When I first watched videos of Mr Trump on the campaign trail there was something in him that reminded me of what I had read and seen about Benito Mussolini. The man who became Il Duce had the same smug self-satisfied air about him and the ability to change his mind from being a rampant socialist to becoming and perhaps inventing fascism. Mr Trump has also undergone a philosophical metamorphosis, although not quite as extreme as the late unlamented Benito’s change of mind.
However, Mr Trump has won the presidency of the USA according to the rules and so it is only fair to suspend judgment on him until he has had a fair chance to show us what he is really about.
The invective against him is quite extreme and in some cases quite irrational.
Mr Trumps first days in office have been like the curate’s egg; some parts of it are described by sycophants to be quite excellent but I fear there is fundamental rottenness.
Mr Trump’s opponents have made much of his pussy revelations, his immigration policy and his wall building and insults. I rather think that any very wealthy seventy year old man has spent most of his life living in less enlightened times when it comes to women and tends to meet those more interested in his wealth than in his personality; we should forgive those particular categories of trespasses and not dwell on them. I also think that a nation has the right to make laws to admit or refuse entry to whomsoever it chooses; that is a fundamental part of being a sovereign nation although the rules on admission must be fair and consistent with human rights. I rather doubt if anyone has a human right to live wherever they chose to live when others are living in the place of choice. I think wall building can go ahead if the majority want the wall to be built; the majority have the right to be stupid and vote stupid. These aspects of Mr Trump’s ideas and policies may be undesirable but if that is what the nation wants that is democracy in action, like it or not.
I am concerned about Mr Trump’s comments about Muslims; I doubt if he really understands what he is talking about. He has a lot to learn about Islam, but then again so do many Americans, whose nation started wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the belief that America was fighting terror.
The real flaw in Mr Trump as I perceive it is not the name calling (his Presidential opponents were just as vitriolic in their insults as Mr Trump and just as smugly self-satisfied as he) but his total lack of humility. This is the ability to submit to the self knowledge that we are imperfect and largely ignorant folk and therefore should be careful in our judgments and decisions. The higher one climbs in the world the more one needs humility, but it is a rare quality in leaders. I can think of Gandhi and Mandela but no other humble leaders. Humility may be learned, but it must be an awful difficult learning curve for a seventy year old billionaire elected to lead the most prosperous large nation in the world.