The American people have spoken, and Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Trump's victory is being described as the biggest upset ever in US Presidential history. Hiliary Clinton didn't just lose the Presidential race, she was swept away, even in her own Democratic heartlands.
Not unsurprisingly, Trump's election is causing some concern in the rest of the world. Curriencies around the world initiatlly dropped when the Trump victory was announced. The value of the US dollar, the Euro, pound sterling and the yen fell, the DOW Futures were down 800, and the value of the Mexican peso hit an all time low.
There were anti-Trump riots across America, following Trump's election win:
Trump is a President-Elect who is a political novice. He has no experience of working in government, he has no experience in the armed services (he avoided the draft for the Vietnam War), and the following, unflattering, portrait of him was documented by the Huffington Post: 'Trump has a disturbing record of bigotry, misogyny and sexual abuse, dishonesty, predatory business practices, association with organized crime figures, and misues of charitable entities. He had also advocated torture, bombing civilians, and other reckless acts that no conscientious military officer could carry out'.
Also, since becoming President Elect, Trump has abused the public trust by using his position to further his business interests.
(Hey, America! Why isn't all this important? Do you really endorse and promote this at your highest level of leadership?)
During his Presidential campaign, Trump was rejected even by senior members of his own political party. And immediately following his election win, the New York Times reported that websites about immigration to Canada had crashed.
Also, perhaps even more surprisingly, Trump was unable to identify substantive policies during his election campaign, with the exception of attention-grabbing headlines, frequently made up as he went along. Or, to put this another way, Trump's policies seemed to be more reactive and aimed at grabbing headlines, than they were part of any comprehensive plan.
But all of this didn't matter. Too many working class Americans and white collar workers were sick of being ignored and marginlized. These are the voters who lost their homes, their jobs, and maybe their futures. They were angry. And then Trump came along and promised to upend the system that they believed was to blame. This was a system that these voters saw as too cosy with Wall Street, including the Clinton Foundation's relationship with big donors and foreign governments.
But perhaps the biggest irony of them all now is - how can a billionaire possibly represent the working class and turn their fortunes around? Do they have anything at all in common? Can Trump really be considered to be the champion of the working classes?
The US election results were also a continuation of the trend observed in the recent Brexit vote of Britain's decision to leave the EU. This trend is towards nationalism instead of globalization, more strictly enforced ethnic borders, is against governments that appear to be out of touch with the people, and is also very much a reaction against the establishment. The day after Trump's election was confirmed, the New York Times declared that his vicotry was 'a stunning repudiation of the establishment'.
Endorsements of Trump by world leaders have also been controversial. Trump was preferred by Cambodia's Hun Sen and the North Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said he was 'pleased' by the Trump victory. Philippine President Duterte also welcomes Trump because he believes that the president-elect "is not gung-ho on democracy and human rights". Phew. How such endorsements will translate into foreign policy remains to be seen.
The Wall Street Journal described Trump's victory as possibly 'the biggest shock to the world's financial system since the financial crisis". Although whether or not the US economy will be hit to the extent that the British economy was wounded by the Brexit vote, is also unknown. Although this is unlikely.
A celebrity TV star, with no experience in government, and with a history of sleazy behaviour and divisive politics, will now lead the largest economy in the world.
Trump proved himself during the election campaign to be abusive, aggressive, loud, boastful, racist, misogynist and vindictive. But perhaps the office of the President will be able to smooth out some of these excesses. Well, maybe. Trump is not known for moderation, and he is unlikely to change the traits that got him elected in the first place. This is, even if he could change himself.
Trump's promotion of one of his campaign managers, Stephen Bannon, to chief strategist and senior advisor, is yet a further lunge to the right. Cosmopolitan claims that Bannon opposes multiculturalism and believes in the supremacy of the white race. Former Ku Klux Clan leader David Duke described Bannon's election as 'excellent'.
Trump's relationship with the Ku Klux Klan was analyzed by Al Jazeera TV:
Trump's election win has been a seismic shift in American politics and society. Whether Trump can deliver on his election promise to 'make America great again' is one of the big questions of our time.
Also, trying to figure out Trump's foreign policy is the other big question. During his election campagin, Trump's foreign policy, if any coherence could be discened at all, was contradictory and confrontational. Hopefully, he was just trying to grab headlines. Hopefully.
Oh yes. And when his Presidency takes effect in January, Trump will have the nuclear codes with him at all times. Whatever way you look at this, the combination of Trump's behaviour and personality, along with his possession of the nuclear codes, is not a good mix.