So it happened. Social media has cried out, as did the protestors up and down the cities of the world. Donald Trump will be the next President of the *cough* United *cough* States of America.
What you ask are we to do about such a result? Well they said people were sick of politicians, we just didn’t think they were sick enough they’d bring someone in with next to no political experience. Domestically, the US is in for a shock. In this regard it truly is ‘Brexit times ten’. Hate crime was said to rise on the announcement of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Luckily however politicians were united in their condemnation of the attacks and the establishment reacted positively in its attempt to weed out such hate. The US has no such luxury – the President-elect, is the new establishment and has run on a platform that sought to blame many of America’s problems and threats on minorities, especially Mexicans, Muslims, and America’s economic competitors. Donald Trump’s call to be the one to ‘unite the country’ is laughable at best, never has there been such a divisive figure to enter the White House.
Domestic issues aside, Trump’s break from convention on foreign policy issues is a cause for concern for the international system and many of America’s allies. The US holds key positions on everything from the UN Security Council to NATO to the World Bank and the IMF, many of which offer security and support to many developed and developing nations all across the world. Trump’s call to end the ‘something for nothing’ nature of America’s support for other countries, means dependents need to think again as they plan their defence arrangements, trade deals and relations with their neighbours. There may need, for example, to be a push for a strengthening of individual armies in Europe or the creation of the much talked about ‘European Army’ in the face of Trump’s belief that NATO and Article 5 is no longer fit for purpose. It was after all America that invoked it last in response to the attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001 with Britain, France and others joining the ‘War on Terror’. It is regrettably critical in this regard that countries such as Britain work their hardest to build relations with the Trump administration to push for the continuance of America’s support of these organisations and conventions. Failure to do so will see the biggest shift of power of the last thirty years at least, with Russia surely the most likely benefactor of a weaker western alliance.
The truth is that we have all underestimated the man and what he can achieve, I’m sure given his business success that we’re not the first. So we need to ask ourselves, does Trump represent the new politics; populist and nationalistic? I fear so. America is currently undergoing a democratically sanctioned social project, the price of which may be incredibly costly not just for America, but for the world.
At this stage it’s very hard to see the positives. I hope and pray that the administration is very different from the campaign. It will be the job of Congress and the Supreme Court to check and balance against the Presidency. The Republican Party hold Congress however and are likely to approve any of Trump's nominations to the Supreme Court, changing the face of law making for a generation and in turn the Republican's hold over all parts of the US political system. I still have hope that his more extreme policies won’t see the light of day, too many of those Congressmen rely on the votes of the very people Trump rallies against. In the end their quest for re-election will soon trump unity.
I’ll probably hug the walls of Parliament next time I go for a visit. Give us parliamentary democracy over this any day.