Appealing for Trump to see sense always works – so let’s keep doing it

Eventually society will look back and wonder how such a savage was able to command such support

Mark Steel
Thursday 07 January 2021 18:46
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<p>Supporters of Donald Trump inside the Capitol building</p>

Supporters of Donald Trump inside the Capitol building

Who would have thought Donald Trump would do a thing like this? It’s always the ones you least expect, isn’t it? Hopefully Iraq, Iran, Somalia and El Salvador will quickly put an army together, maybe under the United Nations, and send troops to try and establish some sort of workable democracy in America.

On average, once a fortnight since 1880 the United States has invaded somewhere. Then the US president issues a statement such as: “This country had descended into chaos. We have seen shocking scenes, such as an unruly crowd trying to overturn a democratic vote, one of them dressed as a Viking. So we have no choice but to napalm an area of five million square miles and steal all their bananas.”  

Now it’s only fair if these countries help out the US in its time of need, and kindly invade it in return.

Instead, at this critical moment, America seems to have become all cuddly and liberal. During the Black Lives Matter protest, there were lines upon lines of armed police on every step of the Capitol building, armoured cars, snipers, probably a submarine in the sewers. But those protestors were lethal, and had the outrageous demand they should stop being killed, which no reasonable government can accept.

Trump’s protest met hardly any resistance at all to start with, although their demand was to overthrow the 244-year-old constitution, while some of them were dressed as Vikings and Nazis. I suppose the National Guard thought there was nothing to worry about, because if there are two groups of people who have never done anyone any harm, it’s Vikings and Nazis.

Maybe every protest should raise its aims, now we know how easy it is to break into the Capitol Building. Instead of a little rally outside the town hall, the Campaign for Improved Cycling Lanes in Cheltenham Town Centre should go to Washington and smash their way in, one of them cycling across a portrait of Franklin Roosevelt while dressed as Wolverine from the X-Men.  

Instead of wandering up and down Oxford Street in London, the Hare Krishnas could parade into the Capitol Building while Congress is sitting, and bang some gongs on Nancy Pelosi’s desk until she runs out screaming.

All these years we’ve imagined if anyone got as far as the steps, they’d be incinerated with a laser shot from space, but it turns out anyone can wander in, take a selfie and barricade themselves in the toilet. There should be a gift shop, with knick-knacks that an insurrectionary might fancy, such as a leg of Barack Obama’s foot stool, and instead of paying for it, you snap it off and chant “U-S-A”, then keep it.  

You might not even need a selfie, there should be a fun photo of everyone, which you can buy on the way out, like the ones after you’ve been on a water slide, where you’re squealing while chanting “Send them back” and pulling down a chandelier.

This is possible now, without the gunfire you might expect during an attempt to overthrow an elected government, because Trump’s people invaded the state building responsibly, and none of them tried anything truly threatening, such as being black while sitting in a car.  

Many US politicians are asking how everyone was caught by surprise, but how could anyone have seen this coming? What would lead a man who keeps himself to himself, quietly putting babies quietly in cages, to suddenly go off the rails and become antisocial?  

Trump gave no indication he would ask his supporters to march on Capitol Hill, except for the clue, “We’re going to march to Capitol Hill.” But you can’t expect US intelligence to decipher intricate codes like that. Rudy Giuliani was even more discreet, insisting the only way to address this stolen election was “Trial by combat”. But who could interpret that as being combative in any way?  

Some figures are appealing to Trump to see sense, and there’s every chance that might work. If it does, they can move on to coronavirus, appealing to it to be responsible, and be a kinder gentler virus that only gives you a craving for Crunchie bars.  

It might also be a bit pointless appealing to the people who invaded the building. Many of the protestors waved Confederate flags, which suggests they have some way to go before accepting the result of the 2020 election, as they haven’t yet accepted the result of the one in 1860.  

Eventually society will look back and wonder how such a savage was able to command such support. And it is a mystery. Responsible people would never do such a thing, which is why our own prime minister called for him to be given the Nobel Peace Prize, and had several meetings in which he sought the advice of Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, and in effect sacked a US ambassador for saying Trump was “inept”.

Michael Gove was proud to be photographed with Trump. Even now, some Tory MPs won’t blame Trump for the invasion that couldn’t happen without him. Because he was their mate. And when someone’s your mate, you don’t fall out with them just because they’re defending white supremacists, building walls because Mexicans are “rapists”, and insisting on injecting bleach to cure a virus you say doesn’t exist.

Trump described people such as a man wearing a Camp Auschwitz shirt as “good patriots”, and he’s right, they do love their country, which is Germany in the 1930s. When Hitler staged his daft coup, in 1923, his supporters seemed like eccentric idiots in silly brown shirts. So Hitler was put in an open prison, where he was able to sit and think about how silly he’d been, until he came to his senses.  

So the main question now must be whether the Republican candidate in 2024 will be the man dressed as a Viking, or the one in the Camp Auschwitz shirt. It could be a tight contest.  

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