Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Man Without Qualities

What better name for Donald Trump? The man without qualities. As I watch his people surround him, Rudy Giuliani with his rictus grin, Mike Pence with his frosted frozen hair, Steve Bannon just begging to be caricatured, I think to myself, these are his Clown Princes, his Hollow Men.

It is my hope some cartoonist will start drawing these men soon. And let's not leave out Kellyanne either. Bannon as wart hog, Conway as giraffe, Giuliani as beluga whale, you get the idea. Indeed, I think it's time to revive Orwell's Animal Farm, and star all these people in it. An Orwellian story for Orwellian times.

I emailed my friend Mark Roberts in London a few days after the election.

These are dark days in America. The worst elements in our society feel it's finally "their turn." I think we will endure this. In fact I am sure we will, but it's a shameful episode for an otherwise great land. We will have much answering to do in decades to come. 

He wrote back with this ...

I reopened The Man Without Qualities on the tube this morning, for the first time since Tuesday, and this was the sentence that greeted me:

    In the long run it [mankind] revokes everything it has done, to replace it with something else; what it used to regard as a crime it regards as a virtue, and vice versa; it builds up impressive frameworks of meaningful connections among events, only to allow them to collapse after a few generations.
That novel, of course, was written in the 1930s and is set in 1913. Courage, mon brave.

Yes, we all need a little courage, and some determination too. It is irony when Germany becomes the the strongest bastion of democratic values in the Western World, and the United States is just a pariah nation.