The German phrase, part of the title of Erich Maria Remarque’s “Im Western Nichts Neues”, which has been famously translated as “All Quiet on the Western Front”, is as old as the Old Testament. “What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The Belgian poet and singer Jacques Brel put it simply : “Comme disait le duc d’Elbeuf, c’est avec du vieux qu’on fait du neuf” : “As the Duke of Elbeuf told, the new is made from the old”.
I beg to differ. The U.S. presidential election has never had a candidate like Donald Trump, nor, in fact, like Hillary Clinton. Next Tuesday we will know the bad news, whoever is elected. Everything worth saying, and a lot more that is not, has been said about their campaigns and about their supporters. I don’t claim that it’s new, but one has to wonder – and worry – about what the last six months have revealed about credulity. People actually believe what the two of them are saying ! Is it any wonder they believe what’s “in the Book” ? Nichts neues !