Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Well, that was unexpected

So Donald Trump fooled all of the pollsters, pundits and prognosticators, including me.

I am certain that this election will be analyzed, examined, washed, dried and folded many time over the next few years so I will leave other people to it.

I would like to examine what we might expect from a Trump presidency.

First of all, there will be no wall between the US and Mexico.  Leaving aside the expense and the massive logicistical nightmare such a thing would create several of the southern states have economies that are addicted to the cheap labour provided by illegals that cross that border every day.  They would not tolerate that supply of cheap labour being cut off. Combine that with the fact that Latinos generally vote Democratic, Democratic Congressmen and Senators would combine with the Congressmen and Senators from the Southern States and California to block any funding for a wall.

The blue collar voters that handed the Presidency to Donald Trump are in for a big disappointment.  They have every right to be pissed off at the establishment it is just that they chose the wrong one.  They are not victims of an out of an touch Washington establishment they are victims of Globalization and the global establisment that created and sustains it.  That is not going away no matter what Donald Trump does so blue collar jobs will continue to flee the US in the coming years.

With regards to NAFTA it is probably pretty safe.   Donald Trump cannot reopen it for renegotiation without agreement from the other two signatories and considering his treatment of Mexico and Mexicans during the election the Mexican government will not agree to that.  He can unilaterally tear up the treaty but I believe there is a big enough pro-NAFTA lobby in Washington to prevent that from happening.  On the off chance that he does actually decide to tear it up and he succeeds I cannot say that I would be that upset. When I saw how the US completely ignored the decisions of the Trade Tribunals during the softwood lumber fiasco in the first year of the Harper government I concluded that the treaty is not really worth the paper it is printed on and that if the treaty did not exist trade between the US and Canada would not really be impacted.  Over a billion dollars worth of trade crosses that border every day.  Even Donald Trump would not do anything that would cause any kind of substative impact on that.

On the other hand the TPP is probably a dead duck.  I have mixed feelings about that deal so I cannot say that I would be very upset if it never sees the light of day.

Donald Trump made some noise about NATO but the military-industrial complex in the US dwarfs everything in that country so nothing much will change there.

Some have concerns about the Supreme Court of the US.  However, what these people seem to forget is the SCOTUS has had a conservative majority for the better part three decades.  Except for allowing ridiculously lax guns laws the SCOTUS has not really rocked the boat that much on social issues.  I think even the conservative members of the court realize that their job is to maintain the freedoms of Americans and not allow governments to step on said freedoms.  I am pretty certain that will not change.

Iran will be a nuclear power within the next decade.  I have no doubt that Donald Trump will listen to the ideologues that are informing his foreign policy positions and cancel the nuclear deal with Iran.  In addition those same ideologues believe that the US should attack Iran so that will probably happen as well.  It will be a low risk military campaign, to greatly reduce any chances of American casualties, that will not do much to Iran's ability to make nuclear weapons.  All it will probably do is convince the hardliners in Tehran that now is the time to take that next step to becoming a nuclear power and push Iran into the sphere of China.

ISIS and what it stands for will continue or at least something that looks like it.  If ISIS was easy to get rid of it would already be gone by now. 

What kind of President will Donald Trump be?  He is an asshole and I believe hugely unqualified to do the job but the job is now his.  He will either grow into it or he will not.  

What I do know, from observing politics for over 30 years, is he will not be a good as his supporters believe him to be and he will not be as bad as his detractors believe him to be. He rode to power on a wave of anger and those who voted for him will expect results. If he is unable to deliver that anger could very quickly turn on him.

One other thing I have noticed from observing politics for 30 years.  Things do not really change when a new leader of a country is chosen.  There are too many vested interests in government to allow some guy or gal, who is only there temporarily, to actually upset the applecart that much.  When all is said and done the United States will be in the exact same spot, as they were before last night, the next time Americans go to the polls.


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