How should we respond to would-be President Trumps latest outrage? Point a figure and call Eeeeuuuurrrggghhh!
I have tried very hard to avoid writing about Donald Trump. I was desperate to write about anything else: the floods, or the Tatler Tory, or the fact that a bloke whose chore is to make people has been saying offensive things( constructing him a kind of reverse Clarkson ), or even high street spending, God help me. But it was no good. I couldnt stop thinking about Trump, couldnt get his name out of my mind “its like” the head of the herd was calling far far away.
It would probably be better to ignore him. If, at a polite beverages do, a man starts noisily doing a shit in the corner of the room, the dignified response is to avert your gaze. But it takes so much self-restraint. Our inner child wants to stare and cry out: Whats that man doing? Hes so weird! Eeeeuuuurrrggghhh! I cant stop looking at him! Thats how I feel about Donald. I cant take my eyes off him. Im guiltily drawn to pictures of him, as if hes boobs.
Its not only his unique seem that Im astounded by, but how he moves, what he tells and the style he tells it. Its so fascinating and disgusting, like staring through the glass at the zoo to consider a huge hairy spider gradually devours a mouse. Hes a perfectly watchable and villainous entity the Lord High Emperor of the planet Katie Hopkins came from. As panto season approaches, I long for him to take the stage so I can boo.
What adds infinitely to this repellent allure( a idea which would be self-contradictory in anyone else) is that Trump isnt trying to play the rogue, hes trying to be popular. And, current proof indicates, hes succeeding. When he says that many Mexicans are rapists, that thousands of Arab Americans celebrated the 9/11 attacks or, as last week, that Muslims should be prevented from entering the United States, hes not trying to publicise a book, stimulate debate or make internet traffic. Hes saying it because he supposes lots of people will agree.
To most of the American political mainstream, and pretty much all of the British one, this induces a lot of spluttering not only because Trumps views seem so despicable but because his success contradicts the current political orthodoxy. Modern politicians, and their surrounding media, and their farther surrounding social media, are obsessed with spotting gaffes and sins moments where lines of propriety have been intersected by their foes and then exploiting them.
But you cant do that with Trump. Hes not just a straight-talker, hes a man who reliably tells the things politicians dream their foes will be caught muttering within scope of forgotten radio-mics except he declaims them on a podium in front of thousands. And reiterates them on TV and Twitter. Hes built a campaign from gaffes alone. Its like hes procured a style to make an unbelievably strong suit of armour altogether out of chinks.
This is infuriating for us all, and naturally attains many people desperate to retaliate. So last week Trump was stripped of his membership of the GlobalScot business network and his honorary degree from Aberdeens Robert Gordon University; and a petition to parliament was launched, and signed by a one-quarter of a million within the first day, to ban him from entering the UK.
Im not very keen on these ideas. I dislike the trend for stripping the disgraced of the honor bestowed on them when they were in our good books. I think if it turns out youve induced, tell, Hitler an honorary PhD in peace analyses, the record “ve just got to” stand as a reprimand to your whole honorary doctorate admissions policy. Otherwise its like a denial of historical fact: the truth is that, in 2010, Robert Gordon University supposed Donald Trump was the bees knees and they shouldnt get to erase that from their annals now it turns out hes a prick. And patently we shouldnt ban him from entering Britain. Its wrong to ban people from going to places thats mainly why were so cross with him.
But the biggest problem with these reactions is that they seem so outraged and feeble. One cant assistance picturing how microscopically, sub-molecularly minuscule a damn Trump will give about them. What do he or his supporters care about the reprimands of foreigners? Foreigners whose cities, by Trumps own invented account, are so radicalised the police are afraid for their lives. He can just make capital out of it: he can say it shows how sick Europe has become that rich and successful wins are omitted and belittled by an unholy confederation of slavishly politically correct liberals and terrorist sympathisers. Hell likely violated that down into several sentences.
We dont have to give a damn about him either. Hes just one man, induced objectionable by never being questioned. If you doubt how damaging that can be, just look at what its done to his hairdo. But his rise poses a question: How many Americans are stupid or unpleasant enough to vote for him?
His rhetoric is wholly based on spurious the idea of strength, victory and a return to greatness, his specific ideas appeal almost exclusively to peoples least creditable impressions. Thats ticking quite a few boxes on the Is History Repeating Itself? form. But will enough Americans fall for it that we need to worry? Our current answer is not a resounding No! Its a slightly interrogatively inflected Probably not, which is hardly a ringing endorsement of the health of American civilisation.
A surprise advocate of the petition was Armando Iannucci, though he took quite a nuanced position, calling it a history-defining moment of active hypocrisy and, once enough signatures had been collected for parliament to consider a debate, conclude: I dont think we should ban anyone for something theyve told; but its really funny it was possible to him. And it is funny. Also quite funny was what Boris Johnson said in response to Trumps claims about urban no-go regions The only reason I wouldnt go to some parts of New York is the real risk of gratifying Donald Trump and the Twitter TrumpFacts hashtag, which spoofed Britains supposed radicalisation with, for example, a picture of a Saracens Head pub sign captioned: Even Englands famous pubs are controlled by Islamic radicals.
Thats the strongest style of responding to him: to point at the shitting man and chuckle. He cant reject that as liberalism. Hes been a ridiculous figure for years. The most dangerous thing we can do now is stop procuring him funny.
Read more: www.theguardian.com