World of Politics with Harry McGee – firstname.lastname@example.org
My moment of the US Presidential campaign does not involve anything said by any of the candidates. It was an attack advert sponsored by the moderate Republican John Kasich, the governor of Ohio – and the target was, you’ve guess it, the now President-elect Donald J Trump.
Kasich is a moderate and would have made a great candidate, truly representative of the Republican Party – but this time his language was as taunting and provocative as Trump’s.
His advert invoked Martin Niemoller’s famous summation on Nazi Germany.
“You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims must register with their government because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says he’s going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you’re not one.
“And you might not care if Donald Trump says it’s ok to rough up black protesters, because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you’re not one.
“But think about this: If he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you.”
For a political journalist, Donald Trump is, just compelling. He is the Wire and the Killing, Borgen and Stranger Things and Breaking Bad all rolled into one. He is an unmissable box set, masquerading as a politician.
I just could not get enough of him during the presidential campaign and ignored everything else to follow the latest extraordinary twist or turn.
“Miss Universe was too fat. I’m going to build a wall. Let’s ban Muslims. Obama is not really American. Look at me parody a disabled journalist in the cruellest possible way. Putin is my kind of guy. I go straight for the . . . jugular and every other body part that is available to me.”
Trump and his extraordinary mullet are like Japanese Knotweed; no matter how much extraordinary damage inflicted on him, he just kept bouncing back.
The rules of this election were that there are no rules. The worse Trump’s publicity, the more they wanted him. The more he looked like losing, the closer he came to winning.
Like that famous line in the Tom Waits’ song, On the Nickel: I know a place where a royal flush will never beat a pair.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.