Playing The Trump Card

There are many reasons to be  jealous of  Jeremy Clarkson – the fabulous cars he gets to drive, his unique way with words, or the huge sums of money he earns,  for example.  But above all of this, there’s a  far more compelling reason – he got to punch Piers Morgan in the face.

For reasons I find hard to fathom, Morgan seems to have got himself a regular job on Breakfast TV. At first they had him on there for a week as a kind of joke, But then he came back again, and now he’s still there, and there’s no sign that he’s about to go away any time soon. The joke isn’t funny any more – at least not to me. It turns out that Morgan is good friends with Donald Trump – a friendship made in hell if ever there was one. When considering who this friendship casts the worst light upon, it’s probably fairest to call it a draw.

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, Trump has become a serious U.S Presidential candidate, a fact that seems incredible to British eyes, given that he is little more than a figure of fun here.  Anyway, Piers Morgan found himself interviewing a Labour MP last week about the attempts to have Trump banned from coming to the UK, following his suggestion that all Muslims should be banned from entering the United States as an anti-terrorism measure. Morgan thought that banning his friend from travelling here was idiotic, and rather worryingly, I find myself agreeing with him.

Donald Trump was called a ‘buffoon’ and a ‘wassock’ in parliament last week, and it’s hard to find a coherent argument that suggests these assessments are anything other than a bit too generous. But if these were  grounds for banning someone from the country, there would be a lot of empty aeroplanes landing at Heathrow – and a lot of full ones leaving.

His crime though, was an unforgivable one – he said something stupid and offensive about  Muslims. You can do little worse than this in Britain today, (although as an aside, the same rules don’t seem to apply if you say something stupid and offensive and you ARE a Muslim) but the calls to ban Trump from these shores seem like a  gross over reaction.

Our government welcome leaders from all over the world who haven’t just said something  daft and sported a dodgy haircut –  they’ve presided over (and continue to preside over), some truly horrific actions and events. I’m not going to detail the events which the likes of Russia’s President Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping  or the King Of Saudi Arabia have been closely associated with – I’m sure you’re familiar with some of them –  but there’s been no campaign to prevent these people from entering the country, on the scale of the one relating to Donald Trump, and certainly not from M.P’s.

They used to say that actions spoke louder than words. Not in this case. In fact, it seems that in the modern world, you can literally get away with murder just so long as you don’t talk about it.

Maybe this is something Donald Trump needs to learn – or maybe he doesn’t. You see despite making a number of statements generally perceived to be outrageous (a wall along the Mexican border anyone?) his popularity shows no sign of waning. In fact his support has grown with each headline-grabbing outburst.

Why is this, and what can we learn from it?

Well one thing we need to consider is that huge swathes of the United States are not as…how can I put this delicately…not quite as advanced in terms of education, sophistication and social awareness as we might think.. In the UK, we are more accustomed to exposure to the educated liberal elite that populate big  cities like New York and Los Angeles, than we are to the insular, ill-informed and ill-educated masses that live in areas we tend to know little about.  Anyone who plays up to prejudice will always go down well with people like that.. But I think there’s more to it than this..

People throughout the developed world are bored with, and cynical about, professional politicians with their politically correct statements and their carefully worded speeches which offend nobody and say very little. When someone comes along who is outside of the mould, he gets attention, and when he tells it how it is (or at least how he sees it) people start to listen.

Just grabbing attention and getting people to listen to what you’re saying is a huge advantage when you’re selling anything. Of course, not everyone will like what they hear, but at least they hear it. And the more people that hear the message, the more that will respond positively to it. It’s a numbers game. You can have the strongest message, but it’s of little value if nobody is listening because you don’t have their attention.

Whenever Trump speaks now, the world is listening, and no matter how crass, stupid or plain wrong his message might appear,  the more people that hear it, and that more will respond positively. People only respond once you have their attention. Perhaps a lesson there for anyone seeking to influence others. Which, of course,  is all of us.

So could a Donald Trump style politician succeed here in the UK? Well I’ve insulted a large proportion of the American population, but are we much better here…are we more sophisticated, better educated and better informed.? Perhaps not. A few years ago, a petition calling for the aforementioned Jeremy Clarkson to become  Prime Minister generated a lot of support. It may have been tongue-in-cheek, but would you rule out Clarkson – or someone like him –  being voted into a position of political power, should he chose to stand? I wouldn’t

The capacity to grab attention, to stand out from the crowd and then to play to people’s prejudices and pre-dispositions can often trump (no pun intended) intelligence, logic and conventional competence.

Something to think about, no matter what sphere of life you’re trying to move forward in.

20 thoughts on “Playing The Trump Card

  1. Gerry Haddrell

    Donald Trumps statements may be a little simplistic but are they totally wrong. Not being a member of the media liberal elite, I have some sympathy for what he has said, and I know a lot of people in the pub who would be more drastic in the banning of Muslims.
    We are merrily importing a large selection of misogynistic, wife beating, rapists without even considering the consequences.
    So maybe we need somebody like Trump (but with a better haircut), to shout about it in this country.

    1. Jeff Newton

      Hi John
      I love your lateral thinking and your knowledge of American and UK wordly knowledge, let alone your money making investments of which I subscribe to 2 systems. I would love to meet you and discuss a possible investment in an alternative to preparing a C.V.
      May I buy you a lunch sometime?
      Kind regards

  2. john borrow

    I like Donald Trump. I’ve placed a small bet that he will become president of the USA. I also like Piers Morgan. I think both of them talk a lot of sense. Problem with today is that we are bombarded with such rubbish from the media that we start thinking it’s true. Example yesterday, David Cameron referred to a bunch of migrants and the media went wild. How ridiculous. How should we refer to them? Perhaps a crowd, no that would be too crude. How about a collection of migrants, a group, an ensemble, whatever word you choose would be regarded as offensive.

    Grow up people, stop acting like children and listen to the other point of view. You might learn something.

  3. John Marsden

    Makes you wonder how the Americans view our Boris?
    He’s looking ever more likely to get the top job here!

  4. john

    All you lot going on about Muslims this and that but end of day you get bad and good in all people white black but even the English bomb places and even USA do the same they should try and figure how would or could you solve issues without wars all i’m saying is what do we expect if we bombing away other countries you think you going to be safe in your own how draft governments getting and making people think worse not fan on trump i got mates whom Muslims sound as a pound but i believe we have to look at our selves too.

    1. John Y.

      I agree there’s good and bad in all races but I don’t ever remember the UK or USA using suicide bombers to kill innocent people.

      1. john

        yes understand i agree this what i mean yes their are wars and i really don’t not agree with wars because i always knew one day its going to come back on us and that’s whats going on if you look when did this all start when bush went for Saddam think about it and its getting worse out here or any where they should not of gone their but you know what i believe all the good people in all faiths will make us stay as one and not let the bad kill the goodness in the good ones.

  5. Peter Baker

    Well…….. The Donald does have a lot going for him, at least in the States. Yes, he is playing to prejudices, and why ever not. The Cameroon is playing to prejudices when he is trying to get us to stay in the EU. He is playing the Fear card. Mostly ‘cos that’s all he has got. Ban The Donald from coming to these shores? That would only get him more fame in the States. Let us keep out of US presidential activity as we wish they would keep out of our affairs.

  6. Alan Piggott

    I do fear for a peaceful and tolerant society if Trump is elected as president, but this would only confirm my opinion that most americans a bunch of beer swilling burger eating bunch of morons. I apologise in advance to any thinking, intelligent americans who may read this and implore you to vote democrat and save your country.

    I agree with Peter Baker that Cameron and co that they are playing the fear card. What have we to fear, we Brits have more going for us than the europeans all joined together.

    I ask the question to pro europeans: would you vote to stay in a reformed EU. Yes they say. What reforms do you want ? erm mumble this and that. and when do you think you will get your reforms ? Never. Get out now while we still have a chance. Sorry John to hi-jack your blog to show my predujice.

  7. John

    Piers Morgan – take a look when he had Jesse Ventura on his show in America!

    Donald Trump – looks like America will have to wait a bit longer to get their republic back.

  8. Piete

    It seems we all have our own likes and dislikes apart from the government, the government will go their way come what may, l remember as a young policeman in the era of Arch Bishop Macarius who was hated because his terrorist regime killed British policemen who were posted there, it was implied that he could be arrested if came to this country.
    Well he came and he went but no no one had the guts to actually go against the government and arrest him.
    Today, if you are as outspoken as Jeremy Clarkson, Pieces Morgan or Don T, (just by way of example) then you will be heard, just think of the media machines clutching at their every word, it makes money for them. Personally l like J C. He has an upfront way about him because he can afford to, but that won’t make him a politician.

  9. Bob

    Trump is a business man, he’s used to being able to make decisions and act on them – politicians can’t do that (luckily, looking at most politicians) – Trump would be isolated by his own side as well as the other; he wouldn’t be able to do anything other than bluster. Forget him.

  10. terry virgo

    I like your thinking, but I fear it is too late for this country. We are managed by people who are primarily looking after there own interests and future careers.

  11. Jax

    I worry about the remarks that Donald Trump has made about Muslims but then I think about the remarks that some people have made about western people, including us here in the UK and I realise that there are worse things to do than show the world how ignorant you are.
    There are people in certain parts of the middle east who sound off about our countries and our culture and then, to show us how serious they are they chop someone’s head off. Sadly for the safety of westerners some of them were born and brought up here.
    If you want to save us here in the UK from the unfortunate influence of the likes of Donald Trump you are probably concentrating on the far lesser of the two evils. It would be much better to concentrate on saving us from dehumanised radicals – if only we could work out a way of doing it that did not involve us always being at least one step behind them!
    It is because that is impossible that people like DT get an audience when they advocate banning whole sections of society. It has a simplistic appeal and doesn’t actually affect anyone they care about so it’s easy to ignore the implications.
    It has just one benefit. The dehumanised radicals I talked about earlier would rather die than lie about being a Muslim. Or is that true? Would they believe that a simple lie is forgivable by Allah if it is for the ‘greater good’ of their awful cause?
    The downsides, however are huge. Many of the older Muslims in my local community worry about the non-Muslim majority of the population turning against them and terrorising them. They feel vulnerable. What kind of society would we live in if state-sanctioned discrimination existed and people were not safe in their own homes because of their religion? I’ve only got one answer to that… Heil Hitler!

  12. Tim Clokey

    I am in the USA now and Trump is very highly regarded because he says it as he sees it unapologeticly.
    People criticise him for not being a true Republican, however that’s refreshing and exactly what the people want.
    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he becomes President, and probably a damn good one!


    1. Auberjen

      I agree with Tim. How often, I wonder, do politicians really tell it as it is? Rarely I’d say, mostly we are fed with politically correct ‘polished, programmed & paid-to-say-it’ waffle. People in government have a hard task trying to please all the people all of the time – and we all know that’s impossible anyway. But when someone breaks the monotonous mold that we’ve all grown weary of hearing (basically saying nothing productive in as many words as possible – as is the norm), people like DT and Nigel Farage are instantly ostracised for being ‘too far right’ or ‘radical’. Well for me, I’d rather hear it ‘as-it-is’ than hear it as it ISN’T. There’s no point in pussy footing to please everyone, we have a problem to address with some Muslims who believe life from birth to death has to be under religious control & that women are purely functional chattels to service the requirements of their patriarchal culture, & freedom to please themselves is not an option that is ever open to them. I doubt the Christian European v Islamic Arabic cultures will ever integrate successfully and there will always be tensions. Maybe DT is right, time to call a halt on more ‘of the same’.

  13. Chris

    I’m so pleased you have written your Trump piece because the issues you have raised strike at the heart of the weakness of our so called democracy. If you have been elected to represent a body of people especially in the era of Political Correctness where minorities scream unfair and the majority are afraid to oppose those screams for fear of being branded racist or prejudiced, you the elected person will never say in public how it really is or even how you see things behind closed doors.

    If what Trump trumps about was based on complete untruths he would simply be written off as a nutter.
    That doesn’t mean he’s correct but at least he’s exposing real issues that many people want their elected representative to tackle hence his popularity. Some people thought Jeremy C was going to do that but has it worked?


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