Tuesday, 8 November 2016
I only stayed up to watch the results come in because I couldn't stop sneezing. I didn't really blog it before the election because I didn't care then and I don't really care now. A big change was inevitable sooner or later. The world has undergone a revolution since the dawn of the internet. We've just been waiting for politics to catch up. I will probably blog some further thoughts later in the week - but I think the verdict speaks for itself.
As with Brexit there has been a roar of defiance and a demand for change - without much regard to what that change looks like. It tells you that across the West people have had it with the powers that be. This is, however, not the disaster they say it is. America is no more racist today that it was yesterday.
We should not forget that Obama's time in office has been marked by a gradual militarisation of the police force and multiple police shootings. It should also be noted that an Obama administration has done little to curtail the incarceration rate of blacks or slow the decline of US cities.
As to whether America has suddenly turned stupid and illiberal, it should not be forgotten that the safe space and gradual erosion of free enquiry and free speech is very much a product of the liberal tyranny of the last twenty years. You couldn't invent a more illiberal and self-defeating system. Words give ideas form. The more words you remove from the lexicon the fewer ideas are expressed. Trump is very much an inevitable consequence of that. As you sow, so shall you reap.
Economically and socially the West has been locked in a power paradigm that has long outstayed its welcome. Change has been deferred and prevented and now we are seeing it all arrive at once. A sea change - and not before time I think. I do not endorse or support President Trump, but I welcome the opportunity for America to deal with all those cans they have kicked down the road.
What I would note is that the US does have separation of powers which prevents the president from becoming a tyrant. In fact the US constitution was designed with populist surges in mind as defence against them. The only thing that makes a US president dangerous is the unprecedented rise in the use of executive orders. You can thank Obama for that.