Today Donald Trump arrives in the UK. Normally he is seen as a polarising figure—in British political parlance, a “Marmite politician” (named after a particularly pungent yeast spread)—you either love him or hate him.
But the funny thing is that in the UK he does not actually polarise very much. In fact, apart from a few LARPy UK Maga hats, almost everybody who has a voice seems to have a negative opinion of the man.
This ranges from outright Leftist hysteria (with blimps) to something more sniffy and dismissive. Even if they agree with Donald on some points, people on the British Right typically roll their eyes at his demeanour. As for the present minority Cuckservative government, they would much rather be paying their feudal homage to a Bill or Hillary Clinton.
So, what’s really going on here? Why does Trump trigger the Brits so much and what does this tell us about both the Donald and the British?
All over Europe, there is something similar—a deep loathing of America, mixed with a poisonous envy at the fortuitous historical hand that America has been dealt.
This welter of negative emotions has been a relatively consistent feature of how Europeans feel about the USA since WWII, but was often masked by the necessities of the Cold War alliance. It first started to emerge more clearly into the daylight during the Presidency of “ex-cowboy movie actor” Ronald Reagan, both because of the necessary escalations in the Cold War made by Reagan and also because of their evident success, as the threat from the East receded as a consequence.
As a justified fear of Russia receded, the mudflats of European loathing of America were revealed. This had much to do with Europeans’ sense of being displaced as the centre of the World by the two great Brother Wars of the 20th century, a strand of feeling that ran particularly deep in the collective British psyche, which, as we see with the overly-intense feelings evoked by a vaguely promising sporting team, has an ever unfulfilled hunger for “greatness.”
The hatred and loathing that is set to burst out as a reaction to Trump’s arrival—and possibly England’s departure from the World Cup—is however not entirely unique to Trump. At times Reagan, as shown above, and the George W. Bush evoked something similar. It’s just that in the case of Trump the hatred flows stronger, deeper, and longer.
Not all US Presidents are hated. Presidents Clinton and Obama, by contrast, successfully mollified this inherent and deep-rooted anti-Americanism, while still maintaining and indeed reinforcing American hegemony over Europe. Essentially they did this by softening America’s “American-ness” in several ways. Obama was particularly effective in this respect, which accounted for his extremely high initial popularity in Europe, which, absurdly, even generated a Nobel Peace Prize, given gratis.
Under these presidents, America was seen as a more “diverse” and therefore more malleable and less dominant entity—a trick of the light caused by breaking down the big lines to blend the global hegemon into the background more. Clinton and Obama were also careful to project American power through what could be perceived as a constraining framework of “international law” and “consultation with partners,” no matter how false this really was. Bush II and Trump, by contrast, were more about America acting autonomously.
Large beasts moving on their own is deeply disconcerting to the smaller creatures in the forest.
During most of the period stretching from Clinton to Obama (1992-2016), Europeans could kid themselves with an illusion of power, relevance, and general parity with the USA. After all, this was the period of the rise and spread of EU power and influence—before the debilitating problems of the Euro Crisis and the Migrant Crisis kicked in.
The Neocon Wars of Bush even played into this, despite being an expression of America’s tendency to break the rules and act in an arbitrary manner, because the wars indubitably weakened America.
But in addition to these geopolitical factors and the way they either boost or interfere with Europe’s inherent desire to regain its position as “The Global Centre,” there are other factors that fuel the intense hatred of Trump.
One of them is the fact that hatred of all the traditional “hate objects”—racial groups, homosexuals, fatties, people who lisp, etc.—has been proscribed by political correctness. Only the powerful White male is fair game for the raw human need to hate, mock, insult, make fun of, or otherwise dislike something.
But even this does not explain the full depth of Trumpophobia. There is an even more interesting reason. A big part of it is the way that Trump has stopped or even reversed the flow of cultural power between Europe and America.
While America has been economically and geopolitically ascendant, it is not, as some would think, culturally ascendant, as popular culture, in which America has excelled, is essentially an aspect of economics. In real cultural terms America has been trailing Europe until the Presidency of Donald Trump.
This is hard to prove in a precise and clearly demonstrable way, as culture is an extremely complex and diffuse phenomenon, but the key here is to see America as a democratic country with a democratic culture whose rulers have gradually been conditioned to think in more European ways.
The essence of European culture is hierarchy, and the essence of modern Europe is the reassertion of hierarchy over the democratic spirit.
This article is not here to tell you which one is better, as both have their utility in different times and places, and have benevolent and malevolent forms, but hierarchy is more conducive to the concentration and consolidation of political power.
This battle, which goes back hundreds of years, has many expressions. Fascism was one expression, but so too was Stalinism. Corporate Leftism also, as is the system that expresses itself through “political correctness,” and of course the entity we know as the European Unity.
Over the course of the 20th century, American culture has become progressively Europeanised, developing its own little snobbish hierarchies, its own little moral signalling groups—even parts of the Alt-Right can be seen in these terms.
Hipsters are not “implicitly White” as Richard Spencer claims. More accurately they are an expression of America’s cultural cringe to (part of) Europe.
The whole essence of Trump, however, is to use “one simple trick” to reverse all this—essentially concentrating and projecting power without an over-reliance on the complex webs and cultural apparatus of European-style hierarchies. This is at the root of the whole Trump vs. Deep State conflict—it is actually a culture war between Americanizing and Europeanising forces, although nothing American is truly American as it all comes from Europe ultimately.
Here we see the inherent Scottishness of Trump and his instinctive and natural grasp of the Scottish School of Common Sense philosophy that infuses his outlook. In intellectual historical terms this was part of the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment that also found its way into the foundation of America. None of this should come as surprise, as Trump is Scottish on his mother’s side, and philosophies and ideologies are ultimately expressions of the blood.
The essence of Scottish Common Sense Realism, as it is also known, is simply economy—an avoidance of pointless, obtuse, intellectual complexity, hot air, and arcane paradoxes, where they serve no useful purpose, and where they conflict with what we clearly “know.”
The outlook is essentially down-to-earth, mechanical, unemotional, contextual, and practical. Essentially it stems from the hard Scottish character honed by the need to survive in an unforgiving climate.
As Scottish Common Sense Realism was the dominant philosophy in the foundation period of the United States, this is also the intellectual substance of which the original US Constitution was made.
Applied to modern America, it represents the urge, so clear in Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign, to simplify, hone, and focus America down to a system that works for all, regardless of their place in sniffy hierarchies and secret cabals; a society based the bedrock of talent, openness, good faith, and hard work, rather than an energy-draining morass of mutual back-scratching, corrupt favours, and blowing smoke up each other’s arses. You can see why this might jar with certain ethnicities and cultures.
Politically this manifests itself in Trump’s desire to cut waste, drain the Swamp, address problems with blunt honesty (and Twitter brevity), and avoid needless conflicts and commitments overseas. “The Wall” itself is symptomatic of this—a direct practical solution of a long-running problem.
Only by such decluttering and “puritanism” can an effective Republic be constructed that does not rely on the more insidious forms of hierarchy that have always defined Europe. This, then is why Europe, and especially the metropolitan classes of the UK hate Trump.
This hatred is also partly inverse to how close they are themselves to the roots of Trump’s approach to reality, which is why he is hated with an especial virulence in his own native Scotland, which has long betrayed its noble intellectual traditions.