Wednesday, February 20, 2019
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Disrespecting the US


As a child of the 60’s, a time when a whole generation rebelled against their forbears’ demands, not only for compliance with traditions and expected norms but also for respect, I’m very conscious of this false notion that respect is something to be expected or demanded. Respect always, must be earned and granted voluntary.

Typically, such demands for respect come from people, whose vision has become so myopic and egocentric, elevating their own worth that they have lost all humility. They come to think of themselves as ‘exceptional’, exemplary in all things and worthy of the highest respect. They come to think of those who do not share their wisdom, as expressed in a failure to form the same world view, as being inferior.

Thinking of others as inferior and therefore reprehensible for their failure to measure up to certain standards they come to believe it is their right, indeed their responsibility and duty to enforce compliance. The first line of compliance lies in recognition and acknowledgement of the standards that must be measured up to and of course, the first measure towards this is the expression of respect for those who have achieved them. The logic is simple; if flawed.

Many would say that Trump’s reasoning is both simple and flawed. I do not agree. I think of it as calculated and cynical. It’s certainly appears narcissistic, but that is beside the point. For many Americans, fed on a diet of CNN, Larry King and FOX News and by their obtuse notions of patriotism, corralled into embracing the self-gratifying notion of American Exceptionalism this is just the right stuff to undermine support for the Palestinian Cause.

Americans generally, believe that America deserves respect and have been induced to the mindset that respect can be demanded from those reprehensible inferiors of lesser nations who fail to show it. Those who show no respect are both inferior and reprehensible.

As with so many of the theatrical Trump-centric dramas, twitter-storms and diplomatic squabbles the script delivers the asymmetry required for conflicting demands of international and domestic audiences, perfectly serving the deep state agenda; Corporatism, Militarism, Neo-Conservatism, Monetarism and above all, Israel. The media managed walnut shells of Trump theatre encapsulate and shuffle about the latest ‘pea’ of real policy implementation being sequestered from any watchful scrutiny.

The dazzled world of political power, of governments, democracy, elections, referendums, protest and people power are danced about in the garden of superficiality. Presidents, Ministers, Prime, Ministers and Chancellors, opposition parties, activists and passive voters alike are juggled, bedazzled and above all distracted in the old Razzle Dazzle; insulted today, appeased tomorrow, energised to action then suddenly becalmed they oscillate between states of outrage and restrained exasperation on the media roller-coaster while the agenda marches on.

All the while, if we look at the bigger picture, there are more guns, planes and bombs, increased latitude for American violence, less spending on the things that matter to people, declining trust and empathy among America’s allies as they cope with the disastrous consequences of American adventures and increasing confusion around the world about just where the good old USA is going, something about which the people who own western capitalism could not possibly care any less.

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