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A Scandal Surrounding Donald Trump Is Quite Different To Scandals Around Other World Leaders

11/01/2017 13:45 GMT | Updated 11/01/2017 13:45 GMT
TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images

To be honest, dragging myself awake from a day spent in flu-induced slumber sometime after midnight, the only thing I expected to be trending was Obama's tearful farewell speech, accompanied - to the great joy of millenial teenagers like myself, who seem rabidly interested in the lives of the First Daughters - by Michelle Obama, who has probably thought about giving Trump a swift kick up the backside, and their daughter Malia, who has survived teenage years in the White House to become, as Obama described, "a smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful" young woman. (These adjectives also apply to his younger daughter Sasha who, thanks to a sadistic twist of fate by the American education system, was unable to attend her father's final speech due to an unfortunately-timed exam).

Instead, what I found was that my timeline seemed to be filled with an array of jokes surrounding urine, Trump or preferably, urine and Trump. It didn't take long to discover the reason.

Yes, it has been claimed by some sources that the information that the President-Elect of the United States hired prostitutes to urinate on one another - and a bed used by the outgoing President - is "complete nonsense", and has been denied in characteristically humble, mature fashion by the President-Elect himself (I fully expect World War III to be declared in an all-capitals tweet one of these days), but none of us would let that stop us. I entered into the fun with a tweet referring to Bill Clinton's vociferous denials of liaisons with Monica Lewinsky, which, to my surprise, appears to have entered the infancy stages of "going viral."

Many in the Twitter population quickly pointed out that it was mainly funny because it was Trump - by entering into the fun, I'm sure very few were attempting to engage in kink-shaming. Partly, there were more serious issues to consider - if the allegations were true, then, among other things, Trump is straying worryingly close to that career-ending word "treason". But also, quite simply, the humour came not just from the nature of the allegations themselves, but that they centred around Donald Trump.

Now, I'm usually not too fond of this justification. Indeed, when the #piggate scandal was proved to be more than likely untrue last year, my friends and I rolled our eyes at the amount of whining that some of the more childish lefties descended into on our Twitter feeds- "I'm still going to make jokes about it! I deserve this schaedenfreude! I don't care about creditable sources, and you can get out of my life if you do!" Translation: "I haaaaaate that the Tories won, I should be allowed to make jokes all I like, it's sooooo unfair, how dare everyone not vote for my favourite party", complete presumably with childish stamping of feet and self-righteous sniffing.

But, here's the thing. Old Dave - our former PM and possible future Secretary-General of NATO-for all the whining from the Left regarding him, has never had a bunch of women coming out claiming he sexually assaulted them. He has never happily declared to a friend that women would allow him to grab them by the vagina due to his celebrity. He did not launch into the General Election campaign by waving his arms like a demigod to the Tories, leading chants of "Lock him up" at Ed Miliband, an opponent a great deal more hapless than Hillary Clinton ever was. He has never launched into an imitation of a disabled reporter to uproarious laughter from an audience.

I could go on, because Trump is the sort who provides endless accounts of horrific actions to cite, but the point is pretty clear. Cameron, no matter what you thought of him, was not in anywhere near the same league as Trump - and indeed, I'm hard-pressed to think of a head of state who is. Therefore, while other world leaders can attract sympathy when subjected to various allegations, Trump supremely fails to.

Trump is that rare specimen who has done and said so many awful things that he defies pity. People make fun of Hitler with relative impunity (and he provides an easy comparison on the internet). While I won't go quite as far as drawing comparisons between the two - I'll leave that to others - Trump too, has managed to close down any empathy the public might have shown him, simply through being appalling. It's actually a quite extraordinary feat of awfulness. Whether he'll boast of that in any future tweets has yet to be seen.