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Meet Alf and Archie – Mr Trump’s new advisors

December 8, 2015

alf_garnettArchie Bunker

It’s as if some joker gave Alf Garnett a couple of billion pounds and encouraged him to start a political party. Or, if you’re in America, a bunch of Republicans got Archie Bunker to hit the hustings.

If thirty percent of Republicans weren’t telling the pollsters that they supported Donald Trump, you would think that he was the star of a reality show in which they dragged the most bigoted, narcissistic bore out of some downtown dive of a New York bar and stuck him on a podium. Along with a bunch of distinctly odd but slightly less extreme individuals.

Some rich guys put their money into space exploration. Others invest in the fight against malaria. Donald Trump spends his millions on the creepiest exercise in self-indulgent exhibitionism since Nero built his palace across the smouldering ruins of first-century Rome.

America has come a long way since Barry Goldwater, who stood against Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential elections, lost all but one state to Johnson. Goldwater, who scared the life out of liberal America with his nuke-rattling rhetoric, would today be regarded as one of the more moderate candidates out of the bunch standing today.

There are parallels. Goldwater stood for president two years after the Cuban missile crisis. His paranoia was mainly directed towards the Soviets. For Trump the convenient enemy is those guys who took down the twin towers and their successors in Syria and Iraq and a neighbourhood near you.

The thing that worries me about the profoundly angry Donald Trump is that he seems to be the spokesman for a whole bunch of equally angry people. The trouble is that there’s anger and anger.

There’s anger about external situations. About unfairness, injustice, about the poor, about the underprivileged, the dispossessed and about a whole range of things wrong with the world. You could call that righteous anger. And that’s been the stuff of politics since politics began.

Then there’s the dark anger from within. The bullying, impulsive, red-misted anger that comes from a damaged childhood, from personal grudges, from emotional instability. The anger of a Hitler or a Saddam, as opposed to the anger of a Mandela.

I’m not comparing Donald Trump to any of those individuals. But I do see in his utterances and his body language anger from what appears to be a very dark heart. Or at least a wounded one. And the thought of this guy with his finger anywhere near a nuclear button is frightening indeed.

His latest pronouncement about banning Muslims from entry to the US will probably be sufficient to convince those who hold the levers of power within the Republican Party to do whatever they can to stop him from winning the nomination, if they hadn’t determined so already.

Should the unthinkable happen, and he not only gets nominated but wins the presidency, there would surely be enough rational people in the command structure of government to prevent him doing something truly disastrous. After all they will remember the unnerving sight of a drunken and semi-coherent Richard Nixon at the end of his presidency.

As for Muslim Americans, worried and hurt though they may be because of Trump’s rabble-rousing, they might actually benefit from a backlash, as people go out of their way to show that they don’t share his views.

For Trump, the problem is that he must be running out of targets. He’s done the Chinese, the Latinos and the immigrants. He’s cast his scorn over us Brits, whom he accuses of surrendering whole districts of our cities to the Islamists.

What’s left? Let’s see now. Well, there’s the homeless, there’s transsexuals, and hey, there must be a few reds still lurking under the bed. Beyond that, perhaps he needs to summon the ghosts of Alf and Archie to join his advisory team. No doubt they’d come up with some creative answers.

Once lit, the fire needs stoking. He’s going to need a lot of fuel to keep it burning for the next twelve months.

From → Politics, UK, USA

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