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Friday, August 19, 2016

Writers and the American Presidential Election

These days it is impossible to read newspapers, listen to the radio, or watch television news without being bombarded to the latest about the American election.  Certainly Trump’s misogynistic, racist, and xenophobic comments can’t be avoided. 

The British newspaper, The Guardian, recently featured an article in which a dozen writers recommend books which might help people understand the U. S. Election.  The article has some wonderful commentary on the Republican candidate: 

“Trump is not charismatic. He is artless and politically clumsy, and wears his egotism on his sleeve. Nor is Trump mesmerising, except in the sense that a train wreck is mesmerising. . . . Trump can’t string a single grammatical sentence together, and at the podium he is lumpen and awkward.” (Lionel Shriver)

“There is something called historical truth.  Trump is not post-factual. He’s non-factual.” (David Hare)

“A property developer who made a fortune from luxury condos and golf courses, Trump now presents himself as the voice of the silenced white masses.” (Rich Benjamin)

“The idea that someone in service to the American worship of wealth could through sheer force of will drive himself near to the top is at the heart of Fitzgerald’s morality play [The Great Gatsby]. The world that he envisioned was one in which character was increasingly sacrificed for wealth – and that is the world that Trump embodies, and which he would like to rule.”   (Sarah Churchill)

Like the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz, Trump “blinds voters with sham opulence, terrifies them into submission, and promises to make their wishes come true.”   (Maya Jasanoff)



And then I came across an article from Poets & Writers magazine in which 50 American poets and writers offer advice to the next American president:  http://www.pw.org/content/dear_president_a_message_for_the_next_commander_in_chief_from_fifty_american_poets_and_write.   Interestingly, over a dozen of those writers address a female president!  That's probably just as well because Trump doesn't read; he has been quoted as saying he has no time to read.  "I never have," he has said.