The result is disturbing because it asks questions of American culture, the American election system, and even the good sense and decency of the American electorate, since the man they have elected promotes himself as an empty-headed bigot. He comes across as a bawling, bragging, sexist, racist, xenophobic, unsophisticated, socially divisive Fascist. I didn’t imagine that image; he and his campaign created it.
He says he will ‘make America great again,’ but I don’t think anybody should believe it. People like Trump don’t know what greatness is. People like Trump know how to acquire wealth, how to maintain power, how to abuse women, and how to put the planet in peril for the sake of short term pecuniary gain. People like Trump understand bigness, but they don’t understand that greatness is something else entirely. His constant bleat ‘America first’ gives the clue to his ignorance in the matter of greatness, since the single-minded pursuit of personal interest is not the stuff of which greatness is made.
Or have I got it all wrong? Is Trump really a nice guy at heart? The problem with Trump was always that nobody ever knew what they would be getting if he were elected to power. Throughout the campaign he has been the consummate chameleon, forever softening and hardening his position to suit the exigencies of the moment and the nature of his audience. Did he promote his basic nature in the terms listed above simply in order to garner the votes of a majority of Americans? If so, we come back to the disturbing questions.
Time will tell, of course, and I’m sure there are those in America whose only hope is that four years will be insufficient for him to do the damage of which he is capable. But for now, Americans have made their bed and Americans must lie on it. I wish some of them good luck, but I’m more than a little disappointed in the others. As for how his tenure in the White House will affect the rest of us, it remains to be seen. And in spite of the title of this post, I doubt it will be the last word on Trump.