The parliament of the cradle of democracy has just extended itself to a serious debate about whether or not Donald Trump should be barred from entering the United Kingdom after he revealed his master plan for dealing with the problems of the world; viz. banning Muslims from the United States, and refusing to have anything to do with Mexicans. Slightly Tarantino, that one, but never mind – a plan is a plan, however hair-brained. Anyway, to demonstrate the British commitment to freedom of speech and exchange of ideas which have provided the basis for the very society in which Mr Trump can put forward this master plan without being strung up by an angry mob carrying AK47s, our elected career politicians and professional apologists have wasted a good deal of public money to illustrate the dichotomy which I know many people are stuggling with. On the one hand, we (meaning the outraged general public, who worry deeply about the disposition of Mexicans and Muslims in republican states of America) are free to demand a debate, and the politicians are free to have one, and we’re all free to criticise and even to laugh at the spectacle (which I did, heartily) and on the other we’re all scared stiff to say anything that might offend Mexicans or Muslims. I don’t get it. Nor do a great many other people.
So is Mr Trump right or wrong to say what he did? The obvious and ‘correct’ answer is of course, he was (is) totally and absolutely wrong to say what he did, and he certainly wouldn’t get my vote. There’s another answer, and it’s just as obvious and ‘correct’. Yes, he was right to say what he did, because a huge number of the population think exactly what he said, but are too scared to say it and now they have a champion who has said it on their behalf and he’ll get their vote.
Yes, it’s dumb, needlessly discriminatory and inflammatory politics but maybe, just maybe, Mr trump is about to demonstrate that America belongs not just to the wealthy, liberal, cogniscenti for whom synthetic outrage and political correctness is a way of life, but also to the semi-literate, impressionable Facebook friends who have realised that generations of unheard voices may have found a mouthpiece.
Interesting times for America.