A dislike of immigrants to the point of hatred, a preference of a race or class to the degree of superiority and a pessimistic worldview that borders on paranoia have been a complex of diseases attacking social fabric of democratic states for centuries. Although its recent outbreak has been characterized as Trumpism the infectious appearance can be traced to years before Republican candidate entered the national politics.
Perhaps the strains of that disease in such a concentration like the current form broke out in Lenin’s bolshevism but even better examples can be found in the recent history of democratic countries.
Elements of that eccentric, selfish and poisonous attitude had already been evident in 1980s when Citibank executive expressed what seemed to be collective opinion of Wall Street bankers on the imposition of Martial Law by the Polish Communist regime to kill a newly born democratic movement of Solidarity. “Who knows which political system works? The only test we care about is: Can they pay their bills?”, Thomas Theobald, senior vice president in charge of the bank’s international division stated.
When it appeared that the world had a unique opportunity for a new alternative to the monopolistic Communism in the historic experiment performed by the avant-garde class of workers, the international finance in secret and openly cooperated with the class of oppressors. As Mr. Theobald confessed the priority of the businessmen was profit über alles, above everything else. In the mind of a proponent of such view is concentrated hatred towards foreigners who may prevent his or her wealth creation. The religion, race or color of the skin serves always as a cover to conceal the intimate motive that if revealed would shame the respected lawyer, doctor or politician.
Education should humble a school graduate if only in their heart they would have kept a wisdom uttered by classic thinker: “I know one thing: that I know nothing”. In a real world highly educated citizen tend to think of them as a superior class entitled to the management of other lives. They usually sow seeds of populism and keep the soil moist with impossible promises and imaginary policies. Their supporters only periodically water it down with high emotions and money. The public functionaries provide foundational lie that is meant to grow. In the wake of tragedy of the Soviets invaded nation trying to find shelter in Australia, the secretary of a teachers union local branch Kevin Manski publicly challenge bona fide of refugees from a country of a Lotus flower, Vietnam. “The war has ended 2.5 years ago and now they are arriving with bars of gold and servant”, Mr. Manski said. “The real Vietnamese people are content in their homeland now that the fighting has stopped”, he reasoned.
Political pessimism combined with the hypercritical view of the post-World War II order in Europe characterized opinions of the British conservative John Laughland about the European Union. During the information campaign before its first major enlargement to Central Europe Dr. Laughland caricaturised goals and policies of the most important political project comparing it to the Soviet Union and its democratic founders to Marxists. British conservative tried to convince nations of Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic that the alleged Brussels corruption will lead to the enslavement and destruction of Europe.
Ahistorical and pseudo-philosophical argumentation felt on the fertile soil that ignited enthusiasm among anti-European groups that utilized only ideology of nationalism. Critics would point at the obvious fact that European nations on their own would not be able conduct transformation of the institutions and one day be devoured by Moscow again. “Dr. Laughland is playing into the Kremlin hands”, they would say. Skeptics of Mr. Laughland over-pessimistic narrative were vindicated when it turned out that British citizen on paper and a Russian patriot in heart became the president of pro-Putin think-tank.
At different times and political contexts publicly expressed opinions of Messieurs Theobald, Manski and Laughland made them precursors of Donald Trump but their political and social sickness did not change into an epidemic thanks to the statesmen that made the decisions.
In 1980 the President Ronald Reagan policies, designed by his humble closest aide Judge William Clark stopped the virus that the Citibank executive tried to spread. The decisive, systematic and consequent set of policies introduced by the President Reagan’s National Security Directives would help revive Solidarity its potential to knock down the foundation of the Berlin Wall.
The hospitable policies of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser erased shame of the chauvinistic policies of Mr. Whitlam that bordered on xenophobia. As the Leader of Opposition Mr. Fraser utilized soothing and compassionate rhetoric that would focus Parliament on the common good: “the world is displaying inherent instability and its incapacity to defend the weak.” Later he would write stronger words to Mr Whitlam: “I can only ask you once again to reconsider your narrow and inhumane policy which has prevented all but a very few refugees from achieving a permanent home in Australia.” It took two months for Prime Minister to reply. When Mr. Fraser replaced his political rival, his solution to people coming in the back door was “to open the front door even wider”. As Mr. Fraser’s biographer noticed the combined policies of Prime Minister “with it compassionate approach to refugees, meant that it was Fraser’s government that gave substance to the ending of White Australia’s policy.” Perhaps one should add that the Mr. Fraser as great statesman understood a power and potential of a word.
When one negative vote in the referendum could reverse the development of nations for generations the word of another statesman played important role during campaign before the referendum on the enlargement of the European Union in Central Europe. Ageing Pope John Paul II perceived as a hero who greatly contributed to the disassembling of the Soviet Union suggested that Central Europe was always part of the Western world. He said that the enlargement was the confirmation of this fact. It made an evident that Europe was torn out by the Agreements at the Yalta conference. It was bleeding. Generous European nations welcomed the new members with accommodative but also challenging policies that initiated their real civilizational development after long period of destruction during the Communist occupation.
As many complexes of diseases Trumpism will also have its name changed but it must be contained and not allowed to evolve.
In 2016 the sickness of Trumpism is still waiting to be purged by true statesmen that not only understand the complexity of presence and challenges of future but also most importantly can explain and provide adequate solutions.