The Truth About Donald



“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”

“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again.

“They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

Through The Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll.


Dan Boyle writes:

One thing we can be sure is that Donald Trump hasn’t deliberately styled himself on the character of Humpty Dumpty, however apt that character can be related to his use of language or its veracity.

We can be sure that Trump himself wouldn’t make that link because of how he celebrates the fact that he doesn’t read books. If he were a reader it is probable that a fantasy novel might appeal to him. His superficiality though, would make it unlikely he would want to interpret any allegory attached.

There are some, many, who see genius in Trump’s loose approach to language. His phraseology is deliberate, they believe. It seeks to evoke a response. A response that distorts reality and seeks to distract from the actual.

The alternative, the more obvious, is less likely to be believed. He does want to evoke a response. He wants us to believe that what he is saying is true. That he does so in the most inarticulate, ill informed and insincere manner, is not an affectation, it is how he wants to communicate what he thinks.

It is child like in its application. Perhaps a children’s nursery rhyme character is a fair comparison. A more recent cultural reference might be the character ‘Chauncey Gardiner’ played by Peter Sellers in the film Being There (1979)’. In this he plays a simple soul, who comes close to the US Presidency, by stating inane comments that are taken as pearls of unique wisdom.

How should we respond to this conscious stream of inanity? Are we being trolled? Do we give the unwelcome attention he so desires for his every utterance? If we ignore him does that allow him, and those around him, to construct an alternate reality that comes to be believed by his followers with religious intensity?

The answers might be found in identfying what angers Trump most. He is notoriously thin skinned. He possesses an enormous ego. He hates being contradicted, or being stymied. He is never amused at being made fun of.

These should be our weapons of choice in seeking to overcome Trumpism. Each piece of Fake News (that which we used to call lies) he produces must be countered by verifiable facts that undermine the intent of the myth makers.

Although it could yet be the merry makers who have the best laugh. The Trump team are their own satirical script writers. What they presume to be strength of purpose comes across as a cartoonish approach to government and to diplomacy. Today we giggle nervously. Eventually they will realise we are laughing at them, not with them.

The truth about Donald? There is no truth about Donald.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator. His column appears here every Thursdyay. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboyle

Illustration by Chloe Cushman

39 thoughts on “The Truth About Donald


    is this what ex tds do with their time..should you not be writing opinion pieces on glyphosate, the poor aul famers bottom line & cancer

  2. bisted

    …curiouser and curiouser…I’m begining to think Dan was entitled to the vote he cast in the US election…maybe a bit of Yank in Dan alright…he certainly does not do irony…

  3. Mourinho

    If someone came into power in Ireland and sacked heads of government departments (and Garda Comissioners), well damn it if I wouldn’t be overjoyed.

    I don’t hate Donald, and won’t be told to hate him either.

    At this point I’d normally say let history be the judge, but history might be written by the NY Times, and who believes that anymore.

    1. Junkface

      You would hate him if you were a contractor for some construction work on his eyesore towers. He didn’t pay loads of small and medium businesses for their work, sometimes destroying their businesses. He thinks thats clever. Its not, its just stealing

      1. Yellow Cheese Dog

        The truth about Donald, as you see it Dan, is that he won his first ever election and you lost your last one.

        Thus, The Donald has all the mandate he needs to dismantle the totalitarian-liberal-fascist-progressive-draconian-green-bullsh1te that you and your cohort have been flogging for decades as you continue to push the same worn-out scam, the one people finally see through and no longer buy.

        The truth about Dan Boyle – former Green Party TD and Senator – is that you’re on the wrong side of history.

  4. Cian

    We had our own head of state that had a “loose approach to language. […] It seeks to evoke a response. A response that distorts reality and seeks to distract from the actual.”

    Famous Bertie-isms included:
    “I don’t think it helps people to start throwing white elephants and red herrings at each other.”
    “They are trying to upset the apple tart.”
    “Charles J Haughey wanted to transform Temple Bar into Ireland’s West Bank.”
    “It’s always the example when the teacher was marrying the nurse, you know, or maybe the nurse marrying the teacher but – politically correct – but it, it was that they couldn’t afford a house, even taking their salaries in.”
    “I could certainly drink a fair few pints of Bass and be capable of driving.”
    “It’s all smoke and daggers”

      1. Cian

        :-) noted.

        Dan, Would you have noticed a difference between the bumbling-stuttering-harmless-aul-fella ‘Bertie’ that interacted with the media and the behind-closed-door ‘Bertie’ that would have been running the country?

          1. Cian

            Thanks for your insight, but bringing this back to Trump:
            Do you think it’s possible that we’re just seeing the public-persona Trump [inarticulate, ill informed, insincere, brash, mouthy] but in private he may very well be intelligent, thoughtful, articulate?

          2. Cian

            Since seeing the Trump presidential campaign unfold over the last 2 years I’m increasing reminded of that Douglas Adams quote:

            “The President of the Universe holds no real power. His sole purpose is to take attention away from where the power truly exists…”

          3. Dan Boyle

            On your last comment you’re probably right. On the previous comment i don’t think Trump is that good an actor.

  5. olllie

    Dan, why not write apiece on Irish “fake news” which in Ireland comes in the guise of not actually reporting on government affecting issues? For example:
    Noonan criticised over Nama not reported by RTE
    Kenny lies being ignored by RTE
    Convicted sex attacker released on bail to attack more women, then released on bail again? Not reported by RTE

    Or Dan, are you the same as your TD/Senator colleagues, don’t piss off RTE?

  6. Ray O'Connor

    I always see so much of Dan in his writings, i wonder why?

    The answers might be found in identfying what angers Dan most. He is notoriously thin skinned. He possesses an enormous ego. He hates being contradicted, or being stymied. He is never amused at being made fun of.

    1. Dan Boyle

      Hey I put up with you and your conspiratorial meanderings, don’t I? That requires a particualr epidermal depth.

  7. Old Bawn

    Donald likes to speak at rallies and press conferences because it makes him the center of attention, which is as it should be, because he’s always been the greatest person in any room or arena.

    He doesn’t care about lying, because he’s the biggest and bestest winner ever, because he always wins, and the best winners can warp reality to their will. He’s going to be the best strongman ever and the people can see this, and will agree that his facts must be correct because he’s the greatest and always right, as he’s an expert at everything.

    Yes, his speech may seem a bit rambling because when he starts a sentence, but that’s only because he doesn’t know how any given sentence is going to end, as he rambles at random through the vast palace of his glorious mind.

      1. Kieran NYC

        You should ask Dan about his pension again. That’s always relevant and hilarious.

        Then move on to blaming him for everything bad that ever happened.

        1. bisted

          …but the greens weren’t the bad guys…they just kept the bad guys in power…and in fairness, Dan’s input was fairly irrelevant as a senator. He must look longingly at his erstwhile colleagues with their ‘ministerial’ gold-plated pensions while he has to struggle by on his paltry sinecure..

  8. Mé Féin

    Dan should know all about inane talk. Weren’t the Glasraí in coalition with the Fianna Failures with Bertie Ahearn?

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