Descended from Trump

Co Co Ruth Lynner – Goldblatt

Professor Joe Goldblatt

According to Brian Klaas, in his new book Fluke, Jack Russell terriers are named after a Victorian parson named Jack Russell who invented them to help with fox hunting. Every dog of this breed was eventually created by a milkman near Oxford from whom Jack Russell bought his first white and tan pup. Jack Russell originally bought a dog and then an entire breed was named from it. However, the name of the dog Jack Russell bought from the milkman was Trump.

This revelation will either elate you or give you heart burn. If you are a Jack Russell owner, as am I, perhaps this historical ancestry will better help you find some measure of respect for your small furry and often ferocious friend as you try to find a small measure of mutual respect.

Every day, upon rising, the first sound I hear is loud and persistent barking. I even engaged a pet behavioural expert to assist me with interpreting what our wee friend is saying and all she could discern was that this breed benefits from constant and unending attention. I find my dog’s demands upon my time to be very disrespectful. She similarly finds my lack of interest in playing with her every minute to also be disrespectful.

We appear to live in an age where we have begun a long, rapid, and perilous descent into disrespect for many of our institutions such as government, religion, the judiciary, the media, the professions and in fact also for one another. As I observe my wee friend, whose ancient ancestor was indeed named Trump, I wonder if our rapid fall from the grace of mutual respect to the graceless era of universal disrespect is caused by individual demogogues or, as spoken by Cassius in Julius Caesar “The fault, dear Brutus , is not in our stars,. But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

In Shakespeare’s play these words lead to the eventual assasination of Caesar. I once performed in this play and still remember some fifty years later how easy it was for the crowd of populist sympathisers to loudly shout for the death of their Emperor. The knife plunged into Julius Caesar contained the collective fingerprints of a mob of citizens who no longer respected their leader.

Today, I watched in horror as the members of the U.K. Parliament could not refrain from plunging their verbal daggers into their Speaker of the House. Our elected parliamentarians did not have the personal discipline to remain silent whilst he tried in vain to describe the motivation behind his actions. He was eventually forced to leave the Chamber.

This type of disrespect is sadly being replicated in parliaments all over the world. As our politicians rise to champion democracy, their impertinent personal behaviour and loud disrespect for the views of their opposers often prevents true democratic ideals from being fulfilled.

I now live with a canine descendant of Trump whose name is CoCooften . I am often reminded when I raise my voice in anger to try and stop her barking of the liturgical verse that called for an ‘eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. My fear is that if we follow these commands we shall very soon all end up blind and toothless.

Therefore, I suppose I shall try to better understand how and why our society has come to sink into this darkening abyss of increasing disrespect for one another. Some will argue that it is due to increasing socio – economic inequality and others will suggest that when folk fear they have become voiceless they then feel they must shout much louder. I believe that their are multiple reasons for our increasing disrespect for one another and they are much more complex. I also believe we must accept the challenge of better understanding how this has happened and then work together to halt its not so silent advance toward a world of chaos, as we recently witnessed in the U.K. House of Commons.

My first attempt at resetting my own moral compass to point toward greater and more sustainable mutual respect is to listen harder, think more deeply, and with all my might, resist the excitement of my endorphines instantly rising that cause the raising my voice in anger toward my fellow human beings.

If I have have only learned one thing from this descendant from Trump who now rules my home it is that although we may disagree, we do not have to be disagreeable. Occassionally we may even find that we share some mutual values such as safety, security, health, and the happiness that comes from a good meal shared with one another (my we descendant of Trump likes it when I share my food with her).

I shall now try to work even harder to provide my furry friend with a better companion as I try each day upon rising to avoid the downward spiral of despair and doom and instead to find ways to mutually rise together in pursuit of the stars that magically appear outwith my window each evening. As I reach down to pet my furry friend I also raise my eyes to the stars and remember where the faults lay and that as we are two underlings, we must work even harder to learn to respect and yes, love one another.

Professor Joe Goldblatt is Emeritus Professor of Planned Events at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh Scotland. His views are his own. To learn more about his views visit

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