Talking hypotheticals in politics is often pointless, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
What’s beyond comical is Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign seemingly going from strength to strength as he insults others, pledging to “Make American great again.”
Offending celebrities, journalists, even war veterans, Trump has no time for political correctness.
Jeb Bush is “dumb”, others are “stupid”. America’s own politicians and competitors are “killing” the country.
Aside from personal wealth and political capital gained from his celebrity status, three things are working in his favour:
- Trump is not an established politician.
- He’s not afraid to speak his mind.
- His redemption rhetoric resonates with a country unsure of its identity and place in the world.
It may never happen, but imagine if elected President he came to visit Northern Ireland and met our political leaders.
Envisage entrepreneur-turned-President Trump inspecting our Westminster-dependent Executive and Assembly up close.
This man would have no problem sharing with his audience home truths which the British and Irish governments dare not speak.
First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy Martin McGuinness would listen to Trump ridicule our way of doing things with bemusement.
Northern Ireland is losing, he would say: its politics are motionless; its politicians, denying economic reality, administrate a province incapable of competing with neighbouring jurisdictions.
Any parliament without an official opposition is undemocratic and impractical.
Nearly two decades since the Good Friday Agreement was signed, “communities” still live and grow apart. What a waste of time; what a “dumb” situation to find yourself in, he would insist.
As for our political parties, if those nationalistically-inclined – British or Irish – were businesses they would probably have merged by now.
Where is the electoral choice?
Funding his own presidential campaign, Trump has been keen to label his Republican and Democrat competitors as “puppets” of mega-rich donors.
Whom are the political parties here representing other than their own nationalistic interests, he would ask rhetorically.
It’s anyone’s guess how many times he might use the words “losers” or “losing” within just one half-hour press conference.
Who would he blame? Politicians.
Those who rely on Westminster to pay our way; on core-vote election strategies; who refuse to agree on anything, even with the gift of lower corporation tax dangling in front of them.
Despite the rise and rise of Trump, at this time his chances of becoming US President are open to question.
Still, we shouldn’t have to wait for someone outside the Stormont bubble to share a few home truths.