I am still reeling from yesterday’s news that Donald Trump… DONALD TRUMP!… is to be the 45th President of the United States of America. It baffles belief.
Remember that old episode of The Simpsons when Lisa was President?
The gag was that she’d taken over from Donald Trump and he’d left the country in a financial shambles. Well now it looks like the joke is on us. And I do mean all of us. Because whether we like it or not what happens in America impacts pretty much every other country in the world. (Read this)
My sister texted the below to me which I think summed it up better than I could have done so I’ve pasted it here.
Never in history have voters in the US or any developed western country chosen a candidate to be their leader who boasted on camera about violating women, was accused by ten women of abusing them, swaggered about minimising his tax payments and exploiting bankruptcy laws, threatened to put his opponent in jail, warned he might not respect the result of the election, and promised policies that to many look racist.
Millions and millions of Americans either didn’t believe his character is as flawed as it seems, or didn’t care. So if we needed evidence that vast numbers of them, especially white men, feel utterly alienated from the political establishment, well we have it now.
That palpable alienation of a country from its venerable and supposedly revered institutions – or at least the establishment representatives of those institutions – is quite simply momentous.
So what kind of president will he be? Well during the campaign he flip-flopped on many of his pledges, so we can’t be sure.
But he said he will put up barriers to free trade, especially exports from China and Mexico – which is why the Mexican Peso is collapsing as I write.
He has said he will be tougher on immigration, especially of Muslims, and has some unspecified ‘secret plan’ to defeat so-called Islamic state.
He has expressed admiration for Putin, while implying that his foreign policy will be more isolationist than most of his predecessors.
What does all this mean for us?
Well it’s too early to say. But it won’t be trivial.
One stress-inducing question is whether Putin will test Trump’s apparently lukewarm commitment to deploying US troops by ordering his own armed forces into the Ukraine and nearer the Baltic states – to consolidate Russian regional power?
Another is whether China under President Xi be emboldened too to consolidate its military presence in East Asia, and increase already serious tensions with Japan.
Much more immediately, there’ll be something of a global financial shock. Share prices are set to tumble. The dollar will weaken.
The point is that it’s almost impossible to find an MP from any party who wanted Trump to win.
So our prime minister and her advisers will today have to use all their creative skills to craft a statement that will highlight the importance of sustaining the so-called Special Relationship between Britain and America, while glossing over her government’s conspicuous reservations about him.
In a nutshell, the world seems a lot scarier and less predictable this morning than it seemed last night.
My American sister in-law is aghast as are all of her family and friends (primarily based in New York, Boston and Connecticut). My Texan friend Kate, a Harvard educated lawyer, is speechless. She joked earlier this year that if Trump won they might move. They’re not the only ones, the Canadian Immigration website crashed last night. Maybe the Canadians will now be the ones building a wall?
I just don’t understand how he pulled it off. I mean it truly is an incredible accomplishment. The man has no experience. Literally none. He has never been active in politics or the military (he avoided being drafted to Vietnam five times). As the actor Tom Hanks put it, if you break your leg do you go to the doctor who has had years of experience fixing broken legs or do you go to the guy that says “I reckon I can do it”.
But he’s done it. He will be president. Will he last the full four years? Personally, I very much doubt it. He’ll be impeached or assassinated or feign illness and step down, once he realises he can’t swan off to play a round of golf whenever he fancies. The question is how much damage he’ll do in the meantime.
Apparently Katie Hopkins said if Trump won she’d move to America. Every cloud and all that.