It’s 1939 and Germany has invaded Poland, leaving many civilians dead. US President Trump condemned “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides”. Okay, not really. President Roosevelt effectively sat on the fence and urged the governments of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Poland not to launch attacks on civilians. That went well then, particularly with relation to Hitler’s Germany. Fast forward to 2017 and the words above, which were Trump’s, related to an act of terrorism by armed neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan fascists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Republican senator Cory Gardner said: “Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
It is hardly a surprise that, at a time of crisis, Donald Trump has been found wanting yet again. Why on earth could he not bring himself to make an open, unequivocal attack on white supremacists? This was not some minor fracas. This was the largest gathering of white supremacists in the USA for decades and hundreds of fascists were openly putting their arms in the air to make Nazi salutes.
I am not comparing Trump with Hitler because that would be plain stupid. Hitler appeared to know what he was doing, something which hardly excused the pure evil he inflicted on the world, including mass murder and genocide. Trump, the supreme narcissist, preens and poses, making things up as he goes along, by way of twitter and by making up back of a fag packet policy as he goes along, without ever consulting anyone. In the last week or so, the most powerful man on earth – Trump, the most powerful man on earth. Just think about that for a moment – has threatened North Korea with nuclear annihilation and now blithely condemns a violent fascist rally by having a pop at “many sides”. What is it about politicians that they can come out with such nonsense? Jeremy Corbyn, the hapless and hopeless leader of the Labour Party in Britain, condemned “both sides” in Venezuela, as if to say the victims of oppression and violence were also the fault of those being oppressed and attacked. This is not leadership: it is prevarication.
But this is about Trump, who has been President of the USA for a lot less than a year, a few months during which the entire world order has been disturbed and not in a good way. Nuclear war, fascist marches – whatever next for the unstable Trump? How far can he steer the world to oblivion before his past catches up with him and drives him from office?