I try very hard to like President Trump. But he makes it difficult.
Liking many of his policies is easier, even though some of them have no chance of clearing Congress. But even when Trump is politically on the side of the angels, personally he resembles their less appealing antipodes.
That’s no trivial matter. For the wisest of policies and the best of intentions can be undone by their champion’s crudeness, ignorance, effrontery, insensitivity and inability to perceive nuances of thought and feeling.
These are all traits Trump has in abundance and, when they come to the fore, he can damage the very causes he wishes to advance. Such as the cause of checking Islamic expansion in the West.
In addition to his personal failings, Trump shares a characteristic American ignorance of European affairs and indeed of the European civilisation shaping the affairs. If it were otherwise, he wouldn’t have retweeted the messages first posted by the fascisoid, Islamophobic group Britain First.
I hope you realise that my definition of ‘Islamophobic’ is different from the likes of the BBC’s, Merkel’s or Blair’s.
To them, an Islamophobe is anyone who a) minds the creeping Islamisation of Europe, b) has problems with Europe turning into a caliphate and c) realises that this is indeed a real problem and not a figment of somebody’s febrile imagination.
By that standard, an Islamophobe is anyone possessing common sense and a modicum of affection for our civilisation – and no affection at all for the likes of the BBC, Merkel and Blair.
My definition of Islamophobia is simple: it’s hating Islam more than necessary – and using this hatred as the presumed axis around which the whole complexity of life revolves. Add to this a certain amount of radicalism, and fascism beckons.
Alas, when nice, tweedy conservatism refuses to acknowledge the gravity of the situation and respond appropriately, anorak-clad fascism emerges as seemingly the only available alternative to disaster.
Recent history provides ample examples of that. Thus the danger of communism was as imminent in the Weimar Republic as the danger of Islam is in today’s Britain (or for that matter Europe). Yet, when the German answers to tweedy gentlemen cocked a snook at the communists while sipping their clarets, the Nazis took to the streets.
They picked up the banner of anti-communism and… well, you know what happened next. By the time the tweedy gentlemen realised what was going on, it was too late. The anoraks or rather, as it happened, the brown shirts were running the show.
Britain First is a fascist group trying to ride to legitimacy the horse of resisting Islamisation. There isn’t much wrong with the horse; the problem is that it’s Britain First (and similar groups) riding it.
By picking up their messages and images, Trump has done untold damage to the important cause. He’s a savage who smashes a Stradivarius trying to extract beautiful sounds from it.
Criticism of his monumentally vulgar stupidity has focused on irrelevant incidentals, such as that the abusive Dutch Muslim shown in one picture was actually not a migrant but a native of Holland, or that the pictures of Islamic violence had been taken not in Europe but in the Middle East.
The distinction between native-born and immigrant Muslims is these days so slight as to make no difference. For example, the Muslim chaps who blew up London buses in 2005 were British born and bred.
And surely perfectly genuine photographs of terrorist acts committed by Muslims in London, Paris or Boston would be easy to find. The problem with Trump’s tweets wasn’t their dubious authenticity but their indubitable provenance in the fascist ranks.
The best way for Mrs May to respond to those inane tweets would have been to ignore them publicly, while privately advising Donald to do what I suggest in the title above. Instead she foolishly responded, using the word ‘Islamophobia’ not in my definition but in the BBC’s. Predictably she got back a retort:
“Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom”.
I’m always amazed to see how little imprint Trump’s expensive education has left on his culture and personality. Of the three words he capitalised in the middle of his sentence, only ‘Islamic’ calls for such distinction. Don’t they teach English syntax at Wharton?
Well, The Cause of Destructive Islamic Terrorism Has Got A Boost From Trump’s Opposition To It. I for one would be hard-pressed to choose between living in a Britain run by the mullahs or in one run by Britain First. No form of fascism appeals to me.
By chance, I ran across an impassioned defence of Trump by a Britain First moron, who, to provide unwitting proof for the validity of this designation, posted this on Facebook: “Edward VIII and Lady Wallis would be staunch supporters of Britain First if they were alive today. Recent polls show that 47% of Britons want to ban ALL Islamic migration.”
Edward VIII and Lady Wallis (wrong title, by the way, but hey, it’s morons we’re dealing with) were also ‘staunch supporters’ of Hitler. I wouldn’t want to be in their company – even though my view of Islamic migration is close to the 47 per cent.