“Enlightenment is man’s exit from his self-incurred minority. Minority is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another….
…Through laziness and cowardice a large part of mankind, even after nature has freed them from alien guidance, gladly remain in minority.” Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

I suspect that at least part of George Orwell’s motivation in the choice of the title of his dystopian novel “1984” was a nod to Kant’s “Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment” published in 1784.

I have no idea whether Donald J Trump has ever studied Kant or Hegel, Marx or Engels, or Orwell even. But I would guess that at least some of his mentors did.

Trump has demonstrated an almost magical ability to move people. He perfectly captured and held the attention of nearly 200 million people in the USA for 4 straight years. Has no one ever thought to wonder at how a septuagenarian became the highest skilled Tweeter in the world? << sidenote – a Twitter message is a tweet? Why isn’t it a Twit? >>

Wielding his virtual pen, infinitely more powerful that the swords of the 4th Estate, his dominance of the news and media landscape was total.

That a self-proclaimed billionaire could position himself as the champion and saviour of the poor, the forgotten, the marginalised and a once middle-class society ground down by decades of mismanagement of public service should be shocking. That he flaunted his wealth, unashamedly exploited his low paid workers, and practiced the direct opposite of what he preached was par for the course for him. He famously claimed that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it – one of the few times he is known to have told the unvarnished truth.

He leaves behind him a seething pot of 75 million disgruntled and unsettled angry Trumpublicans and Donocrats. It’s unlikely he will enter the presidential fray again. the question is, what’s next for Donald “Harry Houdini” J Trump?

One thing you can bet on is that it won’t be boring. Nor small. Nor quiet. This man has proven over and over and over again that he’s a survivor.

One of his early mentors was Roy Cohn. A lawyer and prosecutor, he was spotted by J Edgar Hoover and introduced to Senator Joesph McCarthy – yes, that Senator McCarthy, of McCarthyism notoriety – the man whose name is forever associated with a dark and dangerous period in modern American history. Cohn was McCarthy’s legal counsel and diligently and enthusiastically deployed his considerable intellect, killer instincts and cruelty to persecute his targets.

His mentee is not his intellectual equal but has a similar capacity for cruelty and the same willingness to use personal attacks and insults as weapons. Where Trump outshines Cohn is in his charm and charisma which he uses to great effect. That combined with a talent for throwing mud (real and manufactured) that sticks endears him to his fans who love to see and hear him “sticking it to the man”

Lyin’ Ted Cruz, Crooked Hilary, Do-Nothing Democrats – attack. attack, attack – yes, definitely the best form of defence…

More tomorrow.