Enemy of the People
By Stephen Fitzgerald
26th January 2021 (Australia Day)
Updated 28th January 2021
We’ve seen a force that would shatter a nation for control of the government
What has unfolded as a result of the disputed US presidential election, driving the ensuing insurrection, is not entirely surprising when you look at the big players in Republican US President Donald Trumps 'shadow cabinet'. There are $$$ trillions of dollars at stake. With Mr Trump representing the all powerful fossil fuel industry and profit driven environmental degradation, while Democrat Joe Biden embraces the scientific evidence for transitioning to renewable clean energy, affirmative action on climate change and freezing fossil fuel projects.
After the death and carnage at the US Capitol it may have dawned on some people that Trump, with his dictatorial machinations, together with the support of the right wing conservative Republican Party intended to cut the beating heart out of American democracy. A democracy that means nothing to them in favour of their own political power grab and the overriding will of the masters they serve.
From an article by Slavoj Žižek ABC Fri 22 Jan 2021: Karl Marx remarked that history repeats itself first as a tragedy, and then as a farce. In contrast, Herbert Marcuse remarked that the lesson of Nazism seems to be the opposite one: first as a farce (throughout the 1920s, Hitler and his mob were mostly taken as a bunch of racists and political clowns), then as a tragedy (when Hitler effectively took control of the media and government). As a right wing political strategy, Trump did exactly what Hitler did - created a non existent enemy and drove social division with lies, to divide and conquer his fellow countrymen.
As part of a numbers game strategy to gain votes, the political Right has created a base who explicitly reject the principle of democracy and are unknowingly ready to accept authoritarian rule in the belief it will benefits them in some unknown way at some unknown point in time. We are lucky that the object of their veneration is crippled by narcissism and cognitive decline. Not realising that the greatest loss under authoritarian rule will be their own freedom and prosperity. With other totalitarian regimes embraced by Trump as the telling examples.
Out of this “cognitive decline” has emerged a substantial radical-right movement: a combination of white supremacy, pandemic-denying, climate-denying conspiracy theorists. It’s class based and, as in Fascism, is a combination of a lower middle-class white mob afraid of losing their privileges, ready to die for the cause of white privilege and “our way of life”, and their discreet billionaire enablers winding them up to use them. It's a lie and it's an illusion used by authoritarians to divide society to win votes and then benefit themselves by controlling the government.
The dimension of what the Trumpist protesters embrace is truly disturbing: Primitive tribal racism, sexism, white supremacy and bigotry. The dimension of what the Trumpist protesters are denying is even more terrifying: catastrophic climate change threatening the very existence of humanity itself and a raging pandemic having killed 435,000 Americans in the first year.
At this point, it's probably worth noting that the pandemic shut down global and domestic travel and the demand for oil plummeted. Over supply and oil storage became the big problem. Prices bottomed and, without storage, oil production would need to be shut down, some wells permanently. To continue burning oil, Trump and his "Big Oil" backers pushed for America to re-open 'too early' and literally fueled the pandemic. The virus was politicised by the Right and became a weapon of social division with the underlying objective being to continue burning oil and maintain profit.
To catch your breath, here are some of the inspirational words of young Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman recited at the inauguration of US President 'elect' Joe Biden:
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it.
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
This effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.
Among the play of those heartfelt words we need to keep firmly in mind that Donald Trump stands for radical division. Amplifying the "us against them" and the “enemies of the people” mindset, to gain radical support. The only proper way to defeat Trump is to demonstrate that his division is a false one, a fabricated political lie to win votes and hold power. The division in society is cultivated by such politicians and their supportive media as a political strategy.
After the insurrection and as they face the full force of federal prosecution, what the Trumpists are now starting to realise is that they were duped by Donald Trump and, all along, it was a “Big Lie” to garner votes and, a massive betrayal perpetrated against the American people.
Republican Senators and House Representatives 'not' objecting to Trump's insurrection, and attempted coup, are telegraphing to the world that they hold democracy and the will of the American people in contempt. These right-wing politicians are inviting authoritarian rule and the good people of America need to show they object, by removing self serving dissidents from public office at the next election. In retrospect, they will always be seen as a dark and destructive force.
Disturbingly, Trump has followed the conservative politicians playbook and you can apply the same basic principles to every insidious right wing government attempting to control Western democracies to favour themselves and the big players they represent. As the gravity of the US Capitol insurrection sinks in, and in reality, Donald Trump and his enablers, supporters and like minded politicians will be seen by history as the "them" and the real "enemies of the people''.
Fossil fuel v Climate action (The story of our time)
What is unfolded in Western governments, if you cut through the propaganda, boils down to policy in relation to fossil fuel v climate action. As another prime example: democratically elected Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull responsibly proposed a climate action policy and was promptly usurped, from within his own political party, by climate denying, fossil fuel promoting interloper and current right wing conservative Australian PM Scott Morrison. Mr Morrison being one of Donald Trump's favourite backroom buddies and ardent supporters, with a nice big shiny medal from Donald to prove it.
As a slap in the face and wake-up call to Mr Morrison, US President Joe Biden signs executive orders on climate and moves to lead the world in tackling climate change, while his climate envoy cites Australia's black summer of bush-fires as evidence of the need to act urgently. With Scott Morrison continuing to push fossil fuel on behalf of his masters.
Together with Americans, Australians have witnessed, first hand, a force that would divide a political party and a nation for control of their governments. For thinking Australians - There is clear evidence of political manipulation and an assault on democracy that must be addressed. For those being brainwashed by right wing media - Please look for the facts and the evidence to support your views and avoid being used by unscrupulous and corrupted politicians trying to drum up votes. Don't throw away your integrity and ruin your life based on ‘false narratives and conspiracy theories’, like so many have done in America.
Go to the next article: The China Crisis