Political Polarisation

Twenty years ago, the western world had united against terrorism as a recognised form of evil that had to be defeated regardless of how brutal the force required was, and with this consensus the governments of the USA and UK under George Bush and Tony Blair extended its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan (which most felt was justified) to oust Saddam Hussein and by invading and occupying Iraq made Al Qaeda more extreme as it became ISIS. Public executions and video propaganda, destabilisation of Syria and grinding wars in two countries, both that were not actually guilty of the terrorism inflicted, but that housed the organisations through consent or chaos, justifying the retribution. This gave Putin license to ally with Bashar al-Assad in Syria, suppressing various factions led by war lords and the like in a war that has destroyed cities, and continues even now.

The extreme actions of the nihilistic resulted in more extreme actions of a government. Both thought they were led by their faith in a holy crusade. Both fed justification for the other to reduce its humanity and to do far worse in response. Anger ruled and decapitation of the enemy became the norm, resulting in the justified execution of Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi (whether directly or by military enabling).

The US became more and more Right wing. The British Labour leader was vilified for starting a war on false pretexts (newspaper headlines boasted “Saddam had nuclear weapons that could destroy London in 45 minutes” based on a false statement in Parliament) and the Conservative opposition slowly moved Right as there was no middle ground left. The very successful chancellor, Gordon Brown, took over from Tony Blair in a disastrous period from 2006 to 2008. He led the cause to save the banks from liquidation during the 2008 financial crisis, borrowing £850 billion to prop up the banks as Lehman Brothers dissolved. This led to a severely Right wing Conservative victory based on the ‘fact’ that the economy was ‘in tatters’. 13 years of increasingly Right wing Conservative government including Brexit has increased the debt from £850B to £2.445T. The election that brought in Brexit with Boris Johnson getting 80 more seats than Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, an extreme Left wing socialist demonstrates a loss of middle ground, with extreme Right vs extreme Left.

In America, the far Right Tea Party evolved into Trump’s MAGA base. The extreme Left represented in spirit by AOC and Bernie Sanders pushed for socialist policy as the centre ground Biden administration respected their support but the opposition then erupted into culture wars based on LGBTQ rights, abortion, Covid and now Ukraine. The far Right devolved into the ridiculous after trying to depose democracy, roasting Trump in a sea of litigation concerning January 6th riots, classified documents and election interference. And yet Trump remains the leader the the GOP, unassailable, even though he most likely may face prison.

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