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Home | 2018 | February

Desperately hating Donald

Posted by Mad Mitch on UTC 2018-02-02 22:19. Updated on UTC 2018-02-07

Does anyone care what the German-speaking media think about President Trump? Probably not.

Over the last twenty years Germany itself has degenerated to being a soft-left member of a soft-left supranational state, the foreign policy of which is highly represented by an Italian lady too freely moved to tears. We can't ignore them completely, so for old times' sake let's see what they made of President Trump's State of the Union address.

We know nothing about contemporary Austria, so we are going to ignore it in our survey. However, even the otherwise calm Switzerland has been infected with German soft-left hysteria to some extent, so let's start our review there.

Switzerland: Blick

The prize for the best and fairest commentary we have encountered goes to Guido Felder, the foreign affairs editor of the Swiss newspaper Blick: short, witty, to the point, some persiflage but no malice:

It was a speech of the sort that we are used to from Donald Trump: we are the best, know everything best and we can do it all best. It was a distillation of national pride and pathos.

You can laugh at it or be appalled. But Trumps self-love did not miss its target. It gave Americans trust and motivated them to high performance. The economic figures continue to improve, the unemployment figures are at an all-time low. From that the whole world is profiting.

The Davos air seems to have done him good. His appearance was relaxed. The 80 minutes of the State of the Nation speech were not just a hymn of praise to himself. His speech had content, too. It displayed – at least for internal political problems – effective solutions that could be realistically implemented.

Es war eine Ansprache, wie man sie von Donald Trump kennt: Wir sind die Besten, können alles am besten und werden es am besten machen. Es waren Nationalstolz und Pathos in Reinkultur.
Man kann darüber lachen oder sich gar entsetzen. Doch Trumps Selbstverliebtheit verfehlt ihre Wirkung nicht. Sie verleiht den Amerikanern Vertrauen und motiviert sie zu Höchstleistungen. Die Wirtschaftszahlen steigen weiter an, die Arbeitslosenzahlen sind auf Rekordtief. Davon profitiert die ganze Welt.
Trump scheint die Davoser Luft am WEF gutgetan zu haben. Sein Auftritt war locker. Auch waren die 80 Minuten zur Lage der Nation nicht nur ein Lobgesang auf sich selber. Seine Rede hatte auch Inhalt. Sie zeigte – wenigstens für innenpolitische Probleme – wirkungsvolle und gut umsetzbare Lösungen auf.
Guido Felder, Blick.

The deep and ponderous thinkers of the 'quality' German-speaking media may look down on Blick as a brainless red-top, but as far as its commentary on Trump's speech goes, it gave its readers a fair analysis in a few bite-sized paragraphs. It takes a professional to do that: a good job well done, Mr Felder!

Staying in Switzerland, let's sniff the nasty, snide, elitist and deranged snobbery of the two major Swiss newspapers.

Switzerland: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Andreas Rüesch, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung editor responsible for the USA, has spent the last year writhing in disdainful scorn, his face twisted in contempt at the ascent of that illiterate bozo Donald Trump. Even after a year Rüesch has not run out of bile to spit at him. The strapline tells us straightaway the sort of thing we are in for:

With his State of the Union speech, Trump has not succeeded in giving his crisis-torn presidency a credible turn-around. Despite conciliatory rhetoric he relies on further polarisation.

Mit seiner Rede zur Lage der Nation hat es Donald Trump nicht geschafft, seiner kriselnden Präsidentschaft eine glaubwürdige Wende zu geben. Trotz versöhnlicher Rhetorik setzt er weiter auf Polarisierung.
Andreas Rüesch, NZZ

With the same wild energy the panicked arachnophobe invests in the obliteration of the visiting spider, trumpophobe Rüesch whacks wildly at Trump again and again:

For a president, who like no other before him is contemptuous of the power of the true word and lines up words effortlessly into constructs of lies, it must be especially difficult to be taken seriously in a speech.

Für einen Präsidenten, der wie kein anderer vor ihm die Macht des wahren Wortes geringschätzt und Wörter anstrengungslos zu Lügenkonstruktionen reiht, muss es besonders schwierig sein, mit einer Rede ernst genommen zu werden.

[Thwack!]

A few sentences after the conciliatory call comes an extended boasting about successes, that brings Trump's own role to the foreground and diminishes the achievements of his predecessors – Democrats and Republicans.

Wenige Sätze nach dem versöhnlichen Aufruf folgte eine ausführliche Prahlerei mit Erfolgen, die Trumps eigene Rolle masslos in den Vordergrund stellte und Leistungen seiner Vorgänger – Demokraten wie auch Republikaner – herabsetzte.

[Thwack!]

The President brags about the growth of employment since his election, although there were fewer jobs created in the past year than since 2010. He spoke of the greatest tax reduction in American history, although under his predecessors Obama and Bush more extensive relief was agreed upon. His gives no word that the reduction of unemployment, the increase in share prices and the successes in the battle against the terror militia IS are the continuation of a development that began long before his presidency. Trumps resembles a cock, who is convinced that the sunrise is caused by his crowing.

Der Präsident brüstete sich mit dem Beschäftigungswachstum seit seiner Wahl, dabei wurden im vergangenen Jahr so wenige Arbeitsplätze geschaffen wie seit 2010 nicht mehr. Er sprach von den grössten Steuersenkungen der amerikanischen Geschichte, obwohl unter seinen Vorgängern Obama und Bush weiterreichende Entlastungen beschlossen worden waren. Mit keinem Wort anerkannte er, dass der Rückgang der Arbeitslosigkeit, der Anstieg der Aktienkurse und der Erfolg im Kampf gegen die Terrormiliz IS die Fortsetzung einer Entwicklung sind, die lange vor seinem Amtsantritt begonnen hat. Trump erinnert an einen Hahn, der überzeugt ist, der Sonnenaufgang sei seinem Krähen zu verdanken.

[Thwack! Thwack!… Thwack!, Thwack-Thwack!]

Our readers will know that we on this website are partial to the occasional piece of finely turned invective, but the object of satire is to hit the target cleanly, not just thrash around with steam coming out of your ears.

In all the strident self-praise, Trump presented strikingly few initiatives for the future.

Vor lauter Eigenlob hat Trump in seiner Rede auffallend wenige Initiativen für die Zukunft präsentiert.

[Thwack!]

That's it – enough of Rüesch and his nonsense. There is a lot more but there are limits to how much of Rüesch's German rubbish we can be bothered to translate into English rubbish. He will go on whacking the spider and keep missing every time.

By the way, the NZZ being the NZZ, the thinking person's chip wrapper, it has prepared a linguistic analysis comparing Trump's SOTUS with all the previous SOTUSes. Be careful if you go to read it – there will be some shocks in store. For example, did you know that Afghanistan and Iraq were not mentioned in SOTUSes at all until the end of the 20th century? That fact rocked me back on my heels, I can tell you. Not only that, Germany and Japan for some reason got a lot of mentions between 1930 and 1950. I wonder why? Satire upon satire, they even give a long explanation of the 'methodology' that led them to these conclusions.

As a warmup act for Rüesch et al., a few days ago the Neue Zürcher Zeitung got their tame Austrian professor, Konrad Paul Liessmann, to write a piece about Trump. The NZZ thinks highly of Liessmann for some reason. They got what they paid for:

One of [Trump's] exceptional accomplishments is without doubt a new unification of the world. In the case of Trump really everyone is united against one person. The reporting about him is uniformly negative, the arc of rejection stretches from left to right. Nuanced reporting or judgements are barely to be had; the fact that this President is a catastrophe for the USA and the world is as much a part of common sense as the knowledge of his cognitive and moral insufficiency: a mentally limited racist and sexist is the most powerful man in the world.

Zu seinen herausragenden Verdiensten gehört zweifellos eine neue Einigung der Welt. Im Fall Trump stehen wirklich alle gegen einen. Die Berichterstattung über ihn ist unisono negativ, von rechts bis links spannt sich der Bogen der Ablehnung. Differenzierte Reportagen oder Urteile sind kaum zu bekommen; dass dieser Präsident für die USA und die Welt eine Katastrophe ist, gehört ebenso zum Common Sense wie das Wissen um seine kognitive und moralische Insuffizienz: Ein geistig beschränkter Rassist und Sexist ist der mächtigste Mann der Welt.
Toller Trump

True satire needs no artifice, as we realise when we read that Liessmann is Professor for Methods for the Communication of Philosophy and Ethics at the University of Vienna. Chairman Mao had a useful solution for such academic drones: off to the paddy fields with him!

Let's move on – there is a limit to the amount of pseudo-academic pomposity from the NZZ chip-wrapper that one can stomach. But we stay in Switzerland for the Zurich Tages-Anzeiger, the paper of the embittered caviar-left in Switzerland.

Switzerland: Tages-Anzeiger

Hubert Wetzel, their US correspondent, sets the tone:

The fact that, after a year in the White House, Trump had to deliver some proof of his sanity is not flattering for him. But it is not a hurdle that cannot be jumped with the aid of a good speechwriter and a bit of self-control.

Dass er nach einem Jahr im Weissen Haus einen Beleg für seine Zurechnungsfähigkeit abliefern muss, ist nicht schmeichelhaft für Trump. Aber es ist auch keine Hürde, die sich nicht mithilfe einiger guter Redenschreiber und etwas Selbstbeherrschung meistern liesse. Hubert Wetzel, Tages-Anzeiger

I think we know already where Hubert is going with this. Onwards:

No bizarre untruths

Trump's public was the millions of citizens out there in front of their TVs. People who do not bother with the daily squabbling in Washington, who perhaps have no particular aversion to Trump, but many of whom in recent months may have gained the impression that a kind of political Neanderthal has set up camp in the White House.

Keine bizarren Unwahrheiten
Trumps Publikum waren die Millionen Bürger draussen an den Fernsehern. Leute, die sich nicht im Detail mit dem täglichen Washingtoner Hickhack beschäftigen, die vielleicht auch keine besondere Abneigung gegen Trump hegen, von denen aber viele in den vergangenen Monaten den Eindruck bekommen hatten, im Weissen Haus habe eine Art politischer Neandertaler sein Lager aufgeschlagen.

Trump showed these citizens his presentable side. He neither abused nor insulted anyone, he retailed no especially bizarre untruths, he talked a lot about the things that Americans have in common, only a little about the things that separate them. About his own daily contribution to dividing society he preferred to say nothing.

Diesen Bürgern zeigte Trump daher seine präsentable Seite. Er beschimpfte oder beleidigte niemanden, er erzählte keine allzu bizarren Unwahrheiten, er redete viel von dem, was alle Amerikaner gemeinsam haben, wenig von dem, was sie trennt. Dazu, was er selbst zur Spaltung der Gesellschaft täglich beiträgt, sagte er lieber nichts.

In the past year Trump has played with racist resentments and frequently changed his mind. A speech will not change that.

Dazu hat Trump im vergangenen Jahr zu oft mit rassistischen Ressentiments gespielt und zu oft seine Meinung geändert. Daran ändert eine Rede nichts.

In addition to Hubert, the Tages-Anzeiger keeps another enraged one down in their US bunker: the long-serving Martin Kilian. Kilian, one of the early settlers of Planet Zog, tells us that in his speech, as in his acceptance speech a year before, Trump offered his opponents his hand:

However, it came with a knuckle-duster in a year of astonishingly hateful happenings and derailments on the part of the President. Trump has personally insulted twenty senators and representatives of both parties, who sat before him yesterday evening, mostly on Twitter.

Sie kam indes mit einem Schlagring in einem Jahr erstaunlicher Hässlicheiten und Entgleisungen von Seiten des Präsidenten. Zwanzig Senatoren und Abgeordnete beider Parteien, die gestern Abend vor ihm sassen, hat Trump persönlich beleidigt, zumeist per Twitter.
Martin Kilian, Tages-Anzeiger

Martin Kilian must be one of the few people in the world who still believes there is anything in the fantasy of some sort of Russian interference in something or other. Although the sane moved on from this patent absurdity long ago, Kilian is still locked in the loop:

Donald Trump did not say one word about the Russia affair in his speech, despite the fact that in the meantime his presidency is hardly less incriminated than Watergate incriminated the presidency of Richard Nixon.

Donald Trump erwähnte die Russlandaffäre in seiner gestrigen Rede mit keinem Wort, wenngleich sie seine Präsidentschaft inzwischen kaum weniger belastet als Watergate die Präsidentschaft Richard Nixons belastete.

I did say Planet Zog, didn't I?

For the starter courses of this tasting menu we sampled Swiss derangement. Let's move on to the main course dishes provided by the German mainstream media. There are a lot of these, so, if this article is going to be completed within the lifetime of its author, we have to select. Let's take one or two of the usual suspects.

Germany: Der Spiegel

How about Marc Pitzke, one of the footsoldiers of that decrepit lefty bunker, Der Spiegel. We really don't have to go further than the title of his commentary: 'Trump's speech on the State of the Nation: Absurd Show', but let's do our duty and clean the plate.

The 'State of the Union' is an American Tradition: the President describes his agenda to congress to unify the nation. Donald Trump however turned his acceptance[sic] speech into a dividing wedge.

Die "State of the Union" ist eine amerikanische Tradition: Der Präsident erläutert dem Kongress seine Agenda, um die Nation zu einen. Donald Trump jedoch machte seine Antrittsrede zum spaltenden Keil.
Marc Pitzke, Der Spiegel

[The State of the Union address] has become a tradition - but never before taken so far ad absurdum as now, with Trump's first 'State of the Union'. Instead of reconciling Americans he has divided them even more; instead of enthusing Congress for his agenda he has driven it even further apart; instead of an honest State of the Nation[sic] there were propaganda, distortions and lies.

Zum Brauch wurde es trotzdem - doch nie zuvor so ad absurdum geführt wie jetzt, mit Trumps erster "State of the Union". Statt die Amerikaner zu versöhnen, spaltete er sie nur noch mehr, statt den Kongress für seine Agenda zu begeistern, trieb er ihn nur weiter auseinander, statt einer ehrlichen Lage der Nation gab es Propaganda, Verzerrungen und Lügen.

Immigrants are killers, the tax reform is the greatest of all time, the war against 'beautiful clean coal' has ended, cars and roads are being built again, medicines will be cheaper, the 'Islamic State' is finished, Guantanamo is staying open, North Korea is 'dilapidated'[sic], we need more atom bombs, all Americans have to believe in God: almost every paragraph contains a new grotesque, burying a seed of truth under an avalanche of demagoguery.

Einwanderer sind Killer, die Steuerreform ist die tollste aller Zeiten, der "Krieg gegen die wunderschöne saubere Kohle" ist vorbei, es werden endlich wieder Autos/Autobahnen gebaut, Medikamente werden billiger, der "Islamische Staat" ist kaputt, Guantanamo bleibt geöffnet, Nordkorea ist "verwahrlost", wir brauchen mehr Atombomben, alle Amerikaner müssen an Gott glauben: Fast jeder Absatz enthielt eine neue Groteske, die ein Körnchen Wahrheit unter einer Lawine der Demagogie begrub.

Had enough? Let's push the leftovers around the plate quickly. The summary:

Trump never mentioned Russia 'a word that is hanging over him like a guillotine blade'; Melania is cross with him about someone called Stormy Daniels; The Democrats were 'silent or absent, the Republicans roared on command'; Stormy Daniels is 'appearing on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' directly after the speech', which 'says more about the state of the nation than anything else. Ad absurdum'.

The only thing here that is absurd is not Donald Trump or his speech but Mr Pitzke's contorted thought processes.

Nearly finished, just a few more plates to go before queasiness forces us to stop.

Germany: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Oliver Kühn in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, regarded as the German 'newspaper of record', did his best to keep on track but couldn't resist Olympian mockery for the well-educated reader: Trump, in his speech, was the wolf who was hiding his true nature from the little goats by eating chalk.

Those who are not familiar with the Brothers Grimm story in which a wolf menacing seven little goats eats chalk to disguise its voice will be scratching their heads, but such thickos shouldn't be reading the FAZ anyway.

Those who understand the allusion are left with the vision of wolfie Trump leading the assembled little goats of Congress and the Senate into his cunning trap. Bless!

Kühn goes on to tell his now mystified readers that Trump kept to the speech that had been 'written for him by his staff' and read it 'well-behaved from the teleprompter' and even 'seemed presidential'; Trump would 'probably never give Barack Obama any recognition' and let's not forget that 'speeches are cheap'. All this from the supposedly top newspaper in Germany.

Germany: Die Welt

Clemens Wergin in Die Welt said it all in the headline: Trump reaches out with one hand – and clenches the other into a fist. Trump streckt eine Hand aus – und ballt die andere zur Faust. 800 words later we are no wiser.

Germany: Deutschlandfunk

Deutschlandfunk provided a straightforward report on the speech – that is, some old-school journalism – then disgraced itself by accompanying it with an 'interview' with a rabidly anti-Trump political scientist in which she was given enough time to rant to her heart's content with no fear of contradiction or serious questioning.

US President Trump's speech on the State of the Nation[sic] was 'excluding, divisive', said the political scientist Cathryn Clüver in Dlf. Many judges and members of Congress stayed away. Everywhere 'there were digs at large sections of America to be felt, seen and felt[sic].

US-Präsident Trumps Rede zur Lage der Nation sei "ausgrenzend, spaltend" gewesen, sagte die Politikwissenschaftlerin Cathryn Clüver im Dlf. Viele Richter und Kongressmitglieder blieben ihr fern. Überall "waren Seitenhiebe gegen große Teile Amerikas, zu spüren, zu sehen und zu fühlen".

At the end of the interview, after expressing 'heartfelt thanks' to Clüver 'for your time', Dlf tells us pro forma that interviewees are expressing their own opinions and that the views expressed are not necessarily those of Dlf. We might have taken the statement at its face value if there had also been a more positive assessment of Trump's speech available.

Cathryn Clüver is a German-American non-entity, who happens to be married to Tom Ashbrook, a left-wing American journalist and radio broadcaster who also happens to be currently suspended from his job for an interesting range of inappropriate and bullying behaviour towards men and women.

She spends her time writing derogatory pieces about Trump and Brexit, so the extreme negativity shown towards Trump in her Dlf interview would not have surprised the radio station. She is a safe pair of anti-Trump hands. She and her husband are part of the intellectual elite of the north-east of the USA which shares so many traits with the intellectual elite of Europe. German born, Clüver has a foot in both locations, both elites elegantly united by Dlf in this one interview.

Snobbish and arrogant

Why is there such a deep hatred for Donald Trump among commentators in the German-speaking media?

Here, for example, is Trump as seen by the cartoonist of the Tages-Anzeiger at around the time of his inauguration:

FoS image, size 708x616

Felix Schaad, Tagesanzeiger.ch, 19.01.2017.

The removal men loading up the removal van marked on the side with 'Obama's Books' are saying:
— Here comes Trump's library!
— I don't see anything!
— Quite.

This image is an illustration of the contempt felt by 'sophisticated' Europeans and Americans for Trump. How could this illiterate knuckle-dragger have become president?

Donald Trump's lack of any of the attributes of the polished surface expected of the international statesman, an expectation that goes back in Europe almost to late medieval times, is a deep affront for many members of the educated classes. The courts of Europe taught their sprogs and underlings all the skills that were needed for diplomacy and war-making – the languages, the social graces, the dancing and the small-talk.

The rise to dominance of the bourgoisie in Europe added a further layer to this. Apart from money, the greatest good for the new class was education – and in particular educational qualifications, that is, even more to the point, letters after your name.

Stefan Zweig, in his memoir Die Welt von Gestern, 'The World of Yesterday' has left us some interesting remarks about the desire for Bildung, that is, education in the sense of academic status. Zweig's passage applies specifically to Jewish culture towards the end of the 19th century, but its general application in the wider German-speaking culture is just as valid.

In the case of eastern orthodox Jewry, where the weaknesses as well as the merits of the whole race are more clearly drawn, this supremacy of the will to the spiritual over the mere material finds physical expression. The pious man, the Bible scholar, is a thousand times more esteemed within the community than the rich man; even the wealthiest man will prefer to give his daughter in marriage to the most poverty-stricken intellectual than to a merchant. This elevation of the intellectual to the highest rank is common to all classes of Jew; the poorest hawker who drags his goods through wind and rain will try to single out at least one son for higher education, no matter how great the sacrifice, and it is considered to be a title of honour for the entire family to have someone in their midst who is demonstrably an intellectual, a professor, a learned academic, a musician, as if through his achievements the entire family was ennobled.

[…]

That I was to study at the university had been decided from the very beginning by the family. But which faculty should I choose? My parents allowed me a complete freedom of choice. My elder brother had already gone into my father’s business, in which case there was no need for the second son to hurry. It was only a matter of securing a doctorate for the honour of the family, irrespective of subject.

Schon im östlichen orthodoxen Judentum, wo sich die Schwächen ebenso wie die Vorzüge der ganzen Rasse intensiver abzeichnen, findet diese Suprematie des Willens zum Geistigen über das bloß Materielle plastischen Ausdruck: der Fromme, der Bibelgelehrte, gilt tausendmal mehr innerhalb der Gemeinde als der Reiche; selbst der Vermögendste wird seine Tochter lieber einem bettelarmen Geistesmenschen zur Gattin geben als einem Kaufmann. Diese Überordnung des Geistigen geht bei den Juden einheitlich durch alle Stände; auch der ärmste Hausierer, der seine Packen durch Wind und Wetter schleppt, wird versuchen, wenigstens einen Sohn unter den schwersten Opfern studieren zu lassen, und es wird als Ehrentitel für die ganze Familie betrachtet, jemanden in ihrer Mitte zu haben, der sichtbar im Geistigen gilt, einen Professor, einen Gelehrten, einen Musiker, als ob er durch seine Leistung sie alle adelte.
[…]
Daß ich an der Universität studieren sollte, war im Rate der Familie von je beschlossen gewesen. Aber für welche Fakultät mich entscheiden? Meine Eltern ließen mir die Wahl vollkommen frei. Mein älterer Bruder war bereits in das väterliche Industrieunternehmen eingetreten, demgemäß lag für den zweiten Sohn keinerlei Eile vor. Es handelte sich schließlich doch nur darum, der Familienehre einen Doktortitel zu sichern, gleichgültig welchen.
Zweig, Stefan. Die Welt von Gestern: Erinnerungen eines Europäers. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 2010, p. 25f, p. 107. Translation: ©FoS

In Germany between 1939 and 1945 the Nazis discouraged higher education in the humanities as a more or less useless pastime, but after the end of the war the shoots of academicism and intellectualism flourished vigorously in the post-war reaction. There was a time in German-speaking countries – and it has not yet passed completely – when politeness required that a doctor title and academic grades should always be used in conversation and even applied to spouses, however unqualified they themselves were. As Zweig noted, the subject of the doctorate was unimportant.

There is a high culture in Europe that is still cultivated by its members, who consider the membership of it almost a state of grace. The scribblers of Europe (and also the USA to an extent) are still immersed in this world. You can assume that most of the comment writers and broadcasters in the German-speaking mainstream media have doctorates or something approaching them.

As a class it is difficult for them to comprehend this strange creature Trump, who has no taste, no style, none of the graces of the perfect prince and who has such strange mannerisms.

His predecessor Barack Obama was also lacking in educational and cultural attainments in many respects – but that was different, wasn't it? Trump has however inherited and also made a pile of money, which allows him to indulge his taste for bling, all of which taints him even further in the minds of the educated.

His rhetoric when not reading a prepared speech defies all the traditions of public speaking. For the educated mind, trained to the smooth and artful expression of ideas, it is disjointed, grammatically inarticulate. It works on his listeners at a deeper oral level, a level which is highly suspect to the educated, literary mind.

If Trump is effective and successful – and it looks like he may turn out to be that, despite the ordure poured over him by his opponents – he will have made visible for our democratic age the ineffectual and undemocratic leadership of the elite, just as visible now in the blog-age as it was in 1815 when the ordering of post-Napoleonic Europe took place in the ballrooms, the salons and the bordellos of Vienna.

Adolph Menzel, Flute Concert with Frederick the Great in Sanssouci, 1850-52

Those wonderful days when leaders could play the flute, speak Italian to their mistress and German to their horse [that was Charles V, though. Ed.]. Image: Adolph Menzel (1815-1905), Flute Concert with Frederick the Great in Sanssouci, painted 1850-52. Alte Nationalgalerie, National Museums in Berlin

That intellectual and ineffectual elite presided over two centuries of war and mayhem in the world. Perhaps we should give the man chosen by the people a fair shot.

The arrogance, snobbery and posturing that we experience in the 'higher' media of Europe and the USA is the swan-song of the educated classes. Driven mad, they take refuge in clever-clever writing in the cause of their dying culture: at the moment these writers are almost all still obsessed with Russian collusion or obstruction of justice or the delightful Stormy and the cross Melania… whatever… all these great big nothings that the left in the USA and Europe has spent a year trying to whip up into somethings.

Fortunately, who cares? Who's listening? The majorities – the vocal one and the silent one – are no longer reading this rubbish. And that may be yet another reason why the elite scribblers of Europe are being driven to ever shriller nonsense.

The only thing left for us now is bone-china cup of lime-blossom tea and a freshly baked madeleine (or two), in search of time lost reading this foolish German twaddle, time that we shall never get back.*

*When it comes to pretentiousness, these German scribblers are complete amateurs.

Update 07.02.2018

Andreas Rüesch has been scribbling hard in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and has produced an 'explanation' page covering all Donald Trumps misdeeds: 'Trump and the Russia File – the allegations in overview'. At least the title is relatively honest, since the piece really is just stacking up a year's worth of Democrat allegations and mudslinging, with most counter-arguments brushed away as irrelevant.

The piece is long and most of it is such nonsense that it is not worth the trouble of translating and fisking. Rüesch has simply hamstered all the crazed allegations made by Trump's opponents over the past year and regurgitated them here.

He gives a lot of links, which a speed-reader of the article might simply take as 'evidence' for his claims. Let's just look at these links:

There are a total of 61 links in the article, of which 13 go to document sources (e.g. US gov) or sources such as Twitter or Facebook. Of the remaining 48 links, 16 of them, a third, go to Rüesch's own NZZ articles on Trump-related subjects. Most of these are from the early days of the anti-Trump hysteria, when Trump's enemies were making the running.

Of the 32 links that are left, 26 of these, more than three-quarters, go to anti-Trump media outlets: bloomberg.com (2), reuters.com (4), washingtonpost.com (11), nytimes.com (4), cnn.com (2), theatlantic.com (1), politico.com (1), theguardian.com (1). The six links that are left go to neutrals, aggregators or Trump supporters: washingtontimes.com (1), wsj.com (3), foxnews.com (1), realclearpolitics.com (1).

It is therefore fair to say that Rüesch's view of the fake Trump-Russia affair comes from left-wing Trump-haters, the pack led by the Washington Post and the New York Times.

A deep-seated problem with Rüesch's 'explanation' is that all the nonsense 'allegations' that have surfaced and then sunk over the past year never sank out of his mind. We still have, for example, his article about a 'mysterious Russian woman' (even with her photo) who 'incriminated Trump'. Go on, you remember her: the funny Russian lawyer(?) lady who spoke no English and never met anyone connected with Trump (as far as I can remember). Anyway, who's talking about her now? That is just one example. Rüesch's 'explanation' is filled with so many things that were discredited months ago.

When you get your information from the NYT and the WaPo, you can't just get the headlines – you have to report the retractions and the forgettings, too. I simply can't be bothered digging into this, but I am pretty sure that most of Rüesch's own articles to which he links will probably rest on the shifting sands of those two sources. If Rüesch wanted to report the real situation in the US for his NZZ readers he would keep his eye on and reference the many outlets that support Trump.