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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

211. Thank you America…

In the 2016 poker game of ‘who are the biggest political idiots?’ democracies across the world have been pointing at Britain since June 23rd. But on November 9th America trumped us.

Thank you for diverting a painfully revealing spotlight.

And it will be ok. Not for a while but eventually.

I’m talking to the KaTs - Kind and Thoughtful people. Here in the UK we’ve just been through it. Spiritually ugly, egotistical bigots successfully drowned out common-sense because fear, spite and self-interest already made many listeners partially deaf. We’ll call them the KJs – knee Jerks – (reactionaries).

In Britain, those who supported the UK Independence Party are UKIPers – led by frothy Nigel Farage; think Trump lite without the tan, the orange sweep-over or the sexual assaults but with all the malice and intolerance.

Frothy Farage, teamed up with other deplorables including the racist ex-mayor of London - Boris Johnson, and UK tabloid newspapers, owned by men who don’t even pay their taxes in the UK. In the absence of real opposition they pushed sanity towards the Exit sign.

Across the Atlantic you also have YaKs – You are Kidding. YaKs have been chewing on the envy stick since an admirable, successful black family entered the White House. They had to sit on their racism for 8 years and they were not (especially, it seems, white women) going to let a female president disturb their internalised misogyny.

On both sides of the pond don’t forget the SWIOKs – So What, I’m OK. These comfy cliques are so insulated from life’s realities they don’t care. They may not have favoured Brexit / Trump but now blow with the new wind. Their lives have expensive foundations and they can afford the roof repairs in a political storm.

K.a.Ts are hurting. People who take time to check facts, read information, make informed decisions and don’t spend their waking hours blaming convenient scapegoats for their problems, are just ill right now.

The KJs, like the UKIPers, feast on the false diet of a delicious past. Mmmm – the McCarthy witch hunts, segregation (US), rationing (UK), rickets, TB, the establishment turning a blind eye to child abuse and the degradation of minorities, women and indigenous peoples – truly it was a Utopian banquet.

But the SWIOKs are the most morally aberrant in my view. These people are now saying – you know, Dump isn’t that bad. They’re also berating the KaTs for being distraught at the way the Hate volume has ratcheted up. Like Boris Johnson. Although – to be fair – being a racist he fits other categories.

In ancient times, humans tried to fashion themselves in the image of their God. They would look upwards and aspire to be better, hence the reaching architecture of churches, synagogues and mosques.

With mass addiction to ‘talent’ programmes and reality TV and in an atmosphere where politics is run like a game show, increasingly the public seem to want someone who reflects them on a bad day. Peering down into the gutter, they embrace what they see. Like a grim version of X-factor – it’s now acceptable to be preening, gurning and strutting in public if you are stupid, thuggish, talent-less.

Talking of talent-less – wasn’t the fake ‘scare’ at the Trump rally, where security hustled him off stage, the worst acting you ever saw? For a better version of that watch Colombo – Candidate for Crime.

However, here in the UK we have a useful saying - ‘what goes around comes around’. There is a similar Arabic adage which is ‘if you sit by the river long enough the body of the wrong-doer will float by’.

We sense that things are not right (check last week’s blog to see where I think this could go). We know deep down that many privileged communities have failed to act generously. Somewhere even deeper, we know there is always a price to pay – whether it be displaced people on our borders because their countries are broken or strange diseases erupting from parts of the world few cared about before (see blog 105 Ebola – What’s really gruesome) or just a general sense of insecurity.

Across the globe the insanely rich have siphoned off so many resources to fund their yachts, gold houses and daughter-aged wives, that we’re now staring at the socio-economic equivalent of locust denuded fields. What better than a vindictive, macho gob-shite who screams loudly enough to convince millions it’s the fault of the already downtrodden?

Fear is driving people to the old ‘the strong man’ fantasy. Notice Hollywood is vomiting up super hero movies like a kid with the nora virus who won’t stop eating fudge sundaes?

Trump is a distorted version of King Canute. Whatever he hollers and however loudly he shrieks violence and bigotry in our faces, the tide of decency will flow back in. The people who do ok in the end will be the ones who build boats of friendship and kindness and community – not the ones on the shoreline screaming and ranting at the waves. The only question is, how many will these nutters drown in the process.

(Why not check out blog 152. Could the Nice People Speak Up Please)

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