Around ten years ago, there was a regular occurrence at London drinks parties. A confident-looking chap would be asked what he did. Suddenly, his self-esteem would evaporate. He would shrink into himself and look down at his feet, before taking a deep breath and finding the courage to mumble: “I’m…a …banker.” Today, something similar happens with sophisticated Americans. They open the conversation with a pre-emptive cringe: “You must think that we are an awful country.” “Absolutely not” I will reply. “America is a wonderful nation with a glorious past and tens of millions of people who believe that the best is yet to come. But I understand your feelings. It is bad that the main issue in this Election is who is less unsuited to become President.”
A few months ago, one such sophisticated American was giving his son a telling-off. Truculent at home and disobedient in school, the lad’s behaviour was not unprecedented among young adolescent males. Father finished off by saying: “If you go on like this, I don’t know what’ll become of you.” Suddenly, the sullenness gave way to a grin. “Easy, Dad, I’ll be President of the United States.” That helps to explain why Donald Trump is not fit to be re-elected.