Well. I cannot say that turned out how I hoped but it did largely turn out as I expected.
I said all along that I hoped Hillary Clinton would win the US presidential election. The woman is as crooked as a corkscrew, in my opinion, but I at least thought she was actually capable of doing the job, whereas Donald Trump strikes me as someone who is just temperamentally unsuited for the office of president (that’s my delicate way of saying the guy is clearly bonkers). However, I also said all along that I thought ‘The Donald’ would ultimately win because of the way in which he has tapped into a populist mistrust of Establishment politics and the political elite that run it. I suspected that people would come out and vote for Mr Trump who do not usually use their vote at all or, indeed, have never cast a vote before in their entire lives. I always thought that Mrs Clinton’s unpopularity was also woefully underestimated. People may think The Donald is a joke, maybe even a dangerous one, but a lot of people hate Hillary and those that hate her really hate her. There are no half measures. They do not simply dislike her. They despise her to their very cores. She was, in truth, an absolutely shocking candidate and should never have got the Democratic nomination. I am sure they could have beaten Mr Trump with just about anyone else. I suspect the Democrat vote was badly depressed as a consequence. The Republican field was risible too, to be fair. I have never known a more dismal electoral offering than the one that was seen at this election. I was heartily glad that I am an Englishman and not an American.
Anyway, back to the result. It goes without saying, I hope, that if you work in the polling profession, you should probably start thinking about alternative employment. As one of my friends put it last night, you might as well be using crystals and tea leaves. Once again, the polls have demonstrated their very profound uselessness. I am, frankly, amazed anyone still pays any attention to them at all.
Of course, as with all these things, what is really needed on the part of the liberal-left intelligentsia at this point is a period of healthy introspection and an open and honest self-critique, asking themselves how on earth they got so horrifically disconnected from ordinary voters. Not just over in the States but here as well. After all, they got the AV referendum wrong, they were baffled the Tories won a majority at the 2015 General Election, worst of all they were just completely nonplussed by the outcome of the Brexit vote. Now this. How did they get it all so wrong?
This won’t happen, of course. I can already hear the Left dismissing the result, and all those dumb voters responsible for it, as the product of racist, misogynist, xenophobic, credulous idiocy. “No, no. It’s can’t be me. No, everyone else must be wrong.” The chances of any self-awareness on their part is simply not possible. They prefer to dismiss anyone who thinks differently to them as a feckless moron. They will learn nothing, subsequently continue to lose, and be infuriated and confused by it. That is their torment and their doom. In the Brexit vote, the liberal-left dismissed their opponents as racist idiots and, for some reason, that failed to win the voters over. In this presidential vote, the liberal-left dismissed their opponents as racist idiots and, shockingly, that continued to fail to win voters over. Well, gee, I dunno’. What do we think, guys? This sure is a conundrum, huh? Will we ever get to the bottom of the deep and perplexing mystery as to why calling people racist idiots doesn’t convince them to vote for you?
I am not pleased with the result but, I must be brutally honest, the complacent self-righteousness of all those patronising windbags, who were so denigrating and sneeringly dismissive of anybody who dared have the temerity to express support for a Trump presidency or voice their objections to the current political status quo, both here and in the States… well, those people are now going into meltdown and, quite frankly, their tears are delicious to me. I did not want him to win but there was always a little part of me that hoped he might, if only to see the self-satisfaction wiped from the smug faces of the libosphere.
The reality of this result will, of course, not be as bad as the hysterical reaction of the left-wing twitterati implies. Don’t get me wrong, I think it will be bad. Mr Trump… sorry, *President* Trump, as we should probably get used to calling him, is a demagogic mountebank. Worse than that, he is a bully and he is now a bully with the platform of being, nominally at least, the ‘Leader of the Free World’ and has a Republican Congress, meaning he can pretty much do whatever he wants. Indeed, he will likely be the most powerful Republican president in living memory. Not since 1928 has the Republican Party controlled the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives all at the same time. It is going to be an unpredictable four years. But do let’s stop panicking! Apart from the fact it solves nothing, let’s be honest, while the guy may be a populist braggadocio of the worst kind, he is not stupid. He is not going to walk into the White House on day one and immediately order his generals to nuke Russia. It is understandable that people are shocked. A bright orange man has just been elected the 45th President of the United States. It will take time for us to restore our sense of equilibrium at such an extraordinary new reality. But, seriously, it won’t be that bad! I shall make another prediction: that wall across the Mexican border will never be built. In any case, if he is really that bad, he will be a one-term president and out on his ear come 2020. So calm down, dear. The world will still be here, spinning inexorably upon its axis. A pumpkin-faced man with a dead squirrel on his head sitting in the Oval Office is not going to change that.
There are opportunities here for Britain too. President-elect Trump will be possibly the most Anglophile president of my lifetime. He is unashamedly pro-Brexit, he takes our side on the Falkland Islands dispute with Argentina, and (in contrast to President Obama and Mrs Clinton) said that Great Britain would be at the front of the queue for trade deals – so Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Liam Fox need to get in there and start schmoozing.
Ultimately, at the end of day, democracy happened. There was a vote and people voted and, as with all votes, the result must be respected.
So, congratulations, Mr President-elect. All I can add is, God save the Queen! Fortunately, we avoid such existential crises here with our vastly superior constitutional arrangements.