A political outsider smashes the Clinton legacy. Donald Trump takes the Presidency of the United States of America
As the controversial political outsider, Donald Trump, is crowned leader of the free world, what effect will this have on the next generation? Since Trump’s announcement that he will be running for president, he has been surrounded by controversy; from his misogyny to his aggressive attitude towards immigrants. Yet, yesterday night and this morning has proven, that Trump was always a force to be reckoned with.
During the entire election night Trump was in the lead with Clinton playing catch-up. As Florida came in for Trump though, it became clear that a Trump presidency was imminent. So how did such a controversial character, who seems to say anything with little regard for self-restraint, become president of the most powerful country in the world?
The answer lies in the general stagnation of mainstream politics, including in the USA and of the domination of political elites. If Clinton had won, the next generation would have been governed by a Bush or a Clinton for most of their lives, with the exception of Obama for the eight years in between. This political elite and the rebellion against the idea of an ‘establishment’ has created the possibility for Trump, regardless of what he said, to become a likely candidate for defeating the ‘establishment machine’.
We have seen something similar happen in the UK, with Brexit and the election of Jeremy Corbyn. What the establishment seems to want, the people seem to reject. This has made politics far more volatile, but it has also made it (finally) a lot more interesting. For the next generation this can, in the long term, be a good thing. It means the status quo has been smashed, opening up politics to real society-changing debate — similar to the great Left and Right debates of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s that brought people together from different backgrounds into the political scene.
On the flip side, and in the short term, it stands to be seen what damage or opportunity Trump brings to the next generation. Talk of tolerance and respect, I suspect, will be replaced with nationalist pride.
However, one thing he has proven is that the establishment can be beaten and although it may not be the result some wanted, it has opened up politics, for better or worse, depending on how you look at it.