Registered On: December 23, 2013
In Trump’s case I think he went a bit further than just poking a hornet’s nest, he actively encouraged them with his “see you on the 6th” tweet and other things. Even now he is clearly on their side, as his little video and thank-you to them showed, no matter his weak urges for peace say. I don’t believe he’d be so thankful to them if his concerns over this were genuine.
Hopefully yesterday will be the shock needed for many as to the danger Trump represents. For too long have we had urges to be cautious and treatment of any concern about his behaviour as being hysterical. We have been told he is just unconventional because he’s not a politician by background. This despite his evident authoritarian tendencies and continuous disregard for democratic norms throughout his presidency. To give Trump his due, he means his insane ramblings when he says them, and he showed his sincerity yesterday in urging them on and giving them enough clues to show he’s on their side. And let’s not beat around the bush here, what happened yesterday was a riot directed by those who cannot accept they lost.
For years we have had claims of how the liberals can’t take losing, with inferences and often arguments that conservatives can, because they respect democracy and the will of the people. Well, those takes have aged like milk, and no this is not a reaction to liberal behaviour. The seeds of this date back many years and could be seen with the Tea Party movement when Obama came in. It only seems like such because the media have been too cowardly to hold Trump to account through fear that it would disgruntle his base and a right wing which has been blind to its own faults. The big difference between the anti-Trump protests, BLM and this is that the two former never marched to stop democratic processes, and this is the key which should be remembered here. Did the former degrade into violence? Often it did, but none was an attempt to stop democracy; yesterday’s was a clear attempt to stop Biden being formally declared as victor, and that is what is shameful, besides everything else. Does this make anti-Trump or BLM violence right? No, but it doesn’t make them as threatening to democracy as the far-right, as demonstrated yesterday.
There’s nowhere to hide now for the apologists and excuse makers who have spent the previous four years saying how “ANTIFA” or BLM were the real problem democracy faces. Yesterday was the first meaningful attempt to stop a democratic decision and it didn’t come from the left. As silly as they may have been, the Trump protesters did nothing to stop the hand over of power to him in 2016, and they weren’t affiliated or supported by Obama or the Democrats. Trump made it clear he was on their side, and has done for years.
For years liberals have been urged to understand the Trump voters and be more critical of damaging elements on the left. There was always a section who would treat all criticism of Trump to pour scorn on those making it for failing to understand why people voted Trump, with urges to understand them and damn the worst elements of their own side instead for losing. Well, that argument has been obliterated, as Trump’s worst elements have caused him to lose after one term, and lose the Senate. After urging us to listen to Trump fans after Clinton’s defeat, do the same contrarians make the same proposal to conservatives for why Trump lost? Do they heck! Liberals are still told to listen to Trump fans and condemn the worst elements of their own side which alienate them, not the other way round, despite victory.
Now, I am sympathetic to trying to understand others for being supportive of a bad cause, but it works both ways. The contrarians treat it as if Trump voters have no agency and cannot be blamed for poor decisions, whereas liberals need to be flexible with their condemnations, and never the other way round. A conservative calling a liberal a ‘libtard’ is treated as someone who needs respect and understanding. A liberal calling a conservative a ‘deplorable’ must immediately look at themselves in the mirror, regardless.
Well, we now see the fruits of that. Years of no accountability, criticism or holding to account from the media, politicians or anyone on Trump’s support has seen a section of his base think it is acceptable to storm the Capitol because they didn’t get the result they wanted. In part allowable, because large sections of the American public have been able to get themselves embroiled in a fanatical movement, because criticism of such is deemed elitist. Of course there are many cases of snobbery towards Trump voters, this cannot be ignored and should be avoided. However, the same people calling this out, on the right, often lump any criticism of the anointed “salt of the Earth” Trump voter as elitism. They are beyond criticism, no matter who they are. Yesterday has shown the nature of many and the apologia for them and how this has allowed an emboldened bunch of thugs threaten democracy. All because the right cannot do what it demands the left to do and engage with its worst elements, and this is because they are scared of being associated with such. The unfortunate thing, of course, is that no-one being charitable or decent could blame these people if they had called out the worst elements, but by apologising for them they have shown them to be part of the problem.
It’s not that they don’t have any point with regards to the left. The left isn’t perfect by any stretch. The goons who call themselves ‘ANTIFA’ are thuggish themselves and things like ‘cancel culture’ do show a disregard for freedom of speech, when it actually is such. However, these people are not as intricately linked to the Democrats as the morons are yesterday to the Republicans, thanks to the pandering and praises by Trump himself. In fact, if anyone who thinks they are spends some time with them you’d see how they hate Biden, Pelosi and other mainstream Democrats, and always have done.
I have absolutely no time for the “Biden is only marginally or no better” than Trump takes, and yesterday shows precisely why. This clown show, which has caused many conservatives to hoodwink themselves into saying the other side would be just as bad to save face, would not have happened under the Democrats. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats are a party committed to democratic norms, despite their many faults. They would respect expertise, leading to a much more competent pandemic management, and they wouldn’t engage in bogus attempts to overthrow democracy on nonsense rigging claims, and the Russia claims do not come close to being an equivalence. Russia claims were admitted to be a worry by the American secret services and the Mueller report did confirm their existence. All this nonsense about vote rigging now is backed by no-one except politicians and their fans. Big difference. Plus, I really don’t see Biden calling for an insurrection. His whole tone has been conciliatory, which is a far cry from Trump’s tyrannical behaviour.
Before the usual suspects come on and infer this is a bitter rant by someone left leaning out to demonise conservatives, it really isn’t. I have a care about internationalism and desire to see liberal democracy flourish. I have a loathing of leftist autocracies like Venezuela and Cuba, and have no fond thoughts of the Soviet Union or China under Mao (or now, though its leftism has certainly been diluted today). There are those on the left who are too forgiving of these places, but none of these are leading Labour or the Democrats at present, and anyone who thinks so are the ones who need to check themselves for losing the plot. Corbyn was, but he is no longer Labour leader. The problem now is that right wing authoritarianism is on the rise. We see it in Poland and Hungary too. Russia is heavily conservative and a dictatorship. The USA’s democracy is heavily dented by Trump now. This is a problem of the right, and one it needs to confront, as much as the left needed to confront the rise of Corbyn in Labour. Though, the latter is not leader any more and the left are not leading these countries where authoritarianism has risen. The right too needs to look at itself in the mirror. There are plenty who do, but all too many just want to look the other way and wag fingers at the left, because it’s easier. This does nothing to solve the situation. Let’s not be politically correct here. A large proportion of the USA have no trust in democracy, because they think their whims should be catered to; it hasn’t gone their way, so they assume rigged elections. The height of the stupidity came to a head yesterday when many stormed the Capitol to stall democracy and many others on social media declared these were crisis actors and it was all a hoax by ‘ANTIFA’ to discredit Trump fans and ensure Biden wins. This is not a healthy place for a democracy to be in, and an intransigent public shows the tendency towards authoritarianism. Rather than being a beacon for democracy around the world, the USA has more of a resemblance to the Weimar Republic. Scary times await and I hope something can be done to break this nonsense which has taken root in the USA.
For those who doubt the importance of this, I urge them to read Anne Applebaum’s fantastic piece below, detailing the sadness at recent events and importance of the USA as a democracy:
Oh, and Anne is a conservative and critic of communism, showing that hard hitting disgust at Trump isn’t purely because of liberals wanting to demonise conservatism. Just because some on the left would criticise the right, regardless, it doesn’t mean all critique is inherently driven by a hatred of the other side.
BRI, many thanks for posting the abridged version! 😋