Barring a last-minute legal intervention, a tsunami engulfing landlocked Washington DC, or a Dimitri Tsafendas-style assassination — the latter, some would say along with Hamlet, is "a consummation devoutly to be wished" – Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the US on Friday. Barack Obama will be in attendance, affirming his conviction that one of the hallmarks of US democracy is the peaceful transfer of power after an election. Obama will no doubt smile benevolently, if somewhat a little wryly. He will keep his regrets, his despair and his fury to himself. Again, a line from Shakespeare’s Danish prince comes to mind: "Break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue." The contrast between the two men could not be more stark. As Hamlet would say, if you’ll indulge a final quotation, it’s like comparing "Hyperion to a satyr". In Greek mythology, Hyperion was a Titan, associated with the sun and the moon; satyrs were those bawdy, lecherous, treacherous man-goats who ac...

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