Trump and trends

I doubt that anyone was more surprised than Donald Trump himself, when he became president-elect of America this morning. The current trend for overturning the expected, and making a mockery of the opinion polls has reached across America. Once again, it would seem that the silent majority has chosen to become the outspoken majority.

Of course, less people actually voted for Trump than for all of his opponents combined. But the electoral college system, much like the first-past-the-post system we have in the UK, is no respecter of majority voting. Whatever the arguments behind the system, he has won. It was a surprise to me, as I had always expected Clinton to get almost 60% of the vote. It is not the first time this year that I have been surprised at the outcome of a vote.

Although I voted to Leave, I was still overwhelmed by the decision of UK voters to reject the EU. That same silent majority, many who didn’t normally bother to vote in any election, have sent a clear message to the Establishment, in both countries. Ignore the ordinary people at your peril, or you will eventually reap what you have sown. Of course, I am no fan of Donald Trump. Then again, I wasn’t that happy with the alternative. But I am not an American, and it is not for me to tell them what to do with their country. However, that country does have an impact on what happens in the rest of the world, so it is understandable that outsiders may have opinions and concerns.

It is early days yet. Despite the rhetoric, Trump cannot just steamroller his plans, and some of his more bizarre ideas, through the American political system. He has to get laws approved, and policies agreed and funded. To presume that he is a one-man band is naive, as it is to believe that he will go ahead with his electoral promises. There is unlikely to ever be a wall built along the border with Mexico. Though immigration laws might become tougher, and we could well see a drift back to a more isolationist country, with the introduction of trade tariffs and increased import taxes.

But the dollar rules in the USA, and in most of the western world too. Sooner or later, big businesses will carry on behind the scenes, allowing Trump to do what is best for them, if not for the workers who mainly voted for him. There is unlikely to be a re-birth of the American Dream. For the rest of us outside of that country, once the streamers have fallen to the floor, the balloons deflated, and the cheering can no longer be heard, it will be situation normal in America.

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25 comments

  1. John Liming's Blog

    I know very little about The European Union but the more I read about it the more it seems to me to resemble the flailing and failing United Nations and I have always been a supporter of individual national soveriegnty above some central control agency or body or whatever. I think Great Britain was doing just fine the way She had been for centuries before the EU madness began and I think Great Britain will be just fine again if She decides to give the EU concept the air … But that is just the opinion of an uninformed observer .. me.

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  2. By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff

    I keep saying this, but it really was a perfect storm that got Trump elected. People here are sick of the Washington elite who seem to turn a deaf ear to their constituents concerns once they’re elected. There’s also the mistrust of the media and the interference of Wikileaks and Russian hackers, who really had it in for Clinton for personal reasons. No, I never thought she was a perfect candidate. I would have much rather seen Bernie Sanders go against Trump. But, I do think she was treated differently because of her gender. Honestly. Can you imagine if she had refused to release her taxes as Trump has? And what about all the lawsuits against him including the one involving Trump University which unless the judge rules differently, he will have to testify at before he even takes on the mantle of President? I’m not even going to get into the many allegations of sexual assault lobbed at him. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a racist, misogynistic, bigoted, Islamaphobe, yet people were willing to overlook that and pin all their hopes on that he’s an outsider who can shake up Washington. Well, who knows. Maybe he can. But after appointing Steve Bannon, the epitome of white nationalism as his special advisor, and having surrogates spouting off about a “Muslim Registry” and siting the shameful Japanese internment camps as precedent, I have a sinking feeling as to where this country is headed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      I can sense your pain at the surprise outcome, Kim. For what it’s worth, I think Sanders would have lost even more heavily against Trump. He is a Jewish liberal, and was regarded (strangely from a European viewpoint) as a ‘Socialist’. It does seem that many Americans (not the majority, I am aware) would sooner have Ronald MacDonald in the white house, rather than a woman, a Jew, or a Liberal. Personally, I doubt that the House and Congress will allow Trump to push through his more extreme policy ideas. But like you, I can only wait and see.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Woebegone but Hopeful

    This is a breath of fresh air commentary.
    Usually it is very embarrassing when UK folk who consider themselves comics, pundits, activists, politicians or savvy thinkers on web sites demonstrate their complete ignorance of the US political system, culture and peoples in two or less phrases.
    Trump may have got in on the Republican ticket, but he’s not truly ‘one of them’. With republicans in majority on both houses on Capitol Hill, it begs the question can Trump control the Republicans or will The Republicans control Trump (those who don’t want to ruin him for their own agenda)?
    Best wishes
    Roger

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    • beetleypete

      Thanks for your kind comment, Roger. It seems to me that he must work within the system, as he is unlikely to be able to change it all by himself. My only worry is that Trump was ‘allowed’ to get the nomination by that system, to test how far they could go. His success may well encourage them to go further. Only time will tell.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prole Center

        Yes, Pete, I have that suspicion as well that Trump was allowed to get the nomination, and allowed to win the presidency. What I am absolutely certain of is that Trump is not leading a truly populist movement. I find it to be quite bizarre, and suspicious, that many leftists are elated and encouraged by this outcome.

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      • beetleypete

        It may no longer be relevant to modern American politics, but it reminds me of something from the late 1960s, when I first became involved with the Communist Party. Their policy at the time was to encourage the election of far-right governments. The belief was that this was the only way to stir the opposition into replacing them with a Left-wing alternative, possibly by some form of revolution.
        This extended into the Thatcher era, when some I knew on the extreme Left actually voted for her candidates in the hope of achieving some backlash against her policies.
        This was a flawed policy, that left us with 11 years of Thatcher, so I would caution the Left in America to think hard about what they are celebrating.
        Regards, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ian Gibson Photography

    It seems to me that the political establishment ignores the blue collar vote at its peril, both in Europe and USA.

    The plight of poor Americans of all colours hardly seemed to impact on the establishment. Trump spoke to them and told them what they wanted to hear. They listened and they voted.

    He comes across as a bullying buffoon, but his job is to be popular. He’s good enough at that.

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  5. Eddy Winko

    Lets hope the so called checks and balances are all in good working order, sadly I can’t help but think that there is an under riding xenophobia behind this result and indeed the one in the UK. In fact it seems that much of Europe is harbouring resentment towards outsiders just at a time when many seats of power are up for election.
    I had to laugh at a recent sketch on the radio that saw Trump in the Whitehouse living in an alternative reality created by ‘the system’ including his own red button and a nuclear weapon code of 1234!
    It would make great TV, not so much the Truman Show as the Trump Show….oh no, didn’t he already announce that.

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    • beetleypete

      I regard the ‘Brexit’ domino effect a little differently, as you might imagine. Although much of the media focuses on the racist and isolationist aspects of the political changes, I see the previously disengaged masses finally deciding to try to have a say. Of course, that is an illusion in itself, as little will change radically, either here or in America, at least below the surface.
      When the French peasants had had enough, they stormed the Bastille, and killed all the aristocrats. We don’t do that sort of thing anymore, but the turnaround in voting habits is no less a weapon of protest.
      As for ‘Protectionist’ policies, they are nothing new. They were common in European countries, and in America, for most of the Victorian age, and beyond.
      Best wishes as always, Pete.

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      • Eddy Winko

        Perhaps you are right, the press certainly have a lot to answer for. And you are definitely right to it been an illusion, very little power is held by the government…unless you are Putin.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. lividemerald2013

    I’ve been to two Donald Trump rallies here in Las Vegas, and can now say I’ve seen three presidents (Trump, Reagan, Carter). I actually shook Jimmy Carter’s hand while he was president. The only other major political figure with whom I’ve shaken hands is Mike Huckabee (former governor of Arkansas), a Trump supporter. I’ve been disappointed in American presidents in the post-Reagan era, and I am giving Trump the benefit of the doubt with respect to securing our southern border and ending sanctuary cities. He will be willing to negotiate with Russia, and he will project strength. I know we differ politically, but if you look at what Trump has accomplished every step of the way, you have to give him some credit. It’s been a rare and historic victory. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess, but with Clinton we knew it would result in more scandals and corruption, and political failure in foreign policy. Trump supported the Brexit, and now he’s pulled off a similar political miracle here in the States.

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    • beetleypete

      Thanks, David. I certainly won’t deny that he has pulled off something of a miraculous victory. If he can lessen tensions with Russia, (as long as he is ‘allowed’ to) that can only be a good thing. It does indeed seem as if the ‘Brexit’ trend is continuing. Where next, I wonder?
      Best wishes, Pete.

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