:03 am #

        Yes, Helvityni, weep for conscious Americans, this is a very hard time for them. They have the unpleasant task of explaining to the world how Trump won whilst preparing themselves for the consequences of teh stoopid.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. diannaart November 15, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

    The continued attempts to neuter 18c (such as it is, people REALLY need to consider 18c in context with 18d)…. these attempts at freeing the so-called ‘right to free speech’ is another step towards the normalisation of greed, selfish interest, winner takes all ideology and fuck anyone who objects.

    ‘Civility’ has its place in another universe. Using such niceties at present is presenting oneself as a victim. ‘Civility’ is another tether to keep people in their supposed place. It ranks alongside ‘lady’ in its tyranny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannaart November 15, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

      Gawd, I LOVE Little Britain, please forgive this indulgence

      Liked by 1 person

  4. doug quixote November 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    The Emperor-elect Trump the First will go against many of the conventions of democratic government in his rampage. The first one will be to appoint several of his relatives to cabinet positions.

    The Yanks are already rioting in the streets . . .

    Aussies, grab your popcorn and watch the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mish of the catlady ascendancy November 15, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

      “Aussies, grab your popcorn and watch the show.”

      I get this, but honestly there are too many people at risk, in multiple ways, for it to be a palatable option for me. Sorry if this sounds like moral high grounding – I must admit that ‘grab the popcorn’ has been a very attractive position to me, too!

      Liked by 2 people

      • samjandwich November 16, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

        Perhaps you would prefer “grab him by the popcorn”?

        Um yep oh well, good to know the rest of the world is interested in the Aussie perspective, and now I’m off to look up your blog…

        Liked by 1 person

        • mish of the catlady ascendancy November 16, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

          samjandwich, I’m afraid I’ve misled you – sincere apologies. We Hunted the Mammoth isn’t my blog; I’m just a regular there. The Mammoth covers men’s rights groups, pick-up artists, and the like, and recently has shifted focus a bit to look at the alt-right and particularly the Trump train. It’s run by David Futrelle in Chicago. I’m right here, in Brisbane, to be precise 🙂

          As for “grab him by the popcorn” – don’t spoonerise the word popcorn…

          Liked by 2 people

  5. mish of the catlady ascendancy November 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm #

    I hope this was ok – I linked to this post over at We Hunted the Mammoth. It’s a US-based blog (albeit with an international membership) and one of the recurring points of discussion since the day of Oh God No Please No has been exactly this ‘give him a chance’ rhetoric and how to respond.
    Another ongoing one has been how to deal with Trump supporters or Trump voters (not quite the same thing, it appears), but that’s another story…

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 6:45 am #

      Thanks mish, that’s fine, appreciate you letting me know.
      Would you link to the blog? Very interested to read the conversations there
      Cheers, Jennifer

      Like

      • Mish Singh November 17, 2016 at 11:51 am #

        Unable to comment so will try from a different account … testing, testing

        Liked by 1 person

  6. allthumbs November 16, 2016 at 8:17 am #

    All I am saying is give Trump a chance. He is the spanner in the works. I doubt he will get through the first term. The question to be asked is what comes after Trump.

    Let’s say he drops dead tomorrow, what do we go back to Clinton? Obama? More of what we just went through over the last eight years, who is going to put their hand up for more of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria? More Wall St? More job shedding, more inequality.

    Was everything just hunky dory a week ago?

    How far have we come to now have demonstrations in the streets of the U.S. demanding to maintain the status quo?

    For change, I say give Trump a chance, give him any amount of rope he requires, his failure is a positive thing.

    Really based on what you have seen over the last year, does anybody think he is going to succeed, really?

    And as for Theresa May, another unelected Tory twat.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 8:57 am #

      If Trump drops dead tomorrow Pence will replace him, I assume.
      Which could well be even worse.

      Like

    • Arthur Baker November 16, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

      I like your logic, allthumbs.

      Jennifer, I appreciate the indignation which plainly begat your writing, but your article is long on empty rhetoric and short on specifics of what you think we should actually DO.

      “This is not the time for civility”, you write. “This is the time to call a spade a fucking shovel, and refuse to allow Trump’s narrative to be normalised, as it will be in this country unless we fight back”.

      Fight back HOW, exactly? March in the streets, shouting obscenities, carrying banners saying “Not My President”, insulting people who voted for a candidate you dislike, and overturning cars? Marvellous. Highly effective, I don’t think.

      You can call a spade a fucking shovel until you’re purple in the face at this time, and all it will do is make you look like a sore loser. That’s precisely the sore-loser behaviour we expected from Trump’s supporters if they had lost, and we would rightly have criticised it for its lack of civility and its failure to accept defeat in a legitimate poll.

      I saw a woman, a demonstrator, on TV the other day carrying a banner which said “THIS IS REALLY BAD”. That’s all it said. Just that. That’s all. You wasted your time, lady, making that banner. Your banner is the inchoate and incoherent screech of the dispossessed and oppressed, the scream of “eleutheria!” (freedom!) in John Fowles’ novel “The Magus”.

      Worse, you wasted OUR time. Your banner, and your compatriots who marched in the street, caused us to lose ground in this struggle against neoliberal opportunists such as Trump and his Republican mates who will cause us so much damage in the coming years.

      We need to be smarter than this. Jennifer, you write “Civility doesn’t work with despots and tyrants and psychopaths, and people who care only about winning. They will sneer at your civility, indeed, they will crap upon it.”

      Quite right. It doesn’t work, and they will sneer and crap. But unfortunately for the despots, tyrants and psychopaths, they still (yes, even in the United States) have to work within a democracy which gets to vote every four years for a new President.

      We don’t need to be civil to the despots, tyrants and psychopaths. We need to be civil to the millions of people who just elected them. Because in four years from now, they are the people who might just (in the face of Trump’s failure to live up to expectations) vote him (or more likely Mike Pence if Trump has, as I expect, been impeached by his own party) out.

      We need to be civil to the people we need to persuade, like my meat-headed brother-in-law and millions of others. It’s a big job. But one thing I can say with absolute certainty: of those we address as brainless cunts, we will persuade precisely zero. Of those we address civilly and engage in reasoned discussion, we may have a chance of persuading some. I say this from experience, because I have been doing this for nearly two decades on the topic of refugee policy. I have failed often, but I have also succeeded in persuading some people I’d never have believed I could turn around. Civility and genuine engagement have been the bedrocks of my successes.

      Forget the politicians. Fuck them. Concentrate on voters and journalists. Call them brainless cunts and lose them – and eventually, lose this struggle. Give them intellectual respect and civility and give our cause a chance.

      Look at this: https://www.fowlesbooks.com/Letter.htm.

      John Fowles himself, in one of his very few replies to a reader of his novel “The Magus”, writes: “To be free … leaves one no choice but to act according to reason: that is, humanely to all humans”.

      Like

      • diannaart November 16, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

        Arthur

        All action requires beginnings.

        That you expect Jennifer to have solutions to an impending issue which has yet to fully develop itself, is unreasonable.

        We have yet to see how the Trump administration will play out.

        Right now the best we can do is be vigilant.

        No one ever wasting anybody’s time by advising the fastening of seat belts.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Arthur Baker November 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

          Hello Diannaart,

          Jennifer is the author and moderator of this blog. If she can’t suggest solutions, I don’t know who can.

          My reading of Jennifer’s article is that she is suggesting incivility as a general response to Trump’s election victory. If this isn’t what she’s suggesting, I’m sure she will let us know. If it is what she is suggesting, I disagree with that strategy, because there are many people we could possibly woo to our point of view by using civility.

          I don’t see anything resembling fastening of seat belts in Jennifer’s article. What I see is an entreaty to shout loudly, but not necessarily in the right direction.

          I’m sure Jennifer will let us know what she meant by her plea for incivility.

          Vigilant? Yes, I guarantee I’m vigilant all the time. But that’s not the best we can do. We need to be out there, persuading, arguing, presenting facts, engaging people who oppose us.

          If you’re not doing that, what’s your purpose in subscribing to forums such as this? Do you want to win this struggle or not?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

            Arthur I think you are equating incivility with violence.

            Like

          • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

            PS, I am no longer civil to people who express prejudice in front of me about refugees, Indigenous people, Muslims, people on the dole, women who complain of sexual assault, and every other group people like to scapegoat. I used to be civil. I used to say nothing, or speak nicely. Now I don’t. I tell them that their ill-informed prejudice disgusts me and I will not give them an audience for it.

            My time of being civil is over. Yours may not be, and that’s fine.

            Like

            • Arthur Baker November 16, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

              Jennifer, I guess you must make your own decision about how you address people you disagree with. Let me know how many people you persuaded to your point of view since the day you decided not to speak nicely. If you’re OK with people on your blogsite addressing people as brainless cunts, my educated guess is that the total is zero.

              Meanwhile, I continue to address people with respect, even if their political views are way distant from mine. And as I said, I fail often in my attempts to convert. But I also succeed sometimes.

              My approach works sometimes. It’s the best I can do. Your approach won’t work at all, in the effort to win this political struggle.

              I repeat: Which side are you on? Do you want to win the political struggles we’re engaged in, or do you want to lose them? If you want to win them, why do you continue to subscribe to strategies which cannot possibly win over any of our opponents?

              Like

              • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

                Who addressed who as a brainless cunt? I didn’t see that.
                I don’t think you have paid any attention to my replies so far.
                Which political struggle are you attempting to win, and which struggle are you assuming I’m attempting to win?

                Like

                • Arthur Baker November 16, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

                  You’ve got to be joking. I don’t think you have paid any attention to the discussions on some of your recent blogs.

                  Try this one:
                  https://noplaceforsheep.com/2016/10/31/how-can-turnbull-make-refugees-second-class-citizens-in-another-sovereign-state/

                  and do a search for the phrase “brainless cunt”.

                  Then get back to me tell me who’s been paying attention.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

                    I expect people who engage here to do so as adults. I very rarely censor. You should take up the brainless cunt comment with whoever made it.
                    I very rarely intervene in disputes between commenters, that is not how I see my role here. If I see something I consider is going too far, I delete it.
                    I have an extremely busy life outside of this blog. Sometimes I miss comments. Sometimes I don’t pay a lot of attention to discussions. This is how I run my blog.
                    If you don’t like it start your own blog & run it how you think blogs ought to be run. I’ll continue to do as I wish on mine.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Arthur Baker November 16, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

                      Please let me know if anything I have posted on your blog could be interpreted as not the contribution of an adult.

                      The brainless cunt comment was discussed at some length in the blog I referenced, and you even chipped in with comments such as “No apologies needed, Marilyn”.

                      Then, after Marilyn posted “What is worse in the minds of you fuck wits, a 5 year old kid being raped in one of our racist prisons and not being attended or me calling a racist arsehole a cunt.” you replied “I’m with Marilyn”.

                      You were fully involved in the “brainless cunt” discussion, but now say you don’t recall it.

                      I entirely understand Marilyn’s reasons for calling another blog commenter a brainless cunt, but I said then, and I say again now, such language is counterproductive to the struggle we are all involved in.

                      If you don’t like my opposition to your arguments, block my comments. On the other hand, if you have a rational argument against my comments, please post them.

                      Like

                    • Jennifer Wilson November 17, 2016 at 5:36 am #

                      I’ve just found the brainless cunt comment, of course it was from Marilyn, she calls everybody brainless cunts or some variation.

                      When I wrote *I’m with Marilyn* I refer to her position, I’m not agreeing that you or anyone else is a brainless cunt.

                      No ,I had no recollection of this exchange, probably because I’m usually preoccupied thinking about things that interest me that I want to write about, or if there’s enough milk in the fridge to last till tomorrow.

                      I don’t know where you get the idea that this blog should consume my every waking hour & that it’s my responsibility to police every comment.

                      Apart from all of that, I do not have any particular objection to what is known as *bad language*. I know that in this country people are arrested for using it in the streets, and I consider that an offence against freedom of speech and a capitulation to middle class social control.

                      I have absolutely no problem with your or anybody else’s opposition to my arguments. I’ll argue back if inspired to do so, or I’ll let them stand. But no, I have never and will never censor anybody’s speech because they argue against my position.

                      Obviously you have been offended at being called a brainless cunt. I have removed the observation. I sometimes do remove Marilyn’s more colourful expressions, and I sometimes don’t take any notice of them.

                      No I will not always post responses to your arguments, because I’m doing something else or thinking about something else. I am not going to give you or anybody else that intensity of attention here.

                      Liked by 1 person

                • Arthur Baker November 16, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

                  I assume, from your writings, that the political struggle you’re attempting to win is the same one I’m attempting to win. It’s a broad progressive struggle. It includes, but is not limited to, justice for asylum seekers under Australian control. It opposes pretty much everything Donald Trump and the Liberal/National Party of Australia stands for.

                  Our point of difference seems to be our method of achieving victory in the struggle we share. I think being uncivil to voters who elected politicians we dislike might be substantially counterproductive. What do you think about that?

                  Like

                  • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

                    I have not been uncivil to any voter who elected Trump or to anyone else. I have not suggested anyone do that. I am challenging Trump, not the people who voted for him.

                    Like

                  • Marilyn November 17, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

                    Arthur, stop trying to censor us, we are not your silly little women, we are both women who have outgrown the need for brainless civility to morons.

                    I say again, I find it moronic that men whinge about women swearing but don’t bother about the reason why that is more important than the trafficking and torture of children by rich white men in our parliament.

                    Liked by 2 people

          • diannaart November 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

            Arthur

            I believe “united we stand, divided we fall”.

            That does not mean I accept anything any Bob, Ted or Arthur tells me.

            I also don’t believe people who run blogsites are omniscient, they are as human as you and I.

            That you expect Jennifer to have all the answers and express disappointment if she doesn’t suggests you’re not really here for serious debate at all.

            sarcasm alertYeah, lets stop discussing the implications of the US election because we don’t have any answers; that makes as much sense as anything I’ve heard today.

            Like

      • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

        Arthur, by *civility* I meant pretending that Trump will not do what he has said he will do, and expecting him to be better than he was during his campaign. This is done because people wish to be *civil* to him & in this situation, I’m saying that civility is dishonest and excessively foolhardy.

        By *uncivil* I mean refusing to pretend he hasn’t done what he’s done, and refusing to pretend he won’t do what he says he will do.

        This is also what I mean by *calling a spade a fucking shovel*. Calling it as it is. Refusing to normalise Trump. Being uncivilly frank, because being frank has never been regarded as civil.

        Everyone has to find their own way of doing this. Mine is writing. I will also be protesting when that time arrives, as I’m sure it will.

        I’m not interested in expending any of my energies attempting to persuade Trump supporters in this country. I prefer to channel mine into challenging the normalisation of Trump, and making people aware of the dangers ahead of us if our politicians try to imitate him, as done already have.

        It is absolutely ridiculous to ask me to solve these problems. My contribution is to challenge & confront and provide a safe place where people can speak.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Arthur Baker November 16, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

          “pretending that Trump will not do what he has said he will do”.

          My brand of civility doesn’t pretend he will not try to do what he has promised. I say he will try his hardest, and succeed in some respects, and fail in others. I think he will fail in enough respects that we can civilly point out to his supporters, enough to persuade them to vote against him next time.

          You write: “By *uncivil* I mean refusing to pretend he hasn’t done what he’s done, and refusing to pretend he won’t do what he says he will do.”

          My brand of uncivility doesn’t deny anything he’s done or might try to do. It simply lies in wait for him to fail in his ludicrous unachievable promises. But, critically, it relies on civility to the millions of supporters who voted him in. And the many people who feel the same way in Australia.

          I’m not asking you to solve any problems. I’m suggesting that Australians adopt a policy of addressing our political opponents (and I’m talking ordinary people here, not politicians) civilly, so that we might have a decent chance of actually persuading them to our point of view.

          Jennifer, I’m asking you to come out and declare that calling someone a brainless cunt is not only guaranteed to alienate our opponents but also very likely to set back our political aims rather than advancing them.

          Which side are you on?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

            I wouldn’t call people brainless cunts in order to persuade them to my way of thinking. I’d them brainless cunts to insult them.
            I generally don’t call people cunts because I’m very fond of my own cunt so I’m not really insulting people by calling them that.

            I’m not that into persuading people to my point of view. I think you are demanding I be someone I’m not. There are persuaders and conciliators, I am not of their number. I once was and I’m not anymore.

            Persuaders and conciliators need people like me who will call a spade a fucking shovel because sometimes that has to be done. Even Jesus attacked the money lenders in the temple. Persuaders and conciliators didn’t stop Hitler: warriors did.
            I’m on the side of people doing what they do best, be it as a warrior or a conciliator. There’s a time for war and a time for peace and there’s people for both eventualities. I think you ought to recognise this, Arthur.

            Liked by 1 person

            • samjandwich November 17, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

              I’m glad you brought up Hitler. “civility” sounds in effect a lot like “appeasement” to me.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Jennifer Wilson November 18, 2016 at 6:42 am #

                Well, Sam, that’s the sense in which I use it.
                I read in the Independent yesterday that Trump is drawing up plans to create a registry of Muslims in the US. They will be required to carry ID that states their religion.
                The references to Hitler are unavoidable, and today we are all Godwin’s Law.

                Like

          • doug quixote November 17, 2016 at 12:06 am #

            Dear Arthur, by all means do your civility. Just don’t expect me, or Jennifer, to assist.

            As for ‘brainless cunt’, that is just Marilyn doing Marilynspeak; don’t pay it any attention – it only encourages her and amuses the rest of us. Speaking of which, you Arthur Baker have amused us long enough. Take a holiday.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Marilyn November 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

              Another silly man trying to mansplain away swearing. Tedious little people you are

              Like

              • doug quixote November 17, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

                Silly? Is that the best you can do? A raspberry and a fuck off to you.

                Like

  7. Louise November 16, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    Apologies for the first link – pay gateway.

    Like

  8. FA November 16, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    Jonathan Pie – comedian who’s shtick is to pretend to be a journalist off camera is right on point, particularly the second half:

    Like

  9. jo wiseman November 16, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    Trump evokes a visceral revulsion in me. Nonetheless, giving him a chance is the only real option. It’s not about trusting him. It’s about giving him enough rope for his supporters to hang him in 4 years time. Attacking him will only distract his supporters from what he’s getting up to behind the scenes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arthur Baker November 16, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

      Well said, Jo. Given the wild, outrageous, ludicrous nature of many of his promises and pre-election statements, there will likely be many areas in which he fails to live up to his supporters’ expectations.

      We ought to combine “giving him enough rope” with pointing out to his supporters just how badly he has let them down. All we have to do in this respect is (a) remain civil in our approach and (b) stick to the facts. Trump will supply the facts. We supply the civility necessary to persuade his supporters.

      In four years, jackpot. There will be adverse long-term effects of the Trump administration, such as the lasting damage he will do to the High Court, but we can get rid of the Republicans in four years if we remain civil to our opponents, then work on reconstruction of a decent and civil state in America.

      Like

      • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

        Actually, Arthur I doubt any Trump supporter gives a stuff what any of us say, if they even know.

        We aren’t actually fighting Trump supporters. We’re fighting Trump’s fascism. *We* can’t get rid of anyone, we have no voting rights in the US.
        We are the witnesses.

        Be as civil as you like, what course of action you follow is up to you entirely. My choice is to speak my mind about the decisions this new President is prepared to take. I do not choose to be civil in approaching this because civil no longer matters when you are dealing with someone like Trump. Appeasement will get us nowhere.

        No amount of civility has changed successive governments’ asylum seeker policy, & we have seen the treatment of them get worse & worse. A large section of our country now believes it is acceptable to torture innocent people in the name of sovereignty. These ideas are not challenged and changed by making nice. Now Turnbull is sending women who have been raped back to Nauru if they want to apply for citizenship in the US, and if they don’t get it, he’ll leave them there for 20 years because he won’t let them come back here.
        I don’t see how your civility plan has worked at all, in this instance.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn November 17, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

        In case you hadn’t noticed Arthur he is not the president of Australia even if Truffles used Greg Norman for a direct line to suck up to him.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

      Jo, There is a sense in which we have no choice but to give him a chance: he is President Elect, and we have no influence over US politics anyway.

      We are and can only be observers, and our job as observers is to bear witness & make commentary.

      It’s also our job to let our politicians know we won’t stand for the same normalisation of hatred and violence towards others that Trump perpetrates and perpetuates. Just look at his senior staff appointments.

      I’m certainly not going to stand silently by and make no comment about these things. This is exactly how Hitler persuaded ordinary people to shove Jews into ovens. Because everybody let him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jo wiseman November 16, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

        Of course you will do as you see fit.

        There are clear parallels between the rise to power of Trump and Hitler, but Hitler consolidated his power not by persuasion but by paramilitary force, culminating in strong-arming the German parliament into abdicating its powers to him. The chances of Congress doing this are Buckley’s to nothing. Having said that – should they ever look like doing so, that would be the time for revolution. That or if paramilitary groups were enacting Trump’s wishes with impunity.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

          It’s a different time, I wouldn’t expect that Trump’s tactics will imitate Hitler’s, though propaganda rarely changes.

          A few days ago many many informed people were claiming that Trump’s chances of being President were Buckley’s to nothing…

          I think Americans are beginning to revolt: the anti Trump rallies are evidence of that.

          Some police forces in the US are already paramilitary institutions, their inclination is likely to be obedience to Trump. Somebody has to round up *illegals* and see to their deportation.Somebody has to supervise and build the wall. Somebody has to police and punish women who attempt to obtain abortions that have become illegal when Roe v Wade is overturned by judges appointed by Republicans.
          Women are already queuing to buy birth control.
          Many Americans are very, very afraid. Who are we to sit here in our safety and minimise their experiences?

          Like

        • jo wiseman November 16, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

          I think Trump is repulsive and I’m more than happy to say so. I find his deliberate intimidation tactics intimidating – and repulsive. I find his summoning contenders for leadership appointments to Trump Tower for interview as – repulsive. The people who abase themselves symbolically in this way are tainted from the get-go. The situation looks terrible and I think it’s likely to get worse. I am really torn here. So long as it’s made clear that it needs to be dealt with at the polls and not by violence, I am not averse to calling Trump out on each new repulsive act.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

    Louise I have absolutely no idea what kind of perspective that link is supposed to give me.
    It’s the most tedious, boring thing I’ve read so far on the US election, and mainly seems to be about bashing Sanders and Clinton.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

      I have never supported Clinton and Sanders.
      I don’t think *shrill* is a critique.

      Like

      • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

        Louise, I am blocking you from this blog. I don’t like your tone and fortunately, I am not required to put up with it.

        Like

      • diannaart November 16, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

        Louise

        I recommend you explore “No Place for Sheep” a little further… Jennifer has written much of her misgivings about Clinton, as have others, well before the election we all had to have.

        Like

  11. jo wiseman November 16, 2016 at 11:13 pm #

    Obama the man commands respect, Trump the man demands it – like a mafia gangster leader.

    Trump is all about the cult of personality and sees the Presidency as nothing more than a means to that end. Obama asks Americans to respect the role of President by supporting whoever holds it, but what if Trump himself doesn’t respect the role? If Trump unambiguously disrespects that role then all bets will be off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 17, 2016 at 5:37 am #

      My hunch is Trump doesn’t respect anything, at least for more than five minutes.

      Like

  12. Marilyn November 17, 2016 at 1:15 am #

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7RoUfyMUQo This was the brilliant Alicia Keys on The Voice in the US last night – a very very overt slap in the face

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson November 17, 2016 at 5:49 am #

      I love it that the reality tv president elect is getting the middle finger on reality tv.
      That’s a great song, and Alicia Keys is a brave singer. I can see that being sung in the streets

      Like

      • Marilyn November 17, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

        She made me cry, she was so frigging adamant with the lyrics.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Havana Liedown November 17, 2016 at 9:15 am #

    Like

  14. doug quixote November 17, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    Unfitness for office does not mean we don’t like a person’s policies.

    It means that the person has shown no competence in the administrative tasks required, no dedication to duty which the difficult tasks inevitably to be met in future will require. Being the nation’s chief executive officer, commander in chief, and head of state all rolled in to one are tasks probably beyond any single human being.

    But the people are entrusted with the task of selecting the person most likely to go close to managing it. This is a fail for the people of the USA.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. diannaart November 17, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    John Oliver discusses “giving Trump a chance” 😛

    He asks such pertinent questions as “how the fuck did we get here and what the fuck do we do about it?”

    But don’t take my word for (very few do) watch here – warning there is no prolonged discussion about civility V incivility – for which we can give John Oliver a big thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. diannaart November 17, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

    John Oliver does make some excellent suggestions, such as donating to causes likely to be de-funded and (deliberately) forgotten by a Trump regime.

    Even better, he suggests donating in the name of Trump voters – for us in Oz that would be donating to such organisations as White Ribbon in the name of Mark Latham or that insufferable dick-brain in the next office cubicle to yours.

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  17. paul walter. November 17, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

    In the end, it seems reasonable to me to suggest that a coalition of cynics and Southern Baptist Fellowship types, paranoid control freaks ( interchangeable), the ignorant and the peasant greedy have succeeded in blinding not only themselves but neutralising rational Americans, driving the US toward a precipice.

    At bottom is the Talibanisation process with immensely conservative and pessimistic reactionary modernists, convinced that a world they can’t and won’t understand or adjust to is due to meet its end as a Manichean God maliciously prepares for the Final Destruction where only the beneficiaries of the Rapture will benefit.

    Being morally entitled vic a vis the secular humanist scum and miserable in their own lives, they drown in victimhood/entitlement and their one joy is to torment sinners who will justify themselves being raped, bullied, silenced, incarcerated and monstered as moral failures in life, the Undeserving Many that Abbott here hates, this Moral Christian Taliban has grabbed the legs of its victims to drag them down with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. paul walter. November 17, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

    Btw, on a read of the thread I must profess my profound sorrow at not being able to participate in the last couple of days of conversation, due to a Telstra brown out…

    I did think that comment from Jennifer Wilson about letting some thing that seems dangerous and wrong not being allowed to pass without comment…

    ” This is how Hitler persuaded ordinary people to shove Jews into ovens.
    Because everyone let him”,

    sums it up.

    No one sees the wrong in bombing or starving countless millions of third world people of course, it is ignored like the Cosmic Noise with us since birth and explained through complicated sets of mythologies rationalisations and propaganda disguised as information

    It must be inevitable as slippery slope thinking that if it is ok with some categories, why not more.

    Is not much of the ruin of social infrastructure here in favour of tax cuts for the rich and the widening of the attitude toward asylum seekers invite a natural progression to designated “unworthy” people here? Equally it is possible that a culture that encourages genocide of first nations people over centuries is easily going to continue such behaviours right across the world.

    Is not all the world a Panopticon, post truth? Our Dreamtime is coming to end also, but we don’t know it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 18, 2016 at 6:40 am #

      I wondered where you were, PW.
      We already have designated *unworthy* people, always have had.

      I’ve said for a long time that governments who treat refugees as ours have will have no hesitation in extending that treatment to other groups they perceive as *unworthy*
      It’s become normalised. It’s about class first, race second I suspect, but that’s arguable.

      Like

      • allthumbs November 18, 2016 at 10:06 am #

        I would posit the argument that Trump is to a degree a creation of the manifestation of Australian Asylum seeker policy. We down here downunder have helped to create him, an intrinsic part of his success.

        Many years ago I said the “Australian method” would become the model for the rest of the world, and that seems to be the growing consensus.

        We may well be the source of this growing malaise, the creator and the exporter of this pernicious “normalized” attitude. Punching above our weight as we are always apt to say.

        Australia, the Typhoid Mary of the world in regards to attitude towards Refugees, but Mary was at least innocent of the disease she was carrying, we cannot claim such innocence.

        Us.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Jennifer Wilson November 18, 2016 at 10:18 am #

          allthumbs, I believe you might be right. I know UK & Europe are flirting with our asylum seeker policies, and there’s no doubt we’ve led the world with them.
          We’ve made more than our fair contribution to Trumpian fascism.

          Like

          • diannaart November 18, 2016 at 10:39 am #

            Our asylum seeker policies “work” because we have a great big moat.

            Any other nation considering same is merely wanting an excuse to lock away refugees indefinitely.

            Liked by 1 person

    • jo wiseman November 18, 2016 at 8:56 am #

      Hitler didn’t persuade ordinary people to push Jews into ovens. He persuaded them to give him enough power so that he could attain enough more to coerce them.

      Like

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