Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The screams of Trump

This week's INM Irish regional newspapers' column

Michael Commane
Up until last Wednesday if you did a Google search of the word 'father' first up was 'Father Ted'. That changed on Wednesday. On that day the search resulted in the name 'Fr Jacques Hamel' appearing on the screen. Fr Jacques, the 86-year-old priest who was brutally murdered by 'radicalised' young men.

A neighbour, who knew Fr Jacques said: "The man was a very good man, this man did his job to the very end. He was old but always available to everyone."

Shocking and words can't adequately describe the horror.

What's going on in the world?

Is it just because it is now in our backyard that we are getting worried. What's been going on for years across the middle east? How many people are dying daily in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan? We shrug our shoulders. 

The killings of young black men and the shooting dead of police officers in the United States have certainly attracted our attention.

In that mix there has been the arrival of Donald Trump. He shouts and roars. He promises to build a wall between the US and Mexico. He  has other plans too. Among them is to make America great again. Is America not great enough. Last week at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia Mrs Michelle Obama eloquently pointed out that America is great. She  went on to say that it's the greatest country on earth.

There seems to be an element or sense of violence surrounding Donald Trump. Maybe it's just an election gimmick to win the vote. Or is it more than that? Watching the Republican convention in Cleveland the previous week with all the screaming and roaring, maybe mass hysteria, one could easily think back to Hitler's N├╝rnberg rallies. Is that too harsh? I don't think so.

The management team at Mercedes said that Hitler was a clown but they also agreed that German industry would be able to control him if he became chancellor.

In France people who would never have considered voting for Marine Le Pen are now openly saying they will vote for her. In Germany the right wing AfD are a betting certainty to make big wins in German state and federal elections. They want to topple the 'political elite'. 

It seems that the 'political elite' is despised and once a politician says that they must be brought down a peg or two then they are sure to gain votes. Is that not part of the Brexit phenomenon?

It was difficult listening to Boris Johnson, Ian Duncan Smith and Michael Gove castigating the 'political elite'. Who are they?

The  'political elite' is a new war cry, a new sort of hash tag. One can blame 'them' for everything. And you can use whatever means you like to get rid of them. Is it some sort of populism gone mad? And all the time there seems to be an underlying violence lurking there or thereabouts. It's scary.

Presenters on US right-wing radio stations are ratcheting up the level of hatred against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Wasn't it at the Republican convention that the crowd was heard screaming 'Lock her up, lock her up.' The 'her' was Hillary Clinton.

What effect does that sort of language have on young men and women, especially those with unsound minds? Is that not a form of 'radicalising'? The difference this time is that those doing the roaring and screaming are on 'our side'.

Two wrongs don't make a right. Revenge never works. We need leaders with a calm touch, wise women and men, who will serve the people who elect them.

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