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Trumpism semantics
by Thanos Kalamidas
2017-01-19 10:49:15
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The last few weeks I have quietly been watching the drama unveiling with its centre in USA and the rest of world in standby mode waiting to see what’s coming. There is a lot of speculation, none of it positive, and a lot of bad signs, most of them reflecting our ultimate fears. How much is true, nobody knows, probably because lately we all have lost the sense of truth. We don’t know any more what’s true and what is a lie. There is total confusion not only between truth and lies, but in all aspects including responsibilities.

thano01_400We talk about freedom of speech and the same time we attack the essence of free speech, the press. We talk about democracy and the same time we use democracy to give alibi to her enemies. We are talking about values while we have diminished every single value ourselves.

I know that I’m going to upset some of you but Donald Trump is NOT something that came suddenly and surprisingly stormed into our democracies to destroy everything, he is not the peak of the iceberg either. He is a reality we all helped to build. And sadly we did so often defending democracy, freedom of speech and liberal ideals. 

Today I happened to read something a commissioner of Georgia’s Gwinnett County, Republican Tommy Hunter, wrote in his social media page, “John Lewis is a racist pig. There ain’t one political pundit that didn’t say on November 9 that this would be Demonrats EXACT response to Trump winning. Like I heard Rush, I believe say, Demonrats DO NOT live in reality. They believe polls were right and THE REAL VOTES were wrong. What a bunch of idiots.” I suppose the ‘Demonrats’ is not a grammar mistake but an intentional insult.

I could have picked any of the dozens of daily Donald Trump messages in Twitter or any fragment of any of his inner cycle buddies, none of them would have summarized so well the semantics of what’s going on this minute in USA and the rest of the world. Stay with me, I will try to explain sentence per sentence what I mean.

Tommy Hunter by calling John Lewis racist, is racist per se. He uses intentionally the word “racist” as an insult against a man who dedicated his life to the war against racism. In a way it is just like when Trump mocked the handicapped journalist. As far John Lewis, the US Representative opposes, as his democratic ethics oblige him, a man who he considers incapable to become president of the USA. This is not racism, this is actually democracy. However by calling John Lewis a racist, Tommy Hunter hints that Donald Trump is a representative of a race and not of the American people as a whole. He is actually telling us that Trump is reprehending the white race in the White House and whoever attacks him is doing it for that.

Of course Mr Hunter had to add in the end the word “pig”. Mr Lewis is a racist pig. So, Mr Hunter not only racistly insults Mr Lewis using Mr Lewis’ personal history to diminish him, but he also shows supremacy by reducing him to a pig.

Then Mr Hunter calls all “political pundits” as witnesses that every Democrat would react badly to Trump’s victory. Actually this is a gigantic lie. The first few days after November 9th, most of the “pundits” and especially the Republican and pro-Trump media, print and especially online, felt relief with the fact that most Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and President Obama, not only accepted the outcome but they also volunteered to help him during the transition period. In fact it was Donald Trump who publicly and loudly pointed out Hillary’s and the Democratic Party’s gratitude, emphasizing that slogans like “lock her up” should stop here and now. A lot of Democrats – and not Hillary or the Party – started reacting when they realized that they had actually won by nearly 3 million votes the election and they had lost the Presidency due to constitutional twists and fear.

Funny thing here, Trump and all the Trumpists had often accused the Electoral College as antidemocratic and rigged before the victory with Donald often demanding a change in the procedures.

Again, the word “Demonrats”, a reference to demons – the absolute evil – and rats – the disgusting rodent still connected with the Black Death of the Dark Ages and every kind of illness and death – is not only to diminish semantically the opposite party but also to demonize and give a picture that triggers superstitions, therefore prejudice and discrimination.

Trying to excuse his boasting, continuing Mr Hunter declares that “Demonrats” do not live in reality. Emphasizing by separation the ‘not’. The question here is if by “Demonrats” the commissioner identifies the Democratic Party per se or everybody who voted for the Democratic Party, there for 3 million more people than the ones who voted for the Republican Party? Adding in the end that “polls were right and THE REAL VOTES were wrong”. So according to Mr Tommy Hunter, what the American voters voted is insignificant to what the Electoral College voted which apparently is the only REAL VOTES. So why do people vote? Does Mr Hunter and by extension Mr Trump feel happy not having the people’s vote? They need only the votes that REALLY count? And how far they could have gone since in front of the takeover of the presidency nothing matters, would they have gone so far as to organize a coup? And since they don’t care for the popular vote and approval, how do they think that they will earn obedience and respect from the citizens?

And to emphasize a deeply dividing message, Mr Tommy Hunter ends with a typical bully ending. What a bunch of idiots. Again the significant of the semantics. He feels majority so the opposition is a bunch. A gang, a crew. And since they are idiots he is sure that he is the clever one. Again the diminishing insult.

So let’s summarize. Racism, personal insults, ignorance on what democracy is, lies, provocations, prejudice, demonization, discrimination, self-centrism, narcissism, arrogance, deeply divided.

Mr Tommy Hunter is NOT a director in the local private country club or the local snooker association. Mr Tommy Hunter is a commissioner of Georgia’s Gwinnett County. An elected member of the county, elected from a certain party but representing all the people of the county. He is a representative of the people to serve their interests in  public service. He is not a representative of a white supremacy group or Donald Trump personally. Now think. Would Mr Hunter have said publicly anything similar during the Ronald Reagan era? And my generation peers know very well what I mean when I say Reagan era. Would Mr Hunter have said publicly the same during Bush senior or G. W. Bush era? The answer is, only if he was one of the directors in a local private country club or the local snooker association, NEVER if he held a public service position. And that because his party first would have challenged him for all the above reasons, the people of the county would have reacted, the local media would have called it a scandal and the local prosecutor would have called on him to apologize, threatening serious punishment.

The media haven’t failed, they defend freedom of speech and they are fighting a battle leaving a lot of dead bodies behind. Their battle was never limited to USA, Germany or Japan. Their war is global, from Russia to Zimbabwe and from Finland to Turkey. And when I say dead bodies I mean it literally. This is the second week in 2017 and we already count one journalist dead in Pakistan because somebody didn’t like what he was writing. There are tens in Erdogan’s prisons, in Putin’s prisons, in Mugabe’s prisons. There are thousands all around the world that are in danger of discrimination, imprisonment and death all the time.

But the last few years we have street calling or better confusing media with profiteering private organizations that serve personal agendas through political obsessions. Piers Morgan writes for the Daily Mail and he is very critical to anybody who opposes Donald Trump, including John Lewis, but writing for the Daily Mail doesn’t automatically make Piers Morgan a journalist. He is a celebrity who attracts a certain readership, serving the pockets of Jonathan Harmsworth and the shareholders of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc, a group of magazines and newspapers known for one thing and only: celebrity gossip. Mr Morgan is allowed to have a personal opinion and make it public but he is NOT a journalist and he is NOT representing the media. The same exactly applies to thousands others all around the world who the last years have self-baptized journalists and media people. Pippa Middleton had a cooking and party column for a brief period in a magazine, that didn’t automatically made her a journalist.

So, before we start blaming the media and journalism for fake news, we have better understand and identify fake journalism and fake media. Actually all the fake news – especially the ones Mr Trump so often uses – come from fake media, conspiracy theorists and special guests on trash TV talk shows. And this didn’t happen magically and surprisingly in 2016. This started a long time ago, probably in the end of the 20th century when TV news became talk shows, competing which one will invite the most grotesque and eccentric guests and reality TV started giving contemporary information all for the profit of the owner and the shareholders. The problem started when the audience lost their critical eye to understand the difference between real and fake. When they used the remote-control only for zapping instead of shutting down this impetuous torrent of constantly misleading information.

And we did that in the name of freedom of speech. Actually we did many mistakes in the name of freedom of speech. We gave space to all kind of fascists, liars, xenophobes, and racists, scared that if we don’t, we will be accused of …discrimination. We gave space to the proven rapist and the murderer to unveil their fake defence. It wasn’t me judge, it was her, she was wearing sexy clothes. That’s why I raped her and because she tried to escape I had to kill her. It was her mini skirt to blame, I’m innocent judge.

That’s something we let happen. Michaloliakos in Greece, Le Pen in France, Soini in Finland, Beppe Grillo in Italy, Geert Wilders in Holland and so many others all around the world should have never found a step to spread their lies for the simple reason they are liars and they are consciously willing to lie so they can get the power they want so much. Hitler has taught us that, Mussolini has taught us that, Michaloliakos and Wilders showing us now, this minute. Lying is a principal for the fascists, a principal they take pride in and Hitler manifested in his book.

In Greece this last year there is a court case going on with the whole leadership of the fascist and Nazi Golden Dawn including its leader Niko Michaloliakos for the barbaric and cowardice murder of a young activist. During the procedure the “proud” leadership of the Nazi nationalist party has rejected everything they preached all this time. They actually dismissed even things they wrote and said while waiting for the court. They actually try to present themselves as quiet Christian family men. Just like Hitler did in the courtroom after the coup in Munich. Do you know where the twist is? That we let them do it because if we stop them we are afraid that we will be accused for infringing their right to freedom of speech. And yes they can say whatever they like and in the name of freedom of speech will be televised and transmitted through the social media and the citizens will start wonder: if they give them a public and so open step to defend themselves and say whatever it is they say, so they might be right and innocent.

Conclusion? Donald Trump the 45th President of USA.

Parenthetically a coincidence here. From Le Pen to Michaloliakos and from Wilders to Trump, why all of them think that Putin is a great leader, they all agree that the sanctions are wrong, they all feel that Russia need …breathing space and why do they all want improved relations with Moscow? Coincidences.

But returning to my points, we have all seriously wounded our democracies. With the political parties holding the biggest responsibility for that. Can anybody tell me today what ideologically represents the British Conservative party? What about the Labour Party? The Social Democrats in Germany, the Moderates in Sweden, the left alliance in Greece or the Centre party in Finland? They all have some holy scripts from their long forgotten past, but in reality all of them represent one and only thing, their thirst for power. Who sits in the primeministerial seat. That’s exactly what they represent. And while they are in the primeministerial seat, the only thig they do is diminish the opposition and while in opposition they boycott everything the governing party brings. They don’t fulfil their immediate obligation, to serve the people.

What does the Republican Party have to present in USA the last eight years? A constant bipartisan war against anything Obama suggested. Do they care how the people feel about the Obamacare – which actually I believe that it was the name that doomed it and not the plan per se – and if the program has actually helped? No, what they care about is that Obama came with it and actually took his name. Reality this minute – when they moved to dissolve it proved that nobody really knew what this Obamacare was about. When they realized that Obamacare and the Affordable Care was the same thing they were in shock and nowadays more and more Republicans call their party to stop dissolving it.

Actually there is an irony about this Obamacare case. The people who will be hurt more if it will be dissolved it will be exactly the people who voted for Trump, the people who screamed at Trump’s campaign “kill Obamacare” and the people who actually use it more than anybody else. You just need to have a closer look to understand. Poor Americans – the majority African Americans – they are poor to the point that they live from hand to mouth. They cannot spare even this minimum for the Obamacare. The same applies for most immigrants. Illegals cannot use it by definition. So what is left? Poor white Americans. Mainly rednecks. Donald Trump voters. They are the first to be hurt with the dissolving of the Obamacare.

One of Donald Trump’s major promises, often repeated during his campaign and oddly is the same promise most populist fascist leaders give all around the world, is that he will clean up the capital from the corrupted politicians and lobbyists. A quick look at his choices for his cabinet and advisors plus his daughter, son in law is enough to understand that he didn’t mean clean-up but replacement with a different interests lobby. Corruption is a funny word when you put it next to Trump’s name. Actually Trump establishes a precedent for every single corrupted civil servant all around the world. It has already been announced that Donald Trump is going to president a meeting with all his representatives all around the world ten days after his inauguration. This meeting per se is the essence of corruption. When he will speak to them he will not be the president of a private company, but the President of USA and they automatically become his ambassadors without the legal status but with the power. When they will make any business deal in the future it will not be a business deal between a private organization and a state or another organization it will be a deal with the chief of the mightiest army on earth. Perhaps it is all about ethics but corruption is all about ethics. After this every single corrupted civil servant will excuse the briber as a good will present for doing his or her work. The perfect alibi? The 45th President of USA.

Till now we’ve been dealing with all that in a quiet tone scared that anything we do might hurt our principals for democracy and freedom of speech. But it is exactly these principles that dictate reaction. For the students of history, when Hitler first came in power the first reaction was, don’t do anything it is all talk. After millions of dead souls in the consecration camps and a world war later, we all know that it was not just words. I’m not saying that Trump is Hitler, but what I’m saying is that he is a dangerous man and we must stop him before he does something serious.

John Lewis is absolutely right and his message is universal and not limited to USA. Trump and the Trumps of this world must be stopped. It is our obligation never to legitimize them. By legitimizing them we legitimize racism, prejudice, discrimination, inequality. No, there is NO more chances for Donald Trump. He wasted them eight years ago when he gave one million dollars to the one who would bring him the “real” birth certificate and he wasted it again when he insisted that he has proof that Obama is lying and he is Muslim. That was eight years ago. And for Mr Tommy Hunter’s acquaintances and comrades, they must wish and pray to whatever white gods they believe in that Americans will not realize who has won and how, because I’m afraid his dividing message will have him on the victims’ side from his own alikes.

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Emanuel Paparella2017-01-19 13:34:38
In the end the people get the government they deserve, if for no other reason than for failing to be more vigilant and diligent! That’s a great point Thanos, on which, unfortunately, we have not sufficiently reflected. It remains the duty of the media to stress it constantly, especially when democracy and free speech are at risk.

Indeed, it is the media’s duty to imitate the boy who had the honesty and courage to tell the truth and shout that the emperor went around naked, while everybody else praised his sartorial splendor.

Representative John Lewis is the only one who has given us that kind of example so far among politicians. Few will find that courage unless the media is the first to supply the needed hope and confidence.

Another relevant point made in the above editorial piece is that the very person who for five whole years went around slandering and reprehensibly calling illegitimate his own president, now resents being branded illegitimate himself and needs to rebuff those who point that out with tweets and insolent insults. But, alas, illegitimate he remains, given the incontrovertible Russian blatant interference in the US presidential elections.

Senator Mc Cain ought to be a bit more logical and less hypocritical on the matter: while he decries the interference of Russia and wishes to return to Cold War times, he fails to notice the illegitimacy. Indeed, what goes around, eventually comes around. Some call it karma; others call it history repeating itself, and all the more to confront those who ignore its warnings.

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