Andrew L. Urban
“He couldn’t be trusted with a microphone button, yet Donald Trump is asking to be trusted again with the nuclear button,” quips Peter Hartcher as if launching into a stand-up routine. Haw haw.
A Trump victory would not be the end of history; political scientist Francis Fukuyama fears it might be the end of American democracy, continues Hartcher, the political editor of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. But like the rest of his October 23, 2020 column, this is a statement devoid of meaning. I thought the subs had clipped the end of the par: “… end of American democracy.’ Because? How? It sounds more like the echo of a Democrat Talking Point, thrown in for dramatic effect, as if the rest of the article preceding it had made the argument. It does not.
The paragraph immediately before this prophecy of doom sounds like something Nancy Pelosi might throw into a media conference: “… America has lost any moral credibility in the world. (Example?) Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, continues to criticise human rights violations and undemocratic practices in countries such as China, Iran and Venezuela, but, says Fukuyama: “I think everybody listening to this thinks, ‘Well, what about your boss?'” Yes, what about his boss and his violations of human rights that rank alongside those of China, etc?
Could Fukuyama be referring to Trump’s prison reforms that have helped free hundreds of non-violent blacks held for minor drug offences? Or his support for traditionally black colleges? Yet Fukuyama doesn’t hesitate to call Trump racist. “Trump got his start arguing that Obama was not born in America and it’s only gotten worse. He’s encouraging racists across the US to be bolder.” Hartcher can repeat Fukyama, but that doesn’t make it true. Where is the example, the evidence? What gives this assertion any value?
Calling Trump racist is the current strategy of the Democrats, because they are keen to smear him as an evil white supremacist to scare off black voters. THEIR black voters, remember Joe Biden? “If you vote for Trump you’re not black!” It’s a simplistic and paternalistic strategy that will rebound, because it is simply wrong, and observably wrong.
Here’s another of their canards: “Of course,” writes Hartcher, “he’s also opposed to the ultimate constraint in a democracy – the outcome of elections, unless he happens to win. For four years, he’s consistently refused to commit to accepting loss at the ballot box.”
Now I can’t believe that Hartcher could be so uninformed in these matters. Is he just being silly or is he dishonestly smearing Trump by mischaracterising the man. Trump’s concern is that the election result will not be democratically fair, thanks to the highly vulnerable ballot system. He will accept the result if it’s legit and made that clear in the second debate. The smear is ironic, really, given that it is Hillary Clinton and the Democrats who have ‘for four years consistently refused’ to accept their loss at the 2016 ballot box, trying to delegitimise Trump every day since.
But wait, there’s more … “Trump has attacked virtually every important check-and-balance institution in the US that’s got in his way – the intelligence community, judges, the media. Every significant constraint, he wants to get rid of it.” Has he got rid of any media? Has he got rid of any judges? If you’re going to quote Fukuyama, you’ll be splattered with the same BS:
1- The intelligence community (old Obama activists like the ones fired from the FBI – fired not by Trump) conspired against him with the Russia hoax;
2 – lefty judges have repeatedly refused his valid applications for political reasons;
3 – the media have consistently misreported him, smeared him viciously and omitted news stories that favour his actions, failing their duty to their consumers
Hartcher relishes a dodgem car approach to attacking Trump, bumping into one likeminded anti Trumper after another. “Fukuyama thinks Trump’s presidency is so dire that it qualifies for a special category of government, a word long out of use: Trump’s America, he says, is a kakistocracy.
“Norm Ornstein, a longtime scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, explains: “It’s the worst kind of government by the worst among us.” The word is based on the Greek kakistos, meaning worst. But it’s simple, really: “Ask any child what kaki is,” says Ornstein. “Kakistocracy is shit government.” Yes, ‘kaki’ is hilarious in the sandpit….
It’s all just about as childish as that: one mean kid after another throwing sand and pulling hair because the new kid is ‘different’ and won’t play by the old rules of the game.
Hartcher makes the most of the pandemic, of course, the convenient source of uninformed and biased criticism aimed at Trump. Because it’s easy. “…total deaths (by the time of the January 20 inauguration) could be approaching 400,000 dead Americans … That would mean the US had allowed COVID-19 to kill more Americans than the Nazis, the Japanese and all America’s other World War II foes managed to kill in combat. US battle deaths from that conflagration totalled about 291,000.” Trump killed ’em all!
One Democrat even took it to its logical conclusion and called for Trump to be convicted of murdering them all. That’s just dumb political hate speech. But a senior political editor for a serious news outlet is expected to provide more insightful analysis and less partisan political point scoring.