Why the Trump train will hit the buffers

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 January 2018

US President Donald Trump. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI

US President Donald Trump. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI

UPI/PA Images

BONNIE GREER says we are not on board for the anti-immigration; nativist; and economic protectionism of the culture wars known as MAGA and Brexit.

There can be no doubt that the presidency of Donald Trump will be a different one, 12 months or so from now. Trump himself will guarantee it through, among other things, his spectacular lack of self-control and self-reflection.

That he has completed over 70 summers without developing these two necessary abilities is astounding enough. That other human beings have allowed him to proceed seemingly unchecked and unfiltered is one of the mysteries of life.

‘Duty To Warn’ – a campaigning group of psychiatrists and psychologists – believe that they see a dangerous mental illness at play in the 45th President of the United States. But that profession was warned off from diagnosing public figures after the Republican Senator’s Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential campaign against the incumbent Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Goldwater’s ads featured a little blonde girl in an idyllic field of flowers, interrupted by the blast of a Soviet Russian atomic bomb. This was followed by the fatal mushroom cloud and the tagline: “In Your Heart You Know He’s Right.”

This was changed by his opponents to: “But In Your Guts You Know He’s Nuts”, a sentiment endorsed publicly by many mental health professionals.

Their professional bodies took a hardline approach against this, and it has held. Until 2017. Then a group of shrinks decided to buck the so-called ‘Goldwater Doctrine’ and take up placards.

Add this to the beatdown that he receives from the late-night comedy shows, and twice on Saturdays, with the inclusion of Saturday Night Live’s lethal portrayal of him and the entire Trump World.

This New York-based show is said to especially needle him because it broadcasts from his hometown, where he is called ‘Don The Con’. New Yorkers know him and voted against him in their droves.

His approval ratings are at such historic lows that his party has managed to achieve two unusual results: the election in Alabama of a Democrat, something the party has not even come close to achieving in this most conservative state in the US for over a quarter of a century. And Trump did not get voted Gallup’s 2017 ‘Most Admired Man In the World’ by his fellow Americans, something unheard of for a sitting president.

His base is shrinking and many of the “angry old white men”, as one Republican senator called the bedrock of his own party, are fed up with Trump and his tweets and vow never to vote for him again.

The tax cut given to the working class in the new Tax Bill ‘sunsets’ in a few years, while the cuts for the rich last forever. “Believe me, this (tax cut) hurts me! My friends are not happy!” Trump bellowed at one of the crowds he charges 40 bucks a piece for one of his ‘MAGA’ caps. He lied, but the panto continues.

It is even hinted by those close to the Oval Office that Trump may be cracking.

He dispatched a long, stark white unmarked van to block the view of the photographers travelling with him. He was annoyed at them for taking pictures of him playing golf. It all had a Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? horror/lunacy about it.

All this while the Democrats watch a surge of people, including a record number of women, apply to be candidates in 2018. Thousands.

Their central theme: a loathing of Trump, shared, according to the polls by the majority of the American people.

It is said that there are no working class people in the US, just millionaires who haven’t made it yet. The working class are called the ‘middle class’; the class below themselves, by implication, live in the streets on handouts.

The ones above them are ‘the elite’, the class that the American middle class want their children to aspire to.

In America, it is always about moving up.

Trump is grooming them to disbelieve the results of the Mueller investigation into possible Russian collusion in his campaign. He wants this to happen. Long before its result will be known.

It is part of the language of populism-both on the Left and Right. Disbelieve what you hear from experts. Distrust what you have always trusted.

This has been going on for about 40 years in the States. It has now, because of Brexit, broken cover here.

While Russia presents both a literal and existential crisis for the rest of the nation, The MAGA remain steadfast. Which is what a good cult does.

Those not in step are branded, in so many words, ‘evil’, ‘undemocratic’, ‘traitors’.

This is the language of the police state and the Mob. And it has arrived here. Because of Brexit.

The resignation letter of Andrew Adonis as chair of the Infrastructure Commission is the J’Accuse of our time. Put aside the legendary incompetence of the Secretary of State in charge of infrastructure, Chis Grayling, known as ‘Flailing Grayling’, a man who has displayed a stellar incompetence in a range of jobs. The Adonis letter is bigger than that.

In it he addresses the catastrophe of Brexit; the damage it has caused already and the hope that the next generation will lead the nation back into Europe.

The toxic myth perpetrated by some on the Left and the Right - that Remain is the domain of what was once called, in New York City back in the gentrification boom of the ‘80s, ‘the quiche and Perrier set’ – is the same lie relegated to those who keep the Trump train on the tracks.

Some on the Left even make a case too for a ‘progressive Brexit’ which they label ‘Lexit’. It centres somewhere within the EU’s harsh treatment of the Greek bailout in 2015, and something to do with the working class, of which they – the Lexiteers alone – are the experts.

As in MAGA, whose backers are Rupert Murdoch, the Koch Brothers and a swarm of millionaires and billionaires now further enriched by the Republican Tax Bill Scam, the ‘useful idiots’ on the Left help prop up Trump and Brexit. In the States, an elderly white man with a $40 MAGA cap shoved down over his eyes and eating from six plates of fried stuff at his local caff, is wheeled out to talk about Trump. Here in the UK, a guy who lost his job ‘to immigrants’ is the voice of Brexit.

Remainers are accused of looking down on Brexiteers. But it is Brexiteers and Lexiteers who are the ones playing them.

That anyone on the Left should stand on the same side of the fence as a Jacob Rees-Mogg or a Nigel Farage should cause them, as they say on the Southside Of Chicago, where I was born, ‘to check your privilege’.

I am the eldest child of a man who worked on the night shift making tin cans for 40 years, who then took up television repair during the day in order to feed his wife and growing family.

Nobody gave me a grant to go to university and my father had no money. I did all of the jobs that I needed to and paid for my education myself.

I started the hashtag #OrdinaryPeopleRemain in order to tell my story and to retweet the stories of other working-class people; people in their 60s and above – the generation blamed for Brexit – and anyone who breaks the cliché about Remainers.

Trump will discover, to his cost, at the Midterms, that the ‘working class’ are not just from the ‘rust belt’ but everywhere. And that we are not on board for the anti-immigration; nativist; and economic protectionism of the culture wars known as MAGA and Brexit.

Andrew Adonis is right when he says that Leave is ‘Trumpist’.

But the remainder of the 21st Century will not be.

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