Comparing Trump to a waterbeetle, then and in the future


The waterbeetle darts about on the surface of the water, seemingly without direction or destination.

When George Will says it, it is said with authority, with aplomb, with certitude — well, with ease, celerity and grace.

So my only consolation is that I said it first.

Will opens his Jan. 18 Washington Post column, which was reprinted today in the Las Vegas Sun section of the morning newspaper, with a few lines from a poem by Hilaire Belloc:

The waterbeetle here shall teach
A sermon far beyond your reach:
He flabbergasts the Human Race
By gliding on the water’s face
With ease, celerity, and grace;
But if he ever stopped to think
Of how he did it, he would sink.

Will uses this bit of poesy to describe President Donal Trump as the waterbeetle of politics thusly:

He won by stoking resentments that his blue-collar base harbors about the felt condescension of elites. He has, however, transitioned with ease and celerity away from the most vivid commitments that made his crowds roar (prosecuting Hillary Clinton, making Mexico pay for the wall, banning Muslims from entering the country, deporting 11 million illegal immigrants within two years, restoring torture because “it works” but even “if it doesn’t work,” etc.).

The august columnist concludes with this apt and doubtless accurate prediction: “As transitioning gives way to governing, Trump will continue to flabbergast. The past really is prologue, so we have been warned.”

Thus, I may only pout and stamp my feet and shout, “Look here, look here,” because I said it first:

I’ve referred to Donald Trump as clueless, rudderless, a cipher, a darting water bug, a train wreck and a human Etch-a-Sketch …

Though not necessarily in that order.

As my ol’ Pappy used to say, “Great minds travel in the same plane, but fools just think alike.” In this case, perhaps a great mind and a fool think alike.

George Will

George Will