Friday, 20 May 2016

Trumped at the Polls

Billions of dollars- so what's going on with the hair?
I rarely comment on politics directly. For the most part the whole charade bores me and leaves me cold. Occasionally I might offer up simple parody, but that is as far as it goes. Therefore, it will no doubt surprise my readers to learn that I’m about to plunge into the murky waters which drench American domestic politics. In truth, much of what I have to say should be classified under social rather than political commentary. Don’t worry folks, I’m only dipping in my big toe and then only to the first knuckle. The water is way too frigid for a simple Tipton lad, Brrrrrrrr. I usually leave informed political commentary to blog hosts such as my good mate, Dioclese et al who specialise in exposing the wretchedness of those who deign to serve. Barely without exception, politicians are a conniving bunch of self serving bastards.

First a general comment: From what I can see the only attribute absolutely required to put forth as an American presidential candidate is wealth. Poor folk need not apply. There is nothing intrinsically shocking about this. Western politicians who aspire to ‘rule their country’ are invariably wealthy, even self-confessed socialists. Hypocrisy has never been an impediment to a successful political career. It helps to be educated, experienced and smart as well though. I’ll go as far to state that Western democracies recruit potential leaders from the reservoir of seasoned, experienced politicians of some rank. Even the Americans have followed this model until now. Trump has proved the exception. Just like love, money conquers all.

Donald Trump’s foray into the political scene last summer elicited almost universal contempt from commentators left and right of the political spectrum. He was seen as a joke. Political pundits, and those who like to talk loud in restaurants, gave him scant regard. Trump’s political inexperience and his lack of coherent policy lent support to his ‘none-serious’ status. It seemed as though he would rank as no more than a footnote in American history and a lesson on how the American system, although not perfect, is not without a self righting mechanism to correct for idiosyncratic, and non-conformist candidates. But Trump did not go away and seemed to thrive on a wave of popular support. There are many in the American electorate, especially on the left who loathe Trump. However, Trump’s support derives from middle conservative America. The grass roots seem to warm to his no nonsense, no substance, style. Trump appears to speak as many Americans think, especially on grand issues such as immigration.

I don’t like Trump. He is an egotistic and arrogant caricature. Trump is a great clown of a man; a demagogue in the ancient Greek tradition. But it is his arrogance and ego that makes him a politician. However, this is where he leaves the fold. ‘Good’ politicians, and I don’t mean good in any moral objective sense, have a knack of couching their opinions and policies in coded rhetoric. A sort of standard ‘politic speak’ which obscures, deceives and places a positive spin on every word which drips from their posturing mouths. Tis quite a skill, usually honed through many years of wrangling and manoeuvring through the political minefield. And here comes Trump with his foot in the mouth, with his unpolished utterance and appeal to gut politics. Many gaffs make the man. His coarse approach, whilst inviting comic derision from the educated left, has struck a chord with a great swathe of Americans. I wonder when we will see imitators.

A note of panic in the leftist media is becoming apparent as it now appears likely that Trump will end up as the Republican nominee. Ivory tower polemicists, from both ends of the political spectrum, may agree amongst themselves but are completely out of touch with the viewing public who remain forever beyond their understanding. And let us not forget that the process has become a circus- a great arena for our entertainment but not edification. The electorate (this goes for all Western democracies) are sick and tired of politicians who promise all and deliver fuck all. The electorate have become weary and cynical. They want their politicians to dance for them and sweat. And what better way to do this than endorse the none-politician, politician. You could argue that they hold hands with the Devil and if not careful may end up with the man as President. Most won’t care. America will trundle on regardless of the incumbent, pushed by domestic and international forces beyond rational control. Perhaps as President, Trump will become circumspect and conform to the established political norm. No doubt promises will be made but never kept and the lot of the jaundiced majority will remain, more or less, unchanged.

Dat’s democracy folks……



  1. I like Trump simply because he is upsetting the governing elite. Whether he would be any good as President I don't know but it might be worth it just to give the system a damn good kicking.
    The only politician I had any time for was Sir Keith Joseph who was Education Secretary. I was at a public meeting when in reply to a question from the audience admitted that he did not know the answer but would find out and write to the person asking.

    1. Well Sir Keith Joseph certainly gets 10/10 for candour. Most politicians would simply make it up on the spot or trot one of their long practiced platitudes. I can't help thinking that many American Presidents are 'figureheads' (I'm looking at you Bush!) who are surrounded by smart advisors. I'm with you on wanting Trump as President and I suspect for similar reasons.

    2. Likewise, John. The thought of Clinton's despotic rump on the seat in the oval office fills me with dread.

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