Food for thought

In an article published in today's Sydney Morning Herald, Jane Shilling of the London Telegraph argues that White House secretary, Sarah Sanders, should not have been refused service by the Red Hen restaurant because of her politics. She also argues that civility is the key to creating dialogue with the Trump administration.

Fuck civility. Shilling could not be more wrong.

Since Ronald Regan's presidency, right-wing politicians have sought to undermine democracy by ignoring social norms, disregarding the rule of law, disenfranchising voters, and operating in a bubble of disinformation and paranoid conspiracy theories.

The Trump administration has accelerated this process exponentially. Racism, lies, and acts of cruelty are espoused by Trump and his staff on an almost daily basis. Prejudice and hatred, once thought banished to the extremes of political opinion, have become firmly entrenched in the political mainstream.

The descent into totalitarianism is a process of gradual steps, each one only slightly more insidious than the last. While many media outlets have criticised or even condemned outright the actions of the Trump administration, they have done so under the pretense that it is all still business as usual. They have portrayed every step as an act of partisan politics, rather than a deliberate act to undermine democracy.

What is apparent is that we are on a slippery slope towards totalitarianism, and we need a circuit breaker to halt that process. At some stage, a line needs to be drawn. At what point do we as a society say this is wrong, this not normal, this is not okay?

That's what the Red Hen has attempted to do. By refusing to serve Sanders, they are saying that the behavior of a regime that pines for tyranny, flaunts the rule of law, is openly racist, lies compulsively, and now jails toddlers and babies to deter legal immigration, is neither normal or acceptable.

Is refusing to serve food to someone like Sarah Sanders the right line to draw? We don't know. There is no known process for stopping the rise of totalitarianism, but one needs to be found, even if it be through a process of trial and error.

It is said that a free and fearless media is an essential pillar of a democratic society. Yet while media reports such as this continue to maintain a thin veneer of legitimacy and normality to the actions of the Trump administration, they are enabling the rise of a dictatorship.

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Comments

Apropos this discussion..

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/bernie-sanders-sarah-sanders-has...

"I think people have the right to go into a restaurant and have dinner,"

Trump complains that the restaurant looks dirty on the outside.. Meanwhile with his own..

https://boingboing.net/2018/06/25/trumps-restaurants-cockro.html