Inauguration day. And still Trump dominates the conversation (in the media at least), in spite of his ousting from the Presidency, and his Twitter account being cut off. Two things sent me to bed last night deeply troubled about the future of America, and of course – because of America’s wider influence, especially on the British political scene – the future of us.
The first was a Swedish TV discussion on the subject of whether, after his political defeat, Trump could become a saint or a martyr to his followers; crucified by the Establishment, the MSM and the Judases in his own party (Pence, McConnell), but ripe for resurrection, in spirit at least, as the deified focus of a great movement that would ultimately prevail. Haven’t his religious supporters already been claiming that he was ‘sent by God’?
The second was the ‘farewell’ speech he gave in the White House yesterday, which I can see fuelling that metamorphosis: disciplined, statesmanlike, avoiding his usual crass insults, deeply dishonest, but also immensely clever in the way it painted the glorious achievements of his brief presidency, and hinted – only – at betrayals ahead.
It was quite brilliant. Who wrote it, I wonder? Surely not him. For a deeply disgraced President, it could be his magical salvation, his ‘trump card’ (sorry!), his release from the ignominy to which the events of the last few days seemed to have condemned him. What sort of effect will it have in the US, I wonder? Perhaps American friends can help me here. The ‘martyr’ scenario, I know, has occurred to them before.
Anyway, these two thoughts depressed me mightily as I tried to sleep last night; and will weigh upon me as I view the inauguration of Biden and Harris this afternoon on TV.