Home / View Point / Earl Best / Media Monitor Mondello Pt-2: Trump’s number comes up; 45 in the books—in the red column!

Media Monitor Mondello Pt-2: Trump’s number comes up; 45 in the books—in the red column!

“Shakespeare, yuh go dead before mih.”

If, as children, we happened to say the same words at the same time, my sisters and I used to blurt out those six words. And we used to hear Billy Graham on the radio on Sunday mornings.

All four of those sisters eventually migrated to the United States of America. Which is what really brought those two seemingly unrelated bits of information together in a strange way on Sunday morning.

Photo: United States president Donald Trump (left) greets supporters at a rally during his election campaign.
(Copyright Business Insider)

Not to mention Noble Philip’s ‘Complicit shepherds’ piece right here on Wired868.

An American president as crooked and incompetent as Donald J Trump, it was always obvious, would someday have to be brought to book. But whether it happened after four years or after eight, who would’ve expected an upstanding evangelist to arrogate unto himself the responsibility for doing it? 

And find Trump in the Good Book? Who would’ve thunk it?

Late last week, Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, drew a parallel between Trump’s treatment by a handful of Republican congressmen and the betrayal of Christ by Judas. People of my generation are certainly not surprised to hear a Graham talking about money. The surprise is that he provided no address to which it should be sent.

Here, according to a Charlotte Observer report, is what the younger Graham wrote in a Facebook post:

The House Democrats impeached him because they hate him and want to do as much damage as they can. And these ten, from his own party, joined in the feeding frenzy. It makes you wonder what the 30 pieces of silver were that Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi promised for this betrayal.’

Photo: US president Donald Trump (centre) bows his head in prayer with first lady Melania Trump and evangelist Franklin Graham.
Graham is the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham and head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

That puts me in mind of a line from Racine’s Athalie:Pensez-vous être saint et juste impunément?’ (Translated into Trinidadian, that runs, You expeck to do de right ting and get away wit it?)

But there are a handful of other better known books which I readily associate with Trump. I doubt, though, he has read any of them.

Character (in the singular) is anathema to him and, since Twitter permanently suspended his account in the wake of the 6 January Washington DC attempted coup, the number of characters that genuinely concern him has been reduced from 280 to a handful of shady ones like Michael Flynn, Rudy Giulani, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and the Mr Pillow guy.

And maybe, faute de mieux, Sidney Powell.

Some analysts, including Trump’s niece Mary, a trained clinical psychologist, say that there is reason for genuine concern. Thus silenced, effectively deoxygenated, this deranged man still has access to the nuclear codes. His refusal to accept the reality of his heavy election defeat and his seeming determination to make life hell for his successor represent a real and present danger. 

Image: Eh…

Out of sheer spite, some fear, 45 might just press the button… 

Literary experts say that TS Eliot’s The Hollow Men ‘follows the spiritual journey of the spiritually dead’. That makes it particularly apt for summing up DJT.

Is this the way the world ends

Is this the way the world ends

Is this the way the world ends

Not with a whimper but a bang?

For me, though, if we are going to go the route of misquoting TSE, then what better option is there for capturing the post-November 3 DJT than this from The Love Song of J.Anfred Prufrock? 

Like an outpatient self-etherized upon a fable.

Photo: US president Donald Trump professes his love for his country’s flag.

The man genuinely believes that the election was stolen from him. His massive ego leaves no room inside him for acceptance of the fact that he garnered 74 million votes—more than any other presidential candidate before him—and still lost! 

Poetic justice perhaps. But poetry is certainly not the genre that befits this power-besotted boor. Far from it! If we’re talking literary genres, it would have to be tragedy. Shakespearean, of course. No less.

I mean, can you look at the photo of Josh Hawley entering the Capitol Building making a—ha!—Black Power salute in the direction of the soon-to-be-rioters and avoid thinking about ‘yon Cassius’? 

Methinks Hawley hath ‘a lean, unhungry look. He thinks too much [of himself]. Such men are dangerous.’

Which, for me, immediately conjures up thoughts of Trump as Duncan and Ted Cruz, senator from Texas, seeing himself as Macbeth, Thane of Glamis. For now.

Rare are the glimpses we get into the first lady’s Eastern European head. But Trump’s Wednesday morning public message to Mike Pence is not unreminiscent of Lady Macbeth. Did not that Lady urge her husband to ’screw your courage to the sticking-place and we shall not fail’?

Photo: US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.
(via Celebrity Insider)

But it is Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that best fits the bill. In it, he depicts the would-be King of Rome as deaf in one ear; what ails the wannabe King of America is complete tone deafness, complemented by his lack of any capacity for empathy 

And just as the DC authorities seemingly disregarded warnings about a march on the inside of the Capitol, Caesar failed to heed warnings about going to the Capitol on the Ides of March. 

Caesar’s would-be murderers wanted to discuss his pardon of Publius Cimber; the 6 January attempted coup crowd of would-be Pence murderers arguably loved Trump’s pardon of publicly shamed characters like Flynn, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort. 

And wanted more. Four years more.

But the really, really frightening bit of the 6 January reality is the enormity of the premeditated passing out of the sitting vice president. 

Shakespeare’s mortally wounded Caesar exclaimed: “Et tu, Brute? Then die Caesar.”

Photo: US president Donald Trump (left) and vice-president Mike Pence.

When his VP declined to forego counting Biden’s votes in the swing states and opted to do things by the book, his pride mortally wounded, the president might well have said to his VP, “Et tu, brute? Then die!”

The ‘fake media’ all reported that, duly prepped and incited, his henchmen came within mere seconds of giving him his wish.

So, Ambassador Mondello, I have a new book The Art of a Great Deal of Bull. 

And, Joe, I need a favour, though…

Before you go, would you mind writing a foreword?

About Earl Best

Earl Best
Earl Best taught cricket, French, football and Spanish at QRC for many years and has written consistently for the Tapia and the Trinidad and Tobago Review since the 1970's. He is also a former sports editor at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express and is now a senior lecturer in Journalism at COSTAATT.

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  1. Hear Ye! Hear Ye ! Le Scribe de Porte De Espana Tres bon Mot.