Wednesday, 2 March 2016

America: no more Mr. Nice Guy - Freddy Gray's Spectator analysis of Trump's success is brilliant

(Hat-tip: Lord Ashcroft)
So my recent Marco Rubio prediction looks about as likely to come true as most of my other political (and sporting and economic) predictions. Unless something totally unexpected happens, it'll be Trump v. Hillary...

...and that really does freeze the blood of this conservative Yankophile, because they're both yuge fans of the clunking fist of Big Government. Sure, one of them sounds like a moronic, cultureless gangster and the other like a charmless, vindictive "Comment is Free" columnist determined to pay the world back for not liking her (let's face it - even her own husband doesn't like her). But under the skin, they're both lying thugs. If I had to choose (and thank God I don't) I'd probably go for Trump, because the political establishment loathes him, while Hillary is America's political establishment. But that's hardly a positive reason for preferring someone as the world's most powerful human being (Congress and the Senate permitting, of course - but they've proved fucking useless at protecting the world from America's Dementor-in-Chief, Barack Obama).

Okay, Carson and Kasich and A.N. Other could drop out right now and give a single opponent - The Anti-Trump - a smidgin of a chance. But, given that Trump is gaining support from across the board, there's no guarantee that a large chunk of Cruz's or Rubio's supporters wouldn't switch to The Donald rather than the other guy: Trump is doing well with both evangelical Christians (shame on them) and moderate conservatives (are you people crazy?). Even if Rubio were to drop out and Cruz miraculously overtook Trump, I just don't see Cruz beating Hillary. Rubio just might - but there's no proof that even his recent feisty attacks on The Ugly American are attracting a sufficient number of angry Republicans to his cause.

Tomorrow's cover article in The Spectator (from which the above illustration is taken) is "What Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday triumph says about America" by Freddy Gray. It's undoubtedly the best thing I've read about the current one-sided battle for the Republican nomination (and I've read a hell of a lot of articles about it recently):
...when you think about how overbearing America could be, given all that power at her disposal, it’s remarkable how restrained she has been. America has always tried to do the right thing. 
In return for this service to mankind, what thanks does the Indispensable Nation get? Europeans sneer at America’s patriotism, its gun laws, and the coarseness of its consumer culture. We titter at the stupidity of American Christians, while Islamic governments call the US the Great Satan. Can anyone blame the American lower middle classes, whose wages have stagnated while the world blossomed under Pax Americana, for feeling resentful? They feel America’s generosity has been exploited, and that with the rise of China and their failures in the Middle East, their country is losing. In Donald Trump, they have found someone who won’t let them be pushed around any more.
Now, that's really good. As is this:
In many ways, the rise of Trump is a logical consequence of the Barack Obama presidency. In 2008, Obama was swept into power on a wave of demented hope. People talked about him as America’s saviour, a ‘post-racial’ figure who could heal the world. Inevitably, that led to disappointment. Like all political careers, Obama’s has ended in failure.
If Obama was the product of delusional optimism, Donald Trump is the opposite: an expression of exuberant negativity. He is the clearest sign yet that, after the crash and a non-recovery, the USA is losing interest in its civilising mission; that the American project is turning sour.
As Gray puts it, "the most benevolent superpower in history is turning nasty". And that could mean it morphing into exactly the sort of country that its vast legion of haters around the globe have always - ludicrously - claimed it already is. In which case, God help America - and the rest of us.


  1. "....And make it look like an accident,007."

    When Dan Quayle [do yourself a favour and re-read his quotations] was the VP it was accepted that the CIA had one of their "house assassins" follow him around in case anything happened to the President. Before that, Spiro T. Agnew claimed that Nixon and Al Haigh had organised for the CIA to terminate him with "EP" if he did not resign after some scandal. I wonder if there is some form of "Manchurian Candidate" scenario being prepared for the GOP Convention in Cleveland in July?

  2. That's an excellent point. The Trump must be thinking on similar lines in putting together a list of potential running mates. T. Dan and Palin must be in with a shout. OJ Simpson too, maybe. The challenge for Hilary will be identifying anyone to serve as VP who is even more unlikeable and uninspiring than she is.

  3. It's a shame they can't both choose fictional characters - Tommy DeVito (the maniacal mobster played by Joe Pesci in "Goodfellas") would suit the likely tone of a Trump presidency, while Hillary could go with Nurse Ratched. (Actually, either of those would be preferable to either Trump or Hillary.)