QED

Daze of ‘Swine’ and Posers

Donald Trump gives his critics plenty of ammunition, no doubt about it, but the vitriol he inspires, even from fellow Republicans, is out of all proportion with his offences. As with the media’s pile-on of Tony Abbott, he is the pundits’ excuse to signal contempt and virtue in equal measure

trump hateIn his excellent recent speech to the Samuel Griffith Society, Tony Abbott regretted the loss of civility in public life. One aspect of this loss of civility that strikes me is the readiness of commentators (those outside of the arena looking in from their armchairs) to hurl gratuitous personal insults at those within the arena with whom they disagree. I think those on the left are especially guilty, but Donald Trump has brought out the worst in commentators across the political spectrum.

The American MSM is running a no-holds-barred campaign to demonise Trump. Admittedly he provides a flow of ammunition, but make no mistake: that simply makes their job easier. They would get it done however sparse the ammunition. That’s America; what of the Australian media?

In March this year, I commented on Tom Switzer calling Donald Trump “a buffoon.” This kind of language to describe someone is regrettable because it replaces reasoned comment and analysis with a cheap shot.  Imagine trying to defend yourself against it.  What do you say: “I am not a buffoon?” But Switzer’s cheap shot is mild in the scheme of things.

Take the Australian media at face value and Trump is a nightmare incarnate; Freddy Krueger on the loose. SMH readers were recently told that comparing Trump to Hitler “isn’t as farfetched as it sounds.” Go to the polar political opposite of the SMH; to an interview of P J O’Rourke by Andrew Bolt.

Here is a list of the descriptors the putative conservative O’Rourke applied to Trump: horrible, shallow, vulgarian, narcissist, one-dimensional. Bolt himself, a true conservative, used the descriptors scary, coarse, and rude. Wait on! Undoubtedly Trump has said some coarse things. But Bolt didn’t say that. He said that Trump was coarse. This is uncivil. Bolt does not know Trump. Trump’s family appear to respect and love him. I have seen numbers of people who do know him describe him as warm and caring.

But this is mild stuff. Want venom with a vengeance? Niki Savva supplied the goods.

Here is a ‘selective list’ of the adjectives and adjectival phrases wielded by Savva to describe Trump, all in the space of about 1200 words in The Australian on August 11:

  • A pig
  • Nothing suggests he can be civilised, or tamed or controlled
  • Not a single decent bone in his body
  • Kim Jong-un seems perfectively normal next to Trump
  • Unstable
  • Cruel
  • Irrational
  • Amoral
  • Egotistical
  • An absolute pig of a man
  • Ruts deep in mud
  • Embraces racism, sexism and any other negative ism
  • Mr Piggy

That is not all. According to Savva, Trump has “glued orange hair”, “a pointy finger and pursed lips”, and reportedly was “the only child who would throw the cake at birthday parties,” What an absolute bounder!

It will be a miracle if the media anywhere ever gets past deploring Trump’s character and compares the candidates’ policies. Just take one aspect of the respective economic policies of Trump and Clinton. He wants to create jobs by lowering taxes and reducing regulations, including anti-fossil fuel regulations. She wants to create jobs by raising taxes and increasing government spending. It is simple. His policies have a chance of working; hers have no chance at all. Governments cannot create sustainable jobs by taxing and spending. There is no argument worth having about it. Thus the media will remain fixated on finding fault with Trump the man.

Leave aside the hyperbolic insults thrown by the likes of Savva and the SMH, go back to O’Rourke and to a word used twice by him to describe Trump. The word is “shallow.” What exactly does that mean? Is O’Rourke suggesting that Trump doesn’t think deeply?

Can you build a successful business over many years and raise well-adjusted children and be shallow? But let me struggle a bit more. Was the B-grade actor Reagan shallow? Was the grocer’s daughter Thatcher shallow? They both had homespun philosophies that served them and their countries well. Were those who voted for Brexit shallow? It seems to me that the descriptor “shallow” is attached by elites to those who they consider to be lesser beings.

Take another O’Rourke descriptor, “vulgarian.” Does Trump lack sophistication and good taste? Certainly at times his remarks are vulgar; when, for example, he referred disparagingly during the Republican primaries to the physical attributes of some of his competitors. However, most of us have lapsed at times and hope that such lapses don’t define us. There is a chasm between describing what someone has done as vulgar and describing them as a vulgarian. Has incivility gone so far that O’Rourke, a master of words, does not know the difference?

Tony Abbott came under the same kind of attacks as does Trump. Not so vicious, it is true, but nevertheless his ‘thuggism’ and ‘misogyny’ were legendary in the minds of the left-wing commentariat. There is no basis for such a characterisation, none at all. Yet it gained currency, nationally and internationally. This should act as a warning to conservatives in Australia. If you think Abbott was unfairly maligned, why in the world would you doubt that the same calumny is happening to Trump?

11 comments
  • Steve Spencer

    The leftist media are doing a fine job of maligning the man, but they’re even better at drowning out his serious messages. In this, he is again suffering the same fate as Tony Abbott.

    • Jody

      Honestly? Trump does a fine enough job of trashing his own brand; he needs precious little help from anybody else.

      • Warty

        Tut! tut! Jody: don’t believe everything you read in the media (I thought you would have known this). And as for the Trump you see at Republican conventions . . . he is American, and further removed from his Anglo Saxon roots than you or I may be; so he lacks a bit of English reserve. Then there is the First Amendment, which enables all adversaries to tear each other to shreds: it’s American show time and they love it. He will have recovered his poise when he meets next year’s new PM, the new model Tony Abbot.
        I recall your previous comments about Tony and feel confident you look forward to the New Year coup.

        • Jody

          What I look forward to is effective government which enacts some serious reform and holds back the dangerous neo-Nazi lefty extremists in our midst with serious and strong leadership. Speak up anybody who thinks there is a single person in politics today who is capable of that and drawing together a divided and unhappy society? (Silence ensues)

  • Homer Sapien

    We have an all out attack from progressives, media and establishment on Trump.I fully agree with the comment above from Steve Spencer, excellent article as well Peter!

  • Warty

    Can we do a Senator Leyonhjelm and invoke section 18c against the Abbot bashing, Trump hating Nikki Sava?

    • Jody

      I was at a function last night with the good Senator and I feel pretty sure he thinks the same as I do about Trump!!

  • [email protected]

    The ever heavier avalanche of abuse and disparagement cascading onto Trump is the unmistakable proof that they are terrified of him. Let us hope that it will not destroy his chances of winning the presidency. Regardless of how well or poorly one regards him, the ultimate recommendation of him over Clinton is Clinton herself. Would one prefer an unabashed liar and thief over an often uncouth but honest man? Of all the vicious attacks on him, they could never manage to question his integrity.

    Another great article, Peter.

  • Patrick McCauley

    Trump is a businessman – who is positioning himself to re-negotiate the relationship the US has with the world. The world and the US must understand that America is a wild and powerful thing.. just as Trump is wild and powerful. If he wins, he will be able to negotiate from a much strengthened position – because the world and the US will be expecting everything and anything.

  • ian.macdougall

    Trump has generated massive hostility to himself within his own (Republican) Party – never mind elsewhere. And we are only at the outset of his campaign to become POTUS, with all the nuclear Armageddon power that implies.
    But political developments do not occur in isolation. Trump could possibly stumble through a campaign – without calling for too many more of his opponents to be assassinated by say, righteously indignant firearms enthusiasts. But once Trump gets his finger on the nuclear button, the governments of his likely target countries are hardly going to just to sit around with ‘wait and see’ on their minds.
    Clinton’s critics concentrate on the poor decisions she made while Secretary of State. But Trump has never held public office. He has not even campaigned in the past to become dog catcher in his local NYC neighborhood.
    POTUS will be his first, in the unlikely event that collective stupidity in the US is sufficiently unleashed as to bring it about.

    http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2016/bolting/#comment-2668211

  • ian.macdougall

    What exactly would it mean to have trump’s finger on the nuclear button?
    A nuclear launch expert plays out the various scenarios.
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/2016-donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-missiles-nukes-button-launch-foreign-policy-213955

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