Let’s Play No-Trumps (some thoughts on how the cards are stacked this election)

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest


Perhaps it was because my given name means white breasted that, from a young age, I have been sensitive to name meanings. Perhaps it was my early exposure to the Bible, where names mean something significant about the character of a person that consolidated it (Jabez, or Jesus, or Peter, for example). Whatever the reason, I always thought it a little fishy that Donald Trump’s last name was, in fact, Trump.

I learned how to play bridge in college: a card game with trumps and no trumps, suits and hands, scoring above and below the line, with finessing and tricks, and players rendered vulnerable. According to Wikipedia,

trump is a playing card which is elevated above its normal rank in trick-taking games. Typically an entire suit is nominated as a trump suit – these cards then outrank all cards of plain (non-trump) suits. In other contexts, the term trump card can refer to any sort of action, authority, or policy which automatically prevails over all others.

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race, I was entertained. Seriously: the “you’re fired!” guy? Him? With his ridiculous tweets, worthy of Josh Groban spoofing? Yes, he had money, and at first it seemed to me like a game: “let’s see if I can win the Oval Office square on the Monopoly Board, too!”

I thought the obvious ridiculousness of him as a viable candidate would soon become clear, but months are passing, and that’s not happening. I thought we should pay him no mind, and the fuss would go away; just like savvy parents sometimes need to ignore a tantrumming toddler and not reward bad behavior with attention.

Instead, crowds are cheering him on as he makes xenophobic, racist remarks which belie little to no respect for human rights or indeed, any of the values which I think ever made America great in the first place. As one woman shrewdly observed, Trump is what would happen if all the trollish comments on the internet were rolled up into a person. Rather than a measured and wise diplomat one would hope to have wield a position of such great power, he seems to be a bully. a mud-slinger. a flame-thrower.

And, devastatingly, a wildly popular one. The thought of him being the elected leader of the free world  fills me with horror: do people not know that America would be throwing its name under the bus if they elected him? (Not that my own country of birth has done better in recent years: more horrifying than the fact that a man with fraud and rape scandals by the dozen was elected president is the fact the millions of my countrymen voted for him to be there.)

Which brings me back to Trump, and Bridge, the card game. In the bidding rounds before any cards are played, the players signal to their partners with hints about their hands to establish what the “trump suit” will be. If you have a high number of diamonds (inference intended), the game would go so much more favorably if you can signal to your partner and secure diamonds as trumps for that round. You could then have your so-called partner lay down their cards and be the “dummy” for the round while you work the table. The rules are such that a privileged hand can land up taking every single trick, no matter what aces are literally up the others’ sleeves.

But shrewd opponents would work hard to keep the diamond-strong team from declaring diamonds as trumps. Perhaps they could bid for Clubs to be the trumps. Or, better yet, if they rallied their strongest cards, they could settle for a game of No-Trumps: where all the suits are equal, and no one card gets to call the shots over other would-be winners.

Such a game would take finesse, and tactful bidding. If you were playing against a team where one player really did have a stacked hand, you would need team work. Even to lose the round by one or two in a game of no-trumps is better than letting the diamond-heavy Trump take all the tricks.

Friends, don’t let Trump keep playing. Speak up. Please.


Leave a Reply:

7 thoughts on “Let’s Play No-Trumps (some thoughts on how the cards are stacked this election)”

  1. Great job, Bronwyn. I, too, am horrified at A) his remarks, and B) that people are cheering him. I don’t understand that. Even my children know that his views are awful.

  2. I didn’t think too highly either however I do respect some of his positions on “political correctness” It is time that truth come out. His comments on Muslims would upset me too, except that history repeats itself if we don’t learn from the past. I saw an interview with a lady on my computer a few days ago. Her name, Brigitte Gabriel, a Christian from Lebanon, a once Christian nation that was a democracy in the Middle East. After allowing Muslims into their nation that were displaced from Jordan because NO OTHER MUSLIM NATIONS would allow them in, these Christians welcomed them in in the 1960’s. They were her neighbors, doctors etc that were not uneducated low-lifes. When intifada was declared, these “moderate” Muslims who had multiplied started killing Christians big time. She barely escaped the horror with her life. Her comments are that there is no such thing as a “moderate” Muslim. They are either a practicing Muslim or a non-practicing Muslim. If intifada is declared and they are true to their religion, they will rise up and kill all Westerners and they won’t worry about what our religion or political party etc is. She has a book out too and lived the horror. Christians wake up. This is not Sunday School.

  3. Again, I appreciate your thoughtfulness, Bronwyn.

    Last night I had the epiphany that if Mr. Trump actually wins the nomination, Melanie & I would vote for Hillary. That realization not only amazed us, it remains an indigestible, sour mass.

    When we speak of the appalling horror of Mr. Trump, we really speak by proxy of the horror that much of America supports him. To this prospect I offer a ray of hope: perhaps the American public is not as heartless and unnuanced as appearances. The weary marathon of our electoral process offers voters the benefit of successive commentary on society. Voicing support for Trump now offers a means for mainstream America to spout off about the strictures of political correctness, to protest immigration policies, and announce rejection of President Obama’s initiatives. It ain’t over til the fat lady sings, and she is just arriving at the stage door. There has been a trend of candidates becoming increasingly centrist before the general election. Time will tell.

    Then again, I suppose observers of Adolf Hitler’s early campaigning could have anticipated a moderation of his views–a bitterly thwarted expectation.

  4. Bronwyn, what a graciously expressed presentation…as always! The inability of voters to analyze something beyond an initial sound bite is stunning — and that goes for both extremes of the political spectrum I hope The Truth trumps Trump!

  5. Thanks for this, Bronwyn.

    From a European perspective, Donald Trump’s popularity as a presidential candidate is mystifying. I cannot imagine that any of the Americans I know personally would want Mr. Trump as their President. Of course it’s a huge and diverse country, so he’ll find some people who resonate with his ideas, but, really, so many?

    If the Republican party chooses to nominate Trump as their candidate, my prediction is a landslide of votes for the Democrat candidate, as the people who might have supported a Republican candidate but are not willing to vote for Trump turn to the Democrat (as the “the lesser of two evils”)…

  6. I wish the media would not give him any attention. But they like following him and making the entire Republican Party look even more bigoted and xenophobic than they already are. I feel that the media is feeding this frenzy for sure.

Comments are closed.