Friday 6 July 2018

Of Xenophobes, Millard Fillmore and Donald Trump

Meanwhile, we also mustn't let pass a remarkable piece on the BBC News website tonight from Washington-based BBC News editor Jude Sheerin, headlined Is this the US president most like Trump? 

Now, I've got a soft spot for US presidential history and love reading about even the most minor presidents so I knew straightaway that comparing a living US  president to pre-Civil War era less-than-one-term president Millard Fillmore, who almost invariably appears in the darkest reaches of lists of the worst US presidents, was never going to be flattering to the compared modern president. 

And yet that's just who Jude compares Donald Trump to. And his piece certain doesn't flatter the incumbent US president.

Or his supporters.

It's a piece of deliciously poison-penned writing from the BBC man about both the sitting US president and those who voted for him. 

For a flavour of it, it begins: 
Millard Fillmore is one of the most obscure US presidents, but there is plenty about him that may seem uncannily familiar. 
Asylum seekers and economic migrants are flocking to the United States. 
Xenophobes warn these foreigners will fuel crime, drive down wages and destroy the nation. 
As nativism spreads like a prairie fire, an anti-immigrant president from New York rises to power. He has a proclivity for conspiracy theories and appoints his daughter to a key White House role. 
But the year isn't 2016. 
It's 1850. 
It's not Donald Trump. 
It's Millard Fillmore, whose sheer anonymity has made him an in-joke among presidential history fans. 
Instead of Muslim or Central American refugees, it's Germans and Irish Catholics. 
It continues in the same vein.


  1. They get in the "draft dodger" jibe against Trump. Probably true. But if he was simply concerned for his own skin, he certainly wouldn't have run for President, putting himself literally in the firing line (as we've already seen when a Brit radicalised by the BBC and other Loon Media travelled over there and tried to take a pot shot at him).

  2. Comments not necessarily going that well for Jude:

  3. A snippet I caught in passing the other day: On Woman's Hour, Jane Garvey interviewing some American writer: You write about Americans but you don't write about America; you haven't written about "that President of yours".

    The contempt and the sneer in the words and the delivery seemed to be assumed to be quite natural and normal.

    BBC, will you take to task that presenter of yours?

  4. I'd actually thought that I must have imagined this article whilst under the influence of red wine. Since I tried to find it again to reference in the Trump visit article, but couldn't maybe it is now removed.
    But a shockingly biased article masquerading as a humorous one !
    BTW Donald J Trump does indeed look like Millard Filmore.

  5. Oh FFS the smear piece photoshopped Trumps face to make him look like a 19th century president.
    The BBC thinks it's a lefty Sunday Sport.


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