Choice is yours – shades of grey or black and white

LP Columnist Barry Freeman
LP Columnist Barry Freeman
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So Trump is the Bogeyman and Clinton our Guardian Angel, is that the agreed UK narrative?

Excellent. Binary. Black and white. Absolutes, yes or no, good or evil. Just how both flanks of our political class now frame every issue. Also, it seems, the full spectrum of our corresponding media elite.

Only last week the great Australian reporter John Pilger caught heat from progressive quarters for having the temerity to draw attention to several unwelcome grey areas over the pond.

According to these leftish voices, Pilger’s examination of Clinton’s political career thus far, which outlined a number of worrying truths, amounted to this veteran campaigner for peace and justice throwing his weight behind Trump.

Errant cobblers, of course.

Pilger’s focus was media coverage – and lack thereof – of Clinton’s acknowledged role as a key ‘hawk’ in what, by any standard, has been a hawkish administration.

Trump was barely mentioned, bar to be branded “grotesque”. In recent pieces Pilger has described the tycoon as, variously, an “odious” “far right wing” “cartoon brute”.

With friends like that who needs enemies?

Pilger argued that, so far as the wider world went, it is far from certain Clinton would be the better guarantor of our safety and security.

He correctly asserted she had been a key player in a period of violent US foreign intervention, from Libya to Syria, in a government which spent more on nuclear weapons than any in history, that disingenuously pursued policies which locked the West into a new Cold War with Russia.

From a global perspective, he concluded, the choice is largely illusory. Against the prevailing media wind, yes, but so what? The point is valid.

Clearly, to outside eyes Trump is a menace; delusional, arrogant, vain, spiteful, capricious. Rotten fruit of a dumbed-down public discourse long taking hold in Britain.

But heartening as it is to see a woman close to thwarting a patriarchy so apparently unbreakable as that of the US, this is ultimately a matter mostly of domestic concern.

The US forces and ramped-up rhetoric now encircling Russia are surely of more pressing significance to us, male OR female.

Sold as a choice between Good and Evil, this tussle is closer to frying pan or fire than many care to admit.