The Presidency of Donald Trump and the events of 2020 have seen the return of the bogeyman and of conspiracy theories for those who take their news to suit themselves. Catholics, Masons and Jesuits have fallen out of favour as scapegoats. Stalin had the kulaks. Mussolini had effete liberals. Franco had the Communists and atheists. So did Senator McCarthy; and, to a lesser extent, Sir Robert Gordon Menzies. It is best to pass over Hitler in silence. As of now (December, 2020), many Australians seem to be seeking a reprise of the White Australia Policy with vitriol against the Chinese. Their anxiety is made worse because President Trump appears to have abdicated in favour of President Xi, or, on a bad day, Chairman Kim. (Do you remember when Trump said that he and Kim had fallen in love? Neither could even spell ‘reciprocal’ so the ending had to be sour rather than sweet.) Renegade doctors blame Big Pharma. (Well, who wouldn’t?) The Murdoch Press has the Premier of Victoria, who is stubbornly refusing to lie down, Muslims and other victims of a civilisation that is not deemed to be Western (although all the major religions of the West come from the East), scientists who peskily worry about their findings, and anyone whose ideology allows them to be sane about saving human life from a mortal illness. This last is a form of madness imported by those on the Murdoch edge directly from their brothers and sisters at Fox News and is particularly sought after by those whose minds have been launched into eternity on one-way tramlines coming straight out of sullen think tanks. Their rallying cry was given by a Governor of one of the stricken Dakotas: ‘My people are happy because they are free.’ (Well, yes, m ’Lady, they are also dying, but what’s a spot of death between Comrades of the Pure in Spirit?) And all of us have all that modern technology and those dreadful pretty boys who have got so filthily rich on our debasement. So that when you get China, high tech that is all-invasive, and a big corporation that is all-pervasive, you get Open Sesame for the Conspiracy Theorists’ Dream Team. What, then, about the outgoing President of the U S A? It’s a veritable smorgasbord. (His family did come from that part of the world, but he lies about that, too.) He has the Muslims, the Mexicans, the migrants, the media – or just about all of it, including now Fox News – the Ivy League set, the military, the FBI, the CIA, the medical profession and any other scientist, and any activist, that is any person who threatens his view of law and order, or who threatens to demean a photo op of his standing before a church, that he has never been inside, with a silly look on his face, holding a book that he has never read and could not understand, the way having been made safe for him and his ensainted daughter and her handbag by the Army of the United States in full battle gear. And above all, he has it in for any person who is better educated than him. Since this includes almost everyone else in America, it is a very big problem indeed – not least because the most educated person of the whole bloody lot of them was a man of colour with a wife who can think, both of whom in a moment of madness the people of America put into that bloody white house on Pennsylvania Avenue. It just goes to prove that old saying – even paranoiacs have real enemies.
And very best wishes for Christmas and 2021 – and no one is sorry to say good bye to 2020 – and at least we are still above the ground – and, yes, Australians picked a good time to do the right thing for all of us.