We’ve elected a billionaire blow-hard to lead the free world. After burning all the bridges to the very people he needs to make his barely articulated plans work, now he has to actually start delivering on his ‘vision’. He talked about rebuilding America’s infrastructure in his speech this morning, but his first rebuilding job will have to be with the Republicans in Congress. They actually control the purse-strings to whatever it is he hopes to do to “make America great again”, but since they are loathe to spend money (except on war), I’m not sure how he plans to change their habits. They may have voted for him, but many did not endorse him. Revenge against those that have spurned him has been the Trump pattern, and it does not bode well for the future of Congressional relationships.
The stock markets around the world are in shock, and some trading has been stopped to prevent massive losses as the business world reacts to the idea of President Donald Trump. The international business community is extremely unsettled by our choice.
Global leaders are no doubt scrambling to figure out how to deal with the prospect of a United States President who is clueless about the rest of the world. They had a bit of exposure to that with W., but even he was head and shoulders above ‘The Donald’. The Russians, the Chinese, and other totalitarian regimes are undoubtably gloating right now, as they’ve just seen the American people do in one day what they’ve been unable to do in sixty years: weaken the United States internationally. Trump has bragged about his negotiating skills, but Vladimir Putin is not interested in building a hotel in New York. Kim Jong Un won’t be sitting across a table, negotiating for a golf course in Pyongyang. Xi Jinping isn’t looking for a Trump casino for Hong Kong. Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania are wondering how long before they are “Ukrained”. Poland is wondering if there will be a NATO around to defend them from the same fate.
Elections have consequences, and we don’t have a clue what they will be this time around. If President Trump delivers on the things he said as candidate Trump, we may have just taken the first steps to WW III. I have been afraid for some time now that climate change would lead to global war by the end of the 21st century. Now I’m concerned we’ve moved that date up to the middle of the century, or even sooner. The unraveling of the tapestry that has held the world merely on the brink of nuclear war since 1945, and Trump’s idea that climate change is a Chinese hoax, could cause us to ignore the increasing stresses from unrest, displacement, famine and drought, until it’s too late. At some point, possibly in India and Pakistan, political failures and social unrest due to millions of displaced people (and the absence of a strong, respected political leadership in the United States) could lead to an actual nuclear war. North Korea might decide to nuke Japan. Israel might decide the United States is an unreliable partner, and that it needs to take the ultimate sanction against Iran. Instability around the world will increase as the planet warms, and the United States may be increasingly impotent to do anything about it. Global flashpoints will become conflagrations. Our only leverage will be nuclear, and that’s not really an option.
All this might come to pass because half the people in this country ignored the endless examples of why Donald Trump should not be President of the United States, and believed the easily and repeatadly disproved lies about Hillary Clinton. It makes me think Isaac Assimov was correct when he said “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” We’ve now reached a point where enough people have decided a hukster con-man is the better choice for President than is a woman with a stellar track record of public service and experience second to none in the international arena.
Half this country has gone insane. President Donald Trump. To follow President Barrack Obama. It’s like we just have to see if the gun is loaded, so we point it at our foot and pull the trigger. I wonder if we’ll bleed to death?
I hope my nightmares are unfounded. I hope President Trump surprises us all. I’m not confident that either is true.
Photo: Associated Press