Dear West, I Love You, But Let's Have a Little Chat About This Trump Guy
James Webb
Solar Eclipse
Solar System
Space Exploration
Space Tech
Particle Physics
Social Science
Law & Order

2017-03-18 13:52:56

Donald Trump was pushed up into power by white nationalists. In fact, America really just now woke up to what Wester Europe is dealing with for years — reemergence of white nationalism caused mainly by massive surges in immigration, globalization and to a degree liberalism.

Note to Canada: Something like this is probably coming your way too.

The most important thing to recognize here is that nationalism of any kind does not come out of thin air or evil intent. A carefully administered doze of it can even sometimes be constructive. It draws energy from real issues like jobs, immigration policies, political indifference, religious freedoms and runaway liberalism. So yes, these are the issues that Trump got his votes from, and they are real. But what really gave him the edge was what politically correct media calls "white blue-collar workers." However, we cannot simply dismiss the xenophobia and bigotry Trump fed on — they have to be added to the mix to paint the whole picture. A good percentage of the "white blue-collar workers" is "white nationalists." So let's not mix issues with ideology. Those are two very separate things and people have to stop using the issues as excuses for the ideologies that just voted in their voice in America. That's denial even if you like it all.

The trouble with nationalism of any kind is that it doesn't care much for facts and tends to blame problems on other groups. This is the fundamental danger of nationalism and this is what Trump is inviting into his administration. I am still deciding just how aware he is of what kind of agendas and passions he is bringing in.

With clear distinction between the issues and ideologies we must also recognize that "Trump" and "Make America Great Again" are a double-edged sword. One side deals with the issues, the other is a pair of masked symbols for white nationalism. We need to put them in their proper contexts — a "Trump" badge on a jobless worker and a "Trump" graffiti on an immigrant's home are two very different things.

I am a genocide survivor, I've watched and experienced just where runaway nationalism can take a country. Almost overnight, my original country went from a pluralistic and multicultural society to a an extreme nationalistic black hole that ended with dozers pushing human bodies into mass graves. Stark and extreme I know, but you know what, I reached my adolescence playing games, watching movies and listening to music, believing like most in my generation that these things were forever locked in history, stupid and archaic, something we learned from and moved on. Then all of a sudden, that happened.

Don't for a second think that all this progress the West made over the last century cannot be reversed or even undone. Without a precedent, all systems in human history have come and gone. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that our here and now is a constant. Things change, systems come and go and when they go they don't politely move aside — they get pulled from under our feet, sweeping thousands and millions along. We have two world wars in our recent history and we are NOT out of woods. Some passions and grudges from World War II are still palpable and we are still pack-hunting for resources. It is culture that changes and evolves over several generations, not human nature. We are all capable of both dreams and nightmares depending on what kind of cards we get dealt. Things that are uncool now, can very quickly become cool again.

During this US election white supremacist flyers were dropped in people's mailboxes and front yards in multiple cities where I live — in Canada. I can't even say where I heard this but I heard it from the most unexpected source: apparently my town used to be just K and now it's KKK. This is chatter and these are calls for action — this is the Trump effect, the ugly side of it.

5 years ago I said that the relentless pumping of Asian money into the Vancouver real estate bubble was going to cause a demographic shift, which would in turn feed energy into white nationalism in BC, and that Asians will take the brunt of the backlash. This is happening, even though local corporate greed and reckless governance is really to blame. The government left the gate wide open for money, completely disregarding the looming local demographic and economic earthquake, which to anyone with a brain should have been obvious.

Yes, all of this is "Trump." He was pushed up by a current that was disregarded and ignored for far too long because culture was confused for nature. He did not create this — it created him, and what we need more than anything right now is an open and fair dialogue. The West, and by that I mean everyone who lives in Western countries, including immigrants, must sweat some facts and issues:

  1. Everyone must understand that the demographic maps of Western countries have changed too quickly. Sometimes incoming cultures simply don't have enough time to find a balance between assimilation and preservation of their own culture. There is a critical mass, which when reached too quickly causes assimilation failures. Immigrants on the other hand, sometimes need to fully understand why Wester countries welcome them and which suitcases they need to leave behind.
  2. Western leaders must quit this practice of helping the World by taking sides. They must understand that a large portion of the surge in immigration and even resentment toward the West is caused directly or indirectly by many reckless foreign policy decisions, some driven by genuine willingness to help, some by interests, and some by naive alliances. Yes, Israel has the right to exist, and no, Palestinians cannot be treated like cattle. There are no sides here, only two problems forever coupled into one. Deposing a foreign government and hoping democracy and freedom will flourish on their own is retarded. Maybe we did not know this before but let's learn from Iraq and Afghanistan. Let's not forget which moments in history set Afghanistan on the path to Taliban and Iran on the path to totalitarian radicalism. Some cultures are incompatible with Western ways, and maybe we just need to find channels to talk to them.
  3. Globalization did export millions of jobs and left many people with unstable incomes. It also opened local markets to foreign turbulences. Oh and by the way, even though the products I buy every day in the West are produced for dimes somewhere out there, they are progressively more expensive and reciprocally poorer in quality. What's up with that?
  4. Sovereignty does not mean self-isolation. We all share this planet, and migrations will continue, interests will clash and we'll continue to breathe the same polluted air — because air does not care about our borders any more than ocean currents do. We must recognize the selfishness of winning and the value of compromise in the limited space and resources we have. No one can have more without making less available to others.

However real, the issues are not simple so the solutions can't be simple either. We must think twice before we allow nationalism to fix them. We are about to experience at least a hint of what that looks like once Trump and his administration take the helm of the most powerful country in the world. We must all fully grasp both beautiful and ugly sides of human nature, reach for history books and learn just how fragile and expendable human culture is. We must keep reminding ourselves that our here and now is not a constant, but a moldable flowing mass that can only take a limited number of punches before it changes shape and becomes unrecognizable. Human nature will only return what we feed it.

So that's Trump. He is just a guy who likes power and that's noting new. It is his promises and even more importantly the masses he fired up on those promises: The Great American Wall, mass deportations and selective immigration bans. It is the "solutions" and ideologies, not the issues — the spectrum of ideologists he is filling the White House with. It is all bearing too close a resemblance to recent history to just ignore and call it "politics as usual," because these are very uncertain times and a messy world. We have to be extra careful and use freedom of speech, the jewel of Western culture, for constructive dialogue.

Parallel State
Trump's 'all-out effort' on climate is derelict and risky
PHYS.ORG As Hurricane Florence made landfall, we could not help but reflect on the enormous human and financial toll of weather and climate-related disasters from last year. According to the National... 1 day
Florence death toll climbs to 37; Trump visits stricken area
PHYS.ORG The death toll from Hurricane Florence climbed to at least 37, including two women who drowned when a sheriff's van taking them to a mental health facility was... 3 days
Trump’s biodefense plan aims to improve coordination across agencies
Science Magazine New Cabinet-level committee and point people named 3 days
Administration sends states $1B in grants to battle opioids
ABC NEWS The Trump administration is awarding more than $1 billion in grants to help states confront the opioid epidemic, with most of the money going expand access to treatment and recovery... 3 days
Trump rolls back pollution rules for drilling on US lands
PHYS.ORG The Trump administration on Tuesday rolled back an Obama-era rule that forced energy companies to capture methane—a key contributor to climate change that's released in huge amounts during... 4 days
Apple escapes China tariff hit for now, but threats loom
PHYS.ORG The latest round of tariffs imposed on China imposed by President Donald Trump appeared to largely spare Apple and other consumer electronics makers but they face increasing threats... 4 days
Cybersecurity firm: More Iran hacks as US sanctions loomed
PHYS.ORG A cybersecurity firm is warning that Iranian government-aligned hackers have stepped up their efforts in the wake of President Donald Trump pulling America from the nuclear deal. 4 days
Cash, carbon, crude—how to make oil fields bury emissions
PHYS.ORG In February 2018, Donald Trump signed into law new tax credits that reward oil companies for capturing carbon dioxide and preventing it from entering the atmosphere – either by burying... 4 days
FEMA chief: Too much blame around on Puerto Rico deaths
ABC NEWS The Trump administration's disaster relief chief says that "the numbers are all over the place" from studies on the death toll from last year's Hurricane Maria in Puerto... 6 days
Lawsuit aims to block Trump 'short-term' health plans
ABC NEWS Patient advocates sue to block Trump administration's 'short-term' health insurance plans 1 week
4 takeaways on Puerto Rico’s death toll after Trump’s tweet storm
ABC NEWS Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning to challenge the official count of the number of people who died in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of... 1 week
Congress sends Trump energy spending bill that includes healthy boost for science
Science Magazine Lawmakers resoundingly reject proposed cuts to basic and applied science programs 1 week
Funds for Florida health insurance helpers cut by millions
ABC NEWS The Trump administration has slashed funding for the second year in a row for counselors who help consumers sign up for health insurance through the federal marketplace 1 week
In Trump’s first year, nation’s uninsured rate unchanged
NEWS MEDICAL Despite Republicans’ resistance to the federal health law, the percentage of Americans without health insurance in 2017 remained the same as during the last year of the Obama administration, according to a... 1 week
A reliable cryptocurrency needs good governance, say researchers
PHYS.ORG Participants in cryptocurrency networks like Bitcoin need to be better at preempting beneficial software changes. This will ensure the security and privacy of addresses and transactions, and help retain the value of... 1 week
Unwitting patients, copycat comments play hidden role in federal rule-making
ABC NEWS This story is from Kaiser Health News. A proposal to sharply cut a drug discount program that many hospitals rely on drew some 1,400 comments when the Trump... 2 weeks
Unwitting patients, copycat comments play hidden role in federal rule-making
NEWS MEDICAL A proposal to sharply cut a drug discount program that many hospitals rely on drew some 1,400 comments when the Trump administration announced its plan last year. Hundreds... 2 weeks
Chinese companies flee overseas to avoid US tariffs
PHYS.ORG A growing number of Chinese companies are adopting a crafty way to evade US President Donald Trump's tariffs: remove the "Made in China" label by shifting production to countries such as Vietnam,... 2 weeks
Medicaid work requirements will cause 'more harm than good': Researchers
ABC NEWS The Trump administration is letting states require Medicaid beneficiaries to work. 2 weeks
ATS joins U.S. Senators urging Trump administration to show leadership in global TB elimination efforts
NEWS MEDICAL Today, the American Thoracic Society joined U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Todd Young and other senators in calling... 2 weeks
Trump calls on Apple to move production from China to US
PHYS.ORG US President Donald Trump called Saturday for Apple to make its products in the US instead of China to avoid suffering the consequences of his trade... 2 weeks
Mutant Green Crabs Are Mean, and They're Invading Maine's Waters
Watch a moth drink tears from a bird’s eye
Science Magazine
Rockers Coheed and Cambria Are Heading to a 'Planetary Prison'
New robot picks a peck of peppers and more
Remembrance For Walter Mischel, Psychologist Who Devised The Marshmallow Test
How rats are killing our coral reefs
NASA created rainfall analysis for super Typhoon Mangkhut
NASA balloon mission captures electric blue clouds
Fat from 558 million years ago reveals earliest known animal
Video: How silver nanoparticles cut odors
First detection of matter falling into a black hole at 30 percent of the speed of light
How ad 'heroes' move us… and connect us to their brands
The Dambusters raid took place 75 years ago – here's how they made a bomb bounce
Unprecedented ice loss in Russian ice cap
Engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors
High-tech ‘skins’ turn everyday objects into robots
Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms
Watch robotic ‘skins’ give life to inanimate toys
Science Magazine
Watch a hurricane put a dent in Earth’s crust
Science Magazine
Three new physics experiments could revamp the standard model
Video: Net successfully snares space debris
How medicine literally gets under your skin
Crime, not money, drives migration from El Salvador and Honduras
To avoid vision problems in space, astronauts will need some kind of artificial gravity
High-quality housing for aseptic liquid pharmaceutical and healthcare filtration applications