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Saturday, 7 November, 2020 Filed in: TGIF
This was last week’s column but I pulled it because I thought it was too bleak; I didn’t realise its real failing was that it wasn’t bleak enough! Imagine yourself, then, reading this last Friday.
SOMEONE CALLED out, to a meandering line of early voters in the American presidential election, “How long have you been waiting to vote?” A wit in the queue shouted back, “Four years!”
It’s depressing and scary how similar Trump supporters and Brexit voters are. Things they’re supposed to think about, they feel about. In the face of American hospital ICUs being overrun in their own home states, they cheer in the rallies when Trump, who will never be remembered for his intelligence, declares that, on November 4, no one will say another word about covid.
A Trump win would effectively end the American republic they’ve been trying to keep since Andrew Hamilton’s days; indeed, even as he’s going down now, he’s trying to take the whole firetrucking show with him, the rich man’s nine-year-old son who smashes his own birthday cake so his guests can’t have any, while stuffing his own gullet.
And, next Tuesday, if Trump isn’t sent packing on his orange posterior, the chaos is going to go into hyperspace.
We are already seeing armed groups walking around openly in American cities, the only difference between them and their most immediate predecessors being they sport American flags, not brown shirts, and they use assault rifles, not lead pipes.
Between next Tuesday and 20 January 2021, we may indeed see the birth of a nation very similar to Germany 1939; or the Confederacy, 1860.
Only people ignorant of German history didn’t see the rise of American fascism come down that ersatz golden escalator with Donald Trump, the day he threw his MAGA cap into the American political ring.
Not even he expected to win in 2016 but, with then-FBI director James Comey “reopening” the Hillary Clinton investigation, and with the support of a few desperate working folk and very many racist, rightwing bigots, Trump filled the most unlikely inside straight in general election poker history.
And American television’s most entertaining buffoon became its most dangerous one.
And, next Tuesday, we may all witness the transformation of Russia’s Most Useful Idiot from Fat Nixon to Fat Hitler.
Anyone still talking about his “policies” is lying, either to themselves or the rest of us. There is no “policy”, beyond the garnering of the volk.
At best, a vote for Tump is a vote for chaos and all that comes with it, in the age in which we find ourselves.
Which is uncannily like the one in which Germany found itself in the 1930s, and which gave rise to one of the most evil men ever to stain history’s pages.
Hitler was allowed to take control by the established politicians of his time because, apart from a skill for swaying crowds and spewing baseless propaganda, there was more or less nothing to him. If you passed him in the street, you wouldn’t notice him.
The Republicans gave Trump their nomination on the same basis, except they saw him on TV.
Look at where we all are now.
Historians have speculated over Hitler’s mental illnesses, possible psychopathy, bipolarity, megalomania and schizophrenia.
But you don’t need to research Trump’s narcissism, just list its major traits: grandiosity, the view that one is bigger than life & better than others; arrogant domineering; preoccupation with success & power; lack of empathy; sense of entitlement; exploitation of others; demanding constant admiration; deeply envious; and holding an unfounded sense of one’s own uniqueness.
History offered the nonentity, Hitler, great power; we all know where that led.
If, next Tuesday, modern history offers this century’s nonentity, a man who doesn’t drink, can’t dance, never laughs, never tells a joke, a man who would have no personality at all, if he didn’t have a deeply troubling attitude to his own teenaged daughter – if we offer this man the chance to become all that he wants to be, we can follow the path as to where it will lead, not by projecting four years forward, but by going back a little more than a century.
He has shown it to us already.
Even without a World War II to mask his limitless capacity for indifferent cruelty, this century’s Fat Hitler has already proven how comfortable he is with plucking children from their mother’s arms and separating them forever.
He’s not the Celebrity Apprentice anymore.
And the narrowest of wins, next week, will turn him into the Celebrity Dictator.
BC Pires may be astounded by next week’s events but he will not be surprised