Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Welcoming Boris Johnson

I trust that I am not alone, but the media reaction to Boris Johnson’s ascent feels like deja vu all over again. After the calamitous tenure of Theresa May, media commentators have declared Johnson to be the worst of the worst, an incompetent liar and fraud, a self-important demagogue who cares only for himself. Where have we heard that before?

You know exactly where we heard that. It replicates, if not to the word, at least to the meme, the media commentary about President Donald Trump. Note well. It’s not a question of agreeing or disagreeing about policy. It’s about the man himself. And it’s about showering the man himself with a fusillade of rhetorical hyperbole, to the point where he will be spending half of his time swatting away incoming fire.

To be fair, it’s much easier to attack the man than to debate the policy. Attacking the man requires nothing more than a glib insouciance and a flagrant shamelessness… in competing to see who can conjure the most outrageous epithets, the most appalling caricatures. He’s Hitler, we are assured. And if that is not enough, he’s worse than Hitler. Why he’s even worse than someone who is worse than Hitler.

After a while, it becomes tedious. People turn off. They recognize rhetorical hyperbole for what it is. Character assassination, plain and simple. In Trump’s case, and now in Johnson’s case, it precedes any governing activity. With Trump it has continued throughout his presidency, regardless. The general populace will either tune it out or become addicted to it. If addicted, it will require a daily fix.

Leftist politicians and media commentators have been driven into a frenzy. It’s of a piece with their normal frenzy about the coming climate apocalypse. Since America and Great Britain are certainly not the greatest offenders in the matter of atmospheric gas, it makes sense that politicians would pretend that it is. If they are really that worried about greenhouse gasses, they might repair to China and India, to explain to the world’s greatest polluters that they must do something to stop their rape of the climate… lest the world come to an end.

Both authoritarian China and democratic India seem not to be alarmed. Many important climate scientists, like Richard Lindzen, are not alarmed either. From that we conclude that the shrieks about the coming climate apocalypse are political theatre, designed to gin up voter turnout. They need to be assured that every last tree-hugger will show up to vote in November next year.

Has it ever occurred to you that the cries of outrage over a recent “racist” Donald Trump tweet are more designed to incite an essential Democratic voting bloc-- that is minority voters-- to turn out in greater numbers. I am not saying that Trump is not responsible for his tweets. I am not saying that he ought to gain a better control over language before he distracts the world from his achievements. Even if Trump is baiting people on purpose, the truth is, most of his tweets are cringe worthy. When the media world and your opponents are out to get you, don’t buy them the ammunition.

If you think that Trump is bad, surely Boris Johnson is worse. That he is taking over a mess created by his predecessor has escaped the ken of most commentators. After all, he is an unabashed nationalist, which means that he is a fascist to the core, ready to bring fascism to Britain. As we speak he is ready to open the concentration camps. You know, the ones that notable imbecile Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes exist on our own Southern border.

Take sane and sober Financial Times columnist, Gideon Rachman. Greeting the pending advent of Johnson yesterday he first paid lip service to the fact that neither Trump nor Johnson are Hitler or Mussolini. Then he started finding specious analogies:

The complaints by today’s populists that a “deep state” in the US and Britain is thwarting the will of the people is reminiscent of Haffner’s description of the far-right in Germany in the 1920s: “With deep hatred they coined the word ‘system’ for the impalpable force that held them within bounds . . . For the moment, at least, they were held within bounds.”

Commenting on a memoir by Sebastian Haffner, called Defying Hitler, Rachman continues:

So, looking back to 1933, the year Hitler became German chancellor, Haffner notes that, “The chancellor could daily utter the vilest abuse against the Jews.” But, on the other hand, “the process of the law was not changed at all.” Germany’s institutions and checks-and-balances were still in place. So is it a mistake to believe that the violent rhetoric of an authoritarian leader matters less than the institutions of the state?

After saying that Trump and Johnson are not just like Hitler and Mussolini, Rachman explains how they are:

The US president has just told black, Hispanic and Muslim congresswomen to “go back” to the “places from which they came”. Britain’s likely incoming prime minister has said that Muslim women wearing the niqab look like letter boxes. But it still seems unimaginable that storm troopers might one day drive minority groups out of public places.

Bigotry of bigotries, all is bigotry. Rachman, his mind addled by God only knows what, does not remark that the Gang of Four congresswomen has been leading the march toward anti-Semitism. They have helped make anti-Semitism respectable. As you know, more than a few American Jews, like Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League have stood up to defend them against the charge of anti-Semitism. Because, don’t you know, Trump is Hitler. What could be more Hitlerian than aiding and abetting Israel, than siding with Israel in the war with Palestinian terrorism? Someone should learn how to think, but, in today’s hyperemotional climate that feels like a pipe dream.

And, why the outrage against Boris Johnson for standing up against a visible instrument of female oppression. Dare we note that Johnson was a far more successful mayor of London than his weak and feckless successor, Sadiq Khan?

When you look at the situation in Europe, you discover that anti-Semitism has been rising, led primarily by Muslim migrants. Thanks to the open-arms policies of Western European nations, the continent is heading toward becoming “Judenrein.” Joel Kotkin explained where the fault lies in a recent article:

Progressives and the media prefer to blame anti-Semitism primarily on Europe’s deplorables, but the far right does not constitute the only, or even the primary threat, to European Jews. A detailed survey from the University of Oslo found that in Scandinavia, Germany, Britain, and France, most anti-Semitic violence comes from Muslims, including recent immigrants. Similarly a poll of European Jews found the majority of incidents of anti-Semitism came from either Muslims or from the left; barely 13% traced it to right-wingers. Violence against Jews is worst in places like the migrant dominated suburbs of Paris orMalmo in Sweden. Yet while one type of anti-Semitism festers in Malmo, in Germany several different varieties flourish as right-wing Holocaust deniers inch closer to the political establishment, Islamist attacks against Jews become more common, and a left-wing pro-BDS party gains power in the country.

Pro-BDS… that would be pro the anti-Semitic group that wants to destroy Israel through boycotting, divestment and sanctioning. As you know, the Gang of Four, and especially the disgraceful bigot, Rep. Ilhan Omar recently introduced a pro-BDS resolution into the House of Representatives.

So, Trump, for fighting the good fight against anti-Semitism becomes tarred with an association to Hitler. And Jews in America go to the barricades to defend a squad that wants to destroy them. I will not say that we are living in interesting times, but we are certainly living in times where rational thought has all but disappeared from the emotionally overwrought politicians and commentators.

As for Johnson, being as Iran has recently hijacked a British oil tanker, he might well be led to withdraw from the famous Obama-led Iran nuclear deal. The United States has already withdrawn and has imposed crippling sanctions on the anti-Semitic regime in Tehran. In a frank assertion of pathetic weakness Western Europe-- both from the political left and the political right-- has been trying to keep the deal alive. Right now it’s on life support. As is Iran.

If Johnson pulls Britain out of the deal, then the world’s leading state sponsor of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic terrorism will suffer yet another blow. While Obama wanted to empower Iran, while he funded its terrorist activities, especially those directed by Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel, while the Gang of Four and a multitude of politicians wants to cling to this piece of the Obama legacy, Trump, for one has taken a stand against it. Will Johnson follow suit? Time will tell.

Sounds Hitlerian, doesn’t it?


David Foster said...

"But it still seems unimaginable that storm troopers might one day drive minority groups out of public places."

In the US, storm troopers are driving minority *political opinion* groups out of public places, and beating them up, on a weekly basis. Not to mention getting them fired from their jobs. Rachman is evidently too blind to see this, or maybe he doesn't care or positively approves.

I have read Haffner, and it is obscene to use his writing and experiences to make the arguments that Rachman is making. Indeed, he (Haffner) needs to be much more widely read and understood. I reviewed his memoir here:


Regarding all the talk about 'dog whistles' and 'tropes', the assumptions seems to be the Pavlovian / Skinnerian one that people respond only to individual words and short phrases, but not the semantic meaning of verbal communications. I can assure them, if you read the statements about Jews by Hitler and other Nazis, you don't have to look for dog whistles or tropes. One early Nazi propaganda piece explicity asks and responds to the question "WHY do we oppose the Jews?"


...and other Nazi writings and speeches are equally or more explicit.

Patrick Mehr said...

Sebastian Haffner's memoir is now available as an eBook: http://plunkettlakepress.com/dh

UbuMaccabee said...

The left moves from imaginary hysteria to imaginary hysteria with seamless continuity. It must be exhausting to be in such a state of self-induced panic.

sestamibi said...

Two world powers, led by native New Yorkers. Not a bad start.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I am hoping that Trump is in the process of redefining the word racism. Because what the Left calls racism today really isn’t. I do not know anyone personally who believes that people are better or worse because of race, as in genetics/breeding. And let’s keep in mind the eugenics movement was the Progressives’ High water mark in terms of “scientific” contribution to our cultural conversation.

No, accusations of racism today seem to be hysterical, stemming from ideology, apart from anything having to do with race, save some demographic or statistical label.

It’s all about “branding” and creating “crises” and fomenting outrage to play to the lesser demons of our nature within sub- and micro-groups. In this, I don’t think racism applies at all, it’s more like tribalism enforced within ideological parameters for political advantage. Trump is exposing this.

The biggest losers in Trump era are the Big Media “news” organizations. They have exposed themselves for who they really are, and nobody trusts them anymore than they trust the people on the opposing team of their college football favorite. This is what it’s come to: fanaticism. Except it’s not sports. Hell, they’ve politicized sports because they’re caught in an ideological black hole where even light cannot escape.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

And if the Lefties win in 2020, they will overplay their hand... massively. And the only consolation is that we will accelerate the endgame to which we’re heading: 5.56 or 7.62. Ubu gets what I’m layin’ down. There comes a time when the words don’t matter anymore, and you’re looking to scrap. Because it’s the only way out of an unresolvable mess. The positions are increasingly irreconcilable. When people realize voting is pointless, they get pissed off, and resort to taking care of their own exclusively. And when you come after their own, it’sd Very, very personal...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

As for Boris, Donald and their political opponents, the voters have spoken. This is “democracy” at work right? All of this and nothing. It is obvious the Labour (with their fringe allies, like the Greens) and Democrat pols (and their righteous loonies) couldn’t care less. The positions are irreconcilable. So... now we will see the big urban politicians accelerate the political violence, and their opponents will have no choice but to arm and protect themselves (at least in the USA). And then the lid comes off. I can see it play out in technicolor in my mind’s eye. And the emotional Lefties will cry out on their Lefty magazine covers “How Did We Get Here?” with pictures of armed, militia-like people at municipal borders. All you have left in these crazy scenarios is to take care of your own. That’s it.

Sam L. said...

Forgot to mention, this is why I despise, detest, and distrust the NYT, the WaPoo, and the Leftist Media Collusion.