Monday 20 July 2020

Donald Trump, the taxi driver in chief

I heard a former head of Chatham House say that having Donald Trump as President of the USA was like having a NY taxi driver as President of the USA. I thought that sounded like a compliment. 

Taxi drivers and barbers know everything. As someone once said, what a shame all the people who know exactly how the world should be run are driving taxis.

But my joke is serious, like all my jokes. I have huge respect for taxi drivers, in England and in Romania. They very rarely meet the richest or the poor, but they meet and listen to a lot of people. Best of all they don't sit behind a desk or at a computer and don't have a boss supervising or assessing them. They are their own men (or in a few cases women).

In England they seem universally to approve of Brexit. Many like Donald Trump. The few I spoke to did. They were, in my experience, fairly indifferent to Nigel Farage and UKIP but thought Enoch was right. One liked Boris a lot.

In Bucharest they are fascinating, wise, taught me Romanian, form the Greek chorus to the comedy of my life, know much history and are often amateur theologians. Taxi drivers are good people.


  1. Making that comparison shows that the head of Chatham House hasn’t ridden in a New York City taxi in the last 40 years.

  2. I could have taken the train from Niagara Falls to NYC in 1980 and seen Jimmy Carter's New York. I wish I had. It was a real place.