Setting a president: Donald Trump

I have written ten different opening sentences and am yet to get one that I am satisfied with, so this will do. This is such a big moment in the history of the world. So many people are shocked and there is so much to consider and talk about. I wasn’t shocked. This result seemed inevitable. None the less, it took me a good few days to put my thoughts together and write with with some form of coherence.

When I write, I have only one rule. Don’t make a piece more than 1000 words. I just about managed that during Brexit, however I have so much I want to discuss today, that I can’t promise to stick that self-imposed limit. Still, I hope you have the patience.

 

Part 1: The Trump effect

Bring on the wall

“I’m going to build a great wall and Mexico will pay for it”. This was one of Trump’s most memorable policies. Back when many considered him to be a joke, he could say these things just for the attention. But will the man who also wanted a “complete shut down on muslims entering the country” still want to achieve this goal? If so, will he be able to achieve this goal?

I don’t think he wants to achieve this goal.. Honestly, I think it was a reactive statement and one that he won’t do. Now that he has power, he will understand or need to learn very quickly how important international relations are as well as domestic relations. World leaders, with spines, such as Chancellor Merkel, have already sent out stark warnings to Mr Trump.

Say Mr Trump did want to build a wall, how easy would it be? Well, the house, the senate and the presidency all belong to the republicans. Therefore it will be far easier for him to get anything than it was for President Obama. However, the Republicans will be aware of the parties reputation and consequences of some of Mr Trump’s more extreme policies. Lets also remember that he has alienated many republicans and almost divided his party. Therefore they may be less willing to help him than he would hope.

Mr Trump needs to quickly come up with solid Republican policies in order to get the house, the senate and the court back on board, otherwise these will be a difficult four years for him to get things done.

 

When Donny met Vladi

When President Obama was at a G7, G8 or G20 conference, he would stand in the middle and other leaders would be cool standing next to him. He shown a world moving forward and it didn’t hurt your reputation to be with him. Now imagine Mr. Trump standing in the middle. Would President Hollande or Chancellor Merkel be happy to stand with him. Probably not so likely. His inward looking policies suggest America may not stand at the front of the global stage. But if not America, then who?

Well, the likely options are either Europe (Germany), Russia or China. That would signify a much quicker shift in power towards the East than we expected. The world could look very different and a lot less liberal.

G20.jpg

Furthermore, many Baltic countries will be very concerned. Trump has spoken of his dislike of NATO. If he were to undermine NATO, the whole organisation would fall apart. Vladimir Putin’s favouring of him implies that he feels there is good a chance that NATO will fall under the presidency of Mr Trump. The war in Syria could also take a turn as Trump and Putin talk. I know much less about that so can’t predict as much. All I can say is that over the next few years there will be a large shift in world affairs.

 

Turning the heat up

One policy that is certainly worth talking about is climate change. Trump has said that he doesn’t believe in climate change. He claimed it was a myth made by China. Having made progress under the Obama administration, signing the Paris Treaty, the world could see a shift backwards under Trump.

Renewable resources aren’t popular with Republicans. Therefore, it would be a great opportunity for Trump to gain support by ignoring the treaty. As soon as the USA ignore the treaty, then other countries will too and at that stage it will fall apart. We are in a critical time in terms of the environment and it isn’t too far fetched to believe that Mr Trump will stop all progress for a sustainable future.

Part 2: Democrat Deficit

Crooked Hillary

That was truly embarrassing for Hillary. She, someone with a calm persona and wealth of political experience, couldn’t beat the sexist man on The Apprentice. It was shameful for her. She was the reason the Democrats lost. Many people voted for Trump because he wasn’t Hillary. More people voted Romney in 2012 than Trump in 2016. Hillary couldn’t inspire people simply because she couldn’t be trusted.

Hillary.jpg

Americans disliked her relationship with the Saudis. They disliked her husband. Most of all they disliked her e-mails. Through Wikileaks and FBI investigations, we learnt that she couldn’t be trusted in the role. The only reason I would have voted for her was because of the opposition.

One of the big factors that swung in Trump’s favour was the last minute investigation regarding Clinton’s emails. Like with the postal vote in the UK, Americans can vote early  so many people voted before Clinton was found not to be guilty.  That would probably have had a big enough influence to swing it towards Trump.

Feel the Bern

Would Bernie Sanders have done a better job? The answer is ambiguous. Some people may say yes. The main reasons for this are that many saw Hillary as the establishment. Bernie was also against that and probably more moderate than Trump. Bernie also didn’t have scandalous FBI claims against him, so many would have seen him as more reliable. Plenty of people voted for Trump as he wasn’t Hillary. Bernie may have been able to get them back on side.

However, I doubt that he would have been elected. Almost all Americans are to the right of the political spectrum. The rural people Donald attracted wouldn’t want some socialist in charge. The recent political shocks are all right wing authoritarian. Bernie doesn’t represent that and wouldn’t have been able to build  up the anger like Donald Trump has. The problem here was simple that the Democrats didn’t have any good candidates.

 

Part 3: The bigger picture

The polls are wrong

When I woke up and saw the result, I wasn’t particularly shocked. My reaction was rather of small disappointment. So how did the polls get it so wrong. I have three ideas:

  1. Fashionable choices: Trump was seen as nasty. He wasn’t someone who is seen as a good person to vote He was stigmatised just as Brexit was. Therefore people may not have wanted to admit to a stranger on the phone that they were likely to vote for Mr Trump.
  2. Donald until the death: There were most likely voters who wanted to not vote Donald Trump. They wanted to be inspired by Hillary. However she didn’t provide the inspiration, just as remain didn’t. They were so desperate, the named themselves undecided. In the end, they had no choice but to vote for Donald.
  3. Poor weighting: Pollsters weight responses to match them to the size of groups who vote. What most likely happened was that they weighted them wrong. People who voted for Donald and Brexit were the types who wouldn’t usually vote. Therefore, YouGov and the other polling companies, may have just got the proportions wrong and with such fine margins, that can make all the difference.

Nationalism Wins

We seem to be entering a political phase where it is no longer left vs right, but globalism vs isolationism. Sadly, for the globalists such as my self, isolationism has had two big wins this year. Mr Trump is very isolationist. He wants to bring jobs better suited to those in other countries (they have a comparative advantage), back to America. He hates NAFTA and will most likely scrap TTIP.

The failure of Psuedo-Liberalism

There is also a notable shift towards authoritarianism. This in my mind is due to what I like to call psuedo-liberalism. I call it that because most of the liberals today just aren’t very good at being liberal. Liberalism is about standing up for freedoms. These also include freedom of speech and political expression. However so many of todays “liberals” fail to allow speech from those who disagree with them or are concerned.

A true liberal would allow the opponent to have a view and debate it and discuss the other person’s concerns. However, what is more often the case is that they tell their opponents that their opinion is wrong and not allowed. By all means, I don’t agree with discrimination, but I believe the best way to deal with people’s negative opinions is through open and stimulating debate. Modern “liberals” just haven’t allowed for this.

It is quite honestly the fault of these “liberals” that such an authoritarian man has been elected

As peoples concerns have been silenced, they haven’t gone away. They have been bottled up and increasing. It is understandable that many people are concerned with immigration and terrorism. In unstable times, fearful thoughts are predominant. However instead of dealing with these fears properly, “liberals” have just been calling people with concerns racist. While I am pro-immigration, I think it’s a conversation we actually need to have to help people become more assured and intelligent as opposed to angry. As people bottled up their anger, one person said these emotions out loud on a big stage and suddenly everyone agreed with them. Farage said the things that people were thinking, so did Trump. That was how they gained the support. Those who had felt silenced were angry and now they feel free to make political statements again.

Liberals really need to look at what they’re doing and what has gone wrong and become the true liberals I have described. However, I doubt they will.

Divided until the bitter end

If you’re still reading at this point, I commend you. I want to end by talking about how divided the USA is and will be. It has been 5 months since brexit and the divisions are still fierce today. It doesn’t take long to find a bad loser on twitter accusing someone of racism and it doesn’t take long to find a bad winner using the term “remoaner”.

Already it is easy to find people using the vile term “libtard” to describe democrats. The reason people are such bad winners is that they feel they have been losing for many years. They have seen living standards fall.

However these bad winners aren’t helping bring the nation together for a common goal, so to all those in the US get ready for a few rocky years of division and resentment in friend and family groups. It won’t go away overnight.

Conclusion

I’d like to think I have been relatively objective here. Admittedly I was supporting Hillary in the election, albeit begrudgingly. The world will be an interesting place over the next four years. Lets just hope we can survive it.

-Swift Economist

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