The Trump administration is compelling to watch.

Crammed with ignorance, greed, vanity and hubris, it is everything the Greek tragedians and Shakespeare warned of.

It is this way because of the man at the centre of it, a man who knows nothing of Greek tragedians or Shakespeare. Trump knows nothing of anything except his own urge to power.

In particular he seems to have no notion of the truth. The truth for him is only what he last said. He is as rotten as a fallen log and the rottenness spreads by contagion to all around him.


Morally it doesn't matter much whether they throw him out of office. You can already see the ruin in his soul.

At a photo shoot with some hapless foreign dignitary to whom Trump has nothing to say and whose name he cannot pronounce, Trump sits on the edge of the chair with his arms folded and his little eyes swivelling in his painted face as the cameras click.

The posture, the eyes, tell the whole story. He's out of his depth and exposed for what he is, loveless and lonely, sleepless and scared, hearing the footsteps behind him day and night.

He thinks the footsteps are Investigator Mueller's. They're not. They're truth's. Truth is catching up with him. And he's far too small a man to dare to turn round and face it. He can only keep lying and fleeing. He's made his own hell. He's haunted now. Miserable.

The only thing that keeps him going is praise. He'll take praise from anywhere he can get it. He'll take it from a rally of the voters he pretended to represent in order to get elected.

He'll take it from a TV station that exists solely to promote him. He'll take it if he can get it from any part of the media that he accuses of being fake.

And he'll take it from his Cabinet, that table-full of billionaires and other craven opportunists. Round the table goes Trump egging each to lick more spittle than his neighbour.

For "which of you, shall we say", as King Lear asked of his daughters, "doth love us most?".

And as the courtiers fall over each other to flatter Trump, you can see Trump's batteries begin to recharge, you can see his ego and his self-belief begin to reinflate with the hot air of sycophantic lies.

It is like being privy to Stalin's politburo meetings, or the levees of the Sun King.

Leading the lick-spittlery is vice-president Pence, the snowy-haired, radio-voiced fundamentalist. "It is the greatest blessing of my life to serve you, Mr President," intones the loathsome Pence, "You cause the sun to rise and the grass to grow."

Last week one of Trump's aides resigned over allegations of wife-beating, in response to which the sanctimonious Pence declared, "There is no tolerance in this White House … for domestic abuse." Ha. That's the polar opposite of the truth.

The White House lawyer had known about the wife-beating for a year but had done nothing. The White House Chief of Staff had known about the wife-beating for several months but had done nothing.

In other words there was complete tolerance in the White House for domestic abuse. What there was no tolerance for was for the public knowing.

Because it was only when the press reported on the wife-beating that the White House suddenly discovered it couldn't tolerate it.

And why was this? Well it all stems from the centre. Trump.

Everyone's heard the 15 or so women who have accused him of doing precisely the things that he has confessed to doing. Everyone including the sanctimonious Pence. How he squares it with his religious beliefs I have no idea.

But that's my point. You cannot serve Trump and retain a shred of integrity. Once you side with Trump you're soiled by association. And the longer you stay the more soiled you get.

Take the Chief of Staff, a retired military man, General Kelly. People thought at first he might have taken the job in the spirit of self-sacrifice.

He'd restrain the madman president, keep his finger off the nuclear buttons, even if it meant sacrificing his own reputation.

But that's not how it's turned out. Working for Trump has exposed Kelly's own darker side - his willingness to lie for the cause, to side with the oppressor against the victim.

Trump is the moral lesson we never quite seem to learn. He has already sealed his own fate. A sticky end awaits him. The interest lies in seeing exactly how he reaches it and how many people he takes down with him.