In the aftermath of the Brexit vote here in the UK, what Mrs May called the ‘liberal metropolitan elite discovered how little its members disliked direct democracy; it is one thing to be in the vanguard leading the people, but quite another to be in the guard’s van being led by them. It seems as though we shall be seeing a repeat of this in the USA where the people have gone and ignored the advice of their self-appointed betters and elected Donald J Trump. The number of times the BBC have mentioned that he has no political experience suggests the Corporation still does not understand the phenomenon with which it is dealing.
Mrs Clinton had plenty of political experience, and yet it did not stop her from shooting herself in both feet and them complaining about having to limp. She and her advisers have known for nearly a decade that she used a private email server when she was Secretary of State; had they put as much effort into trying to explain why and what the results were as they have put into trying to spin the story, Mrs Clinton would have been much better placed – and the narrative that she was liar who could not be trusted would have been deprived of one of its main sources of evidence. If political experience doesn’t suggest you avoid this sort of problem and this kind of handling of it, people are quite entitled to wonder what its use is. Similarly, no one made her take large fees from Wall Street bankers and thus identify herself with the architects of the crash of 2008; she did that all by herself. No one made her try to major as a champion of women sho had suffered sexual abuse, she did that all on her own – whilst still being married to ‘Slick Willie’ Clinton. No one made her talk about ordinary people as ‘deplorables’, that was clearly exactly how she thinks of many of then; they have reciprocated by coming out to vote against her. That a retired POTUS should live decently is one thing, that he should become a multi-millionaire is another; ask Mr Blair about the same phenomenon with ex Prime Ministers.
‘We the people’ seem to have tired of the professional political class who seem to despise the voters who don’t agree with their liberal social views. The problem with being a professional politician is you do need to win votes, and from the get-go Trump has shown he is better at this than those who have spent their lives in politics. Whether he can make a better fist of governing remains to be seen. The out-going POTUS was a one term Senator who had a background in community organising; the next one is a businessman who is used to cutting deals. It’s unclear if Trump has any settled political views beyond being fiscally conservative and socially quite liberal. I’m old enough to recall the pundits predicting Armageddon when that actor chappie got elected in place of the peanut farmer. He turned out to have a good eye for who to put into executive positions and then went off golfing – much like a more recent incumbent (at least on the golfing side).
President-elect Trump has called for unity – among his liberal opponents there is that unity – they are united in shock at what the people just went and did. They need top get over themselves and cut deals with the man who wrote the book on it.