Sunday 23 October 2016

Nice one, Donald, you just helped elect Hillary

Published 13/12/2015 | 02:30

Trump card: Donald Trump wows his enthusiastic supporters at a rally in Iowa this week
Trump card: Donald Trump wows his enthusiastic supporters at a rally in Iowa this week
Power and the fury: his views are daft, so what?

Whoops, he did it again.

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In normal times, Donald Trump would be a mere historical footnote; one of those electoral quirks which occasionally happens in a democracy. He would have made his run, gained some traction for his plain speaking and then, ideally, he would have faded out of the race and be remembered as just another oddity, like Sarah Palin or Ross Perot.

But these aren't normal times and the Teflon Don is certainly living up to his nickname. As he crashes from one self-inflicted gaff to the next, behaving like the comments section of a newspaper come to life, this is a man who may well go down in history as the candidate with the most extreme and, frankly, bonkers views of any of the candidates.

His comments this week about banning all Muslims from even visiting America were extreme, even for him. But they're hardly surprising and that's the thing which his many detractors seem incapable of understanding - he speaks his mind, even when he really should just shut up.

Let's be clear on one thing - you can't ban Muslims from visiting America. It's unconstitutional, illegal and immoral.

I'd hardly be known as a cheerleader for Muslims' rights in the West. In fact, I've written extensively about the need to stop the construction of new mosques in Europe, that we should outlaw the barbaric practise of halal meat production and I've always argued that the Burka has as much place in a civilised society as a Ku Klux Klan hood.

Yet I was stunned when he started to read his speech the other day. Why would the Republican front runner decide to lob a grenade at his own campaign? Apart from the ethical and legal pitfalls of such a draconian, and frankly fascist, move, Trump has just handed his opposition the lifeline they needed.

At this stage of the pre-election jousting, the only person Trump should fear is Trump himself - none of the other candidates have been able to land a decent hit on him, but why would they bother when he seems so determined to present himself as a deranged, reactionary cliché?

The sanctimonious bleating from his many detractors has had an inevitable, but understandable, degree of gleeful delight. But as downright dumb as his remarks undoubtedly were, the cynicism of the liberal Left has been just as repulsive.

Trump is not, as many have claimed, as bad as Isis. This is exactly the kind of moral equivalence that the Quislings and appeasers in the West love because it feeds into their idea that anyone who is concerned about radical Islam is a closet Nazi.

I'd take some of the outraged squawking a bit more seriously if most of his critics had expressed the same outrage over Paris, or San Bernadino. But, of course, they didn't. They never do.

One of Trump's favourite sayings is 'never give a sucker an even break', yet that is exactly what he has done. The fact that even die hard Republicans, who would never vote for Hillary, are now talking about not voting at all next November, speaks volumes about what a disaster his candidacy has been.

America is the finest country the world has ever seen - it is the shining city on the hill that represents freedom, hope and opportunity. But his comments indicate a kind of End Times hysteria that may play well with the crazier elements of his base, but they are repugnant and stupid and utterly unworkable.

Nice one Donald, you may just have handed the election to the vile, mendacious Hillary.

And that's something that won't be forgiven.

Cumberbatch offensive? So what about  Panti Bliss?

It's a tough call, but Benedict Cumberbatch may well be the most PC luvvie of them all, given his much publicised and widely mocked habit of boring theatre audiences with lectures about refugees.

But now, to the delight of anyone with a sense of irony, he has been accused of propagating a hate crime against cross dressers.

He's in the new Zoolander movie playing a 'model of indeterminate gender' and the trans-lobby are livid that anyone would want to make a joke about them - even though it's a comedy.

According to the organisers of the boycott: "Cumberbatch's character is clearly portrayed as an over-the-top, cartoonish mockery of androgyne/trans/non-binary individuals. This is the modern equivalent of using blackface to represent a minority." But if they want to talk about blackface, why don't they have a go at drag queens?

After all, the likes of Panti and those other clowns who wear a frock for a living are simply mocking women in the exact same way that white people blacking up mocked blacks.

This is the great irony of the professionally liberal - they look for offence everywhere and like to signal their own virtue, yet remain blissfully unaware that the most famous cross dresser in Ireland is nothing more than the modern iteration of a Black and White Minstrel.

That, of course, is heresy, because the reliably tedious Rory O'Neill is as close to a secular saint as you can get in this country.

But maybe it's time for Mna na hEireann to start complaining about the ludicrous caricature that is Panti.

Honestly, you could sell tickets for that particular cat fight.


Another column, another mention for Tyson Fury who seems to be doing his best to become the Donald Trump of boxing.

His inclusion in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year has led to the usual flurry of indignation as people object to his views on gay people, paedophilia and abortion.

The usual petitions and campaigns and nonsense all have one thing in common - they all use the word 'offensive' in relation to his views.

But here's the thing - no opinion is offensive, it's just something you don't agree with.

'Offensive' is an able-bodied person parking in a disabled spot. 'Offensive' is someone who doesn't clean up when their dog defecates on the street. 'Offensive' is lots of things.

But if you claim to find someone's views 'offensive' then you need to get out more because words and opinions are just that - words and opinions that don't have any material impact on your life.

Actions are offensive, but opinions simply can't be.

They can be dumb and obnoxious and Fury is certainly guilty of that, but if you find the daft views of a boxer you've never met to be personally 'offensive', then you've obviously got mental issues and should see a shrink.

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