Although I’ve been expecting Donald J. Trump’s victory since long before his nomination, I took no pleasure in being right. Truth be told I’ve been a rather sombre sight ever since.
Two days on, however, my fears have subsided day by day, as I’ve gradually come to realise that America’s counterpart, Russia, too, has been lead by a totalitarian regime for the better of two decades, displaying sporadic bouts of fascistoid features, quickly accompanied by radical forces in a growing number of European countries, receiving a boost of confidence with last Tuesday’s American election – not to mention last summer’s British fit of madness:
With far-right movements on the rise in several European countries, a similar development on the American side of the Atlantic really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Even my own country, one-time moderate and oh so humane Norway, sports a government made up by ministers warning against an ongoing Islamisation (according to them), while closing our borders for refugees in need.
With fascistoid leaders in our two superpowers you might expect a heightened level of threat, but as we know bosom buddies Putin and Trump have both declared their mutual admiration, paving way for improved understanding and, ultimately, a lasting peace between Russia and the west.
Norwegian poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s passage, from his poem I choose April, inevitably springs to mind:
[…] however peace is not the best
but that one something wants
(very loosely translated)
I’m sure you’re beginning to wonder where I’m going with this, but consider this:
How certain are we that peace on earth is preferable over freedom for all? Of course you may argue that if anything, Donald J. Trump is a champion of individual freedom. For the well-to-do, mind you, but what about the rest of us?
Are we prepared to sacrifice all consideration for the less fortunate, to close our borders and build walls, to silently accept the promotion of oligarchs and corrupt politicians, all for the sake of Trump and Putin’s bromance, however peacekeeping it may be?
Truth be told I’m leaning toward the Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson persuasion here, rather than accepting a society resembling the imagined outcome of a Nazi German victory.
Peaceful? Perhaps. But depraved of everything even remotely similar to freedom and democracy.
Of course I could be wrong. Donald Trump may be the soul of decency, democracy and humanitarian values, for all I know, but if he is to be taken at face value, which I think he should, he is, much like his Russian counterpart, everything but that.
We’ve seen peace chosen over confrontation before, which brings me back to the blog post’s headline, although even that didn’t bring about peace, as our immediate ancestors soon came to learn.
We’d be fools to follow Chamberlain’s example, accepting Hitler’s … nay, Putin and Trump’s dubious reigns, but democracy being what it is, I’m afraid we’re left with no option but to wait out the upcoming presidential term – provided Trump’s idea of democracy isn’t too much like Putin’s.
It is, of course, early days, and only time will tell if I am in fact right, but I wouldn’t be very surprised if I am.
Will he deport illegal aliens? Will he erect a wall on the Mexican border (and charge the Mexicans for it)? Will he prosecute and imprison Hillary Clinton? Will he reject Muslims arriving in the U.S.? Will he wage a trade war on China?
Let’s just silently observe the charade as it unfolds, in the hope that Americans and Europeans alike have come to their senses by the respective countries’ next elections, because let’s not be too cocky:
Although our leaders may not be the pussy-grabbing kind, with rape accusations looming over them, they and the U.S. president-elect may have more in common than we like to admit, deserving closer scrutiny.
As such this week’s American election may well serve as a wake-up call for us all.
Man, do I feel sanctimonious today, but I mean every word. Peace does come at a price. I’m just more than a little curious as to whether or not we’re prepared to pay this one.
Top illustration: America’s president-elect Donald Trump and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. Blogger’s own drawing.