What are the positives of a Trump presidency?
• 06 Jan 2017
There is no escaping that emotions are high following Trump's unexpected win. He fought a dirty campaign and upset a lot of people both at home and abroad. But the American people have spoken and the roller coaster campaign has, at last, ended with a clear result. Love it or hate it, that's democracy.
The parallels with Brexit are well documented: the pollsters got it wrong, the campaign was nasty and the result was greeted with disbelief around the world.
But let's look at this with a clear head as it's not all doom and gloom, there are certainly positive aspects.
Trump is in no one's pocket. His campaign was self-funded so he doesn't have to return any favours. He believes he is acting in the best interests of America, just as Putin fights for Russia, Trump will put America first. This approach does you no favours on the international stage but its difficult to argue against.
Campaigning rhetoric is always exaggerated. Look at the Brexit campaign: wildly misleading promises were made and then buried after the vote. That's electioneering for you. But the predicted post-Brexit economic meltdown didn't materialise (save for a devaluation of the pound) and life carries on.
Trump also kicked political correctness into touch. While this is uncomfortable, it is also refreshing as politics can often become stifled when there's an elephant in the room. He vocalised concerns that many people were too afraid to discuss. And the American political system had become chocked by a self-serving political elite. Bernie Sanders had the same agenda albeit from a totally different angle. Had the Democrats chosen him to fight Trump he would have won because he was less offensive. But the anti-establishment vote would have prevailed. Clinton, the career politician, proved to be just too toxic; she had too much baggage. Trump simply walked on the presidential flight with just hand luggage while Clinton was being body-searched in customs (maybe too many metaphors but you get the idea).
How will America fare under his leadership? His agenda is selfish: he doesn't want to police the globe, he wants to re-negotiate trade deals, send illegal immigrants home, borrow money to boost the economy and cut taxes. His mission is to give working families their mojo back. So in time, with a more considered tone, Americans will probably come to love him IF he rises to the occasion. But, just like Brexit, there are a lot of bridges to build. He has already proved one thing - that he's a winner. If there's one thing Americans love it's a winner.
With a Republican majority on Capitol Hill, he has the opportunity to achieve much. Let's hope he surrounds himself with intelligent and capable people. Several commentaries that I have read have said that this shock to the system was not only predictable but also necessary. I think he will either be a disaster or an unqualified success and my instincts tell me it will be the latter. Orange is the new black.
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