Friday, August 21, 2015

Two angry men

I was struck by this photo of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, for all the world like emotional if not ideological twins.

I'm developing a new theory of history, in which Barack Obama is America’s version of Mikhail Gorbachev – a mild socialist, beloved by the Good People, who sets out to reform a troubled country, and who ends by destroying it. We applauded the collapse of the Soviet Union, but isn’t it the first duty of a country’s president to prevent his country’s dissolution?  (Mr Gorbachev and Mr Obama share another thing in common: Gorby built, and Obama is planning, a foundation in his honor, like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.)

Predictably, the shambles left by the well-intentioned bungler leads to a reaction in the form of a Patriot King, the mad savior who gallops to the rescue. Russia took a few years to cast up Vladimir Putin, the immensely popular leader-for-life who is now leading his country down to a new hell, an Orwellian sort of semi-warfare that never ends, as he invades and annexes bits of the Great Russia of the Ivan the Terrible and Joseph Stalin.

In America, things happen faster. So even before the failed redeemer leaves office, we have these two foam-flecked men, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, peddling nostrums that sound so different, but at heart are identical: follow me! I will lead you to salvation!

If either man wins his party’s nomination, I will vote for the other party. If both are nominated, I will move to Canada.  


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