Trump’s visit reminded me of that old adage ‘money can’t buy class’. But it can get you close to it if you are President Trump, and in doing so see your approval ratings soar back home by quite a margin.
With no gaffs or protocol errors in the UK this week, his standing in the polls has risen which proves that despite the media bubble the Trump three ring circus trundles on pretty much unaffected. As he memorably said himself back in the day; “What you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.” Or maybe it is, who knows.
What we do know is that here is a man who is so divisive, but that even his political shift-shaping is mere publicity and noise to create character, and it is characters that people buy into in these days. It’s what you see and how that personality makes you feel that counts to drive clicks and trolls and enlarge a personality even more. This is a president who not only bends the facts but positively distorts any shared reality, and it really is as peculiar as it appears on screen, but so what? His star is rising between the democratic coastlines.
Will Trump be grateful for the extraordinary pomp and British ceremony of this state occasion? Of course he will. His rhino hide is gleaming as he welcomes the slings and arrows and the poisoned barbs of the trolls. Nothing can wound this grotesque panto villain with his limited vocabulary. The Donald uses air time and the press to grunt monosyllabic soundbites on repeat. This repetitive catechism, an obtuse verbal ability where everything is professed twice, is a device he knows can convince his home crowd to believe his version of the truth.
The state visit played into his hands because with his ability to improvise, it provided many occasions to speak off the cuff and revel in his favourite unscripted moments. Trump plays to this strength facilitating his thought-to-thought chop logic lingo in unmemorable utterances.
An international diplomat he is not, but at least he didn’t hold Her Majesty’s hand or try to play Kingmaker. He rolled out his family in all their plastic glory and used the moment to impress on the consciousness of those back home, no mind the truth denial. The protests didn’t bother him for a moment. Why would they when he only sees what he chooses to see?
Trump diplomacy has a style all of its own. Don’t under estimate its power.