It’s going on 6am, I’m on my third cup of tea spiced with, shall we say, analgesia naturalis, while we – the civilised world, that is – wait patiently for the cricket ODI against New Zealand to commence (the match in Hamilton is delayed by rain, as if nobody saw THAT coming, hahahaha). I had no electricity, no Telkom connectivity, and quarter-pressure water yesterday, so I’ve been channel-hopping this morning, catching up on current affairs through the thick haze of TV channe…ls’ partisan persuasions. I’m kinda getting used to to the partisanship of just about everyone who’s got anything to say, so I’m developing neural filters to get the information elephant to lean my way so that I can deal with things rationally. One of the global effects of Trumpalism is an intense exaggeration of partisan brinkmanship – let’s face it, hardly a soul on Earth is neutral about geopolitics these days.
I’ve got some time on my hands, so I’d like to comment on the speeches that have dominated the Northern hemisphere news in the last few days. I listened to Mike Pence’s speech, and I was, I found, way more impressed than I suppose I should have been. He said all the right things, clearly and without fear, and he sounded to me as if he really understood what he was saying and meant it. It occurred to me that I was admiring Pence’s oratory rather too much, simply because I am always drawing mental comparison with the unhinged diatribes of Donald Trump.
When President Trump makes a speech, I am quite frankly embarrassed for him and for the American people. I belong to that sub-group of political animals who hold unashamed conservative values, think the political left is dangerously idealistic, who like to promote many of the policies being put to the people by the Trump administration, but who think that Trump is not a president’s arse. His media briefing the other other day was even worse than usual. What did he say about the pressing political issues that landed on his desk and our tvs recently? Nothing. He just rambled on about one thing – Donald Trump and the media. His overwhelming concern, it appears to me, is ratings. He takes political showbusiness to a whole new level. Good grief, how did the free world end up with this? Is Trump the price we have to pay to swing the world towards natural conservatism? All I can hope for, I suppose is that Trump will let his cabinet actually run the show while he develops narcissism as “finely-tuned” as his coiffure.
Back to Vice President Pence. I think a great many people who heard his speech yesterday breathed a collective sigh of relief. We really needed to hear that, Mike, thank you. Our lingering uneasiness though stems from uncertainty about whether what Pence says truly represents Trump’s political policies. That’s what worries me more than anything about the 2017 US presidency.