Whilst we hope and pray that we all wake up to discover that President Trump was just a collective nightmare we must also contemplate the terrifying future. Assuming that the potential recounts do not change the result Donald Trump will become President on the 20th of January.
There’s every chance that he will act in such a way that if it were any other President they would be impeached. But as Saturday Night Live joked, VP-elect Mike Pence makes the idea of impeachment nothing to cheer about.
Mike Pence is a life-long, right-wing ideologue who as Governor of Indiana passed legislation to allow the refusal of services to people based on their sexuality, under the guise of religious freedom. He is also anti-women’s rights, anti-social and economic rights and even backs measures that restrict the voting rights of non-white Americans.
The medium-term future for America looks very bleak indeed, particularly for minorities. It is the ‘land of the free’ in rhetoric only.
In this, to retain our sanity, we must look for any potential for change, any positives that could be achieved, and fight for them. And thus far only one glimmer of positivity has come to mind.
Donald Trump is not an ideologue. Though his Cabinet is full of them and his campaign was that of a woman-hating white supremacist, Trump himself is full of sh*t.
He talks a big game: ‘I always win’, ‘I never settle’ when in more cases than not he loses or settles; ‘I hear people are saying…’ to self-legitimise his deluded internal monologue; and his never ending flips flops, from pro-choice to pro-life, pro-Iraq to anti-Iraq, prosecuting Hillary to not,‘I will release my tax returns’ to running scared. The real value of what the man says is zero because tomorrow he will say something different.
Yet most of his supporters buy his ramblings as they change daily – a statement doesn’t even have to be Trump’s, one only has to attribute it to him and his supporters will justify and defend it. This is dangerous.
But it is in this that I see one very small glimmer of hope that could define the future of liberalism in America.
If Trump continues his past form, and pivots from key campaign positions, softening from his campaign rhetoric, then he may carry his unquestioning disciples with him. If he centralises on, say, climate change, from his conspiratorial idiocy to acceptance, he could carry a significant demographic that were previously standing in the way of progress.
As I say, this is only a small potential consolation of what will be a horrific period for the majority of Americans. Trump will fail to deliver for even his own supporters who feel left behind economically.
The possibility that he could carry his unquestioning supporters from the far-right, closer to the centre, through either his softening or his failure is the only positive I can see right now.
If he sticks to – or emboldens – his rhetoric, fails and blames his failure on ‘the establishment’, his religious cohort will only radicalise further. This is a very worrying prospect that threatens the long term future of liberal democracy in America.
Welcome to Trump’s America: the land of fear and the home of a groper.