Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Donald Trump is President of the USA - The stars look very different today

2016 - the year that started with the death of David Bowie, will end with Donald Trump as President of the USA. This is the second time this year that many of us have awoken to find that the pollsters are wrong, that the "ordinary Joe in the street" is completely out of kilter with the political elite. Unlike most US elections, this one seems to have been decided by the FBI. The "crooked Hillary" jibe seems to have resonated with the electorate, following the FBI's intervention to cast a cloud over the Clinton campaign.

I suspect that rather like Brexit, no one really expected it to actually happen, so for many of us we'll have to get our thoughts together and work out what it means. The one thing that is crystal clear is that the concept of "Old Politics" are out of the window. Perhaps the two people in the UK with the most mixed emotions will be Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May. Corbyn is the antithesis of Trump, however if there is one thing he will know, it is that if nothing else, it shows that the derided outsider can win. Likewise, Theresa May as a Conservative, would normally be expected to be quite happy. One can only speculate what her feelings will be. Trump has publicly stated that he supported Brexit and for him, he saw it as a sign in the stars. The one UK politician who must be chuffed is Nigel Farage. Although Farage has never won an election, he has managed to attach him to the coat tails of populist causes that seemingly are changing the post war settlement completely.

Can we in the UK take any positives? Well it seems likely that Trump will be amenable to a trade deal, that will soften the blow to the economy from Brexit. I also suspect that Trump will be far less likely to involve the US in adventurist foreign wars. It seems that Trump is likely to get on better with Russia than a Clinton regime, which is likely to lower the risk of a potentially apocalyptic clash. Trump has stated that he will give Russia and Assad free reign in Syria to destroy ISIS, which may be a good thing for the world.

It is always worth remembering that in politics, nothing is ever as bad or good as it seems. There is a huge inertia in the civil service. What will America look like in four years? Don't ask me, my crystal ball has been extraordinarily cloudy this year. I doubt that the Mexican wall will ever be built. I doubt he'll double the growth rate in America. I doubt that many US voters who seemingly registered to vote for the first time to sweep Trump in will vote for him next time. But who knows. When it comes down to it, the best thing for the world is that he runs a successful, peaceful country. Only time will tell.

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