I haven’t written much on my blog this year. The daily nonsense, insanity and idiotic, bumbling evil of Trump’s regime have left me type-tied. What to say about so much crazy? How to parry so many lies?
I’ve left the Trump jokes to the staffs of The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Saturday Night Live. They’ve kept up the satiric fight very well without my two cents. Crafting jokes about a man-child whose words and actions are frequently beyond satire is a challenge. Simply holding up the mirror has often been enough. I’ve enjoyed watching our best comedians skewer the Great Orange Gasbag on a nightly basis.
But Trump’s latest dust-up with the Mayor of London, and the breathless, hyperbolic tone of the 24/7 media coverage of recent terrorist attacks has finally riled me enough to put down my remote, get off the couch, and vent.
Vent, that is, via a brief history lesson.
To be sure, the media (other than FOX News) quickly pointed out that Trump’s god-awful Tweet denigrating the Mayor of London for suggesting there was “no reason to be alarmed” about the London Bridge attacks took the mayor’s words out of context. Mayor Sadiq Khan was clearly referring to the increased presence of armed police on the streets of London – where, unlike in militarized America, London “Bobbies” don’t usually carry guns.
But that’s not where my mind went. My mind went to London during The Blitz — and the motto “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Had Mayor Kahn actually said there was no reason to be alarmed by the latest cowardly terrorist attack on his magnificent, open city – he’d have been standing proudly in the shoes of Winston Churchill, King George VI, and the millions of Londoners who endured The Blitz with a stiff upper lip.
And the media need a history lesson as well. London was never “on edge” because of the London Bridge attack, nor was the UK still “reeling” from the bombing in Manchester. And – this very morning – I somehow doubt, despite breathless CNN commentary, that Paris in “on edge” because one man attacked one cop with a hammer. Such lazy, hysterical media tropes amplify the terrorists’ small, desperate, murderous acts into something much large than they are.
How did Londoners react to The Blitz? And what was The Blitz? Hey, CNN and MSNBC – maybe the past few days have been a missed opportunity to put things in historical perspective? It’s a cinch Trump has no knowledge of history – but he does watch TV.
The seven innocent deaths in the London attack and the 22 lives lost in the Manchester bombing cannot be discounted. They must all be mourned. But we do them all dishonor when we lose perspective and help to make their deaths a propaganda victory for the terrorists. The Nazis tried to terrorize England on an infinitely larger scale – and they failed to break the spirit of the British people. What chance does ISIS have if Trump and the ratings-hungry media don’t play into their hands?
Consider this. (Donald, are you listening?)
Starting on September 7, 1940, the German air force bombed London for 56 out of the next 57 days and nights. The Nazis continued their night bombing campaign until May 11, 1941, when Hitler called off the raids so he could use his bombers for his invasion of Russia.
More than a million homes in London were destroyed or damaged — and more than 40,000 civilians were killed, nearly half of them were Londoners.
And what was the British response? “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Still listening, Donald? (Of course not. You don’t have the attention span.)
Have 70 post-world war years of relative peace left us incapable of processing the difference between individual acts of murder and mayhem – and true existential threats? (Like global climate change?)
In contrast to today’s constant mass media blather about London, Manchester and Paris “reeling” and “on edge” after these latest attacks, historians tell us that the 8 months of bombing during The Blitz failed to demoralize the British or significantly damage their wartime economy. In fact, Britain’s war industries continued to expand. And, hey, New Yorkers made it through the horrors of 9-11 without surrendering to fear. Keep Calm and Carry On. That’s how we face down evil.
You face it like this defiant English lady…
Or this defiant English lady…
Or like the Mayor of London.