A lot has been written about Trump’s win in the elections on November 8, 2016. So much that I don’t believe a post of mine will add much to the discussion. The reason I write a post anyway, is because I want to have my thoughts on Trump out there, so I can look back at them in the future to see where I went wrong in my analysis (because I really hope I am wrong!). So far I mainly used Twitter and Facebook to voice my opinion, but I prefer to keep my analysis on my own servers.
I believe we are on the brink of some major changes to the world we live in, be it civil war in the US and/or Europe, or even a World War III caused by Donald Trump. This is not a conclusion I reached this week, but something I have been saying for a much longer time.
It’s actually one reason I moved to Canada. I believe this country is much safer than many others because of its more moderate politics, the very restrictive gun laws, and the fact that climate change may actually make most of the country more livable. Because of the huge divide between rich and poor in many Western countries I expect that we may see a 21st century version of the French Revolution in many parts of the world. The fact that Trump was elected is a clear sign that people are fed up with the system and want changes now.
The problem is that Trump won’t be able to provide these changes. Most of the voters don’t seem to realize that Trump is simply a liar, one who has been lying his whole life to get to where he is now. Not sure how successful he has really been financially, but for sure he made part of his money by bullying others and by not caring about the less powerful people. Don’t expect that to change.
My prediction is that he won’t be able to keep most of his promises, except for the ones that are easy to fulfill and that will make his voters happy. Which ones? I believe mainly the racial ones. He may not be able to build a wall and let Mexico pay for it, but he will find a way to start sending immigrants back – or at the very least stop new ones from coming in. He will try to pass anti-gay laws, despite potentially having Peter Thiel in his inner circle. The fact that Trump does not publicly condemn the acts of hatred and racism that happened over the past days since his election, shows that his racism was not just talk to get elected.
Of course he will blame others for not being able to fulfill his promises, that’s something he is very good at. And his voters will likely believe him and blame the ‘others’ for not getting a better life. He knows how to play the media and how to play his voters.
The media should realize that history repeats itself. Media that predict that Trump may become more moderate because he can’t keep his promises may be wrong. Compare this to a 1932 quote in the New York Times, during Hitler’s rise to power: “If Nazis are allowed to govern they’ll become more moderate because they’ll find it impossible to keep their campaign promises.” Ignore history at your own peril…
The thing that worries me most about Trump and the fact that he got elected, is that it’s suddenly almost acceptable to be openly racist or anti-gay. This will set the US decades back. I realize many Trump voters are no real racists, but the fact that racism is not a deal breaker for them makes it hard to take them serious. I think very differently about several friends on my Facebook timeline. Many Trump supporters lost a lot of my respect for not being able to think for themselves and for not trying to stop racism, especially if they are traditional Republicans with decent jobs and lives.
Of course many Trumps voters live lives that are hard to imagine for most Hillary Clinton supporters. They are extremely worried about the future, they live paycheck to paycheck – or worse, have no paycheck or need to work several jobs just to survive. In a way I understand that they would vote for a guy like Trump, just because they feel it can’t get any worse. Hillary would have given them more of the same, at least for Trump there would be a chance for a better life. Unfortunately that won’t happen, and they might be a lot worse off 4 years from now, because Trump can’t stop exponential change in technology.
What would be needed, but what Trump will not understand, is a universal basic income. If you can’t provide jobs to people, at least provide them with basic financial security. With Trump that will never happen, because he not only has no clue about the lives of his voters, but also because he doesn’t really care for them. He needed their votes, now he is in power and he can focus on things that will benefit him instead of others.
Another thing I am very worried about is that Trump is too ignorant to understand that climate change is real. He likely won’t see the effect of his own policies anymore, but they could be devastating for the world. Every month new temperature records are broken, storms and hurricanes are getting more powerful, but Trump does not want to see it and wants to create more jobs in ‘traditional’ energy. This scares me to death, right now the thing the world needs is someone who would be willing to fight to stop global warming. It may be too late already, but with Trump at the helm for the next 4 or even 8 years we may literally be doomed.
Silicon Valley may be able to come up with solutions for clean energy that could reverse global warming effects, but the question is how powerful the Bay area will be under Trump’s reign. I would not be surprised if the start-up hubs in Europe (especially Berlin and maybe London if Brexit won’t take place) and China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu) will become much more significant over the next 4 years.
There is some talk about California leaving the union, but I don’t see that happening soon. It seems more wishful thinking to distance themselves from Trump. Understandable but not very practical. But then again, Silicon Valley has shown many times that they can pull off things that nobody expected.
What seems more serious to me is the number of protests that are taking place all over the US. It’s too early to tell whether this is a temporary thing or whether they will grow in size. But with social media this can grow into a real protest movement soon. The Trump voters joke about it on social media and call the protestors whiners who never had a set back in their lives. But they don’t understand that the protestors are not protesting the fact that a Republican won or that Hillary lost. The protestors may not be happy with that, but it would never trigger this kind of protests. They are only protesting the fact that Donald Trump won, simply because he is dangerous and unfit to be president of the USA.
As we have seen in the Middle East over the past years small protests can quickly lead to mass protests that could lead to civil wars. And that’s why I started this essay with the fact that I am worried about the future and that a civil war is a serious threat. How serious? Nobody knows, but if Trump does not become more presidential over the next days, and if he won’t renounce the racist actions things could get ugly soon. Let’s hope I am very wrong.
Can always shoot the f*cker
That may be the trigger for a civil war as well…
I agree with most of the stuff you wrote here. Not sure about World War 3 (certainly hope your wrong their) and don’t know enough about Europe to comment on that, but everything else seems dead on unfortunately and all around its not good and very scary. The environment policy changes we will probably see coming out of the USA now are going to be horrible and hugely disheartening! Either way very glad I live in Canada that’s for sure, thanks for the insight.
PS: like the podcast recommendations from the previous post, been meaning to listen to a few more and got some good ones from you! Thanks
Living in Vancouver is easy as a financially independent investor, but for those who have to work, salaries are still significantly higher across the border and housing prices are lower. Canada would be even better if this problem could be addressed.
Well written essay and I sincerely hope with you that you are wrong indeed.
Unfortunately Shit happens. What irritates me is that people support him, knowing what he did/ how he acts. I can’t see him funtion as a president.
I also don’t think he will be long acting president. Impeachment wil be very real only than still his “guys” and “girls” will be in power.
Let’s hope his example will NOT lead more zealots into power arround the world.