November has been long, arduous, and eventful. And, much as you may like to forget (or try to), Donald Trump won the presidential election and will be the next president of the United States of America. That means the man that sees the use of nuclear weapons as a viable option is the next leader of the free world. Donald Trump, the lord-protector and head chief of international peace and diplomacy. It looks like the world will have to get used to more of America being the international police. That is, if he can get his head round the concept after taking it out of his backside. How paradoxical that this is the situation before the great western superpower that publicly decries authoritarian states around the world.
How sadly ironic that the working classes helped elect yet another rich white man that does not care about them. That someone who reeks of the easy life and who loves to show off the silver spoon in his mouth (and in his baby hands) was able to sway those that feel like the system has wronged them specifically. How sad that his usual place of residence in New York benefitted also from the shade of Lady Liberty. Oh, America you silly thing, you make no sense.
But it is not just America. Everywhere people are voting against their own positive interests and instead being persuaded by these actual cults of personality that hardly make a decent show of pretending to be genuine, or informed, to diminish the rights and liberties of everyone else. Brexit certainly shows this of our lot. It is all so pathetic and immature. I suspect it is also innately human. My toy is broken, so I am going to break everyone else’s. Vengeance and a narcissistic sense of justice make a powerful potion. Indeed, anger, frustration and the sense of being hard-done by when funnelled through the rhetoric of xenophobia often equals a misguided attack, and stupidity. It equals comedy too at the beginning, but quickly turns to tragedy if left unaddressed. Out of liberty and personal freedom, suppression and intolerance will arise.
A potential president of France thinks that the country has nothing to be sorry for regarding its colonial expansions; the notion that it was sharing its culture with the savages was met with cheers. Farage and his ilk, Marine le Pen of the French National Front, Erdogan of Turkey, Duerte of Philippines, Putin of Russia – they all make me so incredibly angry. These nationalists who pretend to be of the people… Where have I heard that before? I better stop before people remember Godwin’s law stops working the moment the threat to liberty becomes real.
It is interesting to note that as I write this, the debate of Castro’s legacy continues. Where both extreme wings of the political spectrum fling the usual insults at each other; some legitimate, but most not. I saw one tweet that assessed, in all its self-righteous intellect, that, “All the praise for Castro shows there’s an alt-left as much as there is an alt-right”. Or just that there’s always been a hard-left and far-right, as they used to be called in less coded language… It used to be that on such occasions that these demons would manifest, they would appropriately be called out and shunned again. But those rules don’t apply anymore.
I did not think I would ever look back at George W. Bush’s presidency with a tinge of nostalgia, but I do. For all his stupidity, Bush never seemed as malicious as his administration’s actions were. He seemed human in his human stupidity. Meanwhile, Trump is actively damaging and destructive in his stupidity, as are the rest of the regressive nationalists.
I used to believe that most people are inherently good, and that they are just misled when they do bad things. But it is increasingly apparent that maliciousness grows greater than kindness. The people clearly can’t be trusted. And neither can the leaders. We are on Hume’s ship of fools, and the navigator has been thrown overboard.