In Your Face

Donald Trump

Why do I feel the same today as on the day after the Brexit vote? Because once again all of the forecasts were completely wrong? Because I refuse to believe it – even if I do not particularly like Clinton? Because the stock exchanges are going crazy and the financial sector is expressing its fear of an unpredictable (because unbribable) candidate?

The nation has spoken. And has voted for the Establishment shamelessly. First with the election of Trump as the leading candidate of the Republicans ‑ against all resistance of his own party. In the evening of the election, George W. Bush declared that he did NOT vote for Donald Trump. And now the Democratic Party leadership with this unexpected and very painful defeat. Because not only the presidency has been lost, but the Senate could also not be regained. Winning the House of Representatives was not possible anyway. A landslide for Trump was possible ‑ and the Republican parliamentary members in his slipstream.

In. Your. Face.

The probability is high that Bernie Sanders would have defeated Donald Trump. The Democrats stole this victory from themselves, with the leaked manipulations and with the superdelegates, who can be used by the party establishment to prevent unpleasant candidates.

This election is consistent with the trend which can be felt worldwide. The search for a strong man, and the departure from the political Establishment. It has to be mentioned that Trump, without a doubt, financially does belong to the Establishment ‑ but not to the political Establishment. As a result he lost the trust of the people by, above all, abandoning the working class and failing to introduce effective measures against the excesses of large corporations. Similar results are also expected for the upcoming elections in Europe (Austria, France, Germany)

The American TV channel, CNN, appeared somewhat ridiculous in its attempt to explain – be it via historical comparisons of election results or via a comparison of the degree of counting in various districts – why Hillary Clinton, its obvious favourite, could still win, not realising that the result was already clearly foreseeable. The tendency was the same in almost all of the swing states (except Virginia): Clinton started off in the lead and then gradually lost ground, until Trump overtook her. The Rust Belt, the former industrial heart of the USA, which is included in the Blue Wall, was almost lost entirely for the first time since 1988.

The so-called Reagan-Democrats voted Republican again this time. No Jobs, no future prospects ‑ that drives every voter sooner or later into the hands of a populist. Clinton only had a short lead with women, the turnout of the Latinos was not high enough to compensate for the angry white votes. The latter is also the reason why election forecasters were so wrong: The voters play their cards close to their chest.

What will Trump do now? A good question. He has a majority in both houses. The Republicans cannot afford to block their own candidate, who gave them such an outstanding victory. It remains to be seen what Trump will implement from his partly bizarre electoral promises. In any case he has the freedom to completely change America. With the appointment of the ninth Supreme Court judge, this institution will be conservative for the foreseeable future. He will not adopt a confrontational position with Russia, something that would have had to be expected from Clinton. What his plans for the Middle East are and how strongly he will involve America will be shown in the next couple of months.

It is obvious that the conflict between those who have to defend something (and therefore support the ruling elite) and those who are already on the descent is the new dividing line in society. It is no longer about the right or the left, about Republicans or Democrats. The voters do not expect a miracle from Trump, they are familiar with his flaws. The Sanders voters stayed at home ‑ the Rust Belt-states, which he won in the primaries, all went directly to Trump. Both electoral groups are so unhappy with the existing system that they would vote for anybody who is against the elite. And nobody can blame them for this.

What was learned from the crisis in 2008? The private debts were handed over to the public sector. Should that be a fair solution?

Thanks to globalisation, jobs were exported to the whole world. Bonuses for financial jugglers are higher now than before the crisis. And then one is surprised that people are angry?

A fish rots from the head down. I write that again and again. If the elites fail, then society fails. The ordinary citizen looks up to his role models. And if they, one after the other, fall into scandals and swamps of corruption, then the system breaks down. We are at this point.

Greece has shown us the way. Almost nothing has changed there ‑ or does anyone know one of those billionaires who were involved in manifold corruption scandals and who took their lambs abroad in time? In the end the bill should once more be paid by the taxpayers ‑ while large companies and wealthy citizens hide their profits in tax havens, in order to avoid being involved in it.

If you create such a system, you cannot be surprised if the ordinary citizen at some time turns away with disgust, and turns towards the populists ‑ currently mostly on the right ‑ and the unpopular globalisation is replaced with a reawakening of nationalism.

Trump also took advantage of this move, as Hofer, Orban, Kaczyenski and also Erdogan already have. To rant about them will not be enough. That is what the voter has said for years. You also have to take him seriously at some point. This does not mean that you too have to stir up hatred against refugees and other outsiders. But that the destructive economic system, which the policies since Reagan and Thatcher have led to, is reformed and the people are given a fair share of the immeasurable wealth which is generated each year.

Whether Trump is someone who leads a revolution like this is more than unlikely. But perhaps the decision-makers will finally awake from their delusions and recognise how far the West, above all, has departed from its own values. If not, then the trend to extremism will continue to develop and the political and economic centre of society will further implode. What will happen then can be figured out by taking a look at history.

Translation into English: Donna Stockenhuber