It’s over a year since Donald J Trump was elected President and the world is still in one piece. That’s the good news. Today’s disgusting tweeting – sharing blatantly and unashamedly bigoted, racist lies about Muslims, from a UK group that has been associated with the murder of Jo Cox – is a new low. It is not just bad news, it is sickeningly, dispiriting news. Not for the first time, I am left unsure how to react.
My gut tells me I am angry and I am. I take to Twitter – I want to feel like I am doing something about him. My heart tells me I am sad – incredibly sad that a country I love is being led by such an inadequate, pathetic excuse of a person, and I am. A good friend, quoting Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited, once described somebody we both knew as “He wasn’t a complete human being at all. He was a tiny bit of one” – such a fitting description of America’s 45th President. My head tells me to ignore him – to rationalise what is happening and try to place it in context. To sometimes try denial.
The reality is that I feel all these things. I also feel revulsion. Disgust. Nausea. There are few people in public life that I’ve ever had less respect for and wished could return to private life as quick as he writes a tweet. In my more hopeful moments I think about 1976. I remember how America last responded when faced with the presidency of a demagogue. I think about Jimmy Carter. A man of moral strength. Courage. Integrity. Honesty. Fairness. Human rights. Decency. I hope – and sometime pray – I have genuinely prayed on this – that America finds itself again and turns away from the hate and division of President Trump – away from the fake president who is obsessed with himself and what he calls fake news. The fake, tiny person.
In the meantime, I battle with my reactions and continue to make denial my friend.
Photo taken from BBC News homepage