Thursday, November 17, 2016

Normalising Trump? Don't worry he won't allow us to do it !




There is a danger of falling into the trap of believing Donald Trump can be normalised  - like some sort of latter day Ronald Reagan. "Mr Trump is a big-government conservative" writes Tim Montgomerie in The Times today (perhaps with his fingers crossed). It sums up the dilemma up well. It is an oxymoron of course. Earlier this year, on holiday, I met a couple of Californans - rich, well-educated, articulate. One told me "Trump is a New York liberal". Another oxymoron. 

The thing is that (as with Brexit) the people have been duped. Trump did it on his own (much of the GOP establishment shunned him) whereas the "Leave" campaign had the tabloid media on its side as well as a handful of charismatic proponents on the make. Hardly anyone who was honest and in their right mind backed Trump or Brexit unless, in the case of the latter, they were fulfilling a lifelong ambition. Here the analogy was with a football team. You stick with your team through thick and thin. If you're a lifelong Eurosceptic the same - you don't suddenly change just because the overwhelming evidence, supported by every rational authority, is that the UK would be mad to leave the EU.

Back to Trump. He had even less credible support than the Brexiteers. For good reason. Normally reliable Republican figures, media etc. did not support Donald Trump. He was a loner backed only by the extreme Right - including the Klu Klux Klan and Far Right white supremacists. And grotesque political failures like Gingrich and John Bolton (who will now get jobs).  Now, of course, the Republican tribe is  salivating at the prospect of one of theirs (sort of) in the White House.

Trump is a Bozo, a freak, a fool - an infantile clown who in any rational world would never be given any of the levers of political power. And indeed he hasn't been. No political experience at all. Uniquely so. (Incidentally Dwight Eisenhower is cited  by some as being the only other political tyro in the White House - but you don't have Ike's military record without consummate political skills as well!).

Trump is not Ronald Reagan either. Ronnie was no fool or freak. He was not an egotist either (well no more than most actors). He employed good people. A capable decent Vice President. And he had genuine political experience. No liberal is a fan of Reaganomics, but it in hindsight had its merits. And even liberals can salute Reagan's charisma, leadership and decency.

Trump cannot last. His defective personality, pea-sized brain, and unpleasant friends will surely do for him. How and when, though,  I've no idea. When cataclysmic  political mistakes happen they often take a long time to unravel. Iraq anyone? When an Emporer has no clothes he can still strut on the stage for a while. But politics is tough and if you are unfit for a job (or, like Thatcher or Nixon have become unfit) then you are generally ousted one way or another. Before the inevitable happens to Trump all we can do is try and minimise his damage.