Wednesday, November 9, 2016


The unthinkable has happened. Secretary Clinton lost. President Obama was rebuked. Donald Trump won by a landslide.  Few saw it coming.  Most comments, including mine, have been overhauled by this Hokusai-style political tsunami.

The angry old men around the nominee will have carte blanche to undo all Obama strove for: the Affordable Care Act, climate change, trade, the Iran deal, non-proliferation, the opening to Cuba and one could go on. Worse is that the Supreme Court will receive a death sentence: it will be degraded to become another political lobby.

How we arrived here will be the topic of books, debates, articles. Lots of people feel shell- shocked, including myself. We are in for four years of possible tectonic changes. Trump's rather low-key acceptance speech should not lead to a sobered resignation of the opposite camp. The former often irresponsible talk became the ice-breaker which left the electoral map of the Democrat it in tatters.

The depth of the American malaise was actually well understood by Trump early on, when he lauded Brexit. He has given the United States a Brexit-Plus. The analogy is clear, a choice between socio-cultural retrenchment or a model of openness and free-trade. Hence, one finds America split between part of the East and the West Coasts and the fly-over middle which becomes a "No-go /Do Not Enter" land. Rural stands against urban, secular stands against evangelical.

One must try to remain composed, but not at the cost of personal integrity. The choice was clear between professionalism, knowledge of world affairs and, on the other side, gross talk and a total disregard for political creativity. Trump's America would fit well in the neighborhood of Poland and Hungary. The coming changes at the top in France and Germany might as well follow this new nefarious American way. 

This election is also an existential affront to President Obama and Secretary Clinton. Both have been insulted in ways not seen since Germany in the late thirties.

In her emotional concession speech Mrs.Clinton, who won a majority of votes, proved yet again her mettle, class and endurance. Her leaving the political scene feels like morning.  Her words were heart-breaking.   I bet that lots of Trump voters feel remorse now.

Democrats reel and half of America looks into the abyss. Women and minorities should feel especially diminished.  This has been a "long night".  Strange days will follow!

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