I have a confession. I find Donald Trump attractive. I do – the man, as well as the politician. Vain, bouffant hairdo, fake tan and all, he is my kind of man – a leonine alpha male who will get the job done.
Granted, he set off as bit of a cartoon character, a Captain America promising to deliver his broadside against the Democratic establishment. It was fun, but could the TV star really be for real? But as he toured the Rust Belt, and his rallies breathed the Wild West and wagon train spirit, I began to see his appeal – raw and real, no pretence and no edits – as he offended against every convention, saying the unsayable and telling people they could think the unthinkable. It was shock and awe, a revolution, and undoubtedly brave and bold.
As to the later locker-room chat revelations, well, it didn’t put me off. Nor did they the majority of American women who are quite realistic about how the sexes talk about each other in private. So what? I’m happy if he likes women.
The more the media went for him, the more I felt for him. I suppose I’ve always had a penchant for the outsider or the underdog, for that somebody that people are horrified to find you could possibly like. I grant that Trump (a third-generation businessman turned billionaire) can hardly be classed as either. But from the moment he sought the Republican nomination it’s been open season on him. Disparaged and denigrated, not for what he’s done (though building hotels does somehow seem to disqualify you from office) but for who he is and what he is like, I cannot remember another politician treated with such undisguised snobbish contempt.
A weaker man might have floundered. Not The Donald. It won my admiration and had me rushing to his defence.
Yes, I admit it, I like him because the liberals hate him. Being their bogeyman is what makes him my hero. I love him because Hillary Clinton loathes him. I admire him because John Humphrys, Justin Webb, Mishal Husain, Jon Snow, Jon Sopel (I could go on and on) all despise him. The more they cast their aspersions on his ‘sheer illiteracy’ or ‘pig-ignorance’, the more they deride his ‘boastfulness', the more they smirk, snicker and snigger, the more I'll leap to his defence.
You can hear them thinking, how dare such a coarse self-funding billionaire, former TV reality star and distinctly ‘non-U’ vulgarian think he can be President? No slur is too bad for him, from incontinent to deranged they mock his mouth ‘puckering’, his finger ‘key holing’, do our oh-so-very superior media commentators. He is the easiest of targets for cheap shots.
Yet how on earth do they think could he have got to where he is today (as C J said in the Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin) without being an extraordinarily able and self-disciplined man?
That such snobbish prejudice dictates the British media's examination of him does not reflect well on Britain at all. It's embarrassing to hear these superior guardians of virtue signaling morality display their own prejudices, against Trump, so openly because he is a ‘type’ they can’t digest – a blatant, flagrant, glaring, unconcealed man that offends against their narrow ideas of respectability. It's depressing that under the guise of critical reporting the mean-minded attempts to discredit and delegitimise him have proceeded unabated, resulting in, if not fake news, just one side of the story, whether its about Russian interference or migration control.
None of this has worked. As each month goes by Trump looks the bigger and our media the smaller and pettier. The inability to see beyond Trump Towers and Mar-a-Lago reflects on us, not him. And it serves the British public poorly. The idea that this Thanksgiving many Americans may be thinking they have much to be thankful will come as a surprise to people over here. But contrary to the negative narrative they hear, Donald Trump has achieved rather a lot.
The US economy is booming. Deregulation, lower taxes and a free enterprise culture are already kicking in – you can read it all here. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. ‘Insourcing’ is in and ‘outsourcing’ is out; GDP is increasing at a rate that Philip Hammond would give his eye teeth for. Trump's creating a free enterprise culture and it looks to be working.
He's fighting the culture wars at home – sending Obama’s war on coal packing, extracting America from the bogus Paris Climate Change deal, eliminating the marriage penalty in his new tax code, disbanding Obama’s transgender bathroom patrol and ending his execrable war on the Little Sisters of Poor, proving himself a champion of liberty against the State. If he does not turn out to be the most effective Conservative President since Ronald Reagan, I'll be surprised.
Abroad, he’s proving to be my kind of man too. His defiant and articulate defence of Western civilisation put the EU’s lily-livered leaders to shame. He has put his money where his mouth is and increased US defence expenditure to more $700billion (that is more than three times the defence budgets of the EU countries put together). Almost unnoticed and unreported over here, he’s just completed a remarkably successful diplomatic five-country Asian tour.
Finally he deserves our praise, not contempt, for standing firm on Iran and for repudiating his predecessor’s shameful and dangerous policy of appeasement. Yes, it has cast him against the entire US and European foreign policy establishments, who have lined up against him in a cowardly defence of the so called Iran deal and to feebly warn against 'provoking' Kim Jong-un who they have so singularly failed to contain to date.
It takes a brave man to stand up for his conviction. Who would have thought that Trump would be that type of man? It is a lonely furrow to plough. But the Marvel Comics hero looks set to do it. That's why I find this go-it-aloner so compelling – and attractive.