So, Donald Trump is the President Elect of the United States.
People across the world have watched the unfolding drama during past twenty months, some with increasing fascination and enthusiasm, others with varying degrees of scorn, fear, and trepidation.
This week, I thought that I’d take a break from writing about screenplays and novels to give you my brief take on this seismic election.
Donald Trump – the Teflon Don
To many, Donald Trump personifies some of the best and worst traits of America. Tough, resilient, inventive, brash, rude, and politically incorrect he has battered through a seemingly impervious wall of opposition to grab the Presidency and co-opt conservatives to his personal brand of Republicanism.
Love him or hate him, Trump has gone against the political, financial and media establishment, earned the ire of powerful elements in his own party, and won. No political outsider, with the exception of Eisenhower, has managed to do that before. It is a jaw-dropping achievement against overwhelming odds.
Few, outside his circle of supporters, saw it coming. Pollsters and pundits didn’t. Mainstream media didn’t. Neither did Democrats.
But Trump did. He correctly gaged the mood of the majority of working class Americans and proposed an agenda they could vote for.
Of course, it didn’t help that he was up against a widely disliked and distrusted political opponent in Hillary Clinton who used an insecure personal server to mix confidential government and personal business, then destroyed thirty-three thousand emails that were under Congressional subpoena to hide her tracks and repeatedly lied about it.
It didn’t help that ObamaCare has gone up by double digits in many states, with crippling deductibles.
It didn’t help that businesses are being drowned under an avalanche of suffocating regulations.
It didn’t help that surveys show that over 70% of voters are angry with the government and feel it is heading in the wrong direction.
It certainly didn’t help that NAFTA has cost American workers seventy thousand factory closures since Bill Clinton signed it.
And then, of course, there is illegal immigration. And rampant crime in cities such as Chicago. And homeland terrorism. And WikiLeaks. And Brexit as an indicator of an emerging global backlash against aloof political elites.
In retrospect, should anyone have been quite so surprised at the result?