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Some random thoughts on the Trump ascendancy

Well, this is fascinating to watch. I knew it could happen, but didn’t honestly think it would.

Nothing will change overnight. The inauguration isn’t until January, but even then… we’ll see how fast he moves after that.

I hope his tone will be more moderate now he’s not in campaign mode. So far he has appeared to be an extreme populist, saying whatever came into his head at the time, and what his audience wanted to hear.

His victory speech was more diplomatic. But then, they often are.

There’ll also be a lot more scrutiny now he’s in public office, compared to running a private company.

Hopefully the various checks and balances of the US governmental and political system will stop him doing anything too extreme. You’d hope his own party (given what some of them think of him) would keep him in check.

The challenge for law enforcement is to keep some of his supporters in check. The hate rhetoric shouldn’t be vindicated by his win, but those who practice it obviously feel that it is.

Remember that in the USA, the states have significant powers independent of anything the Federal Government might do.

And there are midterm elections in two years that may shift the balance of power.

American Presidential elections have ballot papers with a significant number of local referenda attached. Of interest to me is that a number included votes on public transport initiatives, and many of these passed, though some have noted many state projects in this area require Federal funding, which may dry up.

What will be fascinating is what Trump does for manufacturing jobs. Appealing to those who have lost those jobs was a major part of the campaign. But you can’t undo decades of economic continental drift in just 4 years.

Ditto some of the other bold claims he’s made. Even as President, you can’t just click your fingers and make it happen.

I’m not surprised if Obama isn’t delighted that some of his signature policies are likely to be rolled-back, particularly Obamacare. (One thing concerned Americans can do is lobby their representatives to not be too regressive.)

And the US might stall on climate science and other progress. (Trump said he’d halt Federal clean energy investment and climate change research.) The rest of the world will just have to keep pushing on.

In some ways, Trump reminds me a little of Clive Palmer. A billionaire with a taste for public office, elected on a populist ticket. Palmer never got that level of power, but he did run a senate crossbench bloc that was able to hold the balance of power.

Ultimately though Palmer got bored, and walked away, didn’t re-contest. It’ll be interesting to see what Trump does in four years.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

3 replies on “Some random thoughts on the Trump ascendancy”

You can expect gay marriage to be overturned soon. He has announced that he seeks to appoint judges who will support such an overturn.

I am upset by the sore-loosers, who feel the need to hold strikes and riots just because their team lost. Donald Trump, or McDonald Trump, is president, and has been elected on fair and democratic terms.

I sympathise greatly with those who lost, including Mz Clinton herself, and to all of her supporters who have worked very hard for their country.

I do not expect people to start liking Mc-Trump any time soon just because he is President. However, to chuck tantrums like some are now doing, is crossing the line in my mind.

I live in Portland, Oregon and though I’m not participating in the protests, I can offer an opinion that the protesting isn’t so much because the vote went to the other candidate, but specifically because of that candidate’s statements and behaviors toward women, minorities, muslims and the disabled.

There are millions of people in this country that are deeply offended by the brazen racism and misogyny of our new president, and want to make that very clear up front, if only to show support to those targeted groups (i.e. first they came for the jews, but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t jewish). Again, just my opinion, but this goes far deeper than a sore-loser’s tantrum (which I would agree to be in poor taste).

And remembering the explaining and consoling that I felt I had to do while visiting overseas friends during George W. Bush’s terms (especially after he was re-elected, or as I prefer to say, “elected”), I’m not looking forward to figuring out a way to explain how a country could decide to send itself so dramatically backwards.

So why is a yank like me visiting this website? What can I say – I like trains and I like Melbourne!

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