So it happened. Despite polls predictions and an underlying belief that “common sense” would prevail Donald did it. America is facing an uncertain future, one that for many (both in the US and beyond) is borne on an undercurrent of fear: indeed a veritable riptide of panic lashes the shores of the “Land of the Free”. It would not be too strong to say that there are Bosch-like visions of Hell on earth as America withdraws from its self-appointed role as world policeman and begins a whole new wave of witch hunts within. Except that now those to be rooted out are nothing so intangible as socialists: they are people of colour, LGBT Americans, Muslims and Mexicans: in fact any one of the myriad of groups that Trump has singled out as part of the problem his loathsome electoral campaign.
Yet in a campaign that drew heavily on Christian evangelical fervour one crucial thing has been overlooked. This was not the Last Trump – Donald is the first: there is still time before the trumpets herald the End of Days.
[Miley Cyrus, Picture courtesy of RCA records]
I hope that Miley (presumably mid-packing) and all the other Hollywood Glitterati will pause for thought. I’d like Lena Dunham to refrain from cancelling her milk, Samuel L Jackson to reroute the Lear jet to Cape Town and consider instead an alternative. Stay and fight. In the mould of Beatty and Fonda et al in the 1970’s, fight for what they believe to be right and good rather than heading for the hills (non-Beverley variety) at the first sign of trouble. Here’s a summary of why:
– The people who should probably be running, those who might well bear the brunt of any Trumpery, can’t. They include in their (large) number many of the poorest and most disenfranchised of the famous “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
Not for them the easy out of a bolthole in Vancouver, and the right minded and strong willed must stand with them in what may become their darkest days.
– You simply cannot run far enough. Whilst the pre-eminence of the United States is perhaps not as assured as it once was, it still sets the tone of pretty much all that happens in the West and the world in general.
American trade isolationism will heave a large brick into the puddle of global economics.
American withdrawal from NATO will let the Russian bear out of its already flimsy cage.
American cooling of its engagement in climate change agreements will heat up the ice caps.
In the interlinked global society in which we now live there is nowhere to hide.
[Vladimir Putin – as he might look if he ever actually rode a bear!]
– The US system of democracy, burdened as it is with Federal vs. local legislation tension, an Electoral College system that appears archaic even to the “Old World” states of Europe and Presidentially appointed Supreme Court Judges, is one replete with checks and balances.
One of the greatest of those, the “fourth estate” of the media has already been singled out for attack, and Trump will shortly announce his candidate for the vacant Supreme Court position, but the very greatest has always been the American people themselves.
They are a people who are clearly angry at the perceived “system” that prevails in Washington, who feel let down by Obama and those before him, but they are a mighty force to be reckoned with once stirred.
It was a ground swell of public opinion that led to the end of US involvement in the Vietnam War, and it will be a similar forging of public will that will hold Mr. Trump to account if he strays from the road to the land that he has promised (or at least sketchily outlined).
– But if all that isn’t enough to prevent Cher leaving “for Jupiter” or Bryan Cranston from setting up a home-from-home over the border in Canada, I give them one final thought: think how much more annoyed Donald will be if they all stay.