by Peter Callaghan
The day before Americans go to the polls to determine whether they want to erect a wall along the Mexican border and ban all Muslims from entering their country, which ironically once boasted of welcoming “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses”, what better place to watch You’ve Been Trumped Too – British documentary maker Anthony Baxter‘s sequel to You’ve Been Trumped and A Dangerous Game – than at the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen which lies ten miles south of Trump International Golf Links on the sandy dunes of Balmedie where 92-year-old resident, Molly Forbes, has been starved of running water for five years after The Donald “accidentally” burst a pipe leading to her croft (or as he calls it “pigsty”) while building an access road to his luxury development.
Let me run those facts by you again: a 92-year-old widow, five years without a reliable water supply, forced to wash herself in the kitchen sink with buckets of water drawn from a well, which is more often than not contaminated or dry, despite being given assurances that she would receive “the best system she’s ever had”. How did this come to pass? At the risk of litigation – he was once handcuffed and later cleared by Grampian police for trespassing on Trump’s estate – what Baxter contends is that The Donald and his heavy-handed entourage have gone out of their way to make life as difficult as possible for those like Molly and her son Michael who refused to sell up and move on when the Trump circus rolled into town.
People like Rohan Beyts, a retired social worker without so much as a speeding ticket to her name and active campaigner for Tripping Up Trump (“A popular movement against using compulsory purchase for private profit”), who feared the worst when she received a knock on her door from two stern-faced police officers only to be told that she faced charges of answering the call of nature behind one of the sand dunes near Trump’s golf course on the Menie Estate. The charges were later dropped, but rather than shrug her shoulders and assume her role as one of the uncomplaining “little people” (Trump Jr.’s words, not mine), Beyts has fired back with a legal challenge of her own that two staff members of Trump International Golf Links photographed her without consent. To quote Corporal Jones: “They don’t like it up ’em!”
But what starts of as a sad but somewhat parochial tale of one woman’s fight against the machine of big business gradually turns into a forensic examination of whether or not Trump is fit to hold the highest office in the land as Michael Forbes and his wife Sheila fly to the States to see him up, close and personal at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Bullying, lying, xenophobia and misogyny feature (to use Trump-speak) “bigly”. And the cavalier manner in which his organisation has dealt with the longtime residents of Balmedie are mirrored in its callous treatment of countless other “little people” such as Atlantic City widower Vera Coking who fought against her home of over three decades being turned into a parking lot for casino limousines. Think Joni Mitchell’s: “They paved paradise / And put up a parking lot.”
Only time will tell if Trump will be given the opportunity to “Make America Great Again”. The polls are narrowing as much as his eyes, the odds are shortening as much as his Republican opponents’ appendages and the media are flapping as much as his pussy grabbing hands. I, like director Anthony Baxter, hope that common sense will prevail and that Hilary Clinton will become not only the 45th president of the United States but also the first woman to hold that position. I could give you all sorts of political and moral reasons why I’d dump Trump for chill Hil, but I think Michael Forbes put it best after hearing his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention: “I’ve never heard so much bullshit in all my life!”
Video courtesy of: You’ve Been Trumped Too