In a state of shock, an early verdict. Trump has no baggage. He starts with a clean sheet

I went to bed confident of victory. I came to in shock.  That was on 24 June. Last night it happened all over again. Trump was right about something. The  establishment keep getting it wrong.  With the election of a defiant anarchic outsider, it  surely marks the end of  dynastic politics in America. And yet there’s life in the establishment yet.

So it was Brexit plus, plus, plus after all.  While the world is not going through a repeat of the world slump of 1931, the impact of the crash of 2008 is creating far bigger ripples for longer than was generally expected.  This is the not- Hitler result. But you can begin to understand better how the Germans fell for him.

We can only hope that Trump spoke in metaphor and grisly jokes. People on his team and the public voted for what they thought he stood for and ignored or excused much of what he actually uttered. He was the opposite of a dog whistler, a megaphone amplifier of  real grievances, neuroses and rebellion against what some call political correctness and others call basic civility.

But will he scrap Obamacare rather than improve it, build a border Wall and try to repatriate millions of Latinos rather than give them resident rights, make the US energy self sufficient and abolish environmental protection? On foreign policy which contradictory pledge will he keep? Will he  go for wiping out  jihadis or pull back further from abroad?

Scrambling around for consolations, Trump was so wacky during the campaign that he starts with a virtual clean sheet. The real world starts here. Was it any more than yet another Trump mood swing that his  victory speech was a complete U-turn from the campaign?

I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us, it’s about us, on our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard fought campaign. She fought it very well. Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude to our country

Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division… I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.

I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important for me.

For those who have chosen not to support me… I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together to unify our great country.”

His pledge of a Trump New Deal is very unRepublican and is Rooseveltian in its ambition. It plays to his instincts as a property developer. It’ll be diverting to see how conventional Republicans in Congress will react to the prospect of voting a trillion dollars on the much needed renewal of America’s infrastructure.

The Brexit theme has just become bigger. Trump’s specific pledge to renegotiate of unpopular trade deals and pivot towards greater US protection will shrink volumes and make it harder for the UK to strike new deals to replace a fall in trading with the EU. Might it have a perverse effect of forcing the EU to become more outward looking?

On social reforms Americans were perhaps fortunate that they were able to achieve a good deal in most states during the Obama presidency. A stay on further abortion reform will give confidence to conservative opinion in both parts of Ireland. In the US the big target for conservatives is reversing the Roe v Wade judgment that permits elective abortion.

Ironically this is also a victory for part of the establishment.   Some consolation can be taken  from the Republican clean sweep in Congress and the forthcoming conservative consolidation of the Supreme Court. Freed from Democrat competition the Republican majorities have the responsibility to check a president who is only nominally one of them.  Establishment members will fill hundreds of posts in the administration and try to turn sound bites into workable policies. Rudi Guilliani was a brazen Trump supporter and the inspiring mayor of New York on 9/11.  He may become one of Trump’s guardians in the White House.

All this is hope and speculation.  Once more it will be said that the polls were not actually wrong but they produced the wrong predictions in the political establishments and mainstream media. No doubt the churn was enormous but if Trump’s was a blue collar victory it surely wasn’t produced by working class trending.  But social media may have undermined the stereotypes that were wrongly thought to be sown up for Clinton.

Whatever powered them, the huge waves created by austerity aren’t exhausted yet.

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  • Old Mortality

    Ryan’s natural instinct will be to prevent Trump spending money and running up huge deficits even if it is capital spending. That is Republican orthodoxy.

  • Old Mortality

    Afraid of what exactly?

  • lizmcneill

    Reduction of voting places in predominantly minority neighbourhoods reduces the minority vote. Limiting early voting reduces the minority vote

    -There are more white people. Do police go into white neighbourhoods ready to shoot people for broken tail-lights or petty crime?

    -The Republicans are against access to birth control/abortion for all races. Women aren’t a subset of Americans? (and yet the 4chan type trolls continually whine that they can’t get laid. Why would any woman risk having a child with these guys?)

    -Would you like to be forced into involuntary “therapy” because you’re (I assume) straight?

    -Maybe the Muslims are int he west because they don’t like beheadings either. Just a thought. And of course there are hate crimes. You’re saying that no one has ever committed a crime because their victim is a minority?

  • lizmcneill

    Pence thinks women should have to carry their rapists’ babies to term.

  • Skibo

    I normally find a shoe shop is adequate!

  • Skibo

    That remains to be seen. He has promised the world without confirming anything. It will be interesting to see what promises he actually keeps. Wonder will he follow up on getting Hillary locked up?

  • terence patrick hewett

    The unthinkable has now happened twice. what if:

    * Le Pen is elected Pres.
    * The EU is reduced to a northern European rump
    * The Euro is reduced to a small core of states who still envisage political union
    * The RoI leaves the EU
    * A United Ireland
    * The UK re-formed as a federation of independent states

    Can’t happen? The above is my Accumulator of the week: after all I can’t do any worse than the pollsters, speculators and markets who got it so spectacularly wrong.

  • Skibo

    Sir R I am afraid all that is going to happen to the working class now is the colour of the shit they have to endure. How is he going to open coal mines where they are not cost effective? How will be help America to build more cars when they can be imported for less?
    You should remember he is a business man at heart and his bottom line will always be profit. He does not support the working man. He has fed off the working man for years.
    Time will tell if I am wrong.

  • Skibo

    Never let facts get in the way of a good story. More whites shot dead than African Americans!
    Fact one. the FBI do not keep figures on the number of deaths at the hands of the police.
    Fact two.
    African Americans make up 13% of the population yet make up 23% of the deaths at the hands of the police based on facts collected by the Washington Post and the Guardian.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Well I hope that doesn’t happen, but I’m more concerned about my relatives in County Clare.

    The Donald owns Doonbeg Golf course, which is a links course situated on the Wild Atlantic Way scenic coast road.

    There were severe Atlantic storms last year and there was some erosion of a part of the course.

    Trump wants to build a wall – the man’s obsessed – to prevent it happening again.

    Clare County Council refused permission, but that was before he become Commander in Chief of the mightiest armed forces that have ever existed throughout history.

    My fear is that either he’s going to make them build it and pay for it, thereby increasing the rates, or alternatively two days after the inaurguration a US aircraft carrier anchors off Doolin and lands a team of US Marine engineers to do the job.

    If that happens they may continue building until they get to the Giants Causway just to show the Mexicans how it’s done!

  • Anglo-Irish

    Yes but what about the Blades getting promoted?

  • Zorin001

    Now your being absurd 🙂

  • billypilgrim1

    “Trump’s campaign was based on firing up whites against minorities.”

    And Clinton’s campaign was based on firing up minorities against white men.

    It’s a pity they couldn’t both lose, but hopefully the silver lining of Trump’s victory will be an end to the rampant wolf-crying of recent years.

  • billypilgrim1

    “Seems some righty folk can’t handle the fact that non-white non-males are fully people.”

    This is precisely the sort of vicious self-righteousness that just caused droves of working class people to vote for Trump, and indeed for Brexit. You have to stop with this stuff. It’s hateful.

  • billypilgrim1

    Great post.

    But isn’t it an odd paradox of the modern liberal left that they believe everything is socially conditioned (including even biologically-observable facts such as one’s sex) except, for some reason, for sexual orientation. That alone is innate, apparently.

  • billypilgrim1

    Indeed, but what’s your argument here? That Donald Trump has been the secret puppet-master of Sinn Féin all these years?

  • billypilgrim1

    “Isn’t he a SF man also?”

    Well, he IS a republican after all.

  • billypilgrim1


    You think it’s a problem for SF, that they have a long-standing relationship with the President-Elect of the United States?

  • Not Brazil

    Indeed, the Donald is neither Republican or Democrat, he’s just the Trump party.

  • lizmcneill

    How is it hateful to point out that the right wing wants to remove rights from women, LGBT people, immigrants and minorities? They keep telling us this, after all.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Sorry, completely lost the run of myself there.

    I got carried away with the whole zeitgeist of the day that’s in it.

    Should know better after all these years, it’s the hope that kills you in the end. I must try to keep firm hold of my normal pessimistic outlook.

    When you always fear the worst it comes as no surprise when that’s what happens.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Obviously not. That’s just your imagination working overtime. Academic research is just one example of objectivity potentially corrupted by the monied powerful. The whole world does not pivot around wee Norn Iron even when general observations may apply here – as elsewhere. Please enlighten me now about Sinn Fein’s academic research.

  • Thought Criminal

    You’re obviously ill informed if you think that it can’t be socially conditioned to have such a behavioural disorder. Listen to testimonies from people who have gone through such a phase:

  • billypilgrim1

    “the right wing wants to remove rights from women, LGBT people, immigrants and minorities?”

    What rights are you referring to?

  • lizmcneill

    The right to marry if you’re not heterosexual, reproductive rights, Republican-governed states specifically targeting minorities voters for suppression, Donald is against freedom of the press, access to health care, the rights of Native Americans to their treaty lands (North Dakota pipeline)

  • Granni Trixie

    Of the undermining impact of Trumps disrespectful attitude to women – that they can be bought for instance. Commodities, get it,

  • Katyusha

    2016 gave us Leicester winning the Premier League and the Cubs winning the World Series. The few minor political upsets we’ve had were tame by comparison
    Hopefully the wellspring of sporting fortune hasn’t been completely run dry!

  • Granni Trixie

    Now you’re talkin’.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Well it was innate in my particular case, how about you?

    I try to take people as I find them, and its never occurred to me that it’s any of my business what they get up to in their personal lives.

    Providing it’s between consenting adults I’ve always gone along with Mrs Patrick Campbell;

    ” Does it really matter what these affectionate people do, so long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses! ”

    As for liberal, I try not to allow myself to be pigeonholed into any particular group.

    I’m liberal and tolerant right up until something effects me or mine personally, at which stage I have a tendency to come over all Genghis Khan.

    So not dyed in the wool liberal. : )

  • Declan Doyle

    Its beneath you

  • Hugh Davison

    I googled breitbart and came up with this:

    And there’s lots more.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Don’t forget Ireland beat the All Blacks for the first time in 111 years!

    Although many of my Irish relatives play the game it’s not my favourite.

    Hurling and Football ( soccer ) are my games.

    My father was a working class northern Englishman with a distrust of Rugby Union commonplace among his peers.

    ” Never take part in a game which entails having to bend over in front of a Public School educated Englishman “, was his advice and I’ve tried to abide by it .

    Only played rugby once and as it was at my secondary school where it was immediately banned following the whole scale fight that broke out after about ten minutes it hardly counts. : )

  • Croiteir

    And the psni

  • Zorin001

    Behavioural disorder?! May LGBT friends will be over the moon when they hear it, I’m sure they will queue up to be cured!

    Jesus wept.

  • Zorin001

    I’m a Villa fan so I know all about pain and misery.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Well yes but Villa have won the Title and played in Europe during my lifetime. United have been Champions of England once and won the FA cup four times all before my lifetime!

    Got a soft spot for Villa though, proper ground and proper supporters one of my favourite away grounds.

    Remember a terrific night match there which ended in a 1-1 draw. Paul McGrath played a blinder for you a few seasons before he came to us.

    Our keeper who had an excellent game that night was Mel Rees, a young Welsh lad who died of cancer while in his twenties and still with us.

  • Anglo-Irish

    The differences between Germany’s response to his victory and our response is interesting.


    The UK,

    Basically, Germany ” Well done, any chance you might start to behave like a civilized human being now that you’ve won? “.

    The UK, ” Well done, don’t forget the ‘special relationship’ and also when next you ask us to jump don’t forget to tell us how high. ”

    Anyone who thinks we have any ‘special relationship’ shouldn’t be let out without their mothers.

    I don’t suppose May does but she feels it necessary to play the game.

  • hotdogx

    Everything will be changed utterly if Britain no longer foots the bill! The only way unionism defends the NI statelet and the necessity of the union is by showing its failure, it only exists on handouts. The only thing that’s a bit better in NI is the healthcare everything else is much worse!

  • hgreen

    So you don’t have any evidence to back your claim up. In fact Clinton got more of the popular vote. Stop lying.

  • lizmcneill

    When did she say that whites were criminals or that they should be blocked from immigrating into the USA?

  • John Collins

    And Murmhur’s close friendship with Tony Blair

  • OneNI

    First four entirely possible – even have a certain logic – but a United Ireland after RoI leaves EU? I assume you remain within the UK possibly as part of point 6 a Federation?

  • lizmcneill

    “I don’t like Themmuns.”

    It is the main policy of those up on the hill, so there’s precedent.

  • eamoncorbett

    No need to worry, I predict he will hire and fire his CoS within weeks of taking office and far from implementing his far fetched policies he will be arguing non stop with his own cabinet as well as firing all around him . That’s the nature of this beast his ego is bigger than the job itself . He will alienate not alone the country he purports to love but the White House itself from the American people . I don’t think he’s capable of change because up to now he’s shown no capacity to do just that . A battle a day , just like Stormont.

  • eamoncorbett

    Well so far he’s put himself first.

  • OneNI

    The likelihood is that USA and UK will sign a deal. what will the Republic do?

  • eamoncorbett

    It’s about time the popular vote becomes the actual vote if this happened years ago we wouldn’t have had Bush jnr.

  • Karl

    We’ll continue to trade with the 500 million in the EU.
    No instead we’ll go and tell the indians that they need to take back their students and then ask if they’ll do a deal with us on whiskey and weapons. After that we’ll apply to join the economic powerhouse that is the Commonwealth so we can sell to the burgeoning 100 million strong middle class in Zimbabwe. After that we’ll ask France, no, Germany, no, America, no, ah China yes, then we’ll ask the Chinese to fund, build and control our next generation of strategic energy and transport links.

  • eamoncorbett

    The way Dodds is ranting at the moment he might be seeking a wall along the border and getting the South to pay for it.

  • Thought Criminal

    It’s called tough love. Some people just don’t like hearing the truth.

  • Thought Criminal

    This has been envisioned by many as a likelihood as a result of Brexit. There was an article in The Economist envisioning this and harmony in a prosperous British Isles as a result, but they deleted it from their site before the Brexit vote as it didn’t align with their anti-Brexit agenda.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Sim, I have other things to do. I had posted quite a bit and replied to several points.

    One thing to notice about the lefty social justice warrior types, when they are confronted with a different view, they resort to aggressive insults and the like. Not much in the way of fact based arguments.

    On gay therapy. Just look it up. Contrary to popular SJW opinion, you are not born gay, and it is unnatural. Many factors cause people to fall into this life style. There are many success stories of people who have worked through Christian therapy and got out of the gay lifestyle and back to a normal hetro life.

  • Sir Rantsalot
  • SeaanUiNeill

    “You’re obviously ill informed if you think that it can’t be socially conditioned to have such a behavioural disorder.”

    Just going from my experience of quite a few sufferers, “homophobla’ seems to clearly fit this description.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Sir R, we must now wait and see just how much was Donald being “sincere” as human beings understand the term and just how much was simply rhetoric to attrach the massive outsider protest vote. Neither candidate was going to be really in touch wtih the poor and dispossessed in any meaningful way, now, where they? I’d imagine “put them first”as in “put them first in the line of battle” myself.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I suppose I have had enough family in the United States over some generations now to recognise that the simple term “America First” has an historical shadow:

    How much of this will play out in a world where the US has dominated trade negotiations and distorted them in favour of its own 1%, so just how much of the Jingoism will actually be permitted by those hard headed Republicans funded in their campaigns by US companies who source their product abroad? It’s not as if Trump can act without their support, he’s only the president!

  • On the fence!

    You forgot Jim Allister and Eamonn McCann joining forces at Stormont to form an opposition that “Themmuns” in power are actually frightened of!

  • Zorin001

    “One thing to notice about the lefty social justice warrior types, when they are confronted with a different view, they resort to aggressive insults and the like. Not much in the way of fact based arguments.”

    Gamergate, 4Chan, et all! We on the Left can troll as well but we haven’t plumbed the depths that the alt-Right have.

    What was it Jesus said about the Mote and the Beam?

  • billypilgrim1

    She didn’t say that.

    She did say they were “deplorable” and “irredeemable”. Hardly surprising that they in turn, and in decisive numbers, declined to vote for her.

    The left would be wise to respond to this catastrophic defeat with a modicum of humility, but the signs so far are not promising. We’ve tried shrill self-righteousness and the humiliation of white men – turns out, it’s not an election-winning strategy. Indeed, it only brings forth someone like Trump, the very personification of the caricature the liberal left have been pushing for years about the ‘patriarchy’.

    I include myself in this. The liberal left has been so hyper-sensitive to racism, sexism, homophobia etc, that there is now a decisive electoral majority that doesn’t care any more if you call them racist, sexist, homophobic etc. That’s worth reflecting on.

    We’ve been crying wolf. Well, now we’ve got a wolf.

  • billypilgrim1

    Please don’t misunderstand me. I DO think that sexual orientation is innate. Although I’m not sure it’s 100% innate – I suspect there’s a degree of nature/nurture, weighted towards the former.

    Most people would agree that sexual orientation is a spectrum, and that it’s not necessarily fixed in one place for life. It seems reasonable to me that societal and moral factors might influence one’s relative position on that spectrum.

    What I find curious though is a certain dogmatism on the modern liberal left that nothing in human behaviour is innate, except for this one thing, which is 100% innate. I’ve been subjected to a red-faced denunciation for daring to suggest that there’s anything innate about a woman wanting to have a baby. But I’ll bet that same person would denounce me just as angrily were I to suggest that sexual orientation might be influenced even slightly by social factors.

    Oh, and I hope it goes without saying, but I’ve always taken the view that other people’s sex lives are none of my business, and that the advance of gay rights has been one of the greatest civilising success stories of my lifetime.

  • billypilgrim1

    “The right to marry if you’re not heterosexual”

    Is Trump against same-sex marriage? I must admit this is news to me. Genuinely interested, if you have a link?

    “Republican-governed states specifically targeting minorities voters for suppression”

    Electoral chicanery is a pretty much baked into the cake in the US. The House is gerrymandered to an extent that would make Basil Brooke blush, and they just accept it. It sucks, but it’s part of the landscape. Democrats do it too, and in many places are the worse offenders. I share your concern and distaste, but not your one-eyedness.

    “Donald is against freedom of the press”

    He has talked about brining US libel law into line with English law. I agree this is alarming, as English libel law is an international scandal. But rest easy. The First Amendment makes this impossible.

    “…access to health care”

    This is a policy position. It has nothing to do with rights. People do not have a ‘right’ to Obamacare. Indeed in the US they have never established that healthcare is a right. You and I might agree that it should be, but what we think ought to be doesn’t make it so.

    “the rights of Native Americans to their treaty lands (North Dakota pipeline)”

    Again, an appalling policy position, but not one of fundamental rights.

  • Anglo-Irish

    I’d agree with that, and of course the thing about sexual orientation is that it isn’t completely black and white in terms of if you’re heterosexual you’re dominated by it and can’t leave any female alone and if you’re homosexual you’re the same except with members of your own sex.

    There are all kinds of variations and providing it’s among consenting adults it’s nobodies business other than those directly involved.

    I agree on the nature/nurture element also, your environment and upbringing together with the views of those closest to you has a major impact on your outlook.

    How else do children learn to dislike and distrust others based purely on their ethnicity?

    On occasion I pick my grandchildren up from pre school and junior school.

    There is a mix of racial background as you’d expect in any major city, still predominantly white but Asian and African well represented.

    They all mix together with no apparent problem and hopefully it will last, although I’ve no doubt that some will end up having their views poisoned by some inadequate impressing their bias toward the fellow humans they consider different.

  • approved

  • Zorin001

    He’s beginning to remind me of Huey Long, just without the progressive social policies.

  • Zorin001

    The Left forgot that social justice goes hand in hand with economic justice, by supporting Free Market Capitalism (or at best enabling it) they left themselves wide open to a Revanchist Right able to demonise the “other” as the root cause of the collapsing prosperity of the Working and Middle class.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    A while back on Slugger, Z001, I compared Trump to the second century emperor Didius Iulianus, who was the first man to pay good money to simply buy the Imperium!!! He lasted three months. I doubt my American cousins will be as lucky in this as the Romans Iulianus ruled

    My wife quoted something Madeline Albright recently said to me this morning:

    “People are talking to their governments on 21st-century technology. The governments hear them on 20th-century technology and are giving 19th-century responses.”

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