An occasional series on the new nationalists – dingoes and drongos like Trump, Farage, and Bernardi – and other Oz twerps.
Flailing nationalists everywhere
The President of the United States said of health care that ‘it’s an unbelievably complex subject; nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.’ He was possibly the only person in the world who didn’t understand how complicated the issue is – morally, politically, and economically. With his infamously terse attention span, Trump will never come to grips with the economic or political issues; the moral issues are way beyond his ken and above his pay level. He showed this immediately he got rolled. He put on his spoiled child routine and picked up his bat and ball to go home. He blamed the Democrats! For not agreeing to repeal their biggest achievement. He said that from now on, health care was the Democrats’ problem.
He simply has no idea about what government entails. You, Mr Trump, are the President. The party that you claim to represent has majorities everywhere – so much so, that discipline is out of the question. You made promises that some were silly enough to believe. You might at least be up to demolition – but you couldn’t even manage that.
And now you are coming to face the same problem as your predecessor. You are confronted by people elected to make laws who refuse to do just that. They are only interested in choking the system. They are wrecking balls. What can this president do with those pesky fanatics? Well, one thing he can’t do is just run away.
The myth that Trump is a good businessman was as silly as the notion that if you have succeeded in business, you will be good at government. Trump didn’t write The Art of the Deal. His inane tweeting shows he can’t put a sentence together. Time magazine ran an interview that showed that disability to an alarming degree. Trump inherited a fortune. Despite bankruptcies, and settling a fraud suit for $25 million, he has, by not paying taxes, apparently kept the inherited fortune to about the extent that it would be had it been invested in an index fund. He may have had some success where he could throw his weight around, with no regard for truth, but reports say that people only dealt with him once. He is, at face value, not a person to be trusted, and he has a God given capacity to offend people. Just look at his appalling behaviour with Frau Merkel. You don’t succeed in business by slapping people in the face. On that point, business and politics are in sync.
It’s interesting that in both the U S and in Australia, big business and others are despairing of government doing something sensible – say, governing – about energy and pollution. Big business is now urging Trump to adhere to the Paris accords. He is intent on having the U S challenge China as the smog centre of the world. As the U S shrinks its world footprint, China is stepping up as the leader of the world in free trade and climate control. Which nation do you think is being made great again?
Now it’s the turn of Mrs May to face a problem that is unbelievably complicated. She too has to try some juggling act because expectations of gullible people have been raised by politicians who were as happy to lie as they were to get down into the gutter. Some in England still believe they can block the towel-heads – just think of that revolting Farage ad – while eating cheap fish and chips. Sad delusion!
And the populi in Scotland and Ireland are getting restive. How does a government put there by the people with a nationalist cause, and confronted by a Labour Party just about wiped out by popular intervention, deny the nationalist urges of different peoples? Is that mythical word ‘sovereignty’ only good for some, but not something that the natives can be trusted with? (Remember what his grace the Duke of Wellington said of the Irish – they could put a good army in the field, as long as they had white officers.)
Meanwhile our very own rats and idiots have been scurrying and scuppering. Abbott and Bernardi had a little putsch on China. Their well-known sensitivity on human rights, and their deathless devotion to Gillian Triggs, stirred their consciences mightily – at least as mightily as Harry’s conscience was stirred when he decided it was time for a spousal trade-in. They didn’t think we should have an extradition treaty with a nation with a criminal justice system like that of China. They don’t appear to know what they are doing. We have such a treaty with places like the UAE, Indonesia, Venezuela, and the Philippines. Do we trust their justice systems? Do we do more business with them?
Poor Greg Sheridan got the hot flushes again. He said that the result was a victory for democracy. What bullshit. This national embarrassment was just his good old mate Tony Abbott stirring with some of his old mates.
Abbott may well now be more loathed even than Rudd. If you think about it, that’s quite an achievement. In the past, Abbott had supported the treaty with China, and, reports say, he had told the Chinese just that. When this was put to Abbott, he said that he had had no intention of honouring his assurances. A former prime minister admits to lying to the leaders of a major trading nation. I think Abbott has form for this on guns. Just where do we go from here? Can we go lower?
Amid all this gloom, there come two flashes of light. Sky News has fired Mark Latham for being rude. Now for Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron who are ruder – and silly enough to say that calling them out for rudeness would be that phantom of ‘political correctness.’ Well, at least these people show how silly it is for people to seek a licence to insult and offend others on the ground of race.
More importantly, and much, much better, we see a seamless and affable transition in beyond blue, a substantial mental health institution, from Jeff Kennett to Julia Gillard. We see people after politics doing what they seemed incapable of doing while in office – working sensibly across party lines to achieve a common good. And there is no doubt that that’s just what this institution does. It saves and improves lives. We might all have different views of these two people in office, but some of their features that got on people’s nerves before will serve them and us very well now.
We should be grateful that people who have gotten on are giving back to us. Mr Kennett in particular deserves our highest thanks and recognition for sixteen years in one of the most important jobs in the country. It’s enough to make you think that we might even be civilised.
Finally, the people who are outraged by the notion that it is okay to break bad laws might indicate what they think of Socrates, Jesus Christ, Galileo, Luther, More, Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Pankhurst, Cavell, Ghandi, Bonhoeffer, Mandela, King, Ali and the great number of others who are secure in the pantheon of most people in the west.