An American political commentator said on the radio in the early hours of this morning that he was ashamed to be American moments before Donald Trump secured the nomination to be the 45th President of the United States.
What was he ashamed of? The fact that someone so unqualified and divisive had succeeded to become President? It seems to me that if Americans are to be ashamed it should be about the conditions under which such a result could occur, by which I mean the way the political elite had failed to listen to and truly serve the people.
Many, too many, American’s were simply fed up with the political classes conspiring with big business to keep “the masses” (decent blue-collar Americans) down and in their place.
The Americans who voted for Trump wanted their voices to be heard. Another political commentator asked: “What is Obama’s legacy?”. The answer is Trump. Obama’s professorial style was not enough for many Americans. They want to see real change. They want someone who can truly represent them in a plain speaking way.
That is not to say that Trump will deliver. He can talk. He can deliver a speech. He generates some great sound bites – “drain the swamp”. But can be walk the walk? There are real doubts about that.
But that was irrelevant during the campaigning. Trump calls it a “movement”, a peaceful revolution against the establishment.
During campaigning people live in hope of a better world. Trump promised it and tapped into the American psyche. He is skilled at reading the mood of the nation.
However, if Trump had been competing against someone other than Hillary Clinton, he’d quite possibly have lost. She represented the less attractive aspect of the monied elite. Enough American citizens were tired of that to the point where they ignored Trump’s faux pas and indiscretions.
For some Europeans it will be fun to see what happens next. Others might be nervous. It is politics in high definition technicolor. So much more interesting than boring old British politics.
Another said that Brexit lead the way for Americans to elect Trump as president. There is a great similarity between the two movements.
Some good may come of it. If he gets on with Putin might not that help in defusing the possibility of a third world war?
P.S. These are personal thoughts expressed off the cuff. Many will disagree.