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The Future Is Orange
December/January 2016/17

Internationally, he seems to have no policy apart from cosying up to Putin, defeating so-called Islamic State and proving that climate change is a myth invented by China. If the axis of the earth shifts, I expect he’ll claim to be able to fly around its circumference and whack it back into place. While judging women solely on the basis of their looks, his pronouncements are delivered through trout-pouting lips beneath Worzel Gummidge hair whilst a tiny hand goes up and down with its pinky raised like a Star Trek aviator.

And still, he proved to be the more electable candidate. Because the extreme right wing of the Republican party and disillusioned blue-collar voters are living vicariously through the antics of a reality TV star. It’s easy to forget that for the last 15 years Americans have known Trump as the host of The Apprentice, back-lit in a golden glow as he dispenses straight-talking business sense, measured mentorship and the wisdom of Solomon: “You’re fired!”

No matter, then, that so many of his own business ventures have ended in litigation or bankruptcy, or that he’s about to be sued in three states because Trump University is allegedly an utter con. No matter that the Democrats have steered the US through the worst recession since the 1920s and provided a healthcare package for workers.

Wages are stuck, industry is dead — but, hey, don’t blame technology for job losses, blame politicians and find a man to lead the country who isn’t one. He’s still a television star and that’s what counts. He’s paving the way for President Kardashian.

Perhaps his supporters were alienated by the sheer dignity and grace of the Obamas. Perhaps they felt patronised by the outgoing president’s erudition. So instead they’ve elected a billionaire boor with a Dynasty-style dynasty who look like extras from The Midwich Cuckoos. Not even a self-made billionaire, but established by his father with a start-up fund of $40 million. If this man makes America great again, I will eat a sombrero.

At the end of the week I dragged myself out of my Trump-slump to appear on Have I Got News for You. In one of the out-takes (the half-hour show is edited down from an hour and a half of footage) Charlie Brooker asked ironically: “I don’t suppose any of you read the Buchan Observer this week?”

I almost fell over myself to press my buzzer. Yes! The Buchan Observer covers the part of Scotland where Trump has built his golf course, and its headline gloriously read: “Aberdeen Businessman wins US Election.”

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Anonymous
November 26th, 2016
9:11 PM
'Billary and Hills, with nothing to recommend them save expertise, experience and a record of unrivalled public service.' COUGH! Dinner almost down the wrong tube. Unrivalled? Yes unrivalled corruption, sleaze, and anything but presidential behaviour. Lipman, stop wearing your (politically) tinted glasses.

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