Tom Kelly: Donald Trump is tearing America apart for his personal advancement
Sajid Javid, failed Tory leadership candidate, current Home Secretary and wannabe Chancellor of the Exchequer says that leaders and public figures need to moderate their language as part of a campaign to tackle extremism. Of course, he is right.
Like Labour London mayor, Sadiq Khan, he is of Pakistani heritage. They both would know what it's like to be told “Go back to where you come from.” Many Irish ex pats who lived in England would recognise that phrase too.
And yet, Mr Javid, with no sense of irony (or it would appear memory), is supporting Boris Johnson to be leader of the Conservative Party and to be the next Prime Minister of Great Britain and (unluckily for us) Northern Ireland.
Expecting moderate language from Johnson is like expecting Bernard Manning to be the Women's Institute Man of the Year.
Pick a nationality and Johnson has had a go - whether about Sikhs and whisky in their temple; the Buddhists to whom he quoted Kipling; burqua wearing Muslim women; the obscene poem about the Turkish President; references to Commonwealth countries with ‘flag waving piccanninies or tribal warriors with ‘watermelon smiles'.
Let's not forget him comparing the EU to the Nazis and for those in the shires, this cosmopolitan champion of the Conservatives told his constituents that voting Tory ‘would cause your wife to have bigger breasts!' Even Johnson's latest gimmick was to blame the EU WRONGLY for the packaging of British smoked kippers. But it's the UK electorate which is being stitched up like a kipper.
These latest practices of the British right were not licked off the ground; they were imported from the USA.
When I heard the President of the United States of America mock a multi ethnic group of congressional representatives my stomach churned. When he told them to go back ‘to the crime infested countries from which they came.' I got angry.
That three of the congresswomen were born in the US and that the fourth has been a naturalised American citizen longer than the president's own wife makes his outburst not just inaccurate but outrageous.
Trump claims he has not got a racist bone in his body but it's not the bones in his body which are of concern. It's the functioning of his brain which appears to insist on using race and diversity as a way of building up resentment and hatred amongst people. What is of concern too, is the apparent disconnect between his brain and his mouth. Not to put too fine a point on it, Trump is ultimate political wrecking ball.
It is even more concerning to watch his vice president and the Republican Party Congressional leaders standing by, clapping like seals in a circus who are being thrown fish - probably kippers.
But maybe the president wasn't too far wrong. Certainly, the country the congressional representatives come from -America - is to use his words ‘totally broken' and ‘crime infested.' Under Trump and the right wing zeal of the Republican Party, there is nothing great about this era in America. He has taken the values of the American Declaration of Independence and trampled them into the dust. The Trump administration is about as far from regarding all its citizens as equals as the Chinese are when it comes to upholding human rights.
Trump is not just a threat to democracy but a threat to American freedoms. He is tearing America apart for personal self aggrandisement. He is unravelling the civil rights agenda of LBJ's Great Society and the threads of common compassion for fellow Americans that created FDR's New Deal. Lincoln would not recognise Trump as American let alone a Republican.
Yes, leaders do need to be careful in the use of language but it will take much more than eloquent words to extinguish the scourge of sectarianism and racial hatred. And as if proof were needed look closer to home where sectarianism and bitterness still reigns unabated.