Tag Archives: Trump

Do we really need to know?

Following events in Charlottesville, President Trump has so far failed to denounce the far right in explicit terms. Instead, he has condemned those of “many sides” for almost everything. How mealy-mouthed can you get? At least he’s running true to form.

What I want to know is this: do we we really want to know? And do we really care?

Here, in Devon England, Donald Trump can pretty much say or do what he likes. Life will still go on; the leylandii will still grow; the sea will still flood and ebb; the seagulls will still squawk at each other, or some other bird; the rain will still fall when it chooses; we shall all continue to grow a little older.

Will anybody care?

The question is: do we really have to know what’s going on in America?

I grant you, it’s what’s called “the silly season”, when any news – good, bad or indifferent – is used to fill the papers and the airwaves. Our own MPs are still on holiday. Our Prime Minister has yet to make an appearance following her much-publicised trekking about in Switzerland. One wonders if she will return to her desk and announce a snap election. Or a denunciation of all things Brexit. She and the American President are almost as unpredictable as an unturned omelette. Or a result at Stamford Bridge.

The question remains: do we really need to know?

I guess we do, when the future of the Western World is in the hands of a man who can’t even articulate his own thoughts.

 

 

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He’s still there

Last November it seemed almost unbelievable. This August, least than a year later, it is still unbelievable.

Donald Trump is President of the United States of America.

After all the jaw-dropping foolishness we saw during their election, and the wicked bad-mouthing of his opponent, it seems to be beyond comprehension that The Donald is President. It seems incongruous that a man whose appeal can only be to the small-minded is in an office once occupied by a man whose intellect was so great he seemed to think of everything before he even opened his mouth. He even made jokes, for heaven’s sakes, that seemed premeditated. What’s more, they were funny and we didn’t laugh at them out of politeness or nervousness.

True, a vote for The Donald’s chief opponent would have probably meant the retention of America’s status quo. And the election of a woman to “the highest office in the land” for  the first time. But would that have been so bad? At least, we would’ve known where we stood.

A leap into the unknown

As it is, the election of The Donald was a leap into the unknown. And I don’t mean the kind of ‘unknown’ not known by Donald Rumsfeld. I mean the kind of ‘unknown’ we are currently experiencing; the unknown that creates uncertainty.

We don’t know, for example, from one week to the next, what The Donald will say or do tomorrow.

He could say he’s going to build a wall. But nothing seems to happen.

He could say the North Koreans threaten world stability. But they still launch nuclear missiles.

He could hire me tomorrow. But next week I could be fired.

While he is still there – and he may be there until 2024 – we should all be worried. His behaviour, and his decisions, are laughable but they all have their consequences. Anthony Scaramucci [the Mooch] might seem like a clown. But he’s a dangerous joker, capable of making his boss look positively benign.

The transatlantic view

On this side of the ocean, we can disbelieve, even laugh.

But I would hate to be a liberal living in America now. I might even be ashamed of my country. I certainly would not want The Donald to be my President. Not for a moment longer.

However, I do not know who might take his place.

Change was needed, of that there is no doubt. The system had become atrophied. Obama could not get anything done, because the numbers in both houses were stacked against him. Everything was a compromise. A fresh approach was needed.

Goodness knows but that Britain needs a change! The current government is the same as its predecessor, in all but personnel.

But where are the men or women who can take the places of those that are in charge? Are we to have to carry on as usual, while our current ‘leaders’ (including Valdimir Putin and co) are there?

Few of us are leaders. Most of us prefer to be led. But not by people who say one thing, do another, and turn everything into a reflection of themselves and their so-called achievements.

We all need someone else ‘there’. Someone we can trust.

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Leaving it all behind

I never thought I’d do it, but here I am, writing my first blog from Devon.

Leaving London after living there for more than 50 years was a wrench.

Having said that, I don’t miss the dirt, the crowds or the noise (all of which have increased over the years). Of course, I miss having galleries on my doorstep (or being able to go to one on a whim) and being able to go to the cinema without making it a planned activity based on bus timetables and what’s on. I miss living at the centre of national and international politics and debate. Big BenAnd I miss being able to shop for anything I’ve forgotten when I feel like it. I also miss some of the individuals I got to know (although many of them live, or lived, far from the centre of the action).

But, much more than generally speaking, life down here in Devon is far better than life up there in London. For one thing, the air is cleaner and it’s a great deal better to be woken by the squawk of seagulls – even though they still look bad-tempered and sound as if they’re laughing at me – or by the trilling of other birds than it is by the wail of sirens. I could do without the sound of the sea washing the pebbles clean each time it rushes out, instead of the swoosh of tyres on one of London’s wet main roads. But I can’t say I’d swap one for the other.

If I were many years younger, I would no doubt think differently. I would want  something going on all the time; clubs or discos to go to nearby, more young people my age around and willing to do much the same things. But, as an older person, the quieter life down here is just what I want. Goodness me, I can even shop in peace and buy The Guardian!

Doing what they said

Of course, I’m not the only one leaving things behind.

Donald Trump promised much in his campaign, pedalling a brand of patriotic rhetoric that got him elected to the highest office in the so-called free world. But he’s dealing in international pragmatism nowadays. Hell (as they say over there), he’s even stopped talking about building a wall.

Theresa May sat so firmly on the fence during 2016’s European referendum debate, refusing to say which side she was on, she must’ve hurt herself. It must be the reason why, today, she wears an expression of permanent pain whenever she extols what’s become known as ‘a hard Brexit’. She even has to peddle the same line as those she was supposedly against.

No, I don’t miss any of what I left behind. I can pick and choose what I want to pay attention to. I can even follow the fortunes of my favourite top-of-the-pile football club! And I will, eventually, be able to live the life I want to, once all the material things to do with moving have been sorted out.

It was a good move. Maybe even one I should’ve made some time ago. But, ‘there is a tide in the affairs of men’.

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Whoever next?

So the news media are full of the fact that Donald Trump is likely to be the next Republican Party Candidate for election as President of the United States of America.

Should we be so surprised? After all, he has been making the running for months now; spending more than any other Republican, and getting seen on more tv channels than any of his rivals.

None of this is surprising. The man is a billionaire property developer and owner of a tv  company. He should know what he’s doing.

On the other hand, the Americans have a Washington insider.

And how ‘inside’ can a person be, when that person is married to a former President of the United States of America? Will she know how to ‘get things done’, or will she simply make the same mistakes as every predecessor she’s ever had or aspires to have?

From where I sit, it  seems that established politics are soon to be a thing of the past. Thanks to social media – and even this blog – we can all have our say on whatever we feel strongly about.

We can Tweet our views to millions, or vote for whoever takes our fancy. In the UK, today, we shall be voting for a number of local councils and mayors. We have choice.

But the Americans have little or no choice. Their’s is a system unlike ours. Their main parties will choose who’s going to be on the ticket come November. And their main parties will – unless they are hampered in any way – choose the candidate most likely to win for them.

So we are likely to see a Donald Trump v Hillary Clinton election, come November.

What a prospect!

A billionaire v an insider; a man with no political experience against a woman whose experience knows no bounds. A man who hates Muslims against a woman who allowed Muslims to rise up all over the Middle East and North Africa. A war-monger against an appeaser.

No wonder the American people are confused. And confused enough to turn blind eyes to the candidates who, knowing how the system works, can bend that system to their will and ‘get things done’.

I fear whoever comes next. And, as a result, I fear for the world.

 

 

 

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