2016-11-09 08:41:40 UTC
America has its Brexit. The only difference is that this time there is n=
part of the world that can dismiss this as a local European difficulty.
After this, the free-market, open, globalist-minded world can only sit
back and wonder where the next domino will fall. Maybe France; is anyone=
now confident that Marine Le Pen cannot win the presidency next year?
Whatever comes next cannot reverberate as much as Donald Trump=E2=80=99s=
improbable victory. It is now beyond doubt that we are seeing a revolt
against the political and economic order that has governed the western
world for decades. The market reaction made clear that investors see thi=
result in those terms.
The grievances may have been specific =E2=80=94 the cost of Obamacare mo=
obviously =E2=80=94 but the underlying story is the same and many of the=
are common to both the Brexit campaign and to many of the other populist=
movements being seen across the western world. Mr Trump=E2=80=99s win is=
immeasurably more significant than Brexit, not merely for America but fo=
all those nations that look to it for a lead and who now see an utterly
unpredictable man at its helm. This was a vote that signalled America=E2=
descent from optimism to pessimism. Eight years ago it voted for =E2=80=9C=
and for the slogan =E2=80=9CYes we Can=E2=80=9D. Mr Trump=E2=80=99s camp=
aign was one that painted
America as a victim.
For those who saw the Brexit vote at first hand what has happened in
America will seem all too familiar. At its heart is a nation almost spli=
down the middle in which neither half can comprehend even for a moment
what drove the other to vote the way it did. And the more the wise heads=
yelled that people could not vote for this man, the more convinced his
audience became that he was just what they wanted.
His very unsavouriness to the nation=E2=80=99s ruling elite, to its inte=
and liberals and even to the grand figures in the Republican establishme=
became almost his greatest selling point to a segment of society convinc=
that what it needed most was something different. Even if he had not won=
the scale of anger and division he stoked would have been hard to quell.=
Across the states, Mr Trump touched a chord with the angry, working clas=
white mainstream who have seen the certainties of their world fade with
globalisation, with free trade, with technology and with the sense that
America no longer punches its weight in the world.
As with Brexit, an emotional appeal with a simple slogan overcame every
rational explanation, many accepted truths and every legitimate doubt
about the worthiness of the candidate. As with Brexit it did not matter
that there were no details behind the sweeping promises; the people vote=
for change first and resolved to worry about the details later.
No position was too outrageous; threats to jail his opponents, muzzle th=
press or ban an entire religion from entering the country all failed to
dent his appeal. His praise for Russia=E2=80=99s leader and refusal to d=
endorsements from the Ku Klux Klan made no difference.
And only far too late did the establishment begin to sense the danger.
Just as David Cameron, the former British prime minister, loftily
dismissed the UK Independence Party as =E2=80=9Cfruitcakes, loonies and =
so Mrs Clinton described half of Mr Trump=E2=80=99s supporters as =E2=80=
The fact that some of them are deplorable does not lessen the foolishnes=
of tarring the rest with the same brush. Mr Trump came to see the brexit=
campaign as a template, even flying in one of its leader=E2=80=99s Nigel=
for support and advice. He predicted his victory would be =E2=80=9CBrexi=
plus plus=E2=80=9D. As Mr Trump dug deeper into the core of discontent M=
appeared to abandon them in favour of more traditional bases of support,=
endeavouring to drum up the fear he engendered among women, minorities a=
Many of those who voted for him were keenly aware of his shortcomings. B=
the grievances which impelled them to support him outweighed any distast=
they might have. Speaking outside a polling station in Brooklyn, an
unemployed IT manager admitted: =E2=80=9CI don=E2=80=99t know if I trust=
considered him =E2=80=9Cthe lesser of two evils=E2=80=9D. More positive =
of how he would =E2=80=9CMake America great again=E2=80=9D =E2=80=9Cdrai=
n the swamp=E2=80=9D and bring
back lost jobs. Another way of saying the same thing is that he promised=
to turn back the clock to an era when America was more sheltered against=
the economic forces of the world.
Many will speculate that in Mrs Clinton, the Democrats gifted Donald Tru=
perhaps the only opponent he could defeat. He could not have chosen
someone more suited to his strategy. Mrs Clinton represented everything
his rising opposed. Aside from the liberal policies which most Democrats=
would espouse she spoke to a sense of an establishment continuum, and a
proximity to the hated Wall Street whose leaders escaped meaningful
sanction for the economic crash. But she also seemed attached to the ver=
groups this rebellion has targeted, most particularly the working women
and immigrants who are crowding them out of the labour market, the colle=
graduates enjoying prosperity as they saw their traditional industries
There is no question that she also faced misogyny =E2=80=94 the caller t=
Limbaugh=E2=80=99s rightwing radio show who said she reminded him of eve=
ex-wife also touched a nerve with some voters. We will never know for su=
the impact of the resurrected FBI probe into her emails, but the
conjecture will be that it gave some voters the permission they were
looking for to cast their ballot against her.
But there was also a joylessness to her campaign, almost a sense of
entitlement. For what was meant to be her victory party she hired the hu=
and soulless crystal palace, the Jacob Javits conference centre, seeming=
so she could indeed point to the great glass ceiling above her head as s=
declared that she had smashed through it. That moment will have to wait.=
Inside the hall, as the reality dawned, one could see the incomprehensio=
among Clinton supporters. They were having to cope not merely with defea=
but with a defeat they simply cannot understand. It is a defeat which is=
going to force people to revise their view of America.
Mr Trump and his insurgents cheerfully broke every rule, told
extraordinary untruths and adopted policy positions which strain
credibility. The greatest worry for his opponents =E2=80=94 and indeed f=
wider world =E2=80=94 is that having won by defying every conventional w=
has no reason to start listening to it now. There will be few restraints=
to stop him fulfilling pledges to tear up the nuclear deal with Iran,
scrap proposed trade treaties or weaken America=E2=80=99s commitment to =
Again, as with Brexit, minorities will wake this morning more fearful
about the prejudice which has now been legitimised and unleashed against=
Once every few decades America has managed to find the right man for a
crisis of confidence, perhaps most notably the trustbusting Teddy
Roosevelt. Mr Trump rose to power by recognising that his country once
more had a yearning for such a man. There the similarity would seem to
end. But he has now delivered the most stunning revolt in his country=E2=
history. Americans and the world can now only hope that he somehow manag=
to prove that =E2=80=94 against all the obvious indicators =E2=80=94 he =
is capable of
rising to those heights and managing the demons he has set free.
### - right wing all the way! 'might is right' rules again big time!
what hope for the world now??
in truth; probably even less than before...
make no mistake we ARE insane!
and well, seein' as we're obviously all completely nuts hehehe...
who shall we bet on getting nuked first then eh? eh?
somewhere in the middle east possibly?
(small ones to start with, of course, save all the big ones for later)
so open up the pearly gates, we're all gonna die! :)