So despite dodgy dossiers and inferences of Muscovite pussy grabbing (maybe they let you do it over there too), he’s made it. He of the enormous hair, the enormous hands and an enormous weapon, The Donald has been inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. The Commander-in-Chief. The leader of the free world. The most powerful man in the world. Fucking hell, it doesn’t read any better than saying it out loud.
There have been a huge number of column inches devoted to what a Trump presidency might mean for the US and the world and how the philosophy of Trumpism may be defined. For those of us not paid to speculate the unspeculatable, it is perhaps expedient on day 1 of his presidency to recall Zhou Enlai’s quip: “It is too soon to say”.
According to NBC, Trump oscillated between 141 distinct stances on 23 key issues during his bid for the White House. The standard bearer of global populism bestows The Donald with more faces than Janus and will allow him to pivot towards whatever flavour of policy gelato he fancies. I would therefore expect much of his policies to be formulated on the hoof and to be endlessly chameleon in character: morphing and reinventing themselves according to the changing populist winds, the whooping and hollering of his Rustbelt disciples, personal approval ratings and the behaviour of the despised mainstream (liberal) media.
This lack of a defined political agenda is a deliberate and strategic tilt at the kind of ideological incoherence that befits the anti-Establishment “outsider”. It suits the narrative of conspiracy theory, systemic failure, partisan divide and voter angst that got him elected. In short, he’s been employed to kick the hornets’ nest and smash the status quo. Coherent policy is anathema to Trump’s MO of populist insurgency.
So with Zhou Enlai in mind, here are a few possible thematics of The Donald’s administration:
Defence. Cough up NATO chumps, you’re paying for our boys to stop Vlad from kicking your ass. Unless, of course, NATO really is “obsolete”. Either way, the Balkans will be bricking it.
One hundred and forty brain cells. The intelligence tally of the average Trump voter (see ‘T’ below).
Nativism. Because American society isn’t fractured and fucked up enough already.
America first protectionism. U∙S∙A! U∙S∙A! U∙S∙A! Spare us. Please.
Liberalism in crisis. What if The Donald’s protectionist policies actually work? Shit gets real.
Divisiveness and distrust. Fomenting cynicism will be core to his enduring appeal.
Jolly hockey sticks. Politics on the Hill will be as brutal, thuggish and nuanced as the mass brawl on ice that Americans like to masquerade as sport.
Twitter. Statecraft and statesmanship in 140 characters of mainstream media bypassing, early morning rant. Anti-social media to manipulate America’s new anti-social soul (see ‘O’ above).
Republicanism’s identity crisis. You’ve got your man except that he’s not your man. Awks.
Usama bin Laden, the legacy of. One podgy trigger finger itching to “bomb the shit” out of IS. Our PM convenes COBRA. The Commander-in- Chief tweets “Boooooooom!”.
Mexico. First there was China’s Great Wall. Then there was Hadrian’s. Go on Donald, you know your ego craves a massive erection.
Putin. Bezzie mates apparently. What shit has he got on you mister?
Lock up your trailers; load your rifles; get Domino’s on speed dial; fetch the keg of Bud Lite; prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone. Welcome to the greatest, ad free reality TV show on earth…
P.S. And the reference to POTUS 45/03/05? Well, Barrack Obama was the 44th President; Bill Clinton was the 2nd President to be impeached (both Andrew Johnson (1868) and Clinton (1998) were technically impeached by the House of Representatives but neither impeachments were ratified by the Senate) and JFK was the 4th President to be assassinated…what are the odds? (Actually, it’s evens to be impeached or being forced to resign before the end of his first term, according to Ladbrokes. There doesn’t seem to be an official market reflecting the likelihood of the “05”. Spoilsports.)