If Oprah took on Trump, he would be the ultimate winner | Jonathan Freedland

She’s better than him in so many ways but, whoever the victor, such a contest would confirm his view of the presidency as a celebrity post

Donald Trump is a stone-cold racist. There was surely no doubt about that, not after he launched his presidential campaign by branding Mexican migrants as rapists and criminals. Or after he praised the white supremacists who marched under swastika banners in Charlottesville as “very fine people”.

Related: Celebrity politicians are a sign of our political decline | Cas Mudde

It would be satisfying indeed to see Winfrey challenge a man who is not just a racist but a coward and a liar

Related: Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes speech: the full text

Related: ‘Shithole countries’? Words worthy of a racist-in-chief | Richard Wolffe

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Steven Spielberg: Oprah would make a brilliant president and I will back her

Calling her the ‘ambassador of empathy’, The Post director endorses Winfrey and says America needs ‘a mindful, empathetic human being in the White House’

The undeclared but burgeoning campaign to elect Oprah Winfrey the next President of the United States has received another boost, with the full-throated backing of one of Hollywood’s biggest figures: Steven Spielberg.

“I think Oprah Winfrey would make an absolutely brilliant president,” the Oscar-winning director told the Guardian on Thursday. Spielberg, in London to promote his new movie The Post, said: “If she declares, I will back her.”

Related: The Post review – Streep and Hanks scoop the honours in Spielberg's big-hearted story

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Don’t pity white, middle-aged men. It’s ludicrous to cast them as victims | Jonathan Freedland

French female campaigners are defending men’s rights to ‘hit on’ women, while May’s ‘massacre’ of the pale, male and stale leaves them remarkably well intact

Progressives need to update their settings: there’s a new beleaguered minority in town, one that needs our support. This group has been “punished summarily, forced out of their jobs”, according to campaigners in France, while in Britain it’s even more serious. Here, according to a leading national newspaper, this same oppressed group has just been subjected to a “massacre”.

Who is the target of this new onslaught of persecution, exclusion and violence? Is it Muslims, people of colour or women? Might it be refugees, gay people or the disabled whose plight demands our solidarity?

Related: Catherine Deneuve, let me explain why #metoo is nothing like a witch-hunt | Van Badham

Related: Theresa May’s new cabinet more privileged than before

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Fire and Fury confirms our worst fears – about the Republicans | Jonathan Freedland

Donald Trump’s utter unfitness for the presidency has been laid bare in Michael Wolff’s new book. What will it take for his party to remove him from office?

What did you think would be the Republican reaction to the latest revelations about Donald Trump? Did you expect the party’s luminaries to drop their collective head into their hands, or to crumple into a heap in despair at the state of the man they anointed as president of the United States?

They’d certainly have had good reason. In the book Fire and Fury, which on Thursday received the greatest possible endorsement – namely a “cease and desist” order from Trump’s personal lawyers – the journalist Michael Wolff paints a picture of a man whose own closest aides, friends and even family believe is congenitally unfit to be president.

The Republicans have predicted many times that Trump would change. They've been wrong every time. He won’t change

Related: Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House review – tell-all burns all

Related: Late-night hosts: 'Trump's own people think he's dumb as a watermelon'

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The year of Trump has laid bare the US constitution’s serious flaws | Jonathan Freedland

I once wrote a hymn of praise to the achievements of the founding fathers. There’s still much to celebrate – but their inspirational vision needs an urgent update

There’s a million things to love about Hamilton, the musical that has opened in London to reviews as glowing as those that greeted its debut on Broadway. The lyrics are so ingenious, so intricate and dexterous, that the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has a claim to be among the most exciting writers, in any medium, in the world today. Rarely have I seen an audience delight in the tricks and rhyming pyrotechnics of language the way I saw a preview audience react to Hamilton a fortnight ago.

As I say, there are countless other pleasures. The staging is inventive, the melodies memorable and, by having black and minority ethnic actors play Alexander Hamilton and his fellow founding fathers, the musical instantly offers a powerful new take on America’s tragic, enduring flaw: race. But it was the idealism of the show – which venerates Hamilton and George Washington and unabashedly romanticises the revolution that birthed the United States of America – that struck a particular chord for me.

Related: Hamilton is creative and radical – in the proud tradition of musical theatre | Mark Lawson

America, as that great revolutionary Thomas Paine said, is too often 'like dead and living bodies chained together'

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From Trump to Brexit, 2017 was the mourning after the year before

The two seismic events of 2016, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, continued to cause mayhem throughout 2017

If 2016 was the year the democratic world went on a wild bender, 2017 was the year of the hangover. It was when we woke, slumped on the floor, still in yesterday’s clothes, heads pounding, to see how badly we’d trashed the room the night before. It was the year in which we contemplated the damage done, feared what more was yet to come – and searched out glimmers of hope that, somehow, we might avoid the worst.

But it was also the year in which troubles that had been stored up years or decades earlier – some ignored, others denied – burst through the surface, demanding our attention and crying out for something else too: a reckoning long overdue.

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The NHS staff who rallied to my son’s aid show there is hope, even in bleak times | Jonathan Freedland

Brexit and Trump dominate the news. But amid the gloom we should not forget that a vital part of our nation continues its inspiring work

There has been so much bad news this year that I thought I’d offer a little sparkle of something more heartening. Perhaps it might serve as a reminder that even those clouds that have darkened our skies most – the menacing dominance of technology, the strained state of our public services – are, every now and again, lined with a trace of gleaming silver.

The story begins with an accident. Cycling home from school, my 16-year-old son, Jacob, was knocked off his bike by a van that had veered into the cycle lane. I rushed to pick him up and took him to our nearest hospital, the Homerton, in east London. By the time we got there, the pain in his left leg was so bad he couldn’t get himself out of the car. It took a nurse and an orderly to prise him from the front seat and into a wheelchair.

'It's cheering to hear of a small effort to create something that helps people rather than hurts them'

Related: The blue passport is taking back control? No, it was first imposed on us from abroad | James E Baldwin

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The Donald Trump quiz of 2017

Who started the rumour about Melania’s body double? What happened to Sean Spicer? And how much golf has the commander in chief really played?

What was the nickname of the shortest serving director of communications in White House history?

Scaramouche.

Minnie the Moocher.

The Mooch.

Scaramanga.

Who started the online rumour that Melania Trump had been replaced by a body double?

Carl Bernstein.

Sean Hannity.

Alex Jones.

Marina Hyde.

What menu did Donald Trump demand White House chefs recreate?

The dinner John F Kennedy once served in honour of US Nobel laureates.

The meal Abraham Lincoln ate on his first night in the White House.

McDonald’s.

Noma.

Trump reportedly described the White House as?

“The greatest residence in the history of the world, believe me.”

“The best house any leader ever lived in.”

“A real dump.”

“A place so lavish, you wouldn’t believe it.”

Trump memorably accused Barack Obama of playing too much golf. As of mid-December, how many of the 300-plus days that Trump has been president has he spent time at a golf course?

11 days.

79 days.

22 days.

59 days.

How did former FBI director James Comey hope to avoid being seen by Trump at a White House reception?

By using the techniques of a top, undercover federal agent.

By deploying state-of-the-art espionage technology.

By hiding in the curtains.

By dressing up as Melania.

7. What did Trump promise to send to Little Rocket Man, Kim Jong-un?

Love and affection.

Time and patient diplomacy.

A robust, fully proportionate international response.

Fire and fury.

What did Donald Trump discuss when he addressed a rally of boy scouts?

Loyalty.

How to make a bonfire.

A washed-up billionaire friend of his who once had a yacht.

The responsibilities of the next generation.

When he pulled out of the Paris accords on climate change, Trump said his duty was to prioritise?

Jobs, not trees.

People, not planets.

Pittsburgh, not Paris.

America, not the world.

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is now?

A cast member of Saturday Night Live.

A Republican congressman.

A fellow of Harvard.

The husband of Melissa McCarthy.

Rick Perry once called for the Department of Energy to be abolished. Trump appointed him to run:

The Federal Reserve.

The Department of Energy.

Yosemite national park.

The Federal Election Commission.

Which of the following tasks is NOT included in Jared Kushner’s portfolio of duties:

Restructuring the US government.

Brokering Middle East peace.

Reforming the US criminal justice system.

Resetting US relations with Russia.

2 and above.

You are a living rebuke to the world’s hugest ego. Your ignorance of all things Trump is an act of heroic resistance. Bravo.

3 and above.

You are a living rebuke to the world’s hugest ego. Your ignorance of all things Trump is an act of heroic resistance. Bravo.

4 and above.

You are a living rebuke to the world’s hugest ego. Your ignorance of all things Trump is an act of heroic resistance. Bravo.

5 and above.

Don’t you realise what a danger this man poses to the future of the human race? Don’t you even care?

6 and above.

Don’t you realise what a danger this man poses to the future of the human race? Don’t you even care?

7 and above.

Don’t you realise what a danger this man poses to the future of the human race? Don’t you even care?

8 and above.

You’re keeping across the news, without letting the Orange One inside your head. Keep at it.

9 and above.

You’re keeping across the news, without letting the Orange One inside your head. Keep at it.

10 and above.

You’re keeping across the news, without letting the Orange One inside your head. Keep at it.

11 and above.

You are in danger of becoming a Trump obsessive. Maybe take up a hobby?

12 and above.

You are in danger of becoming a Trump obsessive. Maybe take up a hobby?

0 and above.

You are a living rebuke to the world’s hugest ego. Your ignorance of all things Trump is an act of heroic resistance. Bravo.

1 and above.

You are a living rebuke to the world’s hugest ego. Your ignorance of all things Trump is an act of heroic resistance. Bravo.

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Trump may celebrate his tax giveaway – but it could speed his downfall | Jonathan Freedland

This bill stinks – the men behind it will benefit from it personally. But once it’s passed, the president is just that little bit less useful

Donald Trump is set to close this most turbulent year with his first big win. Today, barring a last-minute hitch, both houses of the US Congress will send the president a tax reform bill that he will sign with full ceremony. He’ll lavish praise on himself and say he’s making good on his promise to make America great again. Or as he put it via Twitter: “Biggest Tax Cuts and Reform EVER passed. Enjoy, and create many beautiful JOBS!”

The bill he’ll sign today is indeed the most substantial overhaul to the US tax system since Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts of 1986. Still, Trump and his fellow Republicans should pause before they knock back too much pre-Christmas champagne. This could be a victory that comes back to haunt them.

Related: Senate approves most drastic changes to US tax code in 30 years

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While you’re looking the other way, Trump is changing America for decades to come | Jonathan Freedland

The president’s incendiary tweets and the Russia scandal distract us from decisions that are reshaping the internet, the environment and democracy

Now twice as long, his tweets are half as good. The early-morning dispatches from the iPhone of Donald Trump, often sent while he lies in bed, propped up on a pillow, lack the poison punch they packed in the 140-character era. They ramble a bit now, losing focus. But they still command attention and dominate the news to an extent no one on the planet can match.

Related: US regulator scraps net neutrality rules that protect open internet

91% of Trump’s judicial nominees are white and 81% are male, reversing decades of steady progress

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