As an outsider, it would be easy to mock when I look at the current President of the United States of America, but my mother always said ‘Mocking is catching’ so I try not to, even when mocking a man like Donald Trump is the equivalent of scoring an open goal.
I think the problem for most people outside of America and indeed for many Americans, is that they misunderstand the nature of what has happened and indeed what continues to happen right under their noses. Donald Trump’s ascent to kingship has been not unlike most 20th century dictators. The rise to power of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, bear many resemblances to the current American President’s elevation to the White house and his efforts to maintain control of his position of prominence….Not that I’m suggesting anything mind…
The chattering classes, the literati, the educated, well-healed, educated middle classes miss the point entirely. While they criticise and reel at his ever increasing absurdity, they are singularly complicit in his rise. In dismissing him during the time of his ascension, they forgot about those who felt disenfranchised. That he appeals to the less affluent, less educated American is no coincidence. Again 20th century dictators appealed to the same demographic, pointing fingers at the wealthy, powerful elite as the cause of their problems. That Donald Trump himself belongs to the wealthy elite is irrelevant and therein lays the paradox for those that would wish him unseated from his throne. He speaks with a simplicity that his loyal audience crave. What is said is less relevant than how he says it. He doesn’t seem to care. He gives the impression of a man who is not bothered by what the nay-sayers say and he tells his audience that he does this to stick up for them. When the press slated him pre-election, he told his followers that they were trying to silence him and by reflection, them.
He has elevated himself to saviour, the voice of the people standing up to all the bad people who have kept them living in hardship for years. His vacuous promises sound sweet to the ears of the dispossessed. He will take back what is theirs and they will flourish. Although he hasn’t changed their lot, that really doesn’t matter – why? Because of the enemies of the people, the Democrats, the fake news, the liars and fools he has had to sack, and the people who are out to get him. His enemies are their enemies and there are plenty of them, but do you know what? They are only proving his point, that the establishment doesn’t want him to help the down to earth, hardworking, God fearing, ‘real’ and patriotic Americans who support him. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
He is mighty, building walls to keep out pesky Banditos who will surely rape murder and pillage at the first chance they get. He built up ‘Rocket man’ to be a far greater foe than he ever truly was, to demonstrate that he could win on a world stage. He slags off historical allies, because they disagree with his actions and has private meetings with the man many suggest bought him the last election, despite being the traditional enemy of America. The world is laughing at him but he doesn’t care, for he knows the average American doesn’t look outside their locality for news. He plays to the local audience, panders to his followers and his detractors lose sight of the ball in his three cup shuffle.
Perhaps it is arrogance that has begun the undoing of America. A once well respected nation, has become an International joke because of one man. The propaganda machine that is Hollywood, has been so effective in portraying the importance of one man, one office, that of the U.S. President, that when a buffoon takes the office, that buffoon becomes the personification of all Americans. Such blockbuster movies like Independence Day and Air Force One (to name 2 of many) may seem innocuous, silly pieces of entertainment, but they are just a tiny example of how much of the world sees America. No one believes they are true of course, but propaganda is pernicious. They in fact portray American Presidents as heroic, displaying all the fantasies, idealistic characteristics that many Americans would like to see in themselves, bravery, loyalty, patriotism all to their last breath if necessary. The truth of course is entirely different. Presidents are career politicians for the most part. Ambitious men with very particular agendas and far less power than most Americans believe…Yet…
Along comes a spider, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the village idiot, promising a great America, building walls to keep out enemies, promising jobs and goodies for all. While the sensible people dismissed him, he baseball-capped and hoo-ra’d his way into the minds of those who had nothing to lose and little to gain from traditional leaders. Could he? Would he? And they began to believe, and then…
Once elected, much like his 20th century counterparts, the King set about ensuring no one would take his throne. Still reeling from the surprise, those thoughtful Americans, the ones who believed they lived in a democracy, where their opinions would win out because those were the ones they read in the papers and saw on TV, were blindsided by a man intent on reinventing the American system, squandering the goodwill that generations had built up. My mother would say he needs his arse slapped.
All news is fake news. Everything the man says can be unsaid, then resaid to mean a different thing. By dispossessing the free press of its moral authority, the man without any, no longer needs it. All he needs now is authority. Morals be damned. Racism, bigotry, chauvinism, and throw in anything you like, here we now have a U.S. President who can say and do what he pleases. It doesn’t matter that he said the opposite last week. It doesn’t matter if it is true or false because as he has convinced the masses – all news is fake news. The only truth is what he tweets and only for as long as it takes for him to write the next one.
I listened to a woman in Alabama being interviewed about why she voted for Trump instead of Clinton. Her main reason wasn’t blue or red, left or right, policy or direction. Her main reason was that Hillary was a woman. In her best Alabama accent she told the reporter that “Bein’ President ain’t no job for a woman.” I sh*t you not. It would be so easy to dismiss this woman’s opinion as a freakish thing, not representing what ordinary decent Americans think. But that is how America – a very particular part of America has missed the point. Whether it’s simmering racists interpreting Trump’s loose language as support, or unemployed steel workers fantasising that this Donald fella will help them out, it doesn’t matter. He has found a rich vein of support among the least possessed.
When the man calls third world countries Sh*t holes, and while the New York Times reader might be shocked, there are some raising a sneaky smile of admiration, mistakenly believing that this un-presidential language, demonstrates a courage that other, disconnected Presidents lacked. When he says build a wall and equates desperate migrants to rapists and gang- bangers, he is not without support from people who listen to bar talk and see the world through sound-bites. Not for them, lengthy thought-provoking arguments about the true nature of the plight of those who cross the border into America every day. Implicit in what he says are age old tactics of fear and protectionism. He might as well say ‘They’re taking our jobs and our women.’ He is a veritable arse slapper, biting his lip not to use the N word and everyone can see it. What the good folk, the ordinary decent American keeps forgetting, is that he’s not the only one…
American racism is part of the culture at this stage. It is undeniable except for those who say some of my best friends are Black – sorry African American. It is endemic. Rosa Parks bus issues may seem a long time ago, but that world is a world in living memory for many. Identifiers like Hispanic, African American, and Muslim American only highlight the disparity in America. Where are the Americans? Isn’t everyone born in America American? Lessons learned from conflict are ignored in America because, technically there has been no conflict – no war. The white supremacists of the 1960’s were not defeated in any battle. They slinked off into the night. They haven’t gone away you know. But differences need to be put aside to create equality. True equality comes from believing and acting out on those beliefs and if I stopped ten random Americans, would most honestly not display some form of racial or religious bias? It isn’t just in America that racism exists of course, but it offers tantrum throwing narcissists with a little bit of power place to start…
Mr. T can hint at, then deny. The hint gives a nod to the extreme view. Hinting that he thinks women are sexual objects gives him currency in some areas, denying what he said as the media creating fake news, gives him a get out clause. I love women he says. The Hispanics love me, he tells the world. Hinting that racism is ok, works the same way and ‘Fake News’ is his denier. Kicking Muslims out, building a Mexican Wall, deriding third world countries are all washed away with the catch all of fake news. That he can call a woman ‘A dog’ is honestly astounding to me. Frankly it has astounded much of the “fake news media” but they’re out to get him of course. ..
I watched one of the most popular Irish politicians ever, later to be exposed as a crook and a thief, debate with another Irish politician, an educated, thoughtful man on TV. The latter, explained in great detail what needed to be done to right the faltering economy and he supported his argument with statistical analysis. The former responded with a sneer and a flick of his hand, dismissing the argument with one word. “Statistics!” He, like Trump won on populist, simplistic, lowest common denominator politics and it took years for us to find out just how corrupt he was. By then it was too late. America beware.
Now the scene is set. One term down, the opposition so bewildered still by his ability to fool ‘the people’ with his blatant lies and hypocrisy, that there is no viable candidate to stand against him next time round. What will happen then? He will certainly be buoyed by a second election success and with no third term on offer, it will be time to take the same route as his 20th century counterparts. If he can’t change the rules to stay in power Putinesque style, then he will find another way. Watch out for crackdowns on free speech, imagined threats from within and without, maybe even a pseudo war to clinch the deal. What deal? Why the one that keeps the same president but gives him a new title, official or not, Donald Trump – President for Life. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya…
Haven’t read a Max Power book yet? I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
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