2007 - 2022

Beyond Satire



As we shudder towards some kid of American Weimar we have three ideas about how to respond to and understand the Trump phenomenon.

The Narcissist Self

It’s important (but difficult) not to get caught in the hypnotic headlights of the Trump spectacle. He is just one man, if indeed rich, absurd grotesque and powerful. We need to see beyond the individual and through to the set of values he represents, the broken political system he emerged from and the economic dislocation and desperation that exists for this to be the answer. The media thrives on celebrity culture and personality, we must try to drag the issue back again and again to his politics, his networks, and the class of people and interests he represents.

He has not come from nowhere. He has come from a political movement and he will be opposed and removed by a political movement.

Real Life Fascism

Organisers felt the need to ‘ban nazi salutes’ at the DeploreaBall Trump celebration.

While some of this is pantomime – much of it is real active proto-fascist organising with real-life consequences for millions of American as the touch paper is lit to a nation already riddled with racist law-enforcement and a rampant far-right emboldened by well-groomed media operators masquerading as ‘alternative media’.

We should be careful not to sleep-walk into fascism for want of not looking cool and stylishly apathetic.

Beyond Satire

Matt Groening said last month: “Back in 2000 Trump was, of course, the most absurd placeholder joke name that we could think of at the time and that’s still true. It’s beyond satire.”

Indeed it is but as the world succumbs to absurdism we should be vigilant against the impending tyranny, chauvinism and violence. Decades of gains for women, people of colour, the LGBT community and the poorest sections of society are at risk, and the ripple-effect across the Atlantic should not be underestimated both in the language of the far-right and the more concrete economics that will inevitably infect our politics. Atlantacism has long been a hallmark of the British political elite (both Labour and Tory) and that has no been turbo-charged by the Brexit fiasco.

It may be beyond satire but it’s happening.

Comments (10)

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  1. Willie says:

    Accurate observations but do you not think that the economic and indeed democratic dislocation that exists here in our own little quarter could be fertile feedstock to grow our own alt right. We drink the same water, breath the same air, and in truth our populist sentiments develop from the same drivers that elected Trump, supported Farage, or indeed allowed one Adolph Hitler to thrive. Mrs May and Ms Sturgeon’s inability to mitigate dislocation may well be the catalyst.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      …or perhaps not.

  2. Jo says:

    I honestly think the analysing has gone on needlessly because basically the people of America were peed right off and decided to deliver a huge shock. I think many of them were also deeply insulted that people actually thought they’d vote for Clinton since she represents, pretty much, all they’re sick of.

    I watched a documentary recently from a part of Virginia where the poverty was pretty shocking. Trump was the first politician who’d gone anywhere near them in years. Most of them claimed they’d been forgotten about.

    We need to see how things go but I really wouldn’t panic yet. Indeed, I’d have been more panicked had Clinton won the election! I’ve never been more relieved that someone lost.

  3. Gaga Glasgow says:

    I’m sorry, but I need to disagree with the very little you propose in this article. I don’t think there’s any real prospect of the US evolving into a fascist or Nazi country. And I haven’t heard Trump talking about rescinding any of the rights won by any of the groups you mentioned.

    I think the people who will be most disappointed by Trump are those who expect him to do all this insanely stupid stuff.

    I thought the emphasis in Trump’s speech on creating jobs for ordinary people was interesting. He didn’t need to push that boat any farther out, but he did.

    Wouldn’t it be quite hilarious if this proto-fascist billionaire managed to do what the red tories and liberals have been pretending to aspire to (all over the world) for the last few decades and he actually managed to stimulate US industry & manufacturing?

    I’ve always suspected that it would (with genuine political will) be not only possible but quite easy for any of the advanced economies to rekindle their manufacturing and industrial sectors. The Germans didn’t give theirs up, after all, neither did Japan or Korea, and that suggests political forces were at work rather than historical.

    Liberals and the left generally should be afraid, very afraid, because of Donald Trump can stimulate a moribund industrial base then Donald Duck probably could too and that means the luvvies have been taking the Mickey…

  4. bringiton says:

    Trump is going in one direction,isolationism.
    Where does that leave May’s B/S about global trading?
    I predict a very short future for May as leader of the “free” world.
    Should have gone to EuroSavers.

    1. c rober says:

      Both May and Trumps speeches this week sound eerily similar to me .

  5. James Dow says:

    Trump displays a lot of Scottish traits inherited from his mother, I think they will stand him in good stead as POTUS. I think he will prove to be one of Americas most significant Presidents ever. A lot of people swayed by the MSM to despise Donald are going to owe him a massive apology, that is if they had any integrity in the first instance.

    1. c rober says:

      well if you havent met a snake oil man of course he will have customers.

      1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

        c rober, congratulations on your increasing discipline in your commenting!

    2. Graeme Purves says:

      …except that even his close aides are disloyally briefing that he’s bonkers.

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