Wednesday, 23 November 2016

"They've all come to look for America"

No one should be the least bit surprised at footage which has emerged in recent days of American neo nazis and other assorted right wing headbangers greeting Donald Trump's election victory with fascist salutes and ecstatic cries of "hail trump"

Throughout the Republican primaries and the presidential campaign itself there was plenty of evidence of groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi party supporting trump, and we can be sure any self respecting American neo fascist flogged themselves to a standstill on Trump's behalf on November 8th.Of course Donald Trump isn't himself directly responsible for the activities of America's racist far right - and he has on occasions condemned such people - but he certainly could have done more to disown them. And his appointment of the Alt-Right guru Steve Bannon to his oval office team has not done much to reassure people that racists and America's hard right won't have Trump's ear during his presidency

Aside from impromptu outbursts of support for Trump on show during the leaked video perhaps the most staggering thing about it however is the sheer ignorance of those involved.The speaker Richard Spencer asserts that "until this generation America's history was white" - er has he never heard of a group of people called native Americans? There used to be millions of them right across what we now call America, before their numbers were decimated by disease, war and persecution from... ahem... white European invaders.

Today we would call the treatment suffered by native americans following the arrival of european settlers by it's proper name - genocide! Oh and the millions of black people literally stolen from Africa, enslaved and made to work for nothing might have made a contribution to America's history and its emergence as the most powerful nation on the earth too. But let's face it historical ignorance and right wing bigots are perfect bedfellows so the drivel spouted by the likes of Spencer is par for the course. But alas as we saw following the result of the EU referendum in the UK - where racists have greeted the result as a signal to increase violent attacks on non british nationals - Trump's victory has buoyed racist thugs in the US too and there has been a sharp spike in hate crimes since November 8th. And this in a country where white policeman shooting unarmed black people had already become almost routine.

Another ominous sign of what a Trump presidency will look like can be seen in his early treatment of the press. Still smarting from some of the coverage he received from the press during the election Trump has been quick to exact his revenge on some prominent US papers and journalists by refusing to grant interviews and trashing them in public. This is not a surprise of course - Trump has a reputation for seeking revenge on those whom he believes have wronged him. But now he has the power to go after his enemies in a way he could only dream of before. And this sobering point was made before Trump was elected and by one of the people who perhaps knows Trump best - author of his biography Tony Schwartz. Schwartz warned that if elected Trump will make the spiteful and sinister presidency of Richard Nixon look positively benign, even speculating that Trump would impose martial law in the US if he was presented with an opportunity to do so. Americans cant say they haven't been warned.

Course Trump has been lobbying this week for his number one british fan Nigel Farage to be appointed UK Ambassador to the US, an invitation that was thankfully quickly rebuffed by 'her majesty's government'. Presumably Trump's brazen lobbying on Farage's behalf was his reward for the slavish support he has given Trump over the last 12 months. Indeed one of the curious things about Farage and other right wing 'transatlantacists' like Nigel Lawson and Aaron Banks is that while they made great play during the referendum campaign of leaving the EU so Britain could 'get its sovereignty back' you can be certain that if tomorrow donald trump proposed making the UK the 51st state the likes of Farage and Banks would leap at the chance.

Let's face it with a legal system which still sentences people to death, where private health insurance is the norm, where racial inequalities would shame apartheid south africa and where trade unions have been completely marginalised the contemporary US is the kind of society the kippers and their neo thatcherite buddies can only dream of - and the kind of state they will create here if they get the chance.

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