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Friday, May 19, 2017

The Hypocrisy of Authority

America does not change, it groans. There was a time when America was change. Walter Frick's insightful article for the Harvard Business Review, "How America Gave Up on Change" is a must-read for every American who is watching French president Emmanuel Macron's inauguration vows of a new start.

When Barack Obama was elected towards the end of the last decade, many were hopeful that America would finally dig itself out of the entrenchment of middle America. But America is not France. Its symbols of liberty are just that, symbols.

Almost immediately, after "courageously" electing a mixed race president, Obama was blocked at every turn of a new political page. The eight years of block that symbolise his tenure of failures has culminated in a president who epitomises white America's aversion to liberal values in almost caricature proportions.

Americans need to watch France to see how to get the job done. Obama failed so decisively in the short term, his presidency was so disasterous that it may have effectively blocked another African American - or any person of colour - reaching the highest office in the land for generations. But by then, by refusing change, America might just as well render itself obsolete.

Donald Trump, the Turkish president or the Russian president see things in terms of power relationships, which doesn't bother me."
- Emmanuel Macron

Conversely, the election of Donald Trump is being called a political disruption - but it is merely America groaning back into the status quo, its bloated ass regressing further into the safe seat of white middle America. Being the asshole of the nation stinks. Shits and farts emanate from you. The more the body of the nation reclines on you, the more sedentary it gets, the more obese and immovable it becomes.

The only good thing about the slide towards authoritarianism is you might grab a laugh on the way down: Farts are universally funny. The meeting between Trump and Turkey's "not-so-little Napoleon" was hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Watching one turkey meet another, you wonder what all this dick-grabbing machoistic conservatism is for, if neither has the balls to tell the other to fuck off.

Or do they only reserve their agressive rhetoric for behind the other's back? If Turkish president Recep Erdogan can't tell Trump to take a flying fuck over the American military effectively arming and creating their own version of Al-Qaeda on Turkey's doorstep, then what was the referendum for? And if Trump can't have a go at this Turkish Putinized puppet about the state of emergency for basic freedoms in his country being an affront to American values, what use is he?

Some argue that as a rapidly-changing nation and a key player in the Middle East, Turkey has long been centrally important to both the United States and the European Union. However, we are at a critical juncture for Turkey's relationship not only with the EU, but with the West more generally. Turkey only really became institutionally embedded in the West with the start of the Cold War, joining NATO in February 1952, but since the collapse of the Iron Curtain, Turkey has drifted ever closer to Russia and to a self reevaluation of its strategic orientation.

It grates on me that within such a climate, Erdogan has been invited to the White House at all, but then Trump is at odds with everyone, including himself. While for Europe the referendum felt like an end to the EU accession charade, Trump's call to Erdogan to congratulate him on his referendum win seemed a mis-step to say the least.

To me, the meeting of these two men stank of the brawling hypocrisy of the locker room. It wasn't exactly preening men admiring each other to their faces, slapping each other on the butt, and then taking the piss behind their backs - but it did feel like a room full of balls.

And like the stink of the locker room, it made me sick to my stomach.

Read more: Turkey and the EU | My Say >>

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