The American voting public has just elected Donald Trump as the next President of the USA. Here is why it is a disaster.
He is a serial business failure. He would be worth twice as much if he left his father’s inheritance alone. He is a serial groper, harasser and misogynist. He mocks the disabled. He throws scorn on Muslims. He wants to build a wall to keep out Mexicans. His reality TV show failed. Routinely, his casinos, hotels and golf courses fail. He doesn’t pay his taxes and says that it ‘makes him smart’ for not doing so. He did deals with the Yakuza in 1992 to keep his businesses afloat in Japan, only to see them fail too. He thinks that lying or just making things up is perfectly acceptable. He has never held political office. He has no experience of political life at all.
The reasons for his win are complex but not unsurprising. The American dream fell apart a long time ago and Trump capitalised on the fear and uncertainty facing so many. Social divisions have grown so wide that the top strata of society have no connection to the rest. His win gives succour to the alt right, bigots, racists and fascists the world over. This is worrying, especially in Europe at present. It will close off the nations of the world, not bring them together. It could firmly lead to the end of the West for good, but the disease of hyper-financial capitalism and ethnic nationalism will thrive. Perhaps this is the parting shot of western capitalism before it fizzles out, only to find new ground in the east.
There is much thinking to suggest that it was the poor, less educated ‘left behind’ who voted form Trump, but as the post-election analysis is likely to reveal, it was also m rich, educated white groups outside of the big diverse states that voted for Trump. All these groups want ‘their country back’ – but this is merely cover from overt racism and self-interest. In this case, is derived through fear that their positions in society are at risk because of the immigrant, the minority, the other. Like Brexit, it was not just poor, white uneducated folk in the north who voted but richer, white, educated and mortgage-free folk in the south who also voted for Brexit.
What we have in the world today is a global population more connected to each other digitally but less so culturally or politically. Hate and self-interest trump any sense of collectivity. It is a post-west world and America is losing its grip. Americans are angry but were directed to vent their fury at Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, etc. This is fascism in all but name. This is the new normal, and now both sides of the Atlantic will feel it, and for the foreseeable future.