YEARS back I was struck by a series of New York subway ads depicting winsome kids – one black, another Chinese, the third a Native American – nibbling sandwiches above the slogan, ‘You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s bread’.The poster campaign by the Brooklyn bakery was slick, inclusive and witty, prompting legendary columnist, Walter Winchell, to praise it in typical Big Apple jargon as having a ‘sensayuma’. I doubt such innocuous imagery would pass muster today, at least not without it tagged by Magen Dovid/swastika graffiti, while provoking a rant from a self-anointed ‘progressive’ against the ‘you-know-whos’ – which happens to rhyme with…well, go figure. The tirade, I’d venture, would begin with accusations of ‘cultural appropriation’ – a trendy refrain of ‘progressives’ and the hypocrites of the civil rights movement – then slalom off into insinuations of ‘dark forces’ snaring in their web government, media, showbiz and high finance. Inevitably, the tailpiece would reference that inversion of history, “I feel sorry for the poor Palestinians, who’ve had their ancient homeland stolen by the warmonger Israelis” plus that pious canard, “But, hey, I’m no anti-Semite – I’m a progressive.” Of course, that scenario is imaginary. Yet it’s not entirely so far-fetched a reflection on our ‘post-truth/alt-news’ society, where all but the righteous guardians of political correctness must tiptoe on eggshells for fear of uttering something the great and good deem heretical. George Orwell forewarned of this defenestration of liberty in Animal Farm, where democracy segued into dystopian, ultra-liberal fascism. Small wonder today history is bunk, unless it is speciously revisionist, and where any challenge to liberal convention is censured as an invasion of ‘free space’ – free for some, off-limits to others. So, despite my steadfast belief in freedom of speech (within the law), gender equality, the right to exercise one’s sexuality without fear and respect for religions that don’t disparage mine, I’m an enemy of straightjacketed ‘progressive’ group-think. The reason is I can’t abide a skewered credo that squares the circle between liberal values and unequivocal support for viciously homicidal, anti-democratic, racist, sexist, kleptomaniacs and their fairy-tale invention of a so-called ‘stolen state’, with fictional roots stretching back beyond antiquity. Nor do I accept ‘justice for Palestine’ as a ‘progressive’ article of faith and slaughtering of innocents legitimate resistance to ‘occupation’. Neither can I blind my eyes to gays being tossed off buildings, female chattels eliminated if they impugn a clan’s cockamamie notion of honour, that liberty is a smokescreen for tyranny and rampant corruption is a response to naïve Western largesse (more fool the EU and US). Meanwhile, democratic Israel is a pariah state, because the warped UN – as exemplified by its most venal of agencies, the unabashedly bigoted UNESCO – distorts the legitimacy of the Jewish state’s existence, thus confirming ‘post-truth/alt-news’ is, indeed, today’s norm. For eight years a vindictive US president has fuelled the ‘progressive’ anti-Israel agenda, his last, diabolical act allocating $221-million to the pockets of Palestinian robber barons, which speaks volumes for Obama’s anti-Israel deceit. The 44th Commander-in-Chief may go down in history as a gifted orator, but he should also be remembered as the ‘front-to-back’ leader, whose inertia and ineptitude paved the path for a Donald Trump presidency. Why else wouldn’t a Democrat progress into the White House if Obama was as consummate as he believed he was? That’s a purely rhetorical question with a self-evident answer, delivered by the great dispossessed and those JAMS, the ‘just-about-managing’ folk of the Rust Belt. So, because of Obama and the insulated Washington elite of which she was a star, Hillary Clinton fell victim to Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for ever action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. And Trump was it. In short, Middle America opted to place its trust in an untried, quasi-political, corporate mogul-showman, more CEO than C-in-C and a total contradiction to an Obama Mark #2, who offered the same addled thinking, plus a compulsion to being sneaky. In his pitch, Trump spelt out unambiguously his agenda to defend his country – the first duty of any leader – and his immediate strategy was to temporarily seal the country’s borders against potential threats. Out of 47 Islamic states, he temporarily blacklisted passport-holders from seven, terror-linked countries – Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – all of which Obama had named and shamed. Furthermore, according to a Rasmussen poll, 57% of Americans agree with Trump’s pronouncement. Let’s also recall how the immediate past president went to greater extremes: in 2011 by banning Iraqi refugees from the US for six months and six times slamming the door on migrants from mostly Muslim lands. Notably, Obama also armed the Saudis to their gleaming teeth to annihilate Yeminis, weaponised Syrian rebels who begat the refugee crisis, rowed back his ‘red lines’ threat to stop Al Assad’s chemical atrocities and destabilised Libya. Yet, despite an exhaustive search of the archives, I can’t find an instance of outrage from the massed ranks of Left-liberals, of them taking to the streets or organising petitions to fulminate against executive decisions that cost innumerable lives. In the ‘alt’ universe of the thin-skinned ‘progressives’ what a Democrat president does is A-OK – ask philandering Bill Clinton – but when a Republican takes affirmative action it’s repugnant. I neither like nor trust Trump and his suspension’s handling was a fiasco, so I’m unsurprised it’s under review. More’s the pity Europe hasn’t done likewise and revised an open-door policy that welcomed a tsunami of unscreened migrants. My intention, then, is purely to contextualise the new president’s deeds with those of his predecessor and highlight the shrill hysteria of pretentious do-gooders, who are a heck of a lot more reactionary when they’re losers. Indeed, hell hath no fury like a ‘progressive’ scorned.