QED

Glum and Glummer

I am pretty sure that Donald Trump was unfazed on hearing that new Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib had promised to “impeach the motherf****r.” She’s the first Palestinian Muslim elected to Congress. She draped herself in the Palestinian flag after winning the Democratic primary last year. She ain’t no friend of the Jews or of Israel. She supports the BDS campaign and also a one-state solution. Goodbye, Israel, a pity about the ensuing slaughter. She was joined when being sworn in by Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, another piece of work. Weep for the times.

For form’s sake, Tlaib’s comrades dutiful demurred on her language but admired her authenticity. Anything is forgivable, even a likeness of his decapitated head held aloft, if Trump is the target. Two things strike me.

The first is that the times are changing for the worse before our very eyes. Islam is becoming part of the fabric of our societies while Islamic societies are busy marginalising and driving out minorities, particularly Christian ones. This isn’t something which is creeping up all unbeknown. Muslims are populating the West, bringing with them a scriptural guide which has inspired barbarism down the centuries.

The Left’s love-in with Islam is locked-in. But, please, please save us from conservatives who explain that most Muslims are peaceful and moderate. Blind Freddy knows that. However, those of us with our common sense still intact also know that the immutable, irredeemably nasty scripture, wielded by rabble-rousing imams, ever lurks in-waiting to corrupt Muslim minds.

Now I understand and applaud efforts to reach out to Muslims. Once resident, Muslims must be treated as kindly as everyone else. But it is a numbers game. There is far more chance of Enlightenment values being universally shared if those not steeped in them, more particularly, if those whose values are antithetical to them, do not form larger and larger proportions of the population. This is a general proposition, by the way, when it comes to shaping immigration and deciding who should be invited in and who shouldn’t.

Of course, this is silly of me, we all know that bad things don’t really happen. We need to celebrate unlimited diversity and multiculturalism and why not throw in abortion on demand and gay marriage. And, while we are at it, a “Two Minutes Hate” session directed at white men (and white women) is cathartic for the ever-growing victimhood.

The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. (1984)

Trump recently gave press conference with three representatives of border patrol standing behind him. The event was mocked by Joe Scarborough and company on MSNBC because the three guys were bald (which I take personal offence at and am seeking a safe space) and because they were white. “This wall is not a wall, it is a let’s keep America white again.” The only problem: two of the guys were Latino but obviously not unwhite enough for ‘Morning Joe’. In California, a Women’s March was cancelled in December because those participating would have been predominantly white – hang the content of their characters. Just two examples of many.

The second thing that strikes me, also for the worse, is the way enough voters to win the day occupy a policy-free political mind space. At least when it comes to policies which are general in their effect. For example, those critical of Trump as man seem oblivious to the effect his policies have had in producing record low Hispanic and black unemployment. They simply couldn’t care about that. Similarly, Corbyn could well be elected in the UK despite having the kind of socialist policies which have always created unemployment and misery. Shorten is likely to be elected this year despite having taxation and renewable energy policies which are bound to kill jobs.

It’s a fair bet that few voters would specifically vote for fewer jobs. Yet, the relevant policies, which alone tell the tale of job creation, make up very little of the political debate. It is true that tribalism and personal likes and dislikes have always counted in the minds of voters but now they seem to count for everything. It seems likely to be a product of identity politics; of which, of course, targeting despised whites is a part.

If people segment themselves on the basis of their sex, their sexual orientation, their skin colour, their indigenousness, their ethnicity, their religious/cultural affiliations, it lessens the focus on policies which impinge on people across the board. Of course, policies which impinge on particular groups (e.g., the LBGT community) get a run. Forget it otherwise; it’s back to raw emotions, epitomised by Congresswoman Tlaib’s gutter language.

I tuned in to CNN after Trump’s Oval Office address on border security. Leaving aside the visceral hatred of Trump, it was all superficial politics. Had Trump moved the political needle? Not once, did I see an attempt to grapple with the substance of whether more and better physical barriers were required. In fact, the need for physical barriers used to draw support across the aisle – which is why lots of fencing is already in place. But that was when policy had a more prominent place in political contests.

Are there any underlying economic, social or political trends which are promising?

12 comments
  • Biggles

    Pro-socialist policies will always destroy jobs. What concerns me more is the destruction of the values and morals of Western society as the purveyors of hate tighten their grip.

    And by the way, Peter, where is this country of Palestine you mention? I ask because i note that there is a team from Palestine playing in the world soccer competition, but I can’t find their country in my old school atlas.

  • brandee

    After reading this cautionary piece by Peter Smith a good start to the new year for me will be to read my gifted copy of ‘The History of Jihad – from Muhammad to Isis’ by Robert Spencer. I note that on this day, Jan 11, in 630, Muhammad and followers conquered Mecca as the Quaraysh occupants surrendered.
    The chapter titles in the book are arresting; for example:
    1. “I bring you slaughter”: The Battles of Muhammad
    3. The Jihad comes to Spain and India
    5. The Victims of Jihad Strike Back – [The Crusades]
    7. The Ottomans and Mughals in Ascendance
    9. Resurgence
    10. The West Loses the Will to Live

  • en passant

    There are a dozen countries that have decided not to surrender and die, but Oz is not listed among them …

  • Salome

    Message to your designers: Do you really need to take up a huge chunk of the left side of the browser screen with white space? Is there any reason why the article can’t be in the middle of the screen, and take up all (with reasonable margins either side) of whatever width I decide to give to my browser? Am I alone in this?

  • Biggles

    Salome: Get a life!

  • lloveday

    Biggles,

    I understand your comment, but my complaint is the loss of the old Print button and the effect of formatting like this article’s on printing..

    I like to read in better (for me, like on the verandah or a bar with a glass of wine and a cheese platter) situations than on-line despite having a large, high-resolution monitor, and neither IE or Firefox print Quadrant articles any where as well as the old Print function, and in the case of this article, not in any meaningful way. Even on articles that are printed in a reasonable manner, there is much waste of ink and paper, so if I want to put on my “environmentally-friendly hat” I need to copy, paste into a word-processor, preview, modify as necessary and then print; often I give it a miss.

  • whitelaughter

    [nods] the layout is poor; the inability to respond to comments directly annoying. Thus this conversation will hog the comments, preventing any serious discussion of the article.

  • whitelaughter

    and we still can’t edit comments….

  • Biggles

    lloveday/Salome, To read a full-width A4 print of the above simply left click, drag the pointer over the whole thing, hit Copy, bring up Word, hit Paste then hit Print. Piece of cake!

  • lloveday

    Biggles,

    Yes, it’s a relative “Piece of cake”, and that’s what I do when I bother, except I use Notepad because it leaves out photos of babies unlike Word, and does not double/triple space as does WordPad.

    BUT, the old Print button was better, so why “disappear” it?
    What’s an extra wasted 2 minutes per article? It adds up and impinges on my drinking time.

    AND, another “whinge” – I had not logged in before hitting Submit, and when I logged in all keying was lost, unlike the old system where after logging in your keying was still available – I know, it’s “A piece of cake” to block and copy before logging in (but not so easy to remember to do so?) and then paste, but it just adds to the deficiencies of the new system compared to the previous – and there is not aspect that I’ve seen as an improvement.

  • lloveday

    “..not an aspect..”

  • whitelaughter

    if Quadrant is to be a successful voice in the wilderness, it needs to be a voice that can be easily shared. Even nowadays, part of that means being easily printed.

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