An Evening with Donald Trump
So I’m in the tediously long hot-dog queue at last night’s Donald Trump political rally in Mississippi and I meet the local metal roof fixer, who only wants to talk about his obsessive need to kill deer using only a bow and arrow. Part of me wants to head-butt him, but I have a press pass for the event , plus he seems a nice man, so I decide to just do my job.
“How long does it take the deer to die?” I ask, mock slavering with a bogus blood lust.
“Oh well if you get them right in the heart”, and then he waffles on about some particularly vicious, and no doubt satisfyingly agonising, super arrow, “They will only run for sixty or seventy yards before they drop. ” He smiles with pride at his utter genius, and I return a nod of manly bonding.
His reply opens so many questions, the prime one being why, but I’m not there to ask about his obvious insecurity about the size of his dick but something equally mysterious, why anybody in their right mind would vote for Donald Trump.
Mr Fixer wears a T shirt announcing that if you don’t like the fact that he loves Trump then you wont like him, and he wont care, and again I am sorely tempted to intercede , but resist.
I have been lucky to get my ticket. People have been sleeping out in the car park of this indoor football stadium for days in hope of getting a return. There’s not a single spare seat in the ten-thousand seater auditorium and the atmosphere is as electric as if it were a public execution of Nancy Polosi – which given that the day before she had managed to get her motion to evaluate the possibility of impeaching Trump through congress would probably have been just as popular. Even if it was by bow and arrow.
And yet other than their seemingly atavistic passion for Trump it’s difficult not to feel a huge warmth for Mississippians. I very much doubt there would have been a single person in that crowd who was drunk or balshie in any way and their elegance of manner and sheer Christian niceness to all white American humanity is an inspiration.
I am in Mississippi to lecture at the University on why we should take story telling seriously. It’s not an easy subject to break into with a class full of twenty year olds who rather be doing something more sensible until you point out that the average student now spends three hours a day on their phone filtering or making stories, so maybe it’s not a time waster to pause and think about the art they spend a day a week exercising.
My roof fixer though is not impressed by my career choice of story teller , in fact I think he would have more respect for me if I had announced I was a drunk and usually slept in dumpsters. “A story teller huh? Well ain’t that something else.” More tongue biting to prevent myself asking compared to what.
And so we return to the auditorium where I meet a hyper glamorous woman called Peggy Grande, which I strongly suspect is not the name she was christened with. I can feel her being drawn to my body, though sadly entirely because I am wearing a press pass. She has written a book, now there’s a surprise, was the personal secretary of Ronald Regan and now runs something called World for Brexit which she tells me is a global coalition to champion democracy in the U.K and world wide and is keen that I publicise.
With two hours to go till Trumps arrival I am so bored I am tempted to suggest that her best chance of inspiring vigorous conversation on the subject would be to set up a stand at the next SNP conference, but decide against it, and she seems relieved when an emergency intern is sent down from the pod of Trump minders to facilitate her escape from my cynicism. Maybe she has a micro emergency call button in one of her sparkling white wisdom teeth that she only has to touch with her tongue.
But it’s still five o clock. Still two hours till Trump is due to arrive. All around me in my favoured standing spot ten paces from the lectern people are lying on the ground as they obviously cant think of anything else to do and there’s little point in them trying to have a conversation with each other as they all seem to have exactly the same opinions on everything. And so I look around at the crowd. It’s extraordinary. Mississippi has a population that is forty per-cent black and yet try though I do I can’t see more than half a dozen black faces in a crowd of ten thousand. Given my limited knowledge of southern politics I had assumed that there would be at least a sprinkling of black faces. When I was last here just before Trump was elected I spent a good deal of my evenings hanging out in the sort of restaurant my Mother would have disapproved of called Larry’s Catfish and more, trying to catch not cat fish but stories . And I got a haul. People of colour who lived in houses with no running water, people who were ill but couldn’t afford treatment, people whose names were Scottish because their forebears were Scots who had owned them. And some of them were voting for Trump.
It’s terribly embarrassing because it’s my job but I am totally mystified by why so many Americans voted for Trump. He ‘s so obviously a racist, and yet blacks vote for him. So obviously sees women as being largely potential seminal receptors to be duped and yet the majority of American women voters voted for him, so obviously sees God as being little more than a fantasy to scare the young and comfort the old and yet many in the church scrabble to endorse him.
And one of those suddenly arrived to lead us all in prayer. Bizarre. Serious southern Baptist head down for five minutes, and then good grief we had to all take the oath of Allegiance. To protect the constitution of the United States. At a Trump Rally. So it’s true. The Americans have no sense of irony.
Luckily God, or possibly those Trump people, sent a political adviser to stand beside me and befriend me and when I asked him why there was less than 0.1 per cent black faces in a state of 40 % blacks he initially replied “Southern Politics” which I considered not a good enough wriggle so I pushed it.
“Ah this is not really their sort of thing. We have many black voters they just don’t like…” [I almost felt sorry for him] ….” This sort of thing.”
Later, after event, I was amused to see a friend of mine, a very bright black guy in the college who had been at the event being used in one of their publicity shots, the implication from the publicists being that there had been many people of colour at the event, when there was less than 0.1 per cent.
We were amused. He was not.
And then Trump arrives on stage. Extraordinary. To see him in the flesh in these kinds of surroundings is to suddenly understand so much more. His presence is extraordinary. I don’t know if it’s confidence, or arrogance, or something almost biological. Even although he’s over seventy and speaks a huge amount of pusillanimous pish he still gives out the message that he is the Alpha Male, and it’s very hard not to be convinced. In Britain we just see him on television, make silly remarks about his hair, disparage his language ( with every right (he can’t pronounce Venezuela, unanimous and has even invented a word- ‘orgine’) but what we don’t connect to is his commanding presence.
He’s like a cross between a huge honey of a teddy bear and the worst monster of your children’s dreams. And he knows how to work a stage. Glancing in all directions to include everybody, walking away from the lectern to expand his personal comfort zone, and then using that zone to surprise, all the tricks.
There is nobody in British politics that can match him. Tony Blair came the closest with his people Princess speech, but even that was amateur by contrast
The man is an idiot but he has somehow managed to create a dance that convinces the majority of Americans that he isn’t.
Of course much of his rhetoric is utter nonsense. He is fine when he is reading the script, but when he diverts and starts to extemporise it would be comic if he wasn’t the most powerful man on the planet, but as it is it’s genuinely terrifying.
And the press seem incapable of exposing him. They list his lies, it’s ignored . Tell of his dalliances. Few care. In the month surrounding his impeachment scandal he raised $19 million dollars, and that was just online. And meantime the Democrats are in chaos. Yesterday morning their candidate list was twenty six, by evening it was twenty five. A more realistic number would be about six.
No, get used to Donald J Trump. My money is of him being with us as President for another five years.
By which time he will seventy eight.
And the man who fixes roofs thinks that story telling isn’t important?
God Bless America.