I have nothing but loathing for Donald Trump and his policies, and I’ve heard more than I can bear of his aggressive, petulant, American supremacist nonsense. I fear him, but if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, which after her huge victory in South Carolina now seems increasingly likely, he probably can’t win the Presidency. He’s preaching to the converted at the Primaries so the adulation he’s enjoying almost certainly isn’t representative of the electorate at large.
But I found myself in sympathy with him yesterday, even admiring of his response to the outrage that emerged when he unwittingly re-tweeted something Benito Mussolini supposedly wrote or said. (See BBC.)
‘It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.’
Of course, it’s the kind of nonsense that macho-nationalists write, but I don’t see that it’s particularly pernicious, as nonsense goes. I don’t agree with it, though not because I’m a vegetarian, rather because I wouldn’t mind living 100 years in a pleasant green field, and Perhaps also because lions have very bad breath. But to criticise Donald Trump for unwittingly re-tweeting the quotation is just plain silly. Bad people say good things, and do good things, and good people say bad things, and do bad things. Hitler was nice to animals.
So, when Trump responded, ‘Mussolini was Mussolini… What difference does it make?’ I sympathise. Other, establishment candidates, would have attempted all sorts of strenuous and embarrassed damage-limitation moves, but not Trump. He didn’t know it was something Mussolini wrote or said, and he didn’t give a damn.
Sensible dietary advice from a very bad man…
I Googled ‘good things that bad people said’ and found many pearls of wisdom that fell from the lips of, or flowed from the pens of, evil dictators:
An action committed in anger, is an action doomed to failure. (Genghis Khan)
It takes less courage to criticise the decisions of others than to stand by your own. (Attila the Hun)
Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place. (Joseph Goebbels)
I call on you not to hate, because hate does not leave space for a person to be fair and it makes you blind and closes all doors of thinking. (Saddam Hussein)
Can a nation be free if it oppresses other nations? It cannot. (Lenin)
Don’t drink at all, don’t smoke, you must exercise and eat vegetables and fruit. (Robert Mugabe)
And another one from Benito Mussolini, with which I wholeheartedly agree:
Inactivity is death.