Quid Rides? De te Fabula Narratur

What are you laughing at? The joke's on you.

Satayana’s Nightmare

Posted by Anthony on November 27, 2015

Awaiting your call Mr. Trump...

Awaiting your call Mr. Trump…

There were many of us who, in the naïve early days of this election cycle, took the aspiring presidential ambitions of Donald J. Trump to be something of a novelty. Certainly the man had some charisma, though he could just as often come off as rather boorish, but he did have that seeming bit of charm and, of course, more than enough of the necessary alpha-male chutzpah to be a convincing candidate. In any case, since Jeb was bound to win going away what difference could The Donald’s entrance into the clown show that was thinly disguised as the Republican primaries make?

Apparently all the difference in the world. From the beginning, Mr. Trump has relied on a combination of his grandiose visions and combined them with the typical red-meat for the primary crowds: there was talk of building a wall to keep immigrants out which would be especially needed after he expurgated some eleven-millions of them. There were the promises that he would crush ISIS, somehow defeat the Chinese at business, and deal with Putin on an even level. All of it seemed all good and well given the fact that one does need to swing to the extremes during the primaries before coming back to the center for the general election and, of course, it wasn’t going to matter since even if he somehow managed to win the Republican nomination over a terribly underwhelming Bush, the election was Clinton’s to lose.

That of course was before the Paris attacks of November 13th, 2015. After that the United States public went into another of its typical panic modes with all too many people forgetting that the entire point of terrorism in all of its forms is to affect the discourse by instilling fear into those it targets. Yet Mr. Trump went even further in his pandering and suggested forming a database for Muslims living in America. Not content with that, he said he would consider requiring Muslims to carry a special identification card and, if he felt it necessary, would close all mosques in the United States.

This is when his campaign moved from simple pandering to demagoguery; the fact that one could make such vile suggestions in a country founded on the rights of individuals, and further to think he could simply effect these acts by fiat, makes one wonder if Mr. Trump has ever even read the Constitution. But that is not even the most troubling thing here: what Mr. Trump is suggesting brings up direct links to both the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War as well as, let us be honest here, the acts that preceded the Holocaust.

I am one who hates when people lightly toss about references to genocide as much as calling any group “Nazis”; there was only one major Nazi movement and to suggest that someone, or some other group, is comparable to an organization which launched a war costing some 80 million dead and which perpetrated the single most horrific act of genocide in our collective history is quite insulting. I do not, therefore, want people referring to Mr. Trump as a Nazi and he is certainly not calling for the extermination of the Muslim population in the United States.

He is, however, suggesting a path that leads down the road towards considering Muslims in America as “the other”. Would he require them to wear a yellow crescent on their jackets or shirts? Would he make the lists of Muslims public information so that anyone could know if a Muslim resided in their neighborhood much like in some states one is required to register if they are a sex-offender? Even more disturbing, are there really that many American citizens who hear these words, who think on them, and then look in the mirror and say “I call myself an American, I call myself a human being, and I’m perfectly fine with these suggestions”? O tempora! O mores!

We should take it as a symbol of national shame that there are enough people who would even contemplate this man as a legitimate contender for that most sacred of positions. Christopher Hitchens, who one thinks (a bid sadly since he is missing this) would have had an absolute field-day with Mr. Trump’s campaign, once said, “Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake: the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.” There are still individuals walking this earth who bear the tattoos on their arms that cry out as a witness against an unspeakable horror committed by individuals who began by using the same terminology Mr. Trump is now voicing. I am most unsorry to have to break to Mr. Trump that there is no way in hell that some of us are going to sit back and watch as you attempt to steer the masses down this path once more. If “never again” means anything, if it ever meant anything, it is now crying out for people to quash this hate-speak in its nascent stages.

We have this choice now. We have the opportunity to throw Mr. Trump and all of his megalomaniacal demagoguery back in his face. We can show that his narrative in all its hateful rhetoric is simply a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. If we do not, if we allow this to pass then we are no different than any of a number of previous generations who, before allowing their crafts to careen over the waterfall, simply shrugged and said “it’s not my problem”. This man is every decent human’s problem, and as such every decent human needs to rally against him. Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it; let us not find ourselves in their sorry company.


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