It has been several days since the US declared that Trump would be their 45th president. Since then millions of articles have been written all expressing an answer to the how and why. I’ve read a fair few to be fair and amongst my friends on FB I’ve seen debates between Americans mainly one party thinking “wtf” and the other pointing out that Clinton was a “bullet” dodged because she is or was so corrupt. I’ve read a couple of scaremongering pieces (they scared me) on how Trump has in his hands the power to become an autocrat, how he could bully his way through the Houses and legislatures and whilst he may avoid a war with Russia his policies could lead to war with China! And of course the increased profile of that most despicable of men, Farage who along with his other right-wing compatriots across Europe were given free publicity in the click hungry world we live in.
The best commentary was by somebody called Jonathan Pie, a political commentator who does it like he is a news reader on location and then goes off on one. He pointed out that it was the liberal left and in particular their inability to debate, and their preach-like nature that caused Trump. It may well have also explained the poor polling that took place – it hid voters who didn’t want to justify their choice.
The thing that struck me, and this was evident post-Brexit, was apologist nature of the articles to paint the voters as sticking a finger up at the establishment or being lost by those in the system. That may well have been true in Britain, where it is usually quite easy to spot the majority of Brexiteers – English white, working class, reads tabloids.
I do wonder how true that was for Trump supporters as the profile of the votes came out. It looks like Trump won the white vote but did badly in the poor white folk class. He did better in middle class voters, those intelligent enough to understand what they were doing, to look beyond the lies, and really see the man they preferred over Hilary. And that is where the comments on Hilary being so corrupt, being part of the establishment come to fore: they claim that she is so corrupt and her policies are like to lead America going to war with Russia and continued military action in the middle east.
This is all so unconvincing. These people voted with their prejudices, pure and simple. The strategy of Trump was to say outrageous things, give words to what people thought and then to validate them without a shred of evidence or support other than his words. He fed into those thoughts because he knew that is what they wanted to hear. They want somebody to tell them that foreigners are the root of all evil and everything that is bad about US is because there are too many Mexicans and Muslims.
They wanted somebody to tell them that every conspiracy theory is correct and that Hilary is sitting their like some kind of James Bond super villain, laughing as she crushes the rest of America for the faceless corporations burning 100 dollar bills. They had all the evidence they needed, emails, Benghazi, the Foundation, the various Russian-hacked leaks was all there.
But all that did was make it less guilty about voting in Trump, more acceptable.
Let’s be clear about the sort of man Trump is – a liar, a bully, vengeful, temperamental, supremely arrogant, narcissistic, racist, misogynist, cares nothing for the consequences of his actions. A man who has many failed businesses, failed marriages, who thought nothing of ripping small contractors off in order to not pay their bills whilst making millions, a man who uses his foundation for his own purposes, and considers women objects and tools.
The American people have voted in a wild card, have validated a man that in almost any walk of life would be abhorrent, they have given him the keys to the car and asked to go anywhere. He is a man of 70, who struggled to control himself whilst running, and now has no reason to do anything other than what he wants and if you pray to gods, then pray those interests align with what is good for America and all its people.
But one thing the Americans have to take responsibility for and that is the message they have given: this man is represents America and they cannot complain if the rest of the world looks on them in disdain and contempt.