Four words; one demagogue

Like most borderline sentient humans, I anticipate a day fraught with foreboding. The prospect of President Trump is so nightmarish that it feels like it must be a nightmare. And yet I’m awake. And, as Michael Portillo said on This Week last week, ‘the momentum would appear to be with Trump, and at this stage in the game….’

In truth, I’ve feared for this election for months, even when Trump seemed dead & buried. And for one reason above all. Four words.

Make America Great Again.

The moment I read those words, I thought uh-oh.

The power of a few words. Underestimate it at your peril.

Obama’s team understood this. Yes We Can. Comes straight to my mind, unbidden, from eight years ago. Brexit understood it. Taking Back Control was good; Independence Day even better. And what did Remainers have? Nada? And we know where that got us…

And where’s Hillary Clinton’s? How could such a consummate politician approach an election without a hook? A catch-phrase, short and punchy, that instantly resonates with everyone who hears it, that catalyses and galvanises her support, that makes every ally – and, crucially, every possible ally – respond instantly with: ‘That’s right! That’s what I’ve always said!’

And yet she has. She has entered the polling booth word-naked. Let’s hope we don’t all end up paying the price.