Weak, lonely and tired: Trump’s last days
One cold January night, I sat with my parents staring into the TV. 12 months earlier, we had sneered at the loud, lumbering giant besmirching our values. Now we watch in silence, until my mother finally speaks up. “Don’t you think he looks old now?”
I’m not saying I feel sorry for him. A man that morally bankrupt would never inspire empathy within me. But a sense of pity, perhaps, in the same way I felt pity for my storybook Midas when he realised that his greed had made him lose his beloved daughter. A tutting sort of pity, with a pinch of I told you so.
There is something of a Greek tragedy to this whole Trump escapade. You’ve got the mad old king (Trump) the treacherous sons and daughters (Bannon and the Republicans) and even the donkey’s ears that require a hat (Trump’s hair). A story of gains coming to losses, friends revealed as enemies, wise men unveiled as fools. And through it all, the great American oaf staggers on, ever more alone, ever bitterer, ever weaker.
Clearly, even for the most stone hearted of liberals, he is unwell. He totters around, wavers, slurs and trembles as he picks up papers or pens. He forgets important facts, can’t quite grasp reality and the delusions creep further and further into every tweet and comment.
Ever read King Lear? Don’t, it is particularly awful. But, perhaps the best character description for Mr Trump. Once respected and lauded as a free, fiery ruler and leader or a raucous gang of 80s showmen, he is now unhappy with the weight of power, tricked by those around him, confused by the rules of his own game. He shuts himself in his room with three TVs, and locks out his wife. Everyone is an enemy, apart from the Fool who clings to him (hardcore rust belt fanatics). A sad, but ultimately grotesque figure.
Pretty daughters and wives peck away at him for power and former friends demand cronyism. In his own words, Trump is a loser. Sad. Pathetic.
My high school art teacher used to have a saying; “If it wasn’t true, it wouldn’t hurt.” I think that sums up this Wolff book in its entirety. This book is a symbol of everything that Trump fears; weakness, disloyalty, aging.
His daughter sneers at his loss of hair, his son-in-law plots for power. Bannon twists the knife with spilling on the old man’s mood swings, stupidity and failing marriage. Unpleasant, but not unusual in politics. All his old tactics of mud throwing and open insults are floating back into his banquet.
If he resigns, I’ll respect him a little. I’ll be the first to help him down the steps, back up the gold escalator and firmly into the care of this month’s mistress. Fade out with a little dignity, in a garish pit of scandalous comments, ugly buildings and tacky girlfriends. Not like this, scrambling desperately in a nest of vipers for a role his is simply not fit to fulfill. Literally.
It’s not too late, Donald. You can still retire and be free of all our hatred, demands and complexities. Bow out. You’ve been playing too long, too hard. Watching you has become tragic, like watching a fading old movie star desperately playing at being young and beautiful.
Go back to what you do best; good old fashioned new money narcissism.