Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Owen Jones on Obligation to Confront Trumpism, "A Resurgent Global Far Right" That Is Racist, Xenophobic, Misogynistic, and Homophobic

Owen Jones is rapidly becoming a journalistic hero of mine. In the clip above a few days back, after Theresa May shed tears on announcing her intent to step down and the media found those tears the most important thing in the world to talk about for a time, he stated,

I think our media can often express far more sympathy for the powerful — in her case, she will lead no doubt a comfortable and affluent life to her very end — rather than the victim of their policies, who I'm afraid, have been driven into misery, insecurity, and turmoil as a direct result. Let's think about those people.

In response to Jones, the doltish journalist interviewing him asks why he can't respond to the story on a human level. Jones gives it right back, and says that he has just responded on a human level.

The far right – directly emboldened and legitimised by Trump – is on the ascendancy from Brazil to Hungary, Spain to Sweden. In our country, the hard-right Brexit party is on the rise: Ann Widdecombe, one of their leading lights, this weekend suggested that "science may produce an answer" to being gay, underlining how this political force threatens to reopen debates about the rights of minorities which were supposedly settled long ago. The anti-Muslim bigotry so vulgarly displayed by Trump is on the rise across the western world: in our own country, the Tories are infested with Islamophobia, and much of our media promote and incite it. 
Trump's administration has led a full-frontal assault on trans people, from banning trans soldiers from serving, to attempting to define trans people out of existence. But let's not pretend that anti-trans bigotry isn't rampant in the British media: it has even been indulged even in supposedly liberal media. … 
These protests won't simply be about Trump and the perverse reality TV show he’s treated the world to ever since he fatefully declared for the presidency. The protests will be about Trumpism: about confronting a resurgent global far right, defending the rights of women and minorities, fighting the climate emergency, opposing the threat of war, and standing against an attempt to gut the NHS and trash hard-won rights and freedoms. Trump will have left our shores by Wednesday: sadly, our own Trumpism will remain and, in the coming months, we must continue to fight it.

As Matthew Weaver reports today, Trump epigone and U.K. clone Nigel Farage has leapt to the defense of Ann Widdecombe today, employing a U.S.-style "religious freedom" position to justify her defense of "conversion therapy." As a Catholic, Widdecombe champions the notion that a gay sexual orientation can be "cured." While "conversion therapy" may be entirely bogus and may actively harm minors subjected to it, Farage maintains that Widdecombe has a right to tout its virtues because of "conscience" and "sincerely held belief." 

I'm pointing to Weaver's report to provide context for Owen Jones' remark about Ann Widdecombe and her faith-based attack on the rights of LGBTQ people.

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