When is it Too Late? Or is it?

By Dr David Laing Dawson

When the steps are incremental and desensitizing, inuring, it is difficult to know when we have moved beyond the point of no return. Many of us thought the separation of children from their parents and the incarceration of over two thousand children in cages all over the country might be a step too far and too fast. But even this is being obscured and overwhelmed with rhetoric and confusion, with Orwellian language.

And speaking of Orwellian language I notice that Trump is not bothering to use a full phrase in his accusations, such as accusing any number of democrats of being “soft on crime” or wanting “weak immigration policies”. He has taken the next step in simplifying and labeling: The Democrats are “for crime”, they are “for gangs”, and they want “no borders.”

“Power corrupts” is not an empty phrase. It is an observation of all human behaviour. From studies of our history to the guard/prisoner experiments of the 1960’s. The gentlest person can find his or her inner tyrant when placed in the social context of supervising the weak and helpless. A few will wrestle with these unwanted impulses. Many will give into them.

I mention this because I detect a subtle shift in tone coming from the President of the United States. He is still prickly and defensive. He still manages to bring every issue back to himself and his greatness. He still denigrates Obama and all previous leaders to enhance his own reputation. (and to fuel the racism of his base)

But now his rallies and tweets have adopted a demagogic tone more directly and specifically. More and more his words place him above the law. More and more his words place him as the only important decision maker. More and more he ignores ethics and due process. More and more he aligns with tyrants and disparages the leaders of the democracies of this world with the worst derogatory word a mob boss can muster: “weak”.

His over-the-top rhetoric about the “Witch Hunt” is working. He is swaying public opinion. Most Republican politicians are falling in line. He may know little of history, compassion, governance, but he sure knows Goebbels (“If you tell a lie often enough…”) and the principles of modern marketing.

He once added qualifiers to his outrageous lies and hyperbole. “They are rapists and murderers – though some I suppose are good people.” He doesn’t bother now. Immigrants are “invaders” and “infections”.  One step away from vermin and cockroaches.

Increasingly he directly threatens individuals and corporations in his tweets.

If we are not at the tipping point, my American friends, we are close.

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7 thoughts on “When is it Too Late? Or is it?

  1. Orwellian it is .1984 is just coming later. Sad to say Trump is still getting away with it. BUT even Tartuffe did eventually get deposed. You can fool some of the people some of the time!

    The enablers are still aiding and abetting Trump. But it could stop.

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  2. Since the start of the modern era, humanity (especially in the West) has allowed the continuation of slavery, sexual trafficking, corruption, brutality, and political or military atrocities in the developing, third, or “other” world. The West has created a fictional history and present day analysis that maintains the superiority of Western democracy, philosophy, language, history, intellectualism, culture, and ethos. The reality is that First Nations, African Americans, women, people of colour, cultural, ethnic, religious as well as linguistic minorities, and the poor continue to live in the margins regardless of the vaunted advances of legislative protections and caselaw from Brown v. Board of Education and the Charter or Rights and Freedoms to The Hague and the UNHRC. Words, just words. In the US, it is evident that 51 million voters supported the rise of a racist, misogynist, and anti-intellectual government to allow America to once again dispense with the mirage of national democratic values that adhere to the idea of everyone is created equal, in favor of to the reality that has always been America. That being that Jim Crowe and the Confederate culture still rule the hearts and minds of more than half of the self-proclaimed greatest democracy on the planet. Similarly, in Europe: Hungary, Italy, Spain, France, and Holland, the rise of nationalist parties is copying the success of President Trump’s agenda. Furthermore, to meet their needs of oil, gas, diamonds, gold, precious metals for electronics, and a place to dump those toxic materials after the electronics and toxic waste need to be disposed of without regulation, the Western nations have been complicit in everything from slavery, starvation, war, misery and an utter lack of humanity in nations from the South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Prince Mohammad bin Salman was feted by everyone from Oprah and US political leaders to the heads of every major corporation for advancing human rights and modernizing the Islamic world, while he actually increased executions, imprisonment or maiming without legal process under Sharia Law. In all of Africa and the Middle East, as long as, a political or military leader provides an uninterrupted supply of what is needed by the West, their atrocities are simply ignored, and as a result the innocent people of the “other” world are left in abject poverty without the hope or chance of ever escaping the condition that has been their reality for centuries. Civility is a mask the belies the truth of what this world and humanity are because it is easier to dehumanize those that are needed to facilitate our lifestyle than to treat everyone as if they were human, let alone equal and deserving of health, safety, security, and opportunity. It may be good for the future of humanity that this will be an era that ultra-nationalist, protectionist, racist, and bigoted nations and populaces embrace and own their beliefs. Thereafter, it will be the true was of civilizations, the battle for equality and respect by those who are marginalized against those who are not.

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    1. But I’m trying, I’m trying, as I sip my Fair-trade Guatemalan coffee, green beans imported by a Canadian non-profit, roasted in my Behmor roaster assembled from steel and electronics from all around the world, using the solar power from the panels on my roof, (which have Spanish parts in them that fail in the winter), from my cup made by a Dundas potter, mixed with a little 2% from our Supply Managed Dairy farms, with a touch of Stevia (from China or Brazil) all stirred with a small spoon manufactured in Vietnam by Ikea.

      And as I write this I notice how many more parts of the planet I could include in this story if I added all the oil, transportation, manufacturing involved in the simple enjoyment of my very good cup of coffee, and thus I notice how much this simple small event involves the entire planet, and thus how obvious it is that one of the answers to our planet’s woes is Free Trade without Exploitation. Without exploitation being the hard part of course.

      And then one day the Guatemalan peasant who picked the beans for my coffee might be paid a fair wage and live within the kind of (relative) comfort, safety, and equitable democracy within which we live in Canada.

      David

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