Football commentators on 3 AW, and I suppose elsewhere, were always wise after the event. Even if one side had just fallen in by a point, their analysis showed a result that looked somehow inevitable. The best player on the ground almost always came from the winner – and it all could have been different but for that last fluky point.
The press are the same after an election. We are left wondering how the result could have gone any other way. (Some bad judges are like that.) You wonder why they weren’t so sure beforehand. (Well, Greg Sheridan was. We knew that civilisation was in peril when he said that you could bank on a Clinton presidency. It takes a special impertinence to make a call like that.)
The consensus now is that the problem is inequality of income and wealth. That problem been obvious to some people for a long time. We are told that we have a revolt by those who have missed out in both the US and the UK. These rejected people are looking for a redistribution of wealth.
Now, here we have a serious worry. You don’t look to a conservative party to redistribute wealth. You can see what is happening in England when Mrs May, an alleged Tory, is driven to make noises that sound positively Bolshie. The Tea Party is about to shaken out of its tree. Eventually, the smirking reactionaries in Australia – yes, there are some among us who actually like Trump – will realise that they are being confronted by the vengeful poor, and that if we had an authentic labour party, they could be riding a very big wave. The problem for the Republicans is that Trump is not one of them, and never has been – he has promised-hand-outs and protection.
The stresses within an intellectually and morally bankrupt Republican Party will become intolerable. This will be especially so when those who have a morsel of God inside them realise that they have entered into a pact with an ungodly son of Mammon. If you asked Trump about the Sermon on the Mount, he might inquire whether it was the name of one of his hotels. If you suggested that the meek might inherit the earth, he could die laughing. Of the two candidates for President, the poorest was worth $100 million – if, that is, you believe the other candidate, who has an acknowledged taste for bankruptcy.
Those of an ideological leaning might think that what the have-nots need is not a revolt, but a revolution. Perhaps, but the answer is I think more prosaic. What they need is education – or least training.
We see a different cast of analytical thought when someone becomes pope or president. Somehow or other, by right of God or the flag, the anointed one is expected to be different when given the keys. During a critical phase of the French Revolution, an astute Jesuit called Abbé Sieyès told a rattled popular assembly that ‘You are today what you were yesterday.’
It is the same with the incoming president of the US. Yesterday he was a liar, a cheat, a coward, a bully, a thug, a fraud, and an idiot. Tomorrow he will still be all of those things – and that is before you get to the fact that he hates people of a different colour, creed, or sex. (I shouldn’t have said ‘creed’. Trump has none. It would be idle to suggest that you might find room for God in that heaving bag of guts.)
So, here is another serious problem. Leadership starts with respect, and Trump is as unrespectable as you can get. He is a spoiled child who was never taught manners, a megalomaniac with no idea of the word conscience, and no room for anyone but himself.
People like Farage, Johnson and Trump are con men. They promise people that they can have their cake and eat it. Apparently, the desperation of the have-nots is such that they become gullible and overlook blatant evidence that these people really are just con men. The historical analogies are too painful to recount. No candidate in the history of the world has provided more evidence that he could not be trusted with any form of public office than Donald Trump – not even Adolf Hitler with Mein Kampf. (No one took that warning seriously either – and some at Cambridge still don’t.)
The unravelling will not be pretty. The people of Leeds are about to find out that if they want to lock out the boongs, they will have to pay more for their fish and chips. People in the rustbelt are about to find out that if they want to lock out the Chinese, they will have to pay more for their doughnuts. Mrs May just went to India and was told that if she wanted free trade, she would have to get serious about immigration. The recriminations will be dreadful when the have-nots find out that they have been dudded by a pretty boy billionaire who happens to be a crook. Judas Iscariot, in the form of Michael Gove, delivered us from the evil of Boris.
And what of the US in the world? Well, Europe has long questioned America’s sanity because of its frontier attitudes on guns and healthcare. Trump at one stage, I think, suggested that Republicans should be able to carry guns to the Convention. If the new government repeals the healthcare legislation as promised, Europe will know that the cause of America is lost, and look sideways at the beaming presidents of Russia and China. And what European leader, even M Holland on 4%, would wish to visit that frightful menagerie in the White House?
But is there no plus at all? Surely there is one – not even our craven pollies – not even Little Johnnie – could kow tow to the lowest form of life that has ever crawled out from under a rock. And perhaps there is another. It may be better that this fraud be exposed to the world in office rather than having him and his rejects sniping at a corrupt and outmoded dynasty.
Finally, the election wasn’t rigged, but there should be a special place in hell reserved for those creeps at the FBI who did their best to achieve that result. For eight years, America has had a president of integrity and intellect. For four years, unless God or the Second Amendment intervenes, it will have president who has neither. That this pig might go where Abraham Lincoln went makes me sick at heart.
A colleague kindly drew my attention to another remark of H L Mencken that is exquisitely apt:
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people … On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
Poet of the month: Rosemary Dobson
Washed by what waves to pearl, these eyes?
Changed to what coral these sea-strewn
Sea-shifted bones, once intimately
Held heart to heart, known, understood;
Now fathom five, remote, alone,
Uncared for by the incurious sea?
Sailor, young man, is this not strange?
Sang the sea nymph to the second lieutenant
And the wind blew back no answer.