Friday 28 October 2016

Apologies, but screw you Donald Trump

John Masterson

Published 26/09/2016 | 02:30

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (AP)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (AP)

I have been reading a lot about Donald Trump recently. This time last year, like many people, I saw him as a somewhat comical figure who would liven up the primaries as America settled down to pick a new president. We all got that one wrong. I would have liked Obama there for another while but the American people know that it is important to tell politicians when to move on. It is not something they are good at recognising themselves. So Barack is not an option. The way things are going I suppose Michelle will run in 2020.

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There is one undoubted positive about Trump. He is a great TV star. He is one of its great performers. When he did The Apprentice he was a ratings magnet. He appears to have impressed all who worked with him for the way he 'got' all aspects of the television process.

His famed business acumen, insofar as we know the details, is more complex. He seems to have made and lost fortunes, to have had great successes and great failures. That he has had failures doesn't bother me. The only people who don't fail are people who sit on their rear ends. Clearly he has never been afraid of hard work. He has the energy and he puts in the hours. Through everything you find out about the man - and I recommend a look through Trump Revealed by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher of the Washington Post - two things recur, and both make him unsuitable for the top job in politics.

One, he has a vary cavalier relationship with the truth. It doesn't seem to matter to him in the way that it matters to me. I grew up with the definition of a lie as 'the intention to deceive'. I understand that in big business, dealing with banks and junk bonds, one might not be all that forthcoming. But his mendacity does not stop there. I also understand that POTUS may at times not be able to tell everything as it is. But it is vital that the person doing the telling knows the difference between truth and falsehood. I suspect he does not think that distinction is important.

The second thing may seem a bit petty but it does suggest how he feels about half of the human race. There are many epithets for sexual intercourse and some are more demeaning to women than others. Trump over the years has used the word "screw" which is a word I have never heard used by any man who sees their sexual partner as an equal.

I cannot get rid of the feeling that there is something of the spoiled, smutty adolescent about him. He has done us one service. We know that if millions of voters are feeling so left out then we need to have a good hard look at all of our political systems and do something quick.

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