The newest ‘persecuted class.’

It has always been amusing that the news media make a point of having reporters on hand who represent this persecuted class or that one. They are always at the ready to claim that the racial group or demographic they represent is being persecuted by the presumed powers who are running things. What is amusing about this is what I have always thought of as the Pogo Effect. This is cartoonist Walt Kelly’s creation from the Okefenokee Swamp. Pogo is a possum who has met the enemy and discovered that ‘It is us.’

But we saw the ultimate conclusion of this thinking the other day. It was in a detailed explanation of the quandary facing the republican senators in the Trump trial. A senior Washington bureau chief of a Canadian newspaper was saying that the newest persecuted class in the United States is republicans. Standing in the vanguard of this class is the much-pilloried Donald Trump.

And now tell that to a kid from a hardscrabble childhood in downtown Toronto. Please do not tell me about the vagaries of life and the feeling of rejection. Ill-fitting, hand-me-down clothes and a bad haircut are just as identifying as skin colour and the shape of your eyes.

But we hardly need a tag day for American republicans. The republican senators in Washington are a self-serving lot. Their masters are the real climate-change deniers. They are the spawn of John D. Rockefeller’s oil barons, the coal exploiters who are destroying the Appalachian Mountains, and the military-industrial complex who thrive on the rumours of war. And more to be pitied are the adherents to this warped and dying concept of right-wing politics spreading like a disease across the continent.

History will not be kind to the Trump presidency. It will be a dark blob on the story of a once-envied nation. A nation that is being reduced to a ‘could have been.’

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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