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Date: 09/11/16

Trumped: Part 1

OK. Can we all calm down a bit, please? I mean, the way some of you are going on is - in both the main senses of the word - hysterical.

No, I didn't want to see Donny T. taking the oath to become Dolt 45 next January with one hand on his wallet and the other upon a copy of the World Of Tacky Interiors catalogue, but to go around doing a Chicken Little impersonation just makes you look ridiculous.

For one thing, it fails to take into account those safeguards which the guardians of Liburdee™ have long had in place to protect the essential power structures of America from anything remotely radical in either direction. I don't just mean the formal 'checks and balances' which are listed in what has been left of the Constitution after nearly two decades of it being used as toilet paper by the inhabitants of the White House and by the Just Plain Folks who live on Capitol Hill. There are other restraints - including, in extremis, the sort that fasten up the back - which mean that any President has far less opportunity to do serious harm than all the hoop-la surrounding the job might lead one to suppose.

For example, the Secret Service will have a number of game-plans for how to deal with a (superficially at least) maverick CEO. They will have war-gamed every reasonable possibility, and given that Donald J. Trump embodies three main personality traits of some of his more recent predecessors - the bloviating vacuity of G.W. Bush, the predatory creepiness of Clinton and the propensity for lying of Trickie Dickie - they should have, as they say over there, all bases covered, even to the extent of giving him a set of fake launch codes and hiding The Big Red Button with greater success than many of his female victims were able to protect their little red buttons from his attentions.

And then, there is the US Congress. Those who foresee doom because the Republicans now own, as it were, Boardwalk, Park Place and all the Utilities need to bear a couple of things in mind: firstly, Congressional Republicans will be well aware that the next Presidential electoral cycle begins in a little over two years' time, that some of them will want to run for The Big One at that point (as it is by no means a given - bearing in mind his age - that Trump would want to, or be able to, run for a second term), and that the Democrats couldn't possibly get their selection of a candidate so horribly wrong twice in a row; and secondly, a significant proportion of the GOPs Congressional presence is comprised of people who hold Trump in rather less than glowing regard in any case. Combined, these two factors would mean that most of President Tribblehead's more outrageous promises could be stymied or seriously diluted by wiser, more pointed and less ludicrously furnished heads than his. And any hint of serious 'moral turpitude' (as the American phrase so diffidently puts it) would bring the possibility of the President being impeached by what is at least nominally his own side. On top of which, like Nixon, Trump has a comparatively harmless - if in this case a little too close to the god squad - Veep, who could safely be minded in the Oval Office for a couple of years before they could get someone legit back in the job.

On the matter of Trump's policies other than the ones which have been given the biggest headlines (apparently, the Mexican government have said that they are now willing to pay for That Wall, and heaven help any American who tries to climb over it), then there are a couple of areas in which he may well be far less of a danger to the world than the desires of Hillary.

One of these areas - and possibly the more important of the two at the present time - is his apparent eagerness to rein back the State Department's attempts to goad Russia into a hostile response. This, like the catastrophe of Libya, has been a pet project of La Clinton and her backers and, like with Libya, the warnings of the consequences of prodding The Bear given that, unlike Libya, said prodding would be of a creature which has nuclear weapons and memories of being invaded well within living memory, have been going unheeded. A pragmatic, business-like approach (and Trump, for all his business failures, at least knows how to do business in the real world) would surely now be preferable to the hysterical sabre-rattling indulged in by Clinton, Obama and most of the American political and media establishment.

The other area - closely allied to the previous one - is the possibility of a drawing back in scope of US military involvement around the world. I have never understood the arguments - especially since the end of the Cold War (that's the original series, not the syndicated re-run which Clinton and B.H. Obama (failed) have been wanting to schedule of late) - that the US pulling back from its totally self-appointed rôle as World's Cop (by appointment to Gahd) would be such a terrible thing. Given that much of the conflict we see around the planet, particularly in relation to south-west Asia and north Africa, is as a direct result of American over-involvement in those regions (even to the point of training and arming groups which turn suddenly from being official allies to being official enemies, depending on the exigencies and expediencies of policy from month to month), and therefore is blowback at Washington for its over-reach; given all that, as I say, a period of a more inwardly-focused policy and a concentration at least on feasible consolidation rather than further attempts at expanding the Empire might be a useful corrective.

Beyond all this, of course, there is still an awful lot to be fearful of. There may be trying times ahead for LGBT (*) people, Latinos and black people particularly, especially bearing in mind some of the individuals and groups backing Trump (David Duke and His White Sheet Serenaders, for example), and that Pence (you remember him? Apparently, he's gonna be Vice President) isn't too far distant from being a theocrat. And there will still be the poisonous legacy of Trump's campaign rhetoric which at one and the same time - as we have seen over here during and after the EU membership referendum - not only gives public expression to outright prejudice and hate, but gives those who share his views a spurious legitimacy in actually acting in line with those feelings.

Even bearing all this in mind, however, the best advice which can be given to anyone of progressive mien is to sit quietly, wait, and watch.

(My original intention was to go on at this point to seek to analyse the reasons for Trump's success and Clinton's wretched failure, pointing my full complement of fingers at those to blame. However, I seem to have gone on at enough length already and will spare you that until - I hope - tomorrow. Have A Nice Day!) an arrow to click on to take you to a follow-up item

(*) Pardon my old-fashionedness, but I never, but never see that abbreviation without immediately thinking it's a type of sandwich; the 'G' would probably stand for 'Gherkin'.