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Why Brits don't get Trump  [message #76809] Wed, 29 April 2020 14:21 Go to previous message
cm is currently offline  cm   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: Somerset
Registered: May 2017
Messages: 54



The following found its way into my inbox, and I wanted to share it as it encapsulates - exactly - how I feel and why I feel it.

Someone on Quora asked 'Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?'

Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response:

'Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem. For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor, Mr. Obama, was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump's limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever. I don't say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman. But with Trump, it's a fact. He doesn't even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers. And scarily, he doesn't just talk in crude, witless insults, he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness. There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It's all surface. Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront. Well, we don't. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we generally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist. Trump is neither plucky nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that. He's not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat. He's more a fat, white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege. And worse he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully. That is, until he is amongst bullies when he suddenly transforms into a snivelling side-kick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could, never do, and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down. So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy' is a matter of confusion and no little distress to British people given that:
  • Americans are supposed to be nicer than us - and mostly are
  • You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty hard to miss. After all, it's impossible to read a single tweet or hear him speak a sentence or two without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal; even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows, there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty ones too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid. He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart. In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws, he would make a Trump. And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big handfuls of hair and scream in anguish: 'My God...what...have...I...created?'

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump wouild be the boxed set'
 
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