An occasional series on the new nationalists – dingoes and drongos like Trump, Farage, and Bernardi – and other Oz twerps.
He has a lust for power and his ambition is gluttonous. He was undistinguished at school, and he is only ever at ease when talking to other mediocrities. He rose up primarily talking to those who had failed in life. He did so by addressing those people in their own terms. He is scarcely literate if he puts pen to paper, but in front of a crowd, he loses all control. He loves crowds and cameras – they are his mirrors. He loves hand signals too. He can be very childish. He doesn’t have real friends. He affects to show emotion but he dissembles and he is a manipulator. He is not really a liar – it is just that he has only contempt for truth. He became popular, massively so with those who were not doing so well. He came to power after a huge shift in world economics that allowed him to despise what he calls the elites. He hammers his scapegoats all the time – shamelessly. He said it was the elites who had caused the economic failures of his nation and the world. He himself is very elitist, except for the things that matter. He rarely seeks to articulate a program, but proceeds by slogans, incantations, and rants. He loves labels, but plays more on nationalism than socialism. He contradicts himself and he talks nonsense – but what does it matter if truth is irrelevant? He has no conscience that we can see. He is loathed by the liberal establishment and he and his followers loathe them – he really is so jealous. He feeds on conflict and confrontation – if he is not fighting, he may have to stop and think. He is not there to bring people together – he is there to crunch anyone standing in the way – because winning is everything. He and the faithful sense that against all the odds, their time in the sun is at hand, and for that chance of elevation, they will cancel any doubt and suppress all decency. He promises them the world, and it matters not that his promises are impossible to keep – their blood and their lust are both up, and they have turned out the lights in their heads. He gives them their dignity by telling them that they are members of the greatest nation on earth – even if he and they had done little or nothing to make it so, and even if that ‘greatness’ derived from very different people. He knows that they have their citizenship which they see as threatened by outsiders. He hates intellectuals, or just people who have been well educated. He has a romantic view of his own history and the history of his nation – it is a history that is either imaginary or faked. He revels in the word ‘patriot’, even though aspects of his past show an utter want of devotion to his country. He has a limited lexicon that does not extend to ‘No’ – unless out of his mouth in response to a request from his nation that he pay tax or serve in the army – see the previous sentence. He may on a bad day refer to some mystic writer and then ramble on about drive and energy. His magic words are struggle, rich, and power – and of course me. He is corrupted by victory more than by power. He and his followers are not about to share the greatness of their nation with outsiders. He loathes foreigners and those of different faiths, even though he has no religious faith at all. (He certainly has no room in his ego for anything as inconsequential as God.) He is remarkable for his lack of tolerance generally. He is hopeless with women, and in company generally. He wants to dominate all conversation, and he can rant on about the failure of the world to grasp his greatness. He is only contradicted or even queried by others at their peril. He is therefore surrounded by sycophants and he cannot let a person of quality get too close to him and deflect his grandeur. He has appalling manners, a foul mouth, and an evil temper – he might perhaps be invited as a guest at a gentlemen’s club, but he would never be admitted as a member. He may be the most selfish and self-centred person ever born. He has no interest at all in the life or fate of others unless it connects directly with his own. He will disregard all the rules to get what he wants. He has never had limits effectively set for him, and he has never seen, much less acknowledged, his own limitations, which are immediately apparent to all but the faithful. He has no interest in equality – he is, after all, so very different in himself. He projects his ego on to the nation – it should disregard all rules to get where it wants, and not give a damn about what any other person or nation thinks. He gets enraged by any criticism, and provoked into making even more bizarre claims. He goes berserk if someone questions his legitimacy – his paranoia makes the misgivings of Henry IV and Henry V about their legitimacy look trifling. He is driven to magnify his achievements in ways that insult the intelligence of everyone else. He becomes enraged if anyone queries the numbers at his rallies. He is at his worst when he drops his voice, gives his manual salute, and enters into a rote incantation where everything is very. His colossal self-love leads to a very sick suspicion of anyone who is against him. His preoccupation with face shows a deeply flawed and insecure psyche. He has zero capacity to be left in doubt or uncertainty and he could go totally mad if asked to sit alone in a room for an hour and think. He could also go mad if he opened a newspaper and could not find his face anywhere on it. He of course never has to say he’s sorry; among other things he never is, and he rarely has to do anything. He will spend fortunes on the military to better the standing of his great nation in the world as he sees it – even though he dislikes if not despises the rest of the world. He will build mighty airports and freeways and he will make the trains run on time. He is untroubled about how to fund these mighty projects. He manipulates public opinion. He will collapse all differences between fact and fiction. He will in truth have ‘alternative facts’ and so confute the whole basis of Aristotelian logic. He has his own reality in his own world – it’s all just his, and it’s so bonzer, and – sotto voce – so very, very, very – patriotic. He can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He glories in the heroic view of history because he is its ultimate hero, the most powerful man alive since Achilles. Had he been a Roman, he would have become a god ages ago.
He says that he will make his nation great again.
And some poor bastards believe him.
Am I speaking of Donald Trump or Adolf Hitler? That’s a matter for you.
2 thoughts on “The Nationalists”
Magnificent last line. A stunner.
Nicest thing said to me for years. I was going to end: ‘My own personal view is that if he is not diagnosably insane, it is time medicine caught up with history.’