I remember what it felt like waking up to the radio on 24 June this year, hearing that Britain had voted by a small majority to leave the European Union. That went against predictions of a narrow victory for remain and wasn’t the result I had hoped for. It feels the same hearing the news from the USA that early next year will see the inauguration of President Trump.
I’m not a US citizen so didn’t have a horse, donkey, elephant or anything else in the race but the result, like Britain’s decision, has global ramifications. Looking at those who are celebrating the result on this side of the pond doesn’t inspire me with hope. It suggests a continued rise of politics as populism; say what will garner votes even if you don’t have a clue what you will do about it when you win.
I’ve only heard a brief sound bite from Trump’s initial victory speech and he sounded quite conciliatory. Perhaps he is starting to take this seriously? Perhaps he gets access to a better grade of script writers? The question remains what he will actually do. Although he doesn’t have a political track record, he has lived under the public gaze; although he has lived under the public gaze, long-standing characteristics appear to be things like impulsiveness and opportunism.
My friend, Marc, suggests that there are plenty of checks and balances to keep the POTUS in order (although I respectfully note that he wasn’t correct in contending on Monday that Trump didn’t have a hope of winning). The die has been cast and now we need to wait and see what that means. Will the infamous wall get built on the Mexican border? What will happen if Trump fails to pull the promised prosperity for all Americans out of that hat?
The world waits and watches although at least, unlike with Britain, the timescale of substantial changes is obvious!