Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump. Why??

Trump vs Mussolini - who did it better?

Trump won. Across the whole world of thinking, sentient human beings there passes a moan of dismay and despair.

How did this happen? The New York Times opens an excellent window on the mind of the US voters, having taken an exit poll of nearly 25,000 voters.

It shows that Trump supporters tend to be male, white, 45+, under-educated, middle income (not, repeat not, lower income), rural, military, and evangelical, church-going Christians.

Their beliefs are that the economy is bad, that they are worse off today than they were, that this trend will continue, and that trade with other countries takes away US jobs. They believe that immigration and terrorism are the main problems, that illegal immigrants should be deported, and the Wall should be built. The direction of US policy is "off-track", and they are angry with the federal government. Above all, they believe that Trump will bring change.

In short, Trumpists are angry about immigration, terrorism and Government.

In very short, they are angry with everything.

What change will Trump bring? We shall see. The details will emerge as his administration begins, but there are two major points to be made.

He may or may not start World War Three. Global nuclear war is a risk, given his temperament and beliefs about the usefulness of nukes, but it shows the general danger of nuclear deterrence, and the emptiness of the mantra "no rational man would start a nuclear war". The world's biggest arsenal of nuclear weapons is now in the hands of a man with narcissistic personality disorder, and one of his first acts will probably be to review the comfort levels, decor and jacuzzi provision within the Presidential Bunkers.

The other, more certain outcome is that the US will pull back from implementation of the Paris Accord on decarbonising the world economy. My immediate feeling is that the rest of the world should just go ahead with decarbonising as fast as we can, maybe putting tariffs on US goods with higher intrinsic carbon in order to deny Trump's economy from getting any advantage from its use of fossil fuels.

It will be interesting. Trump will almost certainly fail to create the change that his supporters want. He may fail big time, and the failure of his post-truth irrationality may result in a new interest in the economics and politics of reality.

We live in hope.

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