Where does Donald Trump (or indeed Boris Johnson) fit into The Great Gatsby?

donald trump.jpg

I’ll give you a tick box and let you decide. ‘He was a sturdy straw haired man…with rather a hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face, and he gave the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward…it was a body capable of enormous leverage – a cruel body.’ Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

He ‘conveys’…’the impression of fractiousness.  There was a touch of paternal contempt in it, even towards people he liked…’ Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

His family were enormously wealthy. His wedding gift to Daisy Fay is a $350 000 pearl necklace (multiply that by ten to get something of today’s prices, or compare it with the awe which Meyer Wolfshiem holds Gatsby for being able to eat a whole $4 worth of food when they first meet). Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

When Nick Carraway first has dinner with  his cousin Daisy and husband Tom, he is reading The Rise of the Coloured Empires. Tom is worried about that. ‘Civilisation is going to pieces.’ He classifies himself as a Nordic type. He questions Daisy’s birth right, but grudgingly admits her into the Nordic fold.  These coloureds just don’t know there place. What’s worse they are breeding too much and with the wrong type of people. The message is, if we don’t watch out they’ll be taking over and we’ll be ‘utterly submerged’. And he’s just the man to tell it how it is. Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

Tom is highly moral. Daisy’s black and blue knuckles can be taken as a sign of chastisement. He’s worried about Daisy’s friend Miss Jordan Baker. She likes to drink. ‘By God, I may be old fashioned in my ideas, but woman run around too much these days to suit me. They meet all kinds of crazy fish.’ He believes her parents should do something about it. Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

Tom is a misogynist, but he’s a mans man, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like women. He’d a fling with the serving girl from a hotel in New Hampshire when he first married Daisy. When she breaks her leg in a car he’s driving that’s hushed up. One of those things, men do. He buys his mistress Myrtle a dog for $10 and sets her up in a room. And he patronises his mistress’s husband, Wilson, by flinging some business his way. He breaks Myrtle’s nose, when she takes Daisy’s name in vain. When Myrtle dies, he weeps for her, or so he says.  Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

‘Sun’s getting hotter ever year.’ On global warming, Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

Tom is contemptuous of the lower classes and of his wife presumptuous enough to have a love affair with Mr Gatsby. ‘Self control!’ ‘I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife.’ He’s glad when ‘her little flirtation is over’.  He particularly contemptuous of Gatsby’s relationship with Meyer Wolfshein, not because he fixed the World Series of 1919,  and is a ‘common swindler’ but because he’s Jewish.  Tom prefers the company of swindlers of his own class, where theft is just good business practice. Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

Tom likes to gawp at a good wreck. When he finds out it may involve him, he’s worried. But when he finds out it’s the other guy, ‘the coward’ deserves everything he gets. Anyone that’s crazy enough to kill him he’ll tell them whatever they want to hear, especially if it’s the other guy that’s going to get it, especially if everybody knows they deserve it. He’s proud to offered his guidance and done the right thing. Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

Tom (and Daisy) are ‘careless people’. In other words they don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.  ‘They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up their mess they have made…’ Tom Buchanan or Donald Trump?

Donald Trump wins the New Hampshire primary nomination for the Republic Party with more than double the vote of his nearest rival. Even if Donald Trump is fiction, history is going backwards.

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