I definitely never saw that coming!
He gamed it — he gamed the whole election. I don’t mean he controlled it. I mean he played like there was no possible way he could lose. (And to a certain extent, that’s true.) It makes some kind of sense that a population who loves reality TV found its hero in an aggressive, flippant gamer of systems. Perhaps now that the election is over, it’s the beginning of a brand new game.
But there’s a lot more to consider.
All of his crass posturing flipped over every imaginable rock, revealing the hidden nastiness beneath.
- That’s not pretty.
- That’s not politic.
- That’s not the established practice.
Whether or not you believe he’s complicit in the nastiness, or even an agent of it, he has undoubtedly provided the country with a mirror to itself.
There is no way to ignore that now.
I mean, people can try. People *will* try. People will protect themselves from feeling their guilt and misgivings with accusations and counter-accusations. For the foreseeable future, rhetoric wars will wage white-hot between all the polarised factions zig-zagging through the country like fault-lines.
- What happens to all of this anger?
- Where does this fear lead?
- How does character factor in here?
- What about expectations of quality leadership?
- Do the ends even come close to justifying the means?
There is a considerable number of echoing, foundational questions which can’t be answered easily.
But, as is demonstrated repeatedly throughout history, the voter base’s memory is very short. Therefore, through the force of self-fulfilling prophecy, and a first-hand understanding of the country that I have no doubt the election run gave him, Trump might find a way to lead well…if the majority who voted for him (and at least a few who didn’t) are willing to pivot with him.
If people get busy accomplishing a goal, their personal differences won’t be as stark or meaningful.
Despite all the grumbling, outrage and false-nostalgia, “Make America Great Again” may actually be a prophetic rallying cry — not least because its citizenry gets to (re)define ‘great’ on its own terms.
Trump might turn out to be a good president. And if he does, then the American people are wildly, unimaginably and unbelievably lucky. Because in all honesty, that isn’t anything like who they voted for.