Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Get ready for the ride

Leave a Comment

An insurance company newsletter emailed to me last week had an opening sentence that read: “No one saw this coming; no one thought it would happen” referring of course to the US election results.

Well if you’d stuck with the mainstream media over the exhaustingly long election campaign that might well have been the case, but when anyone asked me who would win the US election - and very few did - I would inevitably say “Trump will bolt in.” Not that I would have necessarily voted for him myself, but the portends were all there.

The reason for my optimism for the Trump camp was my propensity to watch the Fox News channel. Fox regularly had Trump on as a guest and he came across as quite a different person to the one portrayed on CNN for instance, who disparaged him endlessly and parodied him often. It was somewhat disconcerting to see him outline his policies articulately on Fox and then watch CNN tell its audience that he had no policies.

And not just CNN. Last weeks’ Time magazine, which came out on the day of the election and were therefore unaware of the outcome, had a letter to the editor from a Peter L’Estrange of Cape Town which said in part: “I am disappointed in your magazines election coverage. Virtually all your articles are anti-Trump. For a global magazine like TIME this is not good.”

Another clue to Trump’s popularity were the tens of thousands of devotees who night-after-night queued to attend his rallies. Again not generally well-covered by the mainstream TV networks who were careful to not pan his “deplorable” followers, but tended to leave its viewers with an image of those behind the stage as opposed to those out front.

Perhaps Trump greatest attribute however was that he understood his target audience.

The Democratic Party once represented the poor and the Republicans were aligned with the wealthy, but things had changed in America, and the politicians hadn’t noticed.

Republicans were in most cases self-made business people who understood commercial realities and produced wealth for themselves, their employees and their communities.

But the wealthiest state in the USA today is Washington DC and they voted 93 per cent for Mrs Clinton. In pure economic terms they wouldn’t have a commercial bone in their bodies.

In a complete reversal of form the Democrats now represent the unproductive rich and the Republicans are more closely aligned with the small business people and the blue-collar wage earners.

The revelations of Trump’s distasteful “locker room banter” was a severe setback, but in a surprising statistic it was reported that 52 per cents of white woman actually voted for him.

Meanwhile “Make America great again” and “#draintheswamp” were two catch-cries’ that probably helped catapult him to victory.

Locally the left-wing luvvies were beside themselves. Writing in the NZ Herald Liz Marvelly said she “underestimated the power of ignorance and panic” and that “racism, xenophobia and sexism all combined into one great holy trinity.”

She decided to console herself by pouring a stiff Scotch.

Apparently the Chardonnay wasn’t strong enough.

“I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty. We encourage you to be neat, loyal and faithful and all those Boy Scout words, which would be good around a campfire, but are lousy in politics.” - Newt Gingrich


Post a Comment