Following on from Brian’s suggestion that something deeper than facile reasons or explicable tendencies, reactions or resentments are adequate to explain this extraordinary collapse of rationality, I do share his view of the deeper tide that takes all with it.
I sense some contributing elements:
The polarization post sixties between the love-in, new agey, know where it’s at society that has imposed a laissez faire morality, laissez faire acceptance of injustices that ignored real injury and the death of hope, and sought to suggest that everything could be cured by right thought. Increasingly right thought wore boots, and the gait of the stormtrooper.
That tramp is now incessant, it governs every aspect of acceptable conduct and acceptable opinion. One can hardly risk recognition that Muslims were responsible for the whole scale grooming of under-age rape victims in Rotherham, England; even the police turned a blind eye to the need to publicize this, because once accused of insttutionalised racism.
If Trump expressed anything it was his contempt for this, and that echoed long and loud in his followers. The hypocrisy of political correctness has become an incessant itch. He scratched it, and satisfied. The fact that whole arenas, women, Latinos, who should have been outraged, cheered, must indicate that a deeper need had been fed- to escape the pretense that had stifled for so long.
There is something of pantomime dame about Trump, anyone attending a pantomime is expected to hiss and boo, it is part of the performance. Whether he understands that is hard to decipher. But there is a kind of catharsis in drawing out the hissing painlessly.
In this week’s Spectator there is an article by Rod Liddle in response to the overweaning appeal that Britain must do more to make its prisons better. Instead he suggests they should be made much worse. The 85%? recidivism would be cut instantly if the relatively luxury recently exposed ( steak and chips on order by mobile and drugs delivered by drone) were replaced by hard labour and tedium. He quotes Carlyle’s descriptions of the worst inmates of a reformed prison, as being beyond reclaim " Miserable distorted blockheads, the generality: ape faces, imp faces, angry dog faces, heavy sullen ox faces, degraded underfoot perverse creatures, sons of indocility, greedy mutinous darkness and in one word, of stupidity, which is the general mother of such. Stupidity intellectual, and stupidity moral…had borne this progeny’
This now seems shocking for we have been innoculated against such uncompromising clarity. We run from admitting that we rejoice that someone can still express such views. Whether we admit to sharing them is not the point, but another humane prison doctor Theodore Dalrymple said much the same kind of thing after a lifetime saving the lives or treating those who simply exploited every kindness offered.
The Spectator is probably the most liberal right wing journal, allowing as it always does totally conflicting opinions about everything.
Another inclusion is an article by Melanie Philips suggesting that left wingers demonise Donald Trump despite sharing his views on almost everything from anti globalisation, protectionism, outsourcing jobs, re-nationalisation, isolationism, anti-Nato. and pro Putin. Perhaps the dark and the self styled light ( a la Corbyn and extreme left wing neo- sovietism) can no longer distinguish themselves from one another? THAT is a frightening truth. Could it mark the beginning of recognising that fascism wears only one face: Thought control? Language control? Words? The tramp of the storm trooper sounds the same whoever is wearing those boots.
I should have added that surely the purpose of communication is to tailor language to be appropriate to the listener. No good threatening Jihadis with death when martyrdom is the ultimate goal, or with publicity when the afflatus of publicity is their raison d’etre! No baby rapist (posting a video of the act) will be persuaded to steady employment and education. What I was inching towards was perhaps the use of intelligence rather than ‘ought’ thinking masquerading as morality!