ISIL claimed that it would be easy for them to start a race war in the United States. I saw the potential for it because it is fear and ignorance that drive hatred and violence. Hitler knew it. Putin knows it. ISIL (Daesh) knows it. Trump knows it too. Divide and conquer. Turn people against each other. Make your rhetoric play on people’s fears in such a way that the targets of their fear and hatred become somehow less human, easier to harm.
Poland has produced some of the very brightest minds in human history (Copernicus, Chopin), and was home to a university from 1364 (before the Italian Renaissance), yet it became the repository of Polish jokes about how dumb they were. Why? Because the Nazis and their apologists needed to console themselves with how unworthy Poles were. It was easier to slaughter unworthy people.
Daesh has conducted demonstrations of how much like livestock their enemies are by stripping infidel women bare in front of crowds, laying them down on a stone slab and slaughtering them “Halal” style, by cutting open their throats and letting their still beating hearts pump their blood out. “See? The infidels are as animals to us!” Is that too much information? You haven’t heard much of it at all. Daesh is every bit as evil as were the Nazis in World War II.
The latest round of nationalistic fervour, probably spawned by Steve Bannon and supported by Trump, must have the Kremlin and Daesh jumping for joy because it plays right into their hands. The Americans have become so fearful of international engagement that they are withdrawing and letting other countries take the leads in many innovative and technological areas.
The decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord is wrong in more ways than can actually be counted. The U.S. was making great strides in finding ways to provide more energy, cleaner energy, more fuel-efficient energy sources than any other single nation and (just like the challenges of the space program) there were many jobs created to support all that development and many technologically beneficial spin-offs resulting from that research. The research in the U.S. won’t be shut down all at once, but it seems that the U.S. was freshly out of the starting blocks when Trump thought it might be funny to kick U.S. competitors in the financial knee, just to help out his oil-owning, coal-owning buddies and himself of course. In the future, it seems, the U.S. will be buying clean-air technologies from countries like Denmark, France and Canada, because your president just did an abrupt about-face and began marching in the opposite direction. Congratulations!
In many ways, Trump is much like a raging, snorting bull, formidable and fearful in his mass and power, but like a bull, he is being led around by the ring through his nose. Is Putin the farmer in control of the bull? Are the minds plotting ISIL strategy the ones leading the bull to where they want him to go?
The great conundrum for America today is in learning how to unify a fractured and fearful country. America needs a wise, calm leader who can help his/her fellow countrymen to see great worth in each other, to overcome fears and to stop seeing people only in terms of stereotypes and only through the lens of fear. Simply put, you don’t know anything about another person until you make an effort to learn about them – as individuals. Burdensome? It takes more effort, yes, but with the effort comes reward. The reward is worth the effort.
Don’t let America’s enemies play divisive games with your minds! You are strongest in unified diversity! As far as I know, there is no country in the world with more friendly, more accommodating people. Among strangers, I have been greeted with a pat on the back and an invitation to join them. Those are the people who are acting like the Americans whom the world holds in awe. Those are the Americans who know that the greatest strength comes from an open, inclusive heart.
Don’t let the bull, bull-shit you! You have the chain that leads to the ring. Give it a tug! That beast will follow your lead.