Donald Trump finds a whole new way to go overseas and humiliate himself
No candid assessment of the British character would omit the acknowledgment that we have our share of cretins. Some here in Britain like Donald Trump for the same reason some here in Britain like haggis. Both are disgusting to look at, unspeakable in composition, execrable to contemplate actually having for dinner and bad for the planet. But, well, there it is. Unfortunately this is also an insane world, so in an insane world the insane own all the power. The people who own all the power want Trump visiting here.
Donald Trump is coming here to Britain in June and the rest of us can’t do a damned thing about it. From Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, who doesn’t want a racist, misogynist twit like Trump anywhere near his sacred Westminster let alone addressing Parliament, to leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, who has the sufficient courage of his persuasions to no longer countenance Britain’s historic proclivity for kissing the proverbial ass of the United States, particularly when a monster is in charge, to Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, who said it “beggars belief” that Trump was having the red carpet rolled out for him, to fifty Labour MPs, who demanded that Prime Minister Theresa May cancel Trump’s proposed state visit altogether, the message is clear: except for the idiots in charge, Donald Trump is not wanted here.
Those of us sitting on the political sidelines often wonder why politicians, when given a choice between infamy and glory, so bafflingly frequently pick the former. One might argue that Britain is, after all, the home of Neville Chamberlain, the one-man symbol for selling out to evil, the ultimate concession to tyranny. But it goes beyond that. There’s a tradition here more than anywhere else that makes the corrupting stench of criminality too easy to mask with the fawning, perfumed camouflage of power. Britain has a history of being nice to the perfectly dreadful. When one examines the pedigree of its royal forebears, perhaps it’s easy to understand why. From King John to Edward Longshanks to Henry VIII and Richard III, Britain has been home to monarchs who themselves have hardly been saints. If you have to be evil, at the very least cloak your evil in the moral antiseptic of royalty. Or its nearest next equivalent, the Presidency.
Being a coward, Trump will eschew places and situations where the people can make their distaste for him known. But this wouldn’t be an official red-carpeted State Visit, as it’s supposed to be this time, without the traditional carriage ride through Whitehall that goes with it. It’s difficult to imagine how he will protect his porcelain ego from the manic wall of disdain that will inevitably await him for that.
There’s also talk of dusting off the famous floating diapered “Trump baby” blimp. A crowd-funded improvement, three times the size and, at £70,000 ($90,000), many times the cost, is also being looked at. This is all in the service of informing the “president” that he’s hated here, he’s not welcome here, he’s seen through here, and he’s a joke here.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.