29 January 2017

Trump'ed on

You're probably sick of reading Niemöller's quote but here it is again - why not have another butcher's':

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

(from The Holocaust Encyclopedia).

I've read it so many times throughout my life that when it appeared in my Facebook feed I'd roll my eyes and scroll past wondering why some unimaginative ass had bothered to post it yet again - didn't we all already know it off by bloody heart?

And now here I am, another unimaginative ass, posting it on the web and ensuring that both my readers are pissed off and bored. Only it does have a new urgency now doesn't it? I mean with The Orange One in power it becomes resonant again, it has gravitas. Replace Jews with Muslims and we're on the path to understanding Trump's divide and rule, his spurning of the slowly won gains of recent years, the gains Brexiteers and Trumpists like to, in their minds insultingly, call "liberalism" or "political correctness" - you know, those phrases that are used to undermine the simple ideology of treating others with respect, treating others how you'd like to be treated yourself. It isn't difficult to understand any of this: the undermining of social bonds, the splitting off of those of a different sexual or religious persuasion, the finger pointing ("if you want a good job, chuck out the immigrants"), the silencing of scientists and the media. Once you get over the shock, even the outright lies are understandable - deplorable (yes, I use the word advisedly), but they fit right in with the game-plan, with the move to demagoguery, with the concentration of wealth and power in a few hands.

We can fight amongst ourselves, those of us in the middle or to the left: yes, there isn't much to admire in fundamentalist Islam. Yes, it's a bit boring to be lectured on the importance of being nice to everyone and kind to everyone but what about ISIS and it's alright for you with your job and your security and you don't know what it is like to live on a run down estate in Middlesborough. Yep, all true. But what is also undeniably true RIGHT NOW are the parallels between Trump's campaign, his early days in office, and what happened in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Which side of the wall are you going to be on?

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Patrick

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