An Ugly and Dangerous Speech

Some have called it a fact-less speech, that is not strictly true either:

CLEVELAND — Donald J. Trump’s acceptance speech here was filled with Trump-like hyperbole and the kind of vague political rhetoric that is hard to pin down.

But there were also facts.

It was however authoritarian and xenophobic in the extreme.

It reinforced the current narrative that the president is the ruler of the US, it simplifies the role of the President within our particular form of democracy. It took the role of executive power to the extreme, there was little talk of working with congress, it brooked no compromise.

It will also be be popular. Will it be enough to win an election? That remains to be seen. Brexit was also underestimated and many of the same issues came into play during that campaign. Indeed many xenophobes have seen the “exit” referendum as a justification for their hate. The same fears are being stoked by the right across Europe and recent events have only reinforced the fear. The left has been in disarray, inclusion has almost become a dirty word.

Neo-liberal policies on both sides of the pond have increased the perception of powerlessness of large sections of the population, their exclusion from the political process pointed; now coupled with an ever increasing recognition of the inequality generated. However the target is not those that created the disparity, but those who have also suffered from this system; the other, it is them that have taken the riches, the jobs, the opportunities and created the associated crime and violence. This has often proved to be a successful tactic in the past, vilify those least able to defend themselves and thus protect those responsible for the disconnect.

The left has repeatedly appeared unable [or unwilling] to confront the real issues, indeed when someone such as B Sanders has attacked it from a populist left position, they are rejected by the establishment as unrealistic. Hence the right are then able to take up a distorted version of these issues and claim them as their own, that is what Trump [his speech-writer anyway] did.

The hilarity and danger of this is that D J Trump somehow represents the disenfranchised and H R Clinton the establishment and if his speech-writers and handlers can focus the campaign down this line, the election may well be closer than many predict. Focussing hatred to the “foreigner” under a different guise is more effective than racism per se; xenophobia isn’t a white only phenomenon.

I will not be watching Trump so much, but those that coagulate around this hate filled campaign, just as Cheney was the one to watch in the G W Bush set up.

Some may say that it is good to have all this ugliness out in the open, I’m not so confident; it’s a dangerous concoction in dangerous and unpredictable times.