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Donald Trump knows politics is just showbiz and that we shouldn't take it seriously

By Mark Steel

Published 27/02/2016

Way forward: Donald Trump’s outlandish declarations have found favour with the US electorate
Way forward: Donald Trump’s outlandish declarations have found favour with the US electorate

We're already becoming immune to Donald Trump. We'd hardly take any notice if he said: "Do ya know what we're gonna do to make this country great again? We're going to shrink Muslims and keep them in eggcups until they learn to stop making that noise when they pray.

"Instead of all that 'Waaaa, Allah' noisy stuff when you're trying to watch the ballgame, there'll be just a squeak from the kitchen, then you tip your eggcup out in the backyard and watch TV in peace because we're Americans."

Then 50,000 people in Tennessee, wearing silver trousers covered in stars and stripes, will scream, "Eggcup, eggcup," and we'll all make a joke about Trump's hair.

He'll announce on CNN that he's planning to outlaw Mexican shapes. "Why should we have to eat those bendy burrito contours? They're un-American; food should be angular like a steak or stars and stripes. Is it any wonder so many of our people don't have jobs when we're letting in curves from over the border?"

And Sarah Palin will get a standing ovation for adding, "Let's all have a triangle", and we'll think, "Oh well, that's Wyoming for you."

Trump doesn't even bother to conceal his contempt for his own supporters any more. "I love the poorly educated," he growled - and they didn't mind.

Next week, he'll shout, "You guys are morons," and let off a thousand balloons that say "morons". This all makes us feel smug because we're sensible, and have a grown-up democracy in which the Prime Minister answers questions from Jeremy Corbyn about the NHS by saying: "My mother would tell you to wear a suit and tie and sing the national anthem."

You can see his point, because decent people, such as Mussolini and Reggie Kray, were always nicely turned out in a suit and tie. Idi Amin was always immaculate before he had someone boiled alive, whereas Gandhi was a scruffy urchin, which is exactly why no one took notice of his views on health.

David Cameron seemed to ignore the fact that Jeremy Corbyn was already wearing a suit and tie, but that's all part of our cherished system of democracy. And, if Corbyn had true respect for it, he'd have replied: "Well, if your mother tells people to wear a suit and tie when they're already wearing a suit and tie, no wonder she signed a petition against your cuts as she needs putting in one of the care homes you've shut down, the poor cow."

And she'd tell him to sing the national anthem? What, during Prime Minister's Questions? Every verse? Or one line of the anthem, then a line of the question?

Perhaps it would go: "God save our gracious Queen, I have a question from Kevin in Plymouth, long live our noble Queen, he works in Topps Tiles 50 hours a week, God save our Queen, but can only afford to live up a tree."

This is supposed to be official proper sensible politics. In America, proper sensible President Obama has just announced the major policy for his eighth and final year in office - to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. By coincidence, this was also his major policy for his first year in office. To be fair he hasn't abandoned his principles; he still wants to shut it down, but hasn't had time as he's been too busy being President.

It's the same with gun control. Every couple of weeks Obama goes on television to explain that, in the light of the latest incident involving a pensioner going berserk with a rocket-propelled grenade during a rummy evening, he'd love to reduce the number of guns, but, "Hey, I've only been President seven years, so what can little old me do about it?"

Obama seemed to believe in universal healthcare, but was undermined by the health companies, then Wall Street traders threatened to shut down the country unless he did what they wanted.

It's almost as if the finances of a major superpower are deemed too important to be left to chance by elections, so instead they're trusted to responsible people, such as those in charge of Wall Street and the Pentagon - institutions without a blemish to their name.

A good President would be one that used their time in the White House to do something worthwhile, like complete a huge jigsaw puzzle or learn to play the tuba.

Like Britain, America appears to be ruled by the same people whoever wins the election, but unlike here, where we pretend to take politics seriously, they're more honest and write off their elections as showbiz. So it must seem exhilarating to have unusual acts such as Bernie Sanders and Trump to choose from.

For the next election one of the parties should nominate a puppy. Whichever Bush stands next time will get angry in the debate and snarl, "Your only solution to the deficit is to poop on the floor", then everyone will boo and the puppy will edge nine points ahead in the polls.

On the other hand, maybe it will be for the best if Trump did become President. Of every job in America he could be given, that's probably the one where he can do the smallest amount of damage.

Belfast Telegraph

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