Sunday, January 14, 2018


The last verbal racist utterances of Trump are still having a ripple effect in the world. The gross vocabulary is less unexpected than his total disregard for the hurt created and for the offense given. One is also entitled to ask questions about the moral sanity of the Republicans in the audience, who heard the same sound bites as the others present but chose to go for a momentary memory lapse instead. That so many were scandalized was to be expected--to a point--because all know that since January 20, 2017 proper manners and vocabulary were packed by Obama's movers. There are few manners left. Does anyone in his or her right mind expect a presidential "sonnet" instead of gutter talk?  Does anyone still hope for truth, or plausibility at least, to come out of this insane administration?  Where is the outrage, where is today's Joseph Conrad? The Heart of Darkness is here.

This commentary pleaded earlier for distance, given that the world at large, be it for different reasons, has nothing to gain from a kow-tow to this grotesque ruler. He might be flattered by some, and snubbed by others, but he should never be allowed to get away with his lies and structural attention deficit. It is enough to let him dismantle his own realm, but he should become infrequentable elsewhere.  Now he has decided to go to Davos, to the contemporary Plato's Symposium. He might even wear his "America First" fool's cap. No doubt he is already reading Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain to get in the mood. One can see him, red tie and unbuttoned coat, with a hair comb-over, looking at the peaks in full Berchtensgraden-mode. 

This permanent nightmare will only get worse. The man should also be awarded a prize for Darwinian survival, not of the fittest but of the unthinkable. His "base" sticks with him and loves its hero from the lucha libre, who wears his mask and cape with the pathological pride of the deranged.  He has been compared to Nero, but this is the ultimate insult to the Roman emperor who would never have followed in the path of a vulgar, corrupt used-car dealer.

The US president has decided not to risk his life and dignity in the streets of London.  That is the only good news that Theresa May received in months. Her Majesty might be equally relieved not to have to share too small a space with too large an infant.

The problems are piling up and the politics, under consideration or being implemented, are radically changing America's psyche. The disrespect for the Constitution, the cynical rollback of essential beliefs and the rule-of-law might take a long time to recover. What is left needs to be defended less by barriers than by barricades. Indeed, America is broken. The question is how long it will take to repair.

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