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Swansong of lame-duck Prime Minister
From 3 to 5 June 2019 POTUS Donald Trump, his extensive family and the usual motley crew of hangers-on are enjoying (or enduring) the pomp and circumstance of a pageantry-stuffed state visit to the United Kingdom courtesy of lame-duck UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
The visit includes a meet-up with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England and a full-dress banquet with all the trimmings at Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s London residence.
Mr Trump’s host, Theresa May, is being forced to resign as leader of the governing Tory Party in just two days’ time on Friday 7 June 2019 as a result of her catastrophic botch-up of arrangements to divorce Britain from the suffocating embrace of the European Union. She is to step aside as Prime Minister once the party appoints a successor later this summer.
Away from the royal razzmatazz, there have been extensive protests against the visit, by politicians as well as the general public, in London and in cities throughout the country.
The question then naturally arises:
“Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?”
Our attention has been drawn to the following reply ascribed, rightly or wrongly, to a writer, apparently called Nate White, that has seemingly received much attention on social media. Our aim is simply to recycle these remarks, without comment, in the public interest. We have sought to find a counter-balancing view but have unfortunately drawn a blank. Here is White’s response to the question:
“A few things spring to mind.
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.
Well, we British don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.
And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.
Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.
He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.
He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.
That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.
There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.
So the fact that a significant majority – perhaps most of ‘Middle American Red-Necks’ look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.
This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.
After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.
God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.
He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W Bush look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.
And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:
‘My God… what… have… I… created?
If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the star and a boxed set.”
No comment. We leave it to readers to form their own opinion of Mr White’s philippic. In doing so, they might also be advised to seek out the counterbalancing view that we have been unable to track down.
Malicious tongues might venture to suggest that this expensive highfalutin junket brings together the worst President in American history with the worst Prime Minister in the history of the United Kingdom.
But this might seem a tad unkind.
In any case, who are we to judge?
Let the facts speak for themselves.
And, above all, let’s not spoil the party.
It’s not every day that chaps get invited to supper at Buck House.
So to our American friends, we hold out the glad hand of welcome.
“Chill out, guys, and enjoy!”
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
- Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
- Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
- The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
- Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
- Ladder (21 June 2012)
- A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
- A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
- Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.