Trump Wins! Liberalism is dead, long live Liberalism!!
There are some surprises in this election result as the needle passes the point of no return for Clinton and Trump is declared winner. Firstly that he won Michigan and other democratic states while the whip states also fell. Liberals are in shock, both because of the swing surprise and because of the far right monologue Trump drove in his campaign
Why Trump ?
Several reasons for this as a surprise: pollsters are wrong in methodology and sample selection. In fact you can see that a low turn out amongst non white voters is proibably the major swing pusher. They turned out for Obama twice, yet 59% of whites in the US voted for Mitt Romney, the previous 'far right' candidate. This white majority is also reflected through the electoral systems in Congress.
Secondly the most important factor was that Trump is a non establishment figure. He is no self made man, having inherited his wealth and position, but he is a self made president. His campaign, by his own words, was indeed a movement. This is in contrast to a stage managed establishment candidate like Bush 2 or Romney. In that he was free to speak his mind, and to bend political correctness to build popularity.
Unlike the Bush dynasty, he does not see America as an Imperial power interfering with the world to its own ends with military force. He is also not 'economically correct' - he is prepared to tackle the hipocrisy of China and Mexico. US jobs going to a socialist bank rolled mega nation on the one hand, and to slave labour on the other. He is then touting protectionism, which has been off the Neo Conservative agenda for three decades. It is popular with voters, and a stone in the eye for the laisez faire academics who don't have to live with the consequences of the rush to socialist bank rolled China. Protectionism worked in the early post war for all the world's major economies, and indeed continued as far as the last Bush presidency with US steel being protected while it 'modernised', 20 years after Ravenscraig in Scotland was shut by effectively, Thatcher.
Shit sticks: unlike the virtually unknown Obamas, the Clintons have lots of flies around them which just nip away at public confidence in them, and rightly so. They have become an establishment dynasty. They have appeal to middle class liberals, but not amongst the working class any more.
Why is this so?
Firstly they "ain't no sisters and brothers" ie they are white, middle class liberals. So that emotional appeal was lost to ethnic minorities. Working folk do not really relate to their political agenda, and in fact the 'disruption' caused by Trumps wild-west, economically incorrect and agressive personal attacking style meant that she by in large could not present a strong economic case.
Trump was not chained to the Republican economic orthodoxy in what he could say. He could dumb down politics and make economics basal , but he could show an agenda which was quite unlike the previous Republican one in many ways. Protectionism as I say, also major federal investment in infrastructure. A smaller, cheaper, less adventurous military. He will still bring in tax cuts as a stimulus, but also he is prepared to call in dollars spent internationally to being spent in the US. Most of all he knows that the model where America designs and China manufactures, is broken and the US needs manufacturing jobs.
Republicans have driven a two faced agenda when Mexico is considered. Their financial and power broking supporters in the southern, border states are apparently happy to live with the illegals and grey-area immigrants who keep their wage costs very low and allow for in particular agriculture, food processing and oil fields to be more profitable than they would be if they relied purely on domestic labour. Also the Rentier economy is reliant on population growth to fuel the real estate market leverage, a major wealth escalator and "value" generator now in all western economies. White Americans are having too few kids, too late due to of course, the economic pressures they face.
Trumponomics then dares to defy the laissez-faire hipocrisies which the republican establishment have sat upon for two decades. That is both the illegal immigration from Mexico, and the Chinese sentral bank funding of their economy . He calls the elephants in the living room.
He stands against the free-marketers who turn a blind eye to the Chinese keeping their currency low. The chinese while fuelling their economy by printing money which is socialism, yet we in the west must not have socialism, we must compete. He calls the bluff of Republicans who tacitly accept that the southern border immigration is to be ignored, and brushed under the carpet. Border control and green cards are tickled with small change in relation to the defence and space programme budgets.
Donald Trump is not a self made man, it can be argued that in fact he hasn't grown his inherited empire in any notable way. He has had failures, Trump Airlines, Trump University and controversy dating back to his young days in opposing access to rented property for minorities in NY. However he is an educated and experienced businessman and a deal maker. He is used to negotiating from a position of strength, and now he has become the most powerful single person in the world.
Voters knew also then that Trump will break the economic status quo and challenge the concept that the US is inevitably becoming a tertiary service economy with a large national debt. The elite rich will hate him for this, because they are very much tied up in real estate for housing, and the buy-to-rent nouveau-riche especially in the border states, will not thank him for this shift in economic focus. Yet it had to happen, the way America was going was towards. As the finance crisis of 2008 and resulting depression showed, the USA cannot live from a house of cards economy based on real estate, and banks can never again be bailed out for building such a flimsy means of generating growth.
Trump's Double Communication on Race, Religion and Xenophobia?
Has Donald played the small minded racists at their own game and won? He is a strange character, who has previously aligned himself with a lot of socially liberal ideas, and been a friend of the Clintons and other uber-liberals. He is infamously accused of saying " If I were to run, (as president), I'd run as a Republican. They're the Dumbest Group. They beleive anything on Fox News" - a quote the his campaign and the Republican party have been hell bent on denying and removing from the internet over the last two months.
Really since society organised itself, and probably when we were still smallk tribes, leaders have been able to exploit our natural, biological xenophobia to all ends when it relates to power. To isolate from other societies and define themselves by their leaders' vision. To discriminate against others and not treat them fairly, even if there is laws to protect national citizens. Of course nost of all, to go to war and kill other people you have never met before, who have families, wives, mothers, sons, fathers. Xenophobia is a primeval fear and the most powerful motivator for action in humans is fear. We will withdraw or attack based on fear, before we will ask questions, negotiate and cooperate.
Trump has appealed to the white racist voter and those voters who have indeed seen their livelihoods under pressure from Mexican immigration. Competition for jobs and housing where there are jobs. He has been able to use the middle eastern crisis to his ends, which are as with Bush 2's intentions, a far less interventionist USA. He stopped exposing religious bigotry and racism many weeks ago, because he knew he had got the rednecks out of their chairs to vote. Many were disaffected before.
Has Trump given a free reign to racism in the USA? Does he legitimise racial and religious bigotry? Well yes his campaign has that, but the man is racially liberal, and he has a valid point about middle eastern refugees, petty as it is, just a couple of terrorists and you may get either a new 9-11 or a shooting to equal an average weekly assualt rifle- in school outing. Trump the winner will leave his racist voters behind. Racism is a phenomenom which he has used and abused.
Liberalism is Dead, Long Live Liberalism!
The other status quo which could not continue and which has drained the educated voter as much as the less savvy, is that we cannot go on with Congress being one colour and the presidency another. The best thing to come out of this is that now it is just Republican policy in governance over the next couple of years at least.
It is the same with Brexit, the public have swung to the right in belief it is all better for them, but in fact the realities are going to be different. The outcomes are not positive. Trumpanomics are disruptive too. This threatens to cause a great deal of instability and uncertainty before a new era starts, and that new era may or may not be more promising and beneficial than the one we are in now. In no way will Trump get a 45% tariff on Chinese goods, but he can at least threaten it and that can make the disruption work to gain concessions and move China towards playing a fairer game.
A red house and red congress is a gift to liberalism. The Clintons had become establishment, they had become distant. They appealed to younger educated liberals, who are in the minority. In fact the liberal mocement all over the world has become an establishment for minorities. Ethnic groups, LGBT, the handicapped. All the weak and oppressed, but not the core of who created the labour movements which put the Democrats in power. Their perception at least, is that they have been left behind by a political elite who present a new orthodoxy of not just tolerance, but it can be said, shoving minority rights down every one elses throats without doing anything for them as middle of the road voters.
Republican Economic Waterloo
It has been argued that a power elite of owners in the USA decided in the late 60s that inflation and liberalism would destroy their profits in manufacturing, so they took the conscious move to shift their massive investment power to building the real estate market as the underpinning factor in expanding their wealth -at least, while also boosting the economy while manufacturing fell away.
Now Trump understands that the free market has been duped by the promise of "Go to China" where investment from printed money flows as if indeed, there is no tommorrow. Growth outstrips domestic demand, the currecny is kept low, some materials and goods markets are surreptitiously manipulated.
With the "Great Wall of Mexico" on the cards, Trump is actually lining up for a battle with those self same real estate driven Republicans who want a 'cheating' free market with goods from China for their retail empires, and a more or less free supply to labour and housing market from Mexico. Also yes, he will reverse Obama Care, but he is likely to go after a much better deal with Big Pharma and the Health Care conglomerates and force harder state negotiations on medicare, while injecting competition into the market. He has hinted at this two times at least when mentioning what he will replace the affordable heatlh care act with.
Liberalism Must Collapse And then Rally Itself
The trouble is then that the labout movement had suceeded in projecting liberal concepts into legislature for so long, that people both took them for granted and also saw the Democrats as part of the distant Federal machine. It was no longer a people's movement. It was a governmental vehicle for minorities and a good few fringe issues
When they formulated the affordable-health-care act then, the Democrats had a whole right wing establisment against them, and many non voting and healthy tax payers were secptical. It should have been the jewel in the crown of the Obama adminsitration, but it is both too early in its life time to really have common appeal or recognition, while also it has created inflationary pressures which they should have forseen.
Liberals the world over are on the back foot, with the "neo-neo-conservatives" in Russia, the UK and the US, reverting back to nationalism to secure economic power for the minority. Will though, Trumpanomics and Brexit not be glorious, popular successes? They are only popular because of the malaise the new world order of international super wealthy have imposed via the market crash of 2008. In effect we are trying to cure the down sides of capitalism, with on the one hand more capitalism in tax cuts, while on the other nationalism and protectionism.
The combination of protectionism, isolationism and lower income for government is however quite likely to be a recipe for disaster as far as many individuals are concerned. The free markerters have fought for freedom of movement of capital, goods & materials, and to some extent labour as their golden principles of supply and demand., yet Trumpanomics and Brexit has a simplistic appealk to the working man.
We have then both in the UK and the USA a four year period for which right wing politics can take us to a point where we know whether or not these great shifts in political landscape are going to work. These are two great experiments, but in fact by in large we have been there before. They created the type of poverty and dissatisfaction which spurned the labour movements, and the type of institutionalised intoleranse which gave birth to modern civil rights. Liberalism died today. Long live Liberalism.