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The House-Whites of Washington and the democrats of USA The House-Whites of Washington and the democrats of USA
by Thanos Kalamidas
2017-02-25 11:04:52
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A necessary note after the events of Friday 24th of February, 2017

On Friday 24th, the White House blocked a number of news outlets from covering spokesman Sean Spicer’s question-and-answer session. The news organizations that were excluded included: CNN, The New York Times, The Hill, Politico, the Daily Mail, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News and many others plus the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the British public service broadcaster accusing them for “fake news” but really all based on the criticism – based on facts and truth – Trump personally and his administration cannot tolerate.

This is an act of a dictatorial regime and is called act against freedom of press, freedom of information and freedom of speech. Plus is an attack on foreign public broadcasters which constitutes a diplomatic violation. But it comes as no surprise from Putin’s apprentice. Europeans have alive memories from dictators and dictatorships, especially Spaniards and Greeks and I as a Greek have lived the nightmare and the consequences of a dictatorship. Actually Greece lives with the consequences even today, forty years after.

To pray or wish that this will not last is futile and denial; it is time for action and professional journalists and columnists are obliged to be in the front line of this battle. And we are. Attacking freedom of press, Trump and his fascist gang of cronies attacks the essence of democracy and it is not just an act of a Machiavellian prince but a hitlerian dictator and as such we must deal with it and him personally. It is not about political parties and ideologies any more, it is about all of us. Like it should have been in 1936.

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These are some thoughts from the other side of the Atlantic without any intention to patronize or preach since none of us is without a fault. This is mainly the result of personal observation than a study.  

It is over a month since Donald Trump’s enthronement in Washington DC and after the first hit, democrats seem to have moved from denial to acceptance and now reaction. Actually I found that there was a certain level of hypocrisy during the denial period from the Democrats. After preaching Trump for so long before the elections that he has to accept the outcome whatever that is when he actually won they flagged the …popular vote and the “not my president”. And I would definitely understand their anger and that they felt cheated if the electoral system was something new. But it wasn’t. Clinton, Obama and so many others before were elected with the same electoral system. So, how is it cheating now and never was before? Is exactly the same electoral system, isn’t it?

americ01_400But …water under the bridge. They crossed their denial period in a month and they moved to reacting. The American Democrats. The American Democrats or the American democrats? It’s not the same, is it? I actually feel that while American Democrats have accepted that Trump is the 45th US President, they have started employing Tea Party policies and they aim for the 2018 elections targeting a Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) with a Democrat majority which will cripple Trump’s administration, the American democrats are still numb trying to find their way in this mess.

The average American – doesn’t matter what she or he voted – I have the feeling that is not divided but forced to choose between two radically opposite sides that divide him/her. From the one side is Donald Trump and the ruling Trumpist Republican Party with all the sub-Trumpists like the Tea Party, the “bikers for Trump” or the wild west supporters of the second amendment among others; authoritarians, fascists, racists, Nazis, prejudice, ignorant, haters, Russian puppets or at least this is what the media and the Democrats tell them. On the other side are the liberals and the Democratic Party or the raving feminists, the former communists, the anarchists, the pro-abortion, the against law and order, the pro uncontrolled immigration, the trouble makers, the marihuana smokers, the big brother supporters, the Hollywood elitists, the overrated academics, the fake news or at least this is what the Republicans, Fox News and the Trumpists tell them.This is a propaganda game Bannon and his nazi-style methods win at the moment.

However, let’s say that during the first month of Trump’s administration both, Trump and the Republican Party, haven’t managed to prove that they are not what they are accused to be, on the contrary it seems that their daily aim is to prove that they are exactly that, but during the same time the Democratic Party has failed to distance itself from the stereotypes the Trumpists have put on them keeping the American democrat afraid that they don’t really represent their America. The America that has invented the phrase: live and let them live. The America that doesn’t give a damn about Bannon’s ideological stands but they do worry about their healthcare, they do care about their work and they want free or at least cheap education for their kids.

A funny thing about the news, fake or not, that also shows what’s going on with the average American. Fox News is massively popular among Republicans and Democrats but the people who watch Fox News do so not because they care about the news or what Milo Yiannopoulos represents, they do it for purely entertaining reasons. For most Fox News is a 24/7 reality show with politicians and Washingtonians and they watch it obsessively doesn’t matter if they voted for Trump or Hillary. Actually what they see on Trump is a contestant in a reality show. The House-Whites of Washington. And sadly this applies to Democrat and Republican voters. Worse, this is Trump’s game. Trump the entertainer has turned US politics into an entertaining reality show and he constantly wins.

Realistically aiming for the 2018 Congress elections is a good plan but if they really want to win, the Democrats must move in a different direction than the one they followed till now if they don’t want another surprise. Now their target must be the democrat American and not only the Democrat Americans. Is not necessary to be a raving liberal to be anti-Trump. Somehow the anti-Trump movement has to embrace all Americans and the Democratic Party has to be part of that movement, its public representative but not its dominator. Because it has become part of the reality show Trump manipulates. To do so they must educate the average American what democracy is and how Trump and the Trumpist movement violate all the principals of a democratic life. They must also motivate the average American to participate.

The average American Democrat and Republican must realize that this is not a reality show but REALITY, it is not about the Republicans or the Democrats but about democracy and that it is his/hers obligation to protect their kids, their neighbor’s kids, their community kids, all the kids if they want a dignify future. They must realize that the only thing prejudice doesn’t discriminate is prejudice and the day Trump will exit their television set and enter their house is not far. As far the Democratic Party, perhaps the Women’s March on January 21st, 2017, can teach all of them some really valuable lessons. It was a march of women standing against a government that violated their fundamental rights, it was not about Democrats or Republicans.

***************************************************

Coming from this side of the Atlantic, Europeans must finish with their “see and act accordingly” period and they must start practising Real Politik with Trump’s USA. After all they are now squeezed between two …Putins! USA is under the spell of an authoritarian Machiavellian leadership which sees Europe as a field for practising “America First” and it should be dealt accordingly as a hostile neighbour we can live with as long as Europe is coming FIRST.


        
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Emanuel Paparella2017-02-25 12:12:34
Indeed Thanos, you have put your finger on the problem: a deficit of democracy, on both sides of the Atlantic, I am afraid to say.

When fascism comes to America it will have been voted in. In some way it happening as we speak, and there may be no time left to reverse the sad trend. Of course, that has already happened in Europe before, as you aptly point out. Now, amnesia seems to have has set in, and all those anti-Nazis saluting Hitler before the end of the war by the milliona and then declaring themselves loyal democrats, are now getting ready to “democratically” elect a Le Pen, or a Wilder, or a Grillo, which will mean the return of good old nationalism and fascism. Europa nosce te ipsum. Without a genuine identity, I am afraid that unity also becomes problematic. How does the Peter Paul Mary song go? “When will they ever learn?”

Perhaps Franklin had a point too when he reminded the 13 squabbling colonies, while imperial England got ready to squash them and teach them a lesson in obedience and loyalty, that “either we hang together or we will surely hang separately.” Good advise, even today, I would aver, for both US and EU.

For indeed, only inveterate liars and psychopaths living in an alternate reality believe that each nation, or for that matter, each bloc of nations, can save itself "first" separately from the others. Either the world as a whole saves itself by solidarity, cooperation and good will, or it will manage to destroy itself by disunion and selfishness. I don't think there is another alternative outside those two choices. And the choice will be ours and we will have to live with it. Only a psychotic can declare that there is another alternative and will keep on thinking that he can square the circle, or that he can have the cake and eat it too. It will be democracy or fascism. It remains to be seen if the ominous trend toward the latter, on both sides of the Atlantic, is still stoppable.


Emanuel Paparella2017-02-25 17:55:42
P.S. comment:

The political-philosophical apathy that exists on both sides of the Atlantic is also astonishing. Less than half of the electorate even bother to vote.

How many comments will we see to a crucial editorial such as the above concerning the future of the EU, besides the two I've penned? I predict 0 or close to it. I'll be happy if proven wrong!


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