• Seals At Blakeney Point

    Seals At Blakeney Point

  • Morston

    Morston

  • Blickling Hall

    Blickling Hall

  • Cley Windmill

    Cley Windmill

  • Holt High Street

    Holt High Street

  • Wells Next The Sea

    Wells Next The Sea

  • Morston

    Morston

  • Holkham

    Holkham

  • Stopping For  Coffee In Fakenham

    Stopping For Coffee In Fakenham

  • Coastal Path

    Coastal Path

  • Wolterton Hall Woods

    Wolterton Hall Woods

  • Snowdrops In Walsingham Abbey

    Snowdrops In Walsingham Abbey

  • Stody Gardens

    Stody Gardens

  • Sheringham Mural

    Sheringham Mural

  • Cromer Pier

    Cromer Pier

  • Holt

    Holt

  • Sheringham Coast

    Sheringham Coast

  • North Norfolk Railway

    North Norfolk Railway

From Alistair Cooke to Donald Trump

Talking from hot early morning Dallas, Texas to a freezing North Norfolk on 6 April 2021, Steven Jenkins mused by Zoom about the qualities of Alistair Cooke, the great explainer of everything American, and what he might have said about Donald Trump. Stephen contrasted the backgrounds of the two men. One, the son of a metalworker growing up in Blackpool whose fascination with America had been awakened by the loquacious and friendly group of US soldiers billeted in his family home in 1917 and the other whose relationships with Americans had been forged by collecting rents from the tough tenants of the apartments built by his father in the Queens District of New York.

 

Cooke’s journey to becoming a renowned broadcaster was explained in detail following a trail of Jesus College Cambridge, Yale, Harvard, the BBC and Guardian. Despite his urbanity he realised that it was necessary to “dig out “the real and infinitely varied America and travelled extensively for that purpose. For Trump the course was always dramatic, the territory gaudy and flamboyant ,the dialogue transactional ; a millionaire legacy , builder of casinos , hotels and Trump monuments ,  6 bankruptcies, author of  “The Art of the deal “ ,TV stardom gained  through firing Apprentice candidates and the inventor, as failed  President, of edict by tweeting .

Our speaker reminded us that in 1974 Alistair Cooke wrote that America, by embracing permissiveness, was engaging in “a disastrous sentimentality “. “Liberty is the luxury of self-discipline”. The era of Nixon was defined by Cooke as the point “at which the race began between US decadence and its vitality”. In this context he would not have seen the Trump era as anything other than the expected outcome in this race. Trump’s many promises were simply not delivered, and he made the fatal mistake of belittling Biden, his low key but experienced opponent. Cooke would have expected America to see through the Trump bluster.

The discussion covered the divisions within America, Alistair Cooke’s probable response to Facebook and the right-wing response to the Trump defeat. Our speaker assured us that despite the Trump position Americans want the positive and wish to stay as the leading power in the world with a President who sees that America is more important than his party. In closing David Riddle our Chairman thanked Stephen Jenkins for an interesting talk saying that the US is ever present in our News and that we very much appreciate this contribution to our understanding.    

Vic Cocker