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Wilf Cude, ‘Late Stage Democracy,’ contd.

pledged to take “direct action” against “global Islamic jihad.” He was arrested a mile from the scene shortly thereafter. And a few days later, the British electorate voted, 52% to 48%, to leave the European Union. Jo Cox was martyred at age 41 for her quiet advocacy of reasoned public discourse. The first of her family to graduate from university, an aid worker in Sudan for ten years, a young woman happily married with two children, a novice Labour MP passionate about community, the European Union and the benefits of immigration, she is remembered in The Economist as “idealistic, diligent, likeable and rooted in her Yorkshire constituency,” a genuine “living rebuttal” to prevailing cynicism about politicians. But Thomas Mair, appearing in court at age 52 to proclaim himself “death to traitors, freedom to Britain,” is only another living, frothing testimony to the LSD demonic that can be unleashed once rationality is suppressed. A search of his home revealed newspaper clippings about Cox and publications emanating from extremist right-wing and white-supremacist organizations: the usual underpinnings for such unbalanced acts. And as for the collective unbalanced act of Brexit itself, the evidence isn’t encouraging. Only a few days after the vote, David Cameron had resigned, Nigel Farage had resigned, Boris Johnson had withdrawn his candidacy to become Prime Minister, and Michael Gove had soon thereafter followed suit. The fatuous architects of Brexit slunk away, revealed as politically impotent, bereft of the vaguest notion of what to do next. And some of the angry, impoverished regions like Cornwall that voted for Brexit swiftly experienced buyer’s remorse upon learning that they were also forfeiting hundreds of millions in European Union development funding. And the wreckage spread beyond divided England, first into Scotland and Northern Ireland contemplating separation from the United Kingdom, then into the European Union where the rebuffed leadership seemed resolved to make Brexit as difficult as possible, and then farther into North America with the Canadian-European free trade agreement placed in jeopardy. At this stage, it’s not possible to predict how bad it will all get, or how anything can be done to put matters right. Which can only emphasize the thoroughly terrifying scenario unfolding on the other side of the Atlantic, as LSD in America braces itself to respond to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. It should in fact be modern democracy’s most classic no-brainer thus far. How could any responsible citizen ever 16 dialogue

AUTUMN 2016, VOL. 30, NO. 1

contemplate voting for such an utterly repellent human being? Never before has the United States come up with anyone so irredeemably unsuited in every conceivable way for the nation’s highest office. “There is something rotten at the core of this man,” Charles M. Blow wrote in the 22 August, 2016 New York Times, “that no length of script or turn of phrase can ameliorate.” Nevertheless, the arrogant, ignorant, obnoxious buffoon who first seemed such a joke entering the Republican primaries soon proved alarmingly adept at manipulating the triad of irrational fascist staples: hatred and fear and nationalist fantasy. “Build the wall” against invading hordes of Mexican rapists, drug dealers and killers. Deport eleven million (presumably) illegal immigrants, men women, children, all guilty of stealing (white) American jobs. Cancel international free trade agreements like NAFTA, eviscerate an international cornerstone of western security like NATO, repudiate national and international attempts to address climate change. Insist repeatedly that climate change itself is a huge Chinese scam to undercut American commerce (but don’t mention that while visiting flood-stricken Louisiana for a photo op.) Dismiss scientists, economists, military and security professionals, experts: what do they know? Trust HIM, Donald Trump, “The Donald,” author of the (ghost-written) best-selling Art of the Deal, the business magician who squeezed billions (millions?) out of multiple bankruptcies, who will gesture hypnotically, wave his fable-inducing hands in the air, and “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.” It’s all unbelievable political Looney Tunes. And to prevail, it must first somehow discredit or otherwise eliminate Hillary Clinton, who in a normal democratic election would be a formidable adversary. She is everything Trump is not: a former United States senator, a former Secretary of State, a skilled diplomat with considerable achievements, a dedicated champion of sustainable health care, realistic environmentalism, sensible gun control, equitable welfare, and minority and women’s rights. Her candidacy is supported by hosts of respected public figures: artists, scientists, economists, current and former diplomats, and military and security professionals. In this election, she is the only rational choice: however, in this LSD election, she is also both target and victim of an ever-escalating stream of mendacious and vindictive malice. The Republican-dominated House inquiry into her role in the Benghazi incident wasted millions of dollars, consumed years of futile investigations, and – after exhausting every ugly expedient – yielded nothing. The Fox News hysteria over assumed improprieties in the Clinton Foundation, a charity with an impeccable record, faltered when CNN reported that independent charity …/ www.dialogue.ca

Dialogue Vol.30, No.1 digital edition  

Canada's unique volunteer-produced magazine for ideas, insights, critical thinking & radical imagination - shared in letters, essays, storie...

Dialogue Vol.30, No.1 digital edition  

Canada's unique volunteer-produced magazine for ideas, insights, critical thinking & radical imagination - shared in letters, essays, storie...

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