As British politics drifts into a weird zone, with the Labour Party moving ever more leftwards, I take great comfort in American politics. Because when I look at Corbyn and his band of moony-eyed followers, I can’t help but feel very right-wing. However, all it takes to feel like some left-wing pinko again is to watch twenty seconds of Donald Trump. I value this more than you know.
I’ve said something along these lines before, I know, but I repeat it for context: the Republican Party is very hard to be right-wing enough to be a part of (as many GOP senators who have been harassed by Tea Party activists can attest to literally). In the States, George Osborne wouldn’t come close to being kosher. Actually, the Democrats would just about allow him in provided he agreed that all citizens should be fully armed everywhere they went and a public health service was Stalinesque. In all seriousness, there are very few British politicians who could make it as Republicans. Farage, just, if he rescinded all the stuff he’s said about the NHS through gritted teeth over the years. Peter Bone, Philip Davies….I’m running dry here. Most of the other UKIPers are way too economically left-wing. Carswell doesn’t have that problem, but is far too socially liberal to make the grade.
Think I’m exaggerating? Check out this beautiful quote from Trump in regards to Mexican immigration:
“Our politicians are stupid. And the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning. And they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them. They don’t want to take care of them.”
Yes, the reason indigent Mexicans come to the United States illegally to work has nothing to do with complex socio-economic factors – it’s simply a conspiracy perpetrated by the Mexican government to deposit their unwashed onto American soil for the US to…..care for? In what way exactly, given there’s not exactly a rich vein of public services to tap into? Or does Trump mean that the Mexican economy doesn’t have enough jobs, the American one does, so that must mean there’s a conspiracy afloat? I thought the Republican are supposed to be the pro-free market ones.
But that’s the beauty of it all: they aren’t, not really. Sure, they want to marketise almost everything, but they then complain when things don’t work out the way they’d prefer, which is pretty much all of the time. “God damn it, why doesn’t our hyper-free market society produce some sort of Calvinist socially conservative nightmare?” Even Rand Paul, the supposedly libertarian guy, had this zinger regarding civil liberties:
“I want to collect more records from terrorists but less records from American citizens.”
That quote is so painfully stupid, it’s difficult to begin to comment on it. He might as well have said, “I want to arrest and eventually imprison more people who have actually broken the law and arrest fewer innocent Americans.” You either believe in civil liberties with all of the downsides that come with them (lowered security), or you don’t. I guess we’ve now seen how far Rand Paul’s libertarian notions stretch when faced with any sort of reality.
Oh, all this feels good. And in the end, I’d rather live in a country where we have things like a health care system. Where we are still in debt as a nation, but it’s because we bought some somewhat useful stuff along the way as opposed to blowing the tax revenues of several generations on a bunch of now decommissioned nuclear weapons and a defence shield that never worked. Does that make me right-wing or left-wing? If it means that from a British perspective I’m still on the right, I’ll cope. I’ve got Donald Trump there to make me feel better.