Monday, August 8, 2016

The Rise and Rise of Donald J. Trumpinator

Listen and understand! The Trumpinator is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead and he is elected.

 

Alright, listen. The Trumpinator's an infiltration unit: part man, part adding machine. Underneath, it's a hyper alloy bullshit chassis, microprocessor-controlled. Fully armored; very tough. But outside, it's living human tissue: flesh, skin, hair, blood - grown for the American voter. 

 

Yes: I have been following the U.S. election with much amusement and think Trump is going to win it. This much was predicted in Michael Young's 1958 book, The Rise of the Meritocracy. Young coined the word "meritocracy" to describe a new ruling elite, nastier than an aristocracy or plutocracy. He predicted that an elite picked by "merit" would feel entitled to exploit, drive up income differentials and fix rules to give their kids a head start. Young's book described a divided 21st Century Britain, run by an elite hardened to outsiders, with the party of the left becoming more technocratic than working class. Young foresaw a populist right-wing rebellion which would baffle the new ruling class. Sound familiar?  It happened with Brexit in the UK and it seems to be happening in America with Trump.

Great British Bake Off in Atlanta: Dundee Cake 

But it's not all doom and gloom here at Atlanta HQ. It's four years since we arrived in this savage colony, and we have been cooking up old English favorites in the kitchen to compensate for home sickness and the decline of western civilization as we know it. Dundee Cake, a favorite of Winston Churchill, and even Toad in the Hole, not made since we were living in Bangkapi Mansions in Bangkok, Thailand. 


Toad in the Hole

I even got the heads up from a mate about a fab Thai restaurant in Norcross, a dreary suburb just outside the perimeter (O.T.P.) of the city. We live in the perimeter (I.T.P.), and I am a bit funny about leaving it. Nonetheless, the best Thai and Korean food in Atlanta is said to be found O.T.P., so I should really make more of an effort to stop being such a snobbish prig and leave my immediate area. 

 


Out of the kitchen and back to the election, I seem to recall, some years ago, Norman Mailer complaining about the USA being in a pre-fascist state of development. And it's amazing that a banana republic style candidate like Trump might win the presidency in November. It reminds me of The Iron Heel, the almost forgotten Jack London novel about fascists taking over the U.S. of A. It's funny. That was one of the novels I packed for Thailand in 2003. I remember reading it around the swimming pool under the polluted Bangkok sky and thinking to myself, it couldn't happen in America, could it? Fast forward 13 years later, I am beginning to think that the late Norman Mailer (a bore of a fiction writer) might well have been right. 

 

I have watched so much Trump on the TV News that I am now speaking like him.

It certainly looks like America, my other homeland, my current posting, might well be electing its first true demagogue in ninety or so days. Which was kind of inevitable, given the state of the western world in the 21st Century. Yep. It's the stuff of a bad satire, written by Tom Wolfe on a bad hair day, except that it's not satire; it's real and really happening. Still, at least I am here to bear witness to it. A week is a long time in politics and from now till November is an eternity. Will Mrs. Clinton, a flawed candidate and an emblem of the past, trump Trump at the polls? I fear another repeat of the 2000 election with the added spice of some dirty tricks from the Kremlin. 

 

"Here's my trade deal for all of you folks in England."

How does this affect us Brits?  What would a Trump foreign policy mean for the UK? Will we get a good trade deal with the USA under Trump? Ironically, we might well do. We may no longer be an unsinkable aircraft carrier to the Yanks, but we are one big rinky dink golf course to the likes of Mr. Trump. Ho-hum. I've also been tasked by an old mate in Blighty to score some Made in China Trump campaign paraphernalia, "the more outrageous the better," he says. I must not disappoint him. 


Trump's progress thus far brings to mind Peter Cook's politician in The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer, a great political satire about Britain inadvertently electing a mysterious advertising man as dictator. Rimmer, with a mandate from the masses, manages to consolidate power through endless polls and pointless referendums. The flick ends with a great close up of Cook's eyes that hint at the horrors to come. It's all over Trump's face in 2016, too. The USA is voting for an American Psycho and I've got a ringside seat for the whoops apocalypse. 

     

All of this electioneering got me rummaging for a book I nabbed off the shelf in London, The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore H. White. All of my books on Yankland are in one section of the bookcase but, alas, it has gone missing. It is meant to be one of the best books around on the machinations of American politics and well worth visiting given the current state of play. If only I could find the bloody thing...

 

 

Until Next Time

 

The Male Trailing Spouse