It’s not the next four years that I fear, it’s the four years after that. Let me tell you why.
But first let me say that I went to bed last night hoping I’d wake up and realise Donald Trump’s election was all a bad dream. And yet, I woke up this morning and found out it wasn’t. Somehow, Americans thought a man about to face fraud charges in a class-action suit over his “university” and who until days ago was also facing child sex charges was a suitable man for president.
Lets just stop right there. The man was facing allegations of paedophilia and, still, people voted for him.
Now a lot of people are conjuring up apocalyptic visions for our future; a world that is in smoking ruins, a world that Trump’s thin-skinned ego has wrecked just so he can have all the winning. I’m not one of them – because I don’t believe Trump has any intention of fulfilling those wall-building, Muslim-deporting, bringing all the jobs back, making America great promises.
Like a four-year-old, Trump thrives on attention. The more outlandish his behaviour, the more attention he gets. Hence part of the reason for these crazy promises. The other part? Well, that’s because he found people liked those and wanted to vote for him. So he kept the crazy going. Hell, Trump would have promised a UFO in every garage and a dinosaur in every backyard if it would have got him votes. As comedian Jim Jefferies perfectly put it (at around the 1.50 mark in the below video), he’s like a kid running for class president promising a whole lot of things people want to hear just so they get elected.
That wall, that signature Trump pledge? That’s never going to happen. In the words of our former PM John Howard, it’s a “non-core promise” – it’s something you really don’t have to do. And as if Trump could convince Mexico to pay for a 3200km fence anyway.
These crazy promises are all smoke and mirrors from Trump. To my mind, he’s hoodwinked the voters into supporting him and, once in the Oval Office, he’s not going to deliver. Oddly, some of me feels sorry for them – not the ones who wanted Muslims shipped out or the right to throw their weight around the world just cause they’re Americans (those people can go fuck themselves). I feel a bit sorry for those who voted for Trump out of some feeling he would bring economic salvation. That he would magically bring back all those overseas jobs and they’ll get to work again. When they – and those people who can go fuck themselves – find out they’ve been tricked, there will be much anger from them.
Which is why the four years after Trump’s first term could be scary. By then it will be clear that Trump has failed to deliver on his promises but, as we’ve seen there is a lot of political mileage to be gained from pandering to the ugly baser instincts of people. So, when the 2020 election rolls around, do the Republican party candidates looking to unseat Trump go even more right-wing in order to paint Trump as a moderate (relatively speaking) and to tap into the mass of angry voters? I think they probably will.
And that election is going to be even uglier and more frightening than this one.
Anyway, that’s my two cents.
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