- Date published:
9:20 am, March 20th, 2019 - 205 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Donald Trump, human rights, immigration, International, jacinda ardern, labour, leadership, Politics, us politics - Tags:
Exceptional leaders are those who leave their mark. They stand on clear principles, they effect change and they make the world a better place.
Labour has had a few, Michael Joseph Savage (of course), Norm Kirk for too short a time, David Lange (I can smell the uranium on your breath) despite the rogernomes, and more recently there was Helen Clark.
And to their ranks can be added Jacinda Ardern.
Clearly I am biased but in saying this I am doing nothing more than repeating what is being said throughout the world. Jacinda Ardern has been extraordinary in her handling of the Christchurch Mosque attack crisis.
In fact, and I do not say this lightly, she has been Micky Savage quality in her handling of the crisis.
Suzanne Moore in the Guardian has remarked how the last week has completely dispelled the notion, previously fostered by the right, that Ardern has no substance. She said this:
[Ardern] has communicated quickly and immediately, giving New Zealanders as much information as she could. She has given them a language in which to talk about the unspeakable, to vocalise the shock and sadness.
“They are us,” she said simply of the dead and wounded.
The “othering” of Muslims as separate, as somehow different, as not quite belonging, was felled in one swoop.
“They are us.”
New Zealand had been chosen because it was safe, because it was no place for hatred or racism. “Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.”
These values would not be shaken by the murders. To the killer, she said with absolute clarity: “You may have chosen us – we utterly reject and condemn you.”
Moore’s concluding words are powerful:
Māori doing their immensely powerful hakas, Ardern’s face full of sorrow but also fearlessness, ordinary citizens with aftershocks of expression of love and bravery – this will stay with me. Martin Luther King said genuine leaders did not search for consensus but moulded it.
Ardern has moulded a different consensus, demonstrating action, care, unity. Terrorism sees difference and wants to annihilate it. Ardern sees difference and wants to respect it, embrace it and connect with it. Here is an agnostic showing that love will dismantle hate. This is leadership, this light she shines, guiding us though to a world where we see the best of us as well as the worst.
The progressive world clearly think that she is an alternative to and the opposite of Donald Trump. And their handling of not dissimilar crises shows why.
An early test for Trump was Charleston, where a bunch of skinheads had been allowed to publicly protest.
The left maintained a counter protest. Things became ugly and 70 people were hurt in skirmishes. A young progressive woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and many others were injured when a white supremacist, James Alex Fields Jr, rammed his car into a group of counter protesters.
When asked to condemn what happened Donald Trump did something extraordinary, he suggested that the fascists were in moral terms just the same as the counter protesters, despite Heyer’s death.
Trump falsely suggested equivalence when he made the claim that there was “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides”. He also talked about “very fine people on both sides”.
He was roasted.
It is not as if this is a one off. Trump has made a feature of his career the attacking of Muslims.
His latest nonsense is to defend a former Fox News host who was that obnoxious about a Muslim member of the House of Representatives that Fox took her off air. It appears that even the Fox Network has standards.
From Washington Post:
Jeanine Pirro, the Fox News host and former prosecutor, was absent from her usual slot in the network’s Saturday night prime-time lineup — and her most powerful viewer was not happy about it.
Fox News bumped the show a week after it publicly condemned Pirro’s on-air suggestion that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) did not support the U.S. Constitution because she is Muslim and wears a hijab.
“Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro,” President Trump tweeted Sunday morning.
Trump accused Pirro’s critics of waging “all out campaigns” against Pirro and fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who was widely rebuked after decade-old racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments resurfaced last week. Both of their comments prompted some advertisers to boycott the shows.
“Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down,” Trump said in another tweet, before issuing a curiously dire warning to “Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!”
Ardern is clearly the opposite to Trump.
Yesterday in Parliament she reinforced this.
Her earlier response to Trump’s offer of condolences after the Mosque massacre was brilliant:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told US President Donald Trump the best help he could provide in the wake of the Christchurch attack would be sympathy and love for Muslim communities.
Ardern spoke to Trump on the phone early on Saturday morning ahead of flying to Christchurch, which is reeling after an attack on two mosques left at 49 dead. She said Trump passed on his condolences, and asked if there was any help the United States could provide.
“He asked what offer of support the United States could provide. My message was: ‘Sympathy and love for all Muslim communities,'” Ardern said.
Imagine the strange place where we are at when a leader asking for sympathy and love for all Muslim communities is regarded as an exquisite burn on the President of the United States.
The current situation is extremely fragile. Poor leadership would cause scars. Trump like leadership would be disastrous.
Thankfully we have Jacinda.