Boy About Town Zak Smith laments the tragicomic state of our leaders
Western politics entered deeper into the theatre of the absurd last night after Sarah Palin, one of America’s most divisive, perennially confused and breathtakingly simple politicians, publicly endorsed Donald Trump for Presidency. With the blind leading the stupid, Trump now has the seal of approval from a woman who called North Korea America’s ally and suggested America should ‘perhaps’ go to war with Russia.
In a press conference akin to Team America: World Police, Sarah Palin whooped and hollered like an American football fan with Attention Deficit Disorder, spluttering out statements so bafflingly stupid it was impossible to not see the funny side:
‘He comes from the private sector, where you have to balance budgets, to keep the main thing the main thing, and he KNOWS the main thing.’
For political commentators, this was the cherry on the cake of a fantastic week. A few days earlier Trump had dancing children in stars and stripes open a rally with a theatrical number so uncomfortable it genuinely sounded like a Hitler Youth song remixed by Britney Spears.
In an unsavoury lurch to the right what has been so unnerving is the increasing support for Trump and his xenophobia. With a very real chance that America finds itself with him as the Republican nominee, you have to ask yourself, will the general public have an epiphany come election day a la Ed Miliband and regain their senses?
Politics isn’t much better this side of the pond either. Despite David Cameron’s attempts to balance the books and keep a semblance of order in an utterly chaotic and at times apocalyptic world, the British public’s attention has been diverted almost daily to Jeremy Corbyn. A man more Mao than Mandela, he has almost singlehandedly destroyed a party that once stood for internationalism, hard work and honesty, and brought the word ‘purge’ back into fashion.
Jeremy Corbyn’s liberal fascism, broken world view and sinister friendships have fed into an almost never-ending culture of offence, where the public continually seem to find themselves outraged by anything other than his student union-esque ‘right-on’ politics, from the campaign against tackling ISIS in Syria, to more recently, tearing down Rhodes statue at Oxford.
The stock market is wobbling at levels not seen since 2007, causing fears of another financial meltdown. Across Europe national and public debt has still not been properly fixed, and with an influx of immigrants putting further strain on public services, one has to wonder how countries will cope. Commodity prices have plummeted, sending the BRIC countries into disarray, and as Saudi Arabia and Iran go head to head in an oil war, 2016 has started with even more uncertainty than 2015 ended with. After watching Channel 4’s ‘The Jihadi Next Door’, you have to wonder whether the medieval barbarism we have watched on TV for the past few years is closer to home than we like to admit.
These challengers, from Trump on the right to Corbyn on the left, represent the antithesis of considered, bold, and rational politics, the type which steers countries and civilisations through tough times. Worryingly, they both find themselves proximate to power. With so much absurdity and uncertainty in the world right now, will the real world leaders please stand up?