As Donald Trump prepares to assume power, it’s time to recall Charles Dickens terrifying tale of another infamous split personality, “Doctor Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.”
There are some Futurists who argue that we humans are headed for oblivion, to be replaced by a new species—a product of the current mind-boggling developments in Artificial Intelligence, robotics and machine learning. There’s no better proof for that claim than the presidential campaign just staggering to its farcical conclusion, in what is supposed to be the most advanced country on the planet.
The rabid anti-immigrant campaign of Donald Trump mirrors the racist vitriol of right-wing politicians across much of the developed world. But totally absent from what passes for political debate in the U.S. and abroad is what’s really driving those ever more incendiary movements.
France is still in shock from the horrific rampage in Nice last night. And right on cue, terrorist experts in France, Europe and around the globe—including Donald Trump and New Gingrich—are already counseling what new Draconian measures should be implemented to deal with the menace of Radical Islam.
But their mindless spewing has nothing to do with what happened in Nice.
There are rabid extremists everywhere these days, with raging rhetoric and venomous rallying cries. When their appeals to fear and violence provoke predictably, murderous actions, why shouldn’t they also be charged with complicity for the tragic results?
Why should they be able to continue to spew their volatile messages on mainstream media and across the Internet. When, in short, do societies put a reign on so-called “free speech?”
I originally posted this blog November, 2015--but feel it’s even more relevant now. It’s a “distant mirror” to the mounting hysteria in the United States and Europe today.
Americans still reeling from the horrific attack in Orlando probably don’t know it, but Paris today is also staggered by another bloody terrorist killing: two police—an officer and his wife, who also worked for the police—were hacked to death late last night. The French are particularly stunned and outraged by the fact that the police couple were murdered in their own home—the husband stabbed to death—the wife’s neck slashed--in the presence of their three year old son, who survived.
The horrific terrorist attacks in Orlando—and before that in San Bernardino, Brussels, and Paris-- exploded out of nowhere with the same terrifying destructive force as a missile strike from an almost invisible U.S. drone.
For a huge number of Americans the key emotion driving the tortured primary campaigns has, arguably, been fear.
It’s fear of terrorism, fear of immigrants; but above all, it’s a fear—panic for some—of Americans whose standard of living has declined or stagnated, and who apprehend an even bleaker future for their children.
But the candidates—and most of the media—are ignoring the real cause of that angst.
It’s become normal for Americans to demand—and receive-a professional assessment of the physical health of the candidates for president—just as they expect updates on the medical state of the president himself.
We’re outraged by Donald Trump’s demanding databases and I.D. cards to protect America from the super-hyped threat of Syrian refugees. We’re ashamed by the memory of Roosevelt’s interning more than 100,000 Japanese American residents and citizens during World War II. But Winston Churchill went even further. He ordered the internment of tens of thousands of Jewish refugees in England, labeling them dangerous enemy aliens.
People in Paris are still leery of large crowds; think twice before walking into a department store or museum or taking the metro. But now, as I write, we look in shock at live TV coverage of yet another savage attack by Islamic jihadists. Today it’s Mali’s turn.
Could one of the indirect results of the horrific attacks in Paris be a Nobel Peace Prize for Vladimir Putin? Sound absurd? Read on.
The day after Kurdish forces with U.S. support expelled the Islamic State from the town of Sinjar in Northern Iraq; the day after the U.S. triumphantly announced that ISIS executioner “Jihadi” John had been “evaporated” by a missile fired from a U.S. drone—yesterday, on February 13th, ISIS boasted its own deadly triumph.