And so the white working-class revolution of 2016 continues …

 

Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Shock, somehow, is rippling across the globe. This may be a sad day, and a scary one that someone of such little political capability can become president, but it is not a surprising one. Despite most polls telling us Secretary Clinton had the popular and electoral lead, this presidency was always Trump’s for the taking.

First of all, the Democrats handing their nomination to Hillary Clinton was a risk from the start. Those outside of the U.S. will struggle to understand the public’s contempt for her. She is a divisive figure in terms of gender representation, her judgement and her dual public persona. Battered throughout her political life by personal struggle, legal issues and controversial decisions, Clinton was by no means the figure to unite the U.S. These demons stayed publicly with her right to the end.

Secondly, this election saw a campaign style change of unparalleled proportions. Mrs Clinton failed to make that change. Ending her political life the only way she knows, the Clinton campaign led the Democrats in the most scripted way possible. This fed into their unpopular image of continuity. Trump on the other hand did the opposite, feeding into his image and promise of change. Through his populist rhetoric and sweeping statements Trump became the underdog of the campaign, representing the underdogs of society.

Thirdly, it became very clear early on that change is what the American people wanted. Trump was able to capitalise on this, and indeed was able to manipulate public discontent with the Obama leadership. Clinton offered the exact opposite. Had she approached the situation acknowledging her time in the Obama administration but offering a fresh Democratic image, this election may have ended very differently. Granted that she may have had an obligation to the Democrats and indeed to the incumbent President, but this came at the cost of her own political legacy.

Trump was able to capitalise on the discontent of the white working class. Those feeling left behind by the globalisation offered in the years of Democratic rule. He may have lied his way to victory, but it was a victory that seemed almost destined for the U.S. Now, all those panicked by a Trump ascendency can do is wait and try to be hopeful. Trump’s radicalism has already been watered down in his winning speech, and this could be a positive sign of things to come.

 

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