Trump: neither demonize nor normalize but analyze…and then act?

161107120239-01-trump-parry-super-169The Trump election has been as shocking and disorienting to mainstream opinion as the Brexit vote in the UK last year. Indeed, it is tempting to think there is no “mainstream” any more as the public appears divided into rightwing and leftwing populists and radicals.

One reaction to Trump, and especially his “alt-right” hangers-on like Bannon, has been to demonize them by screaming “fascist” at their populist, authoritarian, white nationalism. The “Muslim ban”, attacks on the media, on the institutions of government, especially the Courts but also parts of the executive branch like the intelligence agencies, all speak to an authoritarian agenda.

Alternatively some seek to normalize Trump and suggest what he’s doing is just a slightly exaggerated version of “normal” politics  – all politicians lie, make outrageous claims, denounce their opponents, moan about the media misrepresenting them, etc. The realities of office will soon bring him down to earth and it’ll be more or less business as usual. Continue reading

Full steam ahead for Brexit – A personal elegy for a cosmopolitanism that perhaps never was

aspiration&revolution

Now it is almost official, after 461 to 89 MPs backed the government’s Article 50 Bill yesterday: Brexit will happen probably sooner than many expected, and more authoritarian and undemocratic than ever thought possible by those who believe in due democratic process.

Photo: Stefan Boness, www.iponphoto.com Photo: Stefan Boness, http://www.iponphoto.com

Brexit will in essence be negotiated by a Prime Minister not even elected by ‘the people’ in a real sense, ‘the people’ we hear so much about these days, and whose will the PM now proclaims to carry out. One can have different views on what democracy is, and how democratic a referendum, fought on a single issue and based on false facts (or ‘post-truth’), as later frankly admitted by those who propagated them, really is – and I am among those critical of such versions of democracy.

A remain-politician, before the first vote on Article 50 in parliament, explained why he would vote…

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