Where angels fear to tread …

Dr John Grierson
4 min readFeb 20, 2020


Stopping Trump matters to us, too. So I dare to express a view from Britain.

I think of 2016 as the year when things I believed in, and thought I could depend upon, took flight and disappeared. And things I dreaded came to pass. The Electoral College (let’s hear it for the US Constitution) handed the US presidency to you-know-who. Americans could see Trump coming, but thought they could step out of the way and let him rampage harmlessly through, like a wayward bull. A particularly arrogant English-British Prime Minister believed his cronies, called a needless referendum on Europe and handed Britain to people so far out on the right-wing that they barely make the wing-tip. We could see them coming, too, but also failed to get out of the way. Putin consolidated his position as Czar Vladimir The Whatever-th. Power-drunk Xi Xin Ping moved to become the new Emperor of China. And so on.

There is nothing we can do, either here in Britain or anywhere else, to curb the megalomaniacs in Russia and China, and frankly, we Brits are stuck with the shambling, egomaniac, Trump-wannabe Johnson for a decade. One kind of maniac or other, in power everywhere.

But hope degenerates into desperation when we are left praying that our only chance of at least one of those wrongs being righted might happen in November 2020. Provided that the College of Party Electoral Poodles can be diverted from destroying American democracy, again. But before that, the Democratic Party has to anoint someone to fight Trump, and from where I sit, I am depressed and losing hope.

Bernie Sanders, fresh out of hospital and looking every minute of his seventy-eight years, preaching barely disguised socialism which even the most liberal of Yorkifornians finds impossible, never mind the red-centre denizens of Peoria. If he were to win, he would be eighty-two for the next election, and eighty-six if he were to manage a second term. A tottering, doddering leader of the free world. And his VP would be … who?

Perhaps Pete Buttigieg, struggling personfully to the sensible centre and thereby not very appealing to left-field Sanders. Just to get onto the 2020 Democratic ticket Mayor Pete would have to overcome being gay and unpronounceable. Personally, I could care less about any of that, but if he succeeds, that ticket would lose every state from Colorado to New Jersey, from Wyoming to Florida, down that red centre which holds so much collegiate voting power. And as a Sanders VP, Pete would be that cliche-ed heartbeat away from the presidency. Everyone down that red centre would be only too well aware. Biden is Biden — many-times loser and probably not even a serious candidate any more. Bloomberg? Another NooYaak plutocrat? And Jewish to boot? Anyone else?

Well, that’s the problem. From where Americans are watching, maybe they see someone in the form of a dark, by which I don’t necessarily mean African-American, horse, emerging at a very last minute as what is called a write-in. On the other hand, if another Obama could be found, to bring back dignity, intelligence, youth and charm to the race … But, who? From where? When? How? Show me the money!

So the chances are, as we watch Democratic primaries unfold, that Trump will be given an easy ride, not because he can win on his miserable record and his revolting personality, but because he can’t lose to a loser.

If Trump wins again, there is every probability that his lying, shambling sycophant in our version of the White House will sell or hand over even larger bits of our nation to him. That’s why it matters to us in Britain. That’s why we are in a Britishly reserved but tangible fever of apprehension.

Someone, please, tell me that I am reading this all wrong. I need cheering up.

Oh, and I have just been reading some of the political contributions in MEDIUM-GEN, which are enough to make me think about going to a specialist surgeon and having that part of my brain which deals with politics, excised. There seems to be a mood, if not a consensus, that the worst and most un-presidential president in the US’s history is going to stroll, almost unchallenged, into four more years at the increasingly stained White House.

Come on America. We in Britain are stuck with a Sub-Prime Minister for a long time. Please give us some hope that a brighter light might be shining again from the other side of the Great Pond. Anyone but Trump. Anyone.



Dr John Grierson

Broadcaster, academic, journalist, columnist, humorist. Show- off contrarian. Seriously centrist politics junkie. British Americanophile.