J.K. Rowling has posted a long winded, but primarily interesting analysis of the Brexit controversy that is currently convulsing Great Britain. She is, not surprisingly, firmly in the “remain” camp of people who want the UK to stay in the European Union. She does take the “remain” faction to task for not selling their position with an optimistic enough story. As a master of the storytelling craft, she should know. Her analysis goes sideways when she touches on the subject of Donald Trump, whom she calls a fascist in all but name. Rowling is rather wide of the mark as many critics of the mercurial real estate tycoon are.
To be sure, Trump has a broad range of human failings, including excessive self-regard, crudity, vulgarity, and a chaotic disregard for consistency. But fascist, properly understood, is the last thing he is. He casts himself as a champion of the people who are being oppressed by big government and the people who run it for their own benefit.
Nor, as Rowling charges, is Trump ignorant of the concepts of cooperation and nuance. He would not have achieved the success he has enjoyed in business and now politics without a keen sense of both, especially of how to get people to cooperate with him.
The key to understanding Trump is not to regard him as a muggle version of Lord Voldemort or the reincarnation of Hitler. Rather he is a man who delights in saying things for shock value in public while behaving ruthlessly but rationally in the board room.
He may say wicked things about women, especially those who have angered him like Rosie O’Donnell, but he has employed a lot of them in senior positions in his business empire. His most trusted advisor is his daughter Ivanka, apparently serves the role of the person that every powerful man needs to tell him when he has screwed up/
Trump has also said colorful things about Mexicans, Chinese, and Muslims. But he has also done business with them. If he has any authentically racist feelings, he does not let it interfere with the bottom line.
Rowling has made the mistake that she accuses Trump of by ignoring complexity and nuance in a man she does not understand. Trump is not a clean-limbed hero like Harry Potter or a wise, old sage like Dumbledore. He is more like a Renaissance prince, willing to do evil, in the manner of Machiavelli, to accomplish what he thinks is the greater good.
Trump’s one failing that makes the idea of him being president off-putting is then sense that he will say or do anything to accumulate power. Right now that is taking note of the stored up resentments of American voters who feel, rightly, abused by people in authority and promise to set things right. He is approaching his candidacy like he is marketing a product, touting the selling points. But what if things change? If he has no moral center, will he change his positions as on a dime to fit changed circumstances? He has before, and that is something to be concerned about. #Donald Trump #NeverTrump