Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Top Trumps?

So, farewell, Barack Obama: As many have already said, we're all going to miss your cool, unruffled presidency. Your farewell speech was gracious, calm and generous. It struck the tone that a President should: inclusive, hopeful, helpful and slightly detached.

OK folks, I hope you've got your safety belts on now, as it looks as if we're in for one hell of a ride....

I watched Mr Trump's Press conference today.

If I'm being generous, it is best described as being markedly different in tone from Mr Obama's valediction.

If I'm being honest, it was the most jaw-dropping, godawful, car crash of a press briefing I have ever seen.

You don't want to hear what my opinion would be if I were to be negative.

I really don't know where to begin with it. You may have noticed that this post is beginning to read like a theatre review, and that is because it is, in a way. This was Trumpian Theatricality at its darkest and most brutal.

It started with an angry little round man saying angry things because Buzzfeed published a dossier that alleged a, er, shower of salacious and damning details against Mr Trump. This heated little blast was, however, the mere prelude to what was to come, as the Great Man swaggered forth to hold court.

Well, he can walk the walk, but he most certainly can't talk the talk. Now, it may be that Mr Trump is merely deeply uncomfortable with public speaking, mad as THAT may sound. However, I've always noticed that people who are, at some visceral level, terrified of facing a large audience, will quite often resort to Attack Dog Mode, and become really rather vicious in their speech.

Now, this is me being generous, because it would a) explain Mr Trump's rally style and b) mitigate in part this really very, very bad press conference.

Alternatively, it could all be explained by saying that he is an overbearing bully with a fragile ego, but I'll leave you to make up your own minds on that one.

I had difficulty following what he was saying - not because he was using densely worded, impeccably logical arguments and laying out his policies to the nth degree of finesse, but because it was as if he had got a chimpanzee to write his speech notes.

And then he had thrown them in the air.

And then he'd scrawled over them with his special crayons.

You expect a degree of coherence in a speech, whether it's in a high school debate or at a company's general meeting, or indeed in a State of The Union address. This had nothing of the kind. it lacked direction. It lacked finesse. It meandered, contradicted itself, withered on the arid plain of rhetoric.

When it came to answering questions from the media. it was the same - it was clear Mr Trump wasn't going to answer a thing, except where it somehow latched on to whatever idea was banging around his cranial cavity at that point.

Then he walked off, and his attorney started droning out what were, in effect, the Terms and Conditions of The Product Known as The Trump Presidency.

I really hope you didn't Click to Agree and Proceed.

Following this dull interlude, Mr Trump returned to take more questions and pour more of his fetid, barren ideas over the assembled press.

It wasn't just the paucity of ideas. It wasn't just the contradictions and obfuscations. It wasn't just the evidence of an extraordinarily limited vocabulary range. What made this briefing truly appalling was Mr Trump's attitude, which could not, with the best will in the world, be called presidential.

He was petulant, defiant, bragging: 'I won'. That's what this is all about. He won.

That's why, apparently, he sees no need to divest from his business interests or reveal his tax information.

He won.

Top Of The World, Ma!

Mr Trump has no real interest in the presidency per se, except inasmuch as it aggrandises him and makes him feel like King Of The World. He is no real leader. He is, on the evidence of this, really a rather lonely, insecure and very, very small man.

Now, I doubt he's ever likely to read this, but this would be the advice I'd give him now: OK, you won. Well done. You're a winner. Here's a certificate and medal you can stick on the fridge door. Now, it's all going to get a bit tricky in a while, so why don't you resign as soon as decently possible? You could cite ill health or something. Then you could get back to doing what you love best - building vulgar hotels and losing your father's wealth - while us grown ups get down to the job of healing the gaping wounds in the world that have been opened by the events of the past few years.

Off you toddle.