Our daughter was born ten days after Donald Trump’s inauguration. I sometimes wonder if the viral piece I wrote a few days before her birth, in which I predicted an imminent mental breakdown on the part of the new President, was actually more of an expression of anxiety about my own readiness to perform the demanding role of becoming a parent. Although sadly (?) my prediction about Trump has yet to come true (or maybe it has…), our daughter is doing wonderfully, and we’re coping magnificently with being parents, one day (or rather one night…) at a time. I thought this was an opportune moment to reflect on Trump/our daughter’s comparative progress so far in ten key areas.
Her speech was a great deal more coherent than anything Trump has come up with in the last three months. It went ‘whiirrrARRRGGGHHHNNNNGGGGGGGGAAARRGGHHH I’M ALIVE!!!!!’. Recently, gratifyingly, she has incorporated cooing noises into her vocal repertoire. This may be an attempt to reproduce the lilting and melodic voice of Paul McCartney (she’s going through a bit of a Beatles phase). When she was extracted she was, to my surprise, covered in all this white stuff, as opposed to her presidential counterpart, who has a strong lifelong preference for orange gunk. When it comes to knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of the President as defined by the Constitution of the United States of America, she’s miles ahead. Where Trump forced both the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General to write letters calling for the sacking of FBI boss James Comey in a desperate and catastrophically misguided attempt to cripple the investigation into his links with Russia, our daughter would have just looked around the room gurgling randomly and harmlessly to herself. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
2. North Korea
Given that she is unable to rationalise and is driven solely by the desire for simple selfish gratification, she would be able to relate to the behaviour of both leaders. I read somewhere once that as babies we often wish that our parents would die, because our fury at not having our needs met immediately is not conditioned by any mental conception of what that would imply for our own survival prospects. In a strikingly similar way, it’s possible that neither Kim Jong Un nor Donald Trump have any idea what the consequences of nuclear confrontation would be. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
3. Climate Change
She’s not been born into a normal spring. Any one of her cohort has a better and more responsible attitude to the climate crisis than any so-called adult and certainly much more of a mature understanding of basic climate facts and their consequences than anyone in the current US administration. If you asked her whether or not the US should withdraw from the Paris Agreement she’d probably look at you a bit blankly and then might, if you were lucky, give you a massive lopsided grin, one which would, in contrast to Trump’s mangled death beam, give you hope and faith in the future of the human species. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
Although in theory this is free in Italy, in reality it’s very expensive. You very often have to buy a ‘ticket’ in order to access services. Sadly our daughter hasn’t been able to change the situation in her first hundred days. She would nevertheless understand healthcare policy to be a very complex area, which puts her ahead of Trump, who thought it was all really, really simple. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
Her father (me) is an immigrant, so presumably (although we haven’t yet discussed this in any detail) she feels instinctive solidarity with people who choose or are forced to cross national borders for prolonged periods during the course of their lives. Oddly enough, although Italy is, like all European countries, experiencing a sickening rise in xenophobic sentiment, no one has yet told her to go back where she came from and stop being such a parasite on essential public services. As for her, she’s never uttered the phrase ‘America First’ or talked openly about a ‘Muslim Ban’. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
While it’s unclear whether or not Trump has ever met Putin, I can say with some certainty that our daughter has had no contact with the Russian President/failed election meddler. At six weeks old she started grinning, mostly in response to others’ smiles. It’s unlikely she’d recognise Putin’s pseudo-Machiavellian smirk as a positive facial expression, as anything indicating goodwill. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
She was conceived there and has a Mexican name. She would have difficuly grasping the concept of a wall but, like with healthcare, would at least appreciate the logistical challenges in building one between two particularly wide and mountainous countries. Trump is lagging way behind her on this second point. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
8. Suspended reduction of Federal Housing Mortgage Insurance Premium rates
Our daughter has no opinion of this and no influence on it that we know of. It’s certainly not her initiative. To be fair, though, I doubt it’s a priority for Trump either, given that it’s got nine words in it and several of them have more than two syllables. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
9. Bottle feeding
Trump apparently doesn’t drink alcohol. As Hasan Minhaj pointed out this week, that carries the bewildering implication that all his 3am tweets are written when he is sober. Perhaps one reason for his myriad psychological complexes and mental disorders is a traumatic failure to adjust to the different kinds of flow and teat involved in getting milky-wilky out of a bottle. Our daughter is responding slightly better each day but still has moments when she wants to stress VERY FORCEFULLY that she is AWARE that this bit of transparent plastic is NOT a part of mummy-wummy and she will NOT be accepting it as a permanent replacement. However, knowing the risks failure could one day represent for future global peace and security, we will have to keep insisting. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
10. Nappy habits
I’m at ‘work’ at the moment so I don’t know anything about the present contents of my daughter’s nappy. However, taking a quick look at Trump’s Twitter feed it appears that the President needs his diaper changing. OUR DAUGHTER: 10 DONALD TRUMP: 0.
So, on the basis on their performance in key areas over their first 100 days, OUR DAUGHTER gets 100!!! points, and DONALD TRUMP gets a big fat orange 0 despite having had ten more days than her to make a good impression. When I get home this afternoon I’ll give her an extra celebratory helping of milky-wilky from the bottle…or at least, I’ll try to. In the meantime, who on earth is going to be tasked with changing Trump’s nappy now that Nanny Comey’s gone?!