It’s kind of a funny time to be working in a job where you’re encouraged to share your opinions. I think working on radio is maybe a bit like working in comedy at the moment, in that there’s this huge character dominating so much of the World’s attention, who’s dominating so much news coverage, it almost seems too obvious to talk about him.
On Saturday mornings, I purposefully don’t try and talk to you about Donald Trump too much, cos honestly I think most of us get a bit Donald Trump’d out. We get Trump fatigue I think we honestly get sick of him. What’s he done now? Who has he upset?
Whether you support him or you loathe him, the noise that surrounds Donald Trump is unrelenting.
He’s probably the single best symbol of how politics has become so extremely polarised. Everyone is so outraged about everything the other side suggests.
Almost every politician would agree that no party has a monopoly on good ideas but you never hear them accepting or complimenting ideas or policy from the other side.
Anyway, there was a scene I witnessed this week that brought some of these issues into focus for me. Donald Trump speaking at one of his rallies about the US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia, and came to America as an Asylum seeker. The big angry crowd chanting back to the President. Send Her Back! Send Her Back!
Trump now says he disagreed with the chant. That’s despite the fact he didn’t tell his supporters to stop it, and despite the fact it was his tweeting that inspired it in the first place.
Despite the fact he has openly tried to ban anyone from numerous Muslim majority countries from setting foot in the U.S.
Despite the fact he locks Latino asylum seekers in cages, separates children from their parents, some of the World’s most desperate and underprivileged kids whose parents have tried to escape from gang warfare in Central America and even allows some of them to die in custody.
Despite the fact the justice department brought legal action against Trump for denying housing to African American.
Despite the fact he defended Nazis in Charlottesville, that he perpetuated the Obama Kenya birthism myth.
I said when Trump was elected that I thought it represented a profound betrayal of America’s greatest quality. That quality is Diversity. Think of those words at the Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired. Your Poor. Your Huddled Masses yearning to be free.”
Contrast them to the words at Trump’s rally: Send her Back! Send her Back!
I just think we’re maybe watching an incredible breakdown in the World order. Those images this week of people in stars and stripes bandanas, angry and chanting, remind me of so many grand fascist political rallies last century. That isn’t hyperbole. Of course they do. America is dividing in the ugliest way.
So I’m sorry to talk about Trump even if I parsed it as an explanation why I don’t usually talk about Trump. But if I look back at this moment in years to come, I want to know that I didn’t write it off as just another Trump moment. I acknowledged it and we acknowledged it, as something more. As something evil.