Wednesday, November 09, 2016


As I write, it looks like Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States.

Even typing that sentence feels unreal.

America has elected a con-man, a liar, a demagogue.

Why? My best guesses are:

  • The weakness of Hillary Clinton, one of the least talented and dislikable politicians to ever run for the White House.
  • The appalling effects of the 2008 recession, which large parts of the United States have never recovered from.
  • The ridiculous levels of executive pay, which cause huge amounts of resentment in ordinary people, whose wages have stagnated and in some cases actually diminished over the past couple of decades. 
  • Globalisation, which means that 'ordinary' people now find themselves competing against much of the world.
  • The failure of President Obama, who, lest we forget was elected on a 'hope and change' platform. He did provide change, but not enough, and his second term in particular was largely devoid of hope.
There are a two consolations from the election of Donald Trump

1) The entire American political system is designed to restrict the power of monarchs. Many Americans and foreigners don't realise how limited the powers of the President are, and how largely symbolic the role is.

2) With any luck Trump will find Benjamin Netanyahu  as obnoxious and repulsive as Obama did (and every other world leader). But unlike Obama, Trump may be able to turn that dislike into positive action. Dark days for Israel? I fervently hope so.

What lies ahead? Who the hell knows - perhaps a recession followed by a shallow recovery followed by the election of someone more able 4 years from now? Urgh. My predictive powers have been rubbish this year



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