It was another of those ‘Brexit’ moments. I checked the online news this morning and assumed I must be reading it wrong. So I read it again. And again. But the news remained the same. Donald Trump has been elected 45th President of the United States. And depending on whom you believe, it’s either the dawn of a new political era or the end of days. Personally, I’m guessing it’ll be somewhere in the middle.
But it does look like this is going to change a few things.
Quite how many of his campaign promises Mr. Trump plans to keep – or will be able to keep – remains to be seen. After all, it’s recently been brought to our attention here in the UK that sometimes people make promises in a political campaign that turn out to be less than truthful.
It’s been a fairly divisive campaign, too. Mr. Trump made a reasonably conciliatory speech to his supporters when the result came in, but I can’t help but think that it might have been a little more reassuring to those who voted for someone else if there hadn’t been some hooligan in the background yelling “kill Obama”.*
And I can’t say that I agree with all (or quite possibly any) of Mr. Trump’s ideas and policies. I’ve never met the guy and I don’t know anyone who has met him, so for all I know he may be a thoroughly decent chap. But, to be honest, he doesn’t come across – to me, at least – as a rational, deep thinker who has the best interests of his country at heart.
What I do know, though, is that Mr. Trump’s election shows that politics isn’t working as it used to. And it possibly isn’t working as it should. Because when millions of ordinary, reasonable**, hard-working American people feel so disconnected from their political representatives that they reckon their best option is to vote for, well, that, then something has gone very, very wrong.
And it’s definitely, I might add, a very worrying day for women, minorities, immigrants, gay people, the disabled and anyone who cares about fairness, equality, human rights, basic human decency, the environment, their loved ones and their future.
Those of us who want to create a better world already had quite a job ahead of us. And we’ve now got a few more things to add to our to-do lists.
We’d better get cracking.
* Note to GCHQ: I’m just quoting what someone said. This is not my personal view. 🙂
** Yes, I do think that most of them are perfectly reasonable people. That’s kind of my point.