We haven’t witnessed this level of refugee flight since World War II, or possibly even the Great Flood, leading us to question what may have changed so radically and so powerfully, to produce such movement on so massive a scale.
Well, we don’t have to look far. The fact is, conditions endured in their homeland by most of these folks are so starkly horrific that even the prospect of death by drowning, or suffocation, or from slow-roasting in the packed-to-the-hatches holds of barely-floating derelict steamers, does little to deter them. They reason, quite properly, that whatever hell may await them in their transit, or however miserable the conditions they will encounter as and if they actually find whatever foreign shore they seek, these can be no worse than those they flee.
This cannot, however, inform their new host nations what actions they may take to absorb them. The result has been abysmal: tens of thousands dying en route, hundreds of thousands camped in filthy shantytowns, angry altruists demanding justice for the refugees and angrier citizens demanding an end to the torrent of strange people speaking strange languages and insisting on their right to asylum.
Here, no words of solace issue from our leaders — only a growing perplexity about how to address both the compassionate and the frightened sectors of their electorate. Which leads us to the final indicator that the apocalypse is indeed upon us.
We have pestilence and famine, we have war and certainly we have death. All that is now required is the emergence of the Antichrist — someone who, like P. G. Wodehouse’s Lord Ickenam, “would be up to some kind of hell that would ultimately stagger civilization and turn the moon to blood.”
And who, then, will be our Uncle Fred?
Enter Donald Trump. Has any figure in memory risen so swiftly and so far in the eyes of the enlightened from harmless notoriety to a height of infamy rivaling Lucifer himself? Certainly the progressive element of society loathes him with almost breathless vigor, falling over itself in a concerted attempt to snuff out what started as a brushfire and has now erupted into a full-fledged inferno. Where his actual remarks themselves seem insufficiently outrageous, the righteous are pleased to infer or openly invent interpretations more scurrilous still.
Keep in mind that Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton’s singular talent was impersonation. What’s to stop him from putting a hedgehog on his head and buying a microphone?