Donald Trump prepares to launch the latest show in his reality TV career


National Post, 17 January 2017

Reagan once quipped that he couldn’t understand how anybody who hadn’t been an actor could be president

Donald Trump was repeatedly said to be unfit for the presidency. There was certainly truth in that, but he is uniquely suited to being inaugurated president. A presidential inauguration is a simulacrum of a coronation, the introduction of the new president to a life marked by imperial excess the likes of which would have embarrassed Napoleon. His every movement, by airborne palace or bloated motorcade, impinges upon the liberties and massively disrupts the daily lives of his subjects. No medieval king was ever attended by such an entourage, though in recent times the American president does seem to host amongst his retinue a higher ratio of court eunuchs, knaves and jokers.

I covered the inauguration of Barack Obama eight years ago. The great orator fell flat, but the day was historic, with hundreds of happy busloads of black ladies in their Sunday best — fur coats abounded in January — celebrating that moment in an enormous crowd that stretched from the capitol to the Lincoln memorial. The grandest lady of them all, Aretha Franklin sang My Country ‘Tis of Thee, which, for my part, made the trip worth it.

Yet on the whole it was rather nauseating. I would hope that most Canadians would have the same reaction. There is the endless prattle about the “peaceful transition of power,” as if it were a uniquely American capacity, with Norwegians and Taiwanese regularly resorting to violent in the streets.

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