Trump, Political Violence and when is it right to punch Nazis?Gerry HassanScottish Review, February 8th 2017 It is a season of heated tempers and invective across the political world. One that matches the widespread atmosphere of confusion and disorientation. This is a mood in which there are winners and losers: people who crave this kind of moment, and many who lament the passing of the previous era. Mainstream political sentiment is uncomfortable and on the defensive. But radicals of the right and left celebrate this new found chaos as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Are they right
How Trump Shook America and the World: My Letter from AmericaGerry HassanScottish Review, November 10th 2016 America has shaken itself and the world. Something seismic has happened which has compounded experts, the political classes, and observers all round the world. But in this year of revolt and surprises - from Leicester City and the Cubs to more seriously Brexit and Trump - the question is why should we be surprised anymore? I spent the last three weeks in the States, attending rallies, speaking and listening to people, and trying to understand what was going on. It was clear
What does the US Presidential Election Mean? Twelve Thoughts on US PoliticsGerry HassanOpen Democracy, November 8th 2016 This has been a fascinating election; a true rollercoaster of emotions - of hope and fear, the spectre of bigotry and violence, and the flames of intolerance, and even insurrection, raised in some right-wing circles. Here are some thoughts and observations based on travels, conversations and attending various political events in the United States over the last few weeks.
In the past fortnight I attended a Hillary Clinton-Elizabeth Warren rally, followed by a Donald Trump event, and an eve of
Fear of a Trump PlanetGerry HassanOpen Democracy, November 4th 2016 Could Donald Trump actually pull off the biggest election shock in post-war US politics? One week ago the US Presidential election was meant to be over. Now the weekend before the election things look very different. For the past week the Clinton campaign has hit stormy waters, aided by FBI Director James Comey, while Trump has in the last stages found a momentum and even belatedly embraced a degree of message discipline. On Friday I went to a Trump rally in the palatial surroundings of Atkinson Country Club,
An Empire in Decline: Hillary Clinton, Trump, ‘Nasty Women’ and Kabuki PoliticsGerry HassanOpen Democracy, October 26th 2016 The US Presidential election is everywhere you turn in the States. That much is familiar and reassuring, but so much else this year - and in the longer-term -points in the exact opposite direction: a country not at ease with itself, a failing economy and imperial over-reach. On Monday this week I went to an election campaign rally in the beautiful grounds of St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and heard Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren speak. The latter touched
The Big Stakes at Play in the US Presidential Election Gerry HassanOctober 20th 2016 The US Presidential election has been mesmerising, compelling and a warning from a future that doesn’t work. As with every recent US election we have had wall-to-wall UK broadcast media coverage. Often this has been presented as a fantasyland larger version of Britain – something which is getting less and less plausible given the differences between the two countries politically. There is something increasingly questionable about the time BBC, ITV and SKY spend on covering US elections compared to say French and German elections
Donald Trump may be a one-off but his politics are not a one-offGerry HassanScottish Review, March 16th 2016 Donald Trump may seem like a throwback to earlier, uglier times, but he is actually a very modern phenomenon. He is easy for opponents to hate, ridicule and throw insults at - from ‘fascist’ (which he most certainly isn’t) - to racist, misogynist and demagogue which, whether they are right or wrong, get in the way of understanding his politics and their widespread appeal. Donald Trump is favourite to win the US Republican nomination to be President of the United
What are politicians for today? In Defence of a Different PoliticsGerry HassanScottish Review, March 9th 2016 For all my adult life, I have defended the potential of politics and politicians to aid a better world. I have defended politics as the means to bring about change, for people to come together collectively and exercise power, and to aid the art of living together well. I have defended politicians as both a necessary evil - not all being the same and tarred with the same brush – and as people undertaking an activity in which many try their best.
2016: The Year of the UK as a Disunited Kingdom in an Unstable World Gerry HassanSunday Mail, December 27th 2015 ‘The future ain’t what it used to be’ - said American baseball player Yogi Berra. This year saw unpredictability, shocks and upsets. There was the election of a majority Conservative Government which no polls predicted. There was the tartan tsunami which saw the SNP sweep nearly all before it. There was the rise and victory of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, while across the world a whole range of populists, from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders to Marine
Donald Trump’s appeal tells us that something is wrong with America and the WestGerry HassanSunday Mail, December 13th 2015 Only a generation ago, just after the Berlin Wall fell, liberal democratic opinion across the West was confident about the future. This was the era of the long boom across the West, the Clinton era of ‘Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow’ in the US, and the Blair’s ‘Dreams Can Only Get Better’ in the UK. All of this hubris and hype was brought down to earth by the banker’s crash of 2008, but this was only the start of