Berlin

Terrible news from Berlin but no surprise. Events like these will be the Merkel legacy.

— Nigel Farage

Well, it’s certainly convenient—for an emboldened Farage—that it’s easier to count the casualties in this disaster than it is to count the refugee lives saved by Merkel’s policies.

An observation, of course, that will set eyes rolling among his supporters, being that it’s the proud ideology of the populist right that the lives of ‘others’ don’t rank equal to the lives of ‘our own’. Without this assumption, of course, Farage’s comment wouldn’t make enough sense to offend.

Farage assumes it to be blindingly obvious that nationhood calibrates the value of human life: no number of Islamic refugee lives saved by Germany’s open doors will count against the indigenous German lives lost to an act of Islamic terrorism.

Flags, anthems, currency symbols: faced directly with human suffering, does this crap really enter anyone’s mind?

I wager that even Farage, face to face with a migrant child fallen overboard in the Mediterranean, wouldn’t let her drown to prevent her landing in Europe. Yet showing off from the comfort of an armchair in Trump’s vulgar Versaillaise apartment, he’d happily spout policies that created the same outcome.

The politics of the populist right are the politics of the armchair. They’re the politics of intellectual laziness. Intellectual laziness makes sensible people say stupid things; but, above all, it makes good people say bad things.


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