Saturday 24 September 2016

Television review: Trump closes the eejit loophole

* The Mad World of Donald Trump (Channel 4)
* The Week in Politics (RTE1)

Published 01/02/2016 | 02:30

Illustration: Jim Cogan.
Illustration: Jim Cogan.

When all this is over, and Donald Trump is President of the United States - or not as the case may be - he will have contributed in at least one way to the world's wisdom. He will have demonstrated that rich people can be eejits too.

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For those of us who have looked deeply into this subject, who have done the hard yards, one of the constant frustrations is this free pass which is accorded to the rich, for no reason except that they have money - or at least they appear to have money.

Even this may be a false assumption in an era in which Donald Trump can be having long arguments with Forbes magazine about how much money he really has, with a difference of several billions between the Forbes estimate and the Donald's. And there is another figure out there, which suggests that if Trump had simply invested the money he inherited from his father in the most ordinary of savings schemes, and taken himself off to the golf course for the last 30 years, he would now have a few billion more than he allegedly does.

Indeed on "The Mad World of Donald Trump", his supporters strongly asserted that it was Trump's wealth which made him an attractive candidate, because it meant that he wouldn't be corrupted by corporate donations but also because it showed what a smart guy he is - again we were hearing this assumption that the rich are somehow immune from the curse of eejitry, the beneficiaries of a kind of Eejit Exemption Clause, a loophole which is closed to the rest of us.

Thanks to Trump, in this area at least, I feel that the tide may be turning. He is such a massive eejit, with every public appearance he seems to be closing that loophole without even trying - you could say that it closes itself.

Indeed so vast is his eejitry he illustrates that, if anything, a rich person of his ilk is perhaps more likely to become an eejit than a person from any other socio-economic group. It's all there, the total self-confidence, the conviction that they are great crack and great fellows altogether, the crucial lack of introspection which means that they never read a good book, one which might cause them to doubt even some small part of their ludicrous worldview.

And because they have money, they have power, which means that they tend to be much more dangerous than the average eejit, whose operation is largely confined to his local area.

In "The Mad World...", reporter Matt Frei brought us a piece of information which makes Trump seem even more dangerous than his rich brethren, bringing us back to his schooldays when Trump was so given to physical violence, getting into so many fights with other pupils and with teachers, at the age of "11 or 12" he was shipped off to an institution called the New York Military Academy.

It was suggested that whatever chance he might have had of becoming a rounded individual was scuppered right there - the term "arrested development" was used.

Again we can discern the deep immaturity, a kind of infantilism which is common to all eejits, allied to something more threatening, and raised to a different level altogether when we contemplate the fact that this man is running for President.

There are harmless eejits and there are eejits who can do an awful lot of harm, and it is clear to which grouping the Trumpster belongs.

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Which brings us somehow to the interview with Enda Kenny on The Week In Politics, a traditional encounter of no significance whatsoever which takes place on the Sunday of the Ard-Fheis.

And there was Aine Lawlor finishing off with the question they all love to be asking - what is the date of the election, Taoiseach?

And the Taoiseach loves them to be asking that question, because it gives him the chance to finish on what they call "an upbeat note", a little knowing grin and a line to the effect that he knows, but he's not telling.

But then they know that he won't be telling, yet still they ask the question.

I wonder what would happen if they just didn't ask the question?

But I guess that would be taking all the fun out of it.

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