President Trump has offended pretty much the entirety of Britain’s political and media establishment up to and including the Prime Minister, the Mayor of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury. As a result, the Special Relationship is once more in jeopardy, and Trump has decided to cancel a planned working visit to the United Kingdom.
In a moment I shall explain why the president is right and his critics are wrong. But first a brief recap of what the fuss is all about.
Trump’s critics objected violently – or so they have publicly claimed – to three of his Twitter retweets.
These retweets showed videos, purportedly of members of the Religion of Peace (TM) behaving less than peacefully.
One depicted a bearded Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.
One showed an Islamist mob pushing a teenage boy off a roof and then beating him to death.
One showed a white Dutch boy on crutches being gratuitously beaten up by a man described in the video caption as a “Muslim migrant”.
Prime Minister Theresa May; Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; and many other politicians professed themselves to be appalled by this. As was BBC news, which made this horror its lead story.
But it wasn’t the sadistic brutality on any of the videos that bothered them. It was the fact that the person whose tweets the President had retweeted, Jayda Fransen, is the deputy of a nationalistic, anti-immigration political party highly critical of Islam called Britain First.
According to Prime Minister Theresa May this was a grave mistake.
I am very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do.
“Britain First is a hateful organisation. It seeks to spread division and mistrust in our communities. It stands in fundamental opposition to the values that we share as a nation – values of respect, tolerance and, dare I say it, common decency.”
Some politicians went further.
London’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, sought to use Trump’s tweet as an excuse to promote his ongoing campaign to prevent the President being granted a State Visit to London.
President Trump has used Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country. It's increasingly clear that any official visit from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed. pic.twitter.com/oZ1Kt0JCfY
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) November 30, 2017
Chris Bryant – a Labour MP better known as “Captain Underpants” because he posted “sexy” photographs of himself on a gay dating site wearing nothing but his white briefs – accused the president of “supporting and condoning fascism”.
Yesterday I wrote to the Prime Minister asking her to ban Donald Trump from entering the United Kingdom on account of his support for far-right groups in this country. pic.twitter.com/K8iC5yAJTR
— Chris Bryant (@RhonddaBryant) November 30, 2017
The BBC devoted large chunks of its news bulletins to excoriating the President’s behavior. Much was made of the fact that the mentally ill man who murdered Jo Cox MP during the Brexit campaign in June 2016 shouted “Britain First” as he committed his vile deed. Jo Cox’s widowed husband – a left-wing campaigner called Brendan Cox – was given space to fulminate against the president.
President Trump, however, has remained unrepentant.
Here is how he responded to Theresa May’s dressing down:
.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
Now let me explain why, far from being a stupid, irresponsible, unpresidential move – as Britain’s chattering classes would have us believe – Trump’s tweets were in fact tactically astute.
Donald Trump, as many of us here know, is a much underrated figure in certain quarters.
If you think this is true in the U.S., you should try living in Britain – or in Ireland where, last weekend, I found myself in the extremely lonely position of defending his record at Dublin’s Festival of Politics. [You can hear more about some of my Irish adventures on my latest podcast]
Virtually none of my colleagues, even in the conservative media, has a good word to say about him. They think of him in all the usual leftist cliches: that he’s crass, vulgar, dumb, brash and so on. They think that those few of us who defend him – like me, Katie Hopkins, Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Pryce-Jones, Daniel Johnson and a handful of others – only do so because we are attention-seeking loons.
What they misunderstand about Trump is the scale of his ambitions and the true nature of his mission.
As I argue in this week’s Spectator, he represents the same revolt of the masses against the liberal elite we saw with Brexit. His mission is vital:
That mission, domestically, is to Make America Great Again. But his ambitions, I believe, are even greater than that. As he outlined in his brilliant Warsaw speech, he sees himself as the defender of not just the free world, but of western civilisation itself.
‘We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers. We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honour God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression. We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the centre of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything.’
President Trump’s Warsaw Speech – the most important speech any president has made since Ronald Reagan’s 1987 “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall” – established him as Western Civilization’s White Knight. No other leader anywhere in the Western world – certainly not Angela Merkel or the insipid Theresa May – speaks up for our values (the wisdom of the Ancients, infused with Judaeo-Christian morality, filtered through the skepticism and scientific experiment of the Enlightenment, made prosperous by global trade and the Industrial Revolution) in such a forthright and unapologetic way.
It might seem a stretch to argue that Trump’s recent trio of trolling retweets of Muslims-behaving-badly videos have much to do with this noble mission.
But cometh the man, cometh the hour. President Trump is no ordinary leader and he most certainly does not play by the conventional rules.
A key facet of his modus operandi is the way he manages to bypass a generally hostile media and speak directly to his constituency – essentially ordinary people who’ve had just about enough of politically correct nonsense – using social media.
Straight laced conservatives deplore this. They think it’s undignified. Even that it trivializes the presidential office and undermines Trump’s mission.
On the contrary, as Vox Day persuasively demonstrates in his new book SJWs Always Double Down , Trump wields Twitter like a cross between a surgeon’s scalpel and a theater commander’s Daisycutter bomb.
So, cut to the chase, what was Trump doing with these tweets?
First, let’s just establish what he was NOT doing:
Winning the hearts and minds of radical Muslims; making liberals love and respect him more; getting nice coverage in the Guardian and the New York Times; persuading Never Trumpers that they might have misjudged him; winning over Theresa May and the rest of the faux-Conservative political class.
No. Trump doesn’t give a damn for any of these people. (And who can blame him?)
Instead he was sending a message to the people he cares about: all those ordinary people out there, not just in the U.S. but in Europe and beyond, who are shocked, appalled, scared by the way their countries are slowly (or quite quickly in the case of some countries, Sweden, for example) surrendering to Islam; who feel betrayed by the pusillanimity of their political leaders and let down by the failure of most of their media to report on the rapes and the sexual grooming and the violence being committed disproportionately by Muslims, both immigrants and home-grown radicals; who feel unable to speak – except in embarrassed whispers – about their fears about being stabbed or machine-gunned or blown up or mown down by yet another jihadist simply for the crime of going about their daily, Western life; who bitterly resent being tarred as Islamophobic or xenophobic or uncaring when all they want is to be allowed to live their life in peace in a country whose traditions, laws and cultural values remain the ones they grew up with and which make their homeland worth living in.
These are the people Trump was reaching out to with those tweets.
As for the rest – all those politicians and media types and cry bully activist groups – they just fell into Trump’s trap.
Trump wanted them to react in the way they did. It was part of his strategy. If you don’t understand why – if you’re one of those “sophisticated” analysts who persists in persuading yourself that Trump is just an idiot, in the way the same people used to say about Ronald Reagan – then, again, I recommend you spend time reading Vox Day’s book.
But if you want the short version, ask yourself this: how do you think most ordinary people – the ones outside the politically correct politics/media bubble – responded when they saw the president’s tweets?
Did they go
a) “I heard some people on the BBC tell me that Britain First are far right and far right is, like, the worst thing ever. So by retweeting them Donald Trump was literally endorsing fascism!”
b) “Trump gets it. Why don’t the other politicians get it?”
I suspect it’s mainly the latter.
Let me be clear: I’d feel very different about this video footage if it had been cynically staged by evil fascists to make nice Muslims look bad. If that were the case it would be wrong and needlessly inflammatory.
But I don’t think even President Trump’s most virulent detractors are saying that, are they?
Sure there have been quibbles about some details. The Dutch police have even gone so far as to claim that the guy attacking the boy on crutches wasn’t an immigrant and wasn’t even a Muslim. Well even this is the case – and remember, the EU authorities are notorious for their politically correct cover ups – no one is doubting the veracity of the other two videos, other than to point out that they’re over five years old (as if that changed anything).
Put it this way: if you ask yourself the question “Are these videos representative of behavior currently being enacted across Europe, the Middle East and beyond by members of the Religion of Peace?” you’d have to be pretty naive to answer anything but “yes!”
Yes, that boy on the roof – Hamada Badr, his name was, and he was 19 years old – really was pushed off and beaten to death by an Islamist mob, one carrying the black Al Qaeda flag, in Alexandria in 2013. Yes, countless other men have been pushed off roofs and killed by ISIS and similar groups for such anti-Islamic crimes as being gay.
Yes, the man smashing the Virgin Mary statue does exist. His name is – or was – Sheikh Omar Raghba. He was recorded in Syria and he tells the camera:
Allah willing, Allah alone will be worshipped in the Levant, which will be ruled only by the law of Allah.
‘The idols will be worshipped no more in the Levant, Allah willing.
‘We shall accept nothing but Allah, his religion, and the Sunnah of his prophet.’
Sheikh Omar’s attitudes are hardly unusual. Islam is quite explicitly a religion of conquest whose very name means “Submission”. And its treatment of its religious rivals (as it sees them) quite often extends to doing far worse than merely smashing Marian statues. Think of all the Yazidis and Christians and Shia raped and murdered by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq; think of the 305 Sufi worshippers murdered earlier this month in their mosque in the Sinai.
So what, exactly, was Trump doing wrong by tweeting videos drawing attention to these issues?
None of his detractors has successfully answered this question.
That is because they do not have an answer.
Some of us here in Britain – many if not most of us, I suspect – are continually pinching ourselves in disbelief at what our country has become in so short a space. It seems only yesterday that we used to be able to walk over Westminster Bridge or go shopping round Borough Market or go to a pop concert without for one second having to worry about the possibility of being murdered by Islamic terrorists; that boys and girls in headscarves were never segregated in inner city schools and taught to despise Jews and other kuffar; that the correct response to mass rape was mass arrest not mass cover ups; that Britain believed in equality before the law not in separate Sharia courts for certain communities; that a supermarket worker who told his boss “I can’t serve alcohol to customers” would be told in no uncertain terms either to do his job or move on elsewhere…
The story is the same across continental Europe, from Austria to Sweden to Germany to France and the beaches of Greece, Italy and southern Spain.
But has our political class responded to our concerns about this menace to our values, our cultural cohesion and our safety?
On the contrary. It has either ignored the problem altogether. Or doubled down on it, as Angela Merkel did in 2015 when she decided to enrich her country, whether it liked it or not, with another million or so Muslim “refugees”. Or – as in the case of all this confected outrage about Britain First (a tiny organisation about which few people either know or care) – they go: “Look, a squirrel!”, in the hope that people will politely join them in pretending that there isn’t a problem, thus relieving themselves of the burden of having to deal with it.
The U.S. was nearly as bad, of course, till Trump came along and said: “Enough is enough.” Which, of course, is one of the main reasons he is now president. He understood, as so many of our chatterati still do not, that there is a yawning gulf between where our political class are on the subject of immigration and Islam, and where the man and woman in the street are.
Trump sticks out like a sore thumb at the moment not because he is dangerous maverick but, on the contrary, because he is the only truth teller in a world of lies.