A New Era in American Politics
Here in London, we stayed up to 4am watching the excellent BBC US Presidential election results coverage. We saw the incoming results from what has been such a diverse and as many found, a divisive U.S. campaign, which has now ushered in a new era for American politics and governance.
Normally those from other nations may not bother to stay up to the wee small hours to watch such. However the the two candidates involved and the known baggage they brought with them to the campaign, did make this election race a fascinating spectacle for many around the globe.
Hilary Clinton the favourite, an experienced party apparatchik, who seems to have been around since her husband Bill was President over 15 years ago was the Democrats candidate. Her role as the powerful Secretary of State under President Obama, was regarded by many as a stepping stone to the White House but in the end this counted as nought.
Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman who had never held any political office and had failed badly in a Presidential bid in 2004, was the rank outsider.
He imposed his formidable personality on the election race, sweeping aside fellow Republican candidates and in effect bulldozing his way to be the only rival to Mrs Clinton and the Democratic Party.
The televised debates between Clinton & Trump were at times acrimonious with enough mud slung to make a decent sized football field!
They made compulsive viewing, more so than any other previous presidential debates.
History was being made.
Mrs Clinton had policies planned that she put to the people. Mr Trump was rather vague on the same. He however made some big bold promises to fix the big issues, not heard of before by the people.
Mr Trump’s antics and comments during the campaign will become the stuff of legend.
Any other candidate who acted his way, would have been bundled away, never to be seen again!
It was understandable that Mrs Clinton and the Democrats, initially thought that with the at times bellicose Mr Trump as her rival, election to the Presidency would be straightforward.
It became clear that Mr Trump in his rousing election speeches and promises during the debates, tapped into the visceral anti establishment mood felt by the majority of US citizens.
These disaffected citizens turned out en masse to vote for someone whom they see as a ‘new broom’ to sweep away over 15 years of distrust in the political system, the stagnation of the economy, jobs and the continued involvement in foreign conflicts.
Mr Trump had no political baggage and to use a cowboy analogy ‘shoots from the hip’.
In computer parlance ‘WYSIWYG’ (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get). This was so refreshing to many voters, fed up with dissembling anodyne politicians.
His various peccadilloes and outrageous statements did not matter to his voters.
As with the quote attributed to Oliver Cromwell nearly 400 years ago, we get Trump ‘warts and all’, nothing is hidden.
Noting the similar feeling between many British and US people, Mr Trump mentioned the momentous UK exit vote from the EU and said he would do a ‘Brexit’ 1000 times over if elected. He did!