On the face of it, my political instincts ought to be in line with Donald Trump’s.
A concern for the working man, a dislike of the ‘establishment’, a distrust of the media. A growing worry about the effect of globalisation. These are all close to my own heart.
So why I am so sad for America?
Partly because of the man himself.
In my opinion, he is a racist bigot. It seems that, in his eyes, anyone who is not a white American is of lower caste, has less value, is less honest, less human.
His attitude to women is beyond belief. A fifteen year old schoolboy has more respect for the opposite sex. To Trump, women are clearly subordinate in all respects or he would not say the things he says about them. In the past and currently.
He mocks the handicapped. He publicly humiliates the families of those who served their country – which incidentally he notably failed to do. He encourages violence in the political process.
He accuses his opponents of a lack of transparency and yet refuses to do something as simple as reveal his own tax return.
He has a petty, ugly, volatile temperament, ill-suited to a statesman.
And as far as I can see, he tells lies. Repeatedly. Blatantly. Extremely. In a lifetime of listening to politicians I have never heard anything even close to some of his complete inventions and distortions.
While I personally find all these traits utterly appalling (though clearly his supporters do not), it is this last one, his dishonesty, that makes me sad for America.
Like those who campaigned for Brexit in the UK, he has tapped into the fears, concerns and issues of the blue-collar working man. He has recognised their real sense of isolation, the feeling that no one cares about them, that no one represents them, that they have no future, that their jobs are being stolen or simply disappearing, that they have been disenfranchised, that they are being invaded by cheaper labour, inside and out. That there are ‘foreigners’ everywhere. That America is not what it was. He has understood it and used it.
He has made America promises.
America will be great again. The border to the ‘rapist’ Mexican job stealers will be closed with a huge wall (that Mexico will pay for!). The imposition of tariffs and tearing up of trade treaties and agreements will bring a new age of prosperity. He will dismantle the establishment. He will make the poor better off (though not through a minimum wage or changing the grossly unfair tax structure). A host of other ‘feel good’ commitments. It is (he says) a new dawn for true Americans.
Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps he really believes in the plight of the blue-collar American (although the plight of all poor Americans is what matters). Perhaps he really will achieve his much repeated goal. Perhaps he will change everything for the better.
I don’t think so. I think he cares not a jot for the ordinary citizen. I think he cares for one thing. Trump.
So, I am sad for America because you have been sold a pup, because you have been lied to, because you have been used by a very rich man, a celebrity, in his raw quest for power.
And you have elected a man who has no redeeming features whatsoever to the exalted position of President of the United States and de facto leader of the West.
Because of it, overnight, to the rest of the world (except Russia), America has become smaller, grubbier, less credible, less likeable, nastier, and more intolerant.
And over the next four years those promises will stir up so much unrest and unhappiness. There is, in my view, disturbing social upheaval to come, much of it painful and bleak. Dark days lie ahead now – particularly for all minorities, but eventually for all Americans of every ethnicity and persuasion . Pandora’s box is open.
This is why I am so sad for America.
© the author writing as Romantic Dominant
Photo : Chris O’Meara, Associated Press
I may be wrong, of course, and I will commit now to review this post every year to follow his progress towards making America great again. If I am wrong or have misjudged him, I will apologise.