I still don’t believe it – Hillary Clinton is not POTUS. A ghost somewhat resembling Ronald Reagan is back in the saddle, the Clintons are relegated to history’s dustbin (and perhaps the penal system) and the Left, as usual, is both wrong and furious. I did not mention Ronald Reagan by mistake – the parallels are plentiful, especially in the vilification department.
There are more than enough post-mortems of the miraculously, marvelously upsetting and unexpected outcome of these elections, all featuring the allegedly wise heads who said a Trump triumph was impossible but who now, once again and undaunted, dispense their oracular wisdom about what the future will hold. In case you can’t guess, by their accounting it will be mostly terrible. I will not tell you why did Donald Trump won, except to note that, judging by the impotent fury of progressives and aggressives, various minorities and terminal idiots, the right person won the prize. The high-decibel rabble now protesting democracy and its result in America are livid that their countrymen — their lesser countrymen, as they would have it — dared to think for themselves, refused to do as they were told. How typical of the Left, which professes to love democracy but only until such time when the elections don’t go their way.
There is yet more comic relief from the ranks of the Republican elite, where we can observe an indecent haste to eat their words, uttered so recently with indignation and righteous fury when disowning their own candidate. Now the same scolds and naysayers are, pardon the pun, trumpling each other in a race to gather the crumbs of power from the table of the man they urged their fellow Americans to scorn in the voting booth. This is the same guy they maligned, undermined and betrayed at every turn. It is better to watch than a five-ring circus, albeit with more than the usual quota of clowns. To the extent that our political stage here in Australia is a sideshow beside the big top of US politics, the critics-turned-supplicants bring to mind our very own Malcolm Turnbull, PM, who bucketed Pauline Hanson in the run-up to the election and must now work with the very same woman he denigrated and reviled. You would have to be Niki Savva (or have a hubby working in the PM’s office) to see anything but an egomaniacal blowhard’s folly in that little prime ministerial outburst.
But I was talking about a US election, so let me observe that, as a long-term student of the American system, I can’t remember such fury after any other election which did not go the left’s way. Why such a strong feeling this time? I am mildly concerned that the combination of the left’s frustration and presumed moral superiority might prompt episodes of armed violence, as idiots consider it their right and obligation to resist “tyranny”. It is an impression enhanced by an internet meme doing the rounds as I type — a Facebook post allegedly authored by Hollywood scriptwriter Paul Schrader. It may be a hoax — I hope it is — but the currency of its instantly widespread circulation and endorsements is deeply unsettling. Here is the post that thousands of disgruntled leftists are “liking” (emphasis added):
I have spent the last five days meditating on Trump’s election. Upon consideration, I believe this is a call to violence. I felt the call to violence in the 60’s and I feel it now again. This attack on liberty and tolerance will not be solved by appeasement. Obama tried that for eight years. We should finance those who support violence resistance. We should be willing to take arms. Like Old John Brown, I am willing to battle with my children. Alt-right nut jobs swagger violence. It’s time to actualize that violence, Like by Civil War Michigan predecessors I choose to stand with the black, the brown and the oppressed.
Schrader, who wrote the script for Raging Bull and several other modern classics, lives near the bucolic town of Lake Carmel in upstate New York. How would he fancy a bit of “swagger violence”, whatever that means, being visited upon his front door and the man who opens it? Probably wouldn’t fancy it at all, but that’s the Left all over — prescribe for others what you won’t countenance for yourself. So far no shots have been fired and the only “violence” is of the fanciful hoax variety, as mad anti-Trumpers fabricate incidents of alleged redneck intolerance. Online magazine Reason examines some of the bogus incidents here.
Nevertheless, what we have seen — the street protests, window-smashing, foul chants and open contempt for those who voted Trump into office — remains unprecedented, like almost everything else in this mercifully concluded election. Gradually it dawned on me that this fury was actually the protesters’ farewell to their power of making all of us think and act the way they wanted us to. So long have they occupied the pulpits of public opinion, preaching their ever-expanding PC rectitude, they actually believed the rest of the population was listening, heeding and living in fear of their warnings. But the greater populace wasn’t listening, as they now know, merely enduring their endless sermons and proscriptions. The greater populace didn’t like the idea of grown men in dresses using women’s toilets, to cite but one example. The greater populace was gritting its teeth, biting its tongue and biding its time until someone came along who was gloriously, unashamedly politically incorrect. That man was Donald J. Trump, and when the opportunity arose they voted for him.
Meanwhile, what of Barack Obama’s legacy? He was the man who was going to end America’s racial enmities, yet eight years on they are worse than ever, with white cops being gunned down by Black Lives Matter zealots. He did get one thing right, however: his promise to stop global warming and the allegedly rising seas. That one was easy. The seas still aren’t rising to any significantly measurable extent, while global warming had stalled at least nine years before he came to office. He has a Nobel Peace Prize and that will have to be his consolation — a prize also awarded to the likes of Ho Chi Min and Yasser Arafat, which tells you what it is worth. He can fondle that Nobel trophy as Trump attempts to address some of the damage his predecessor wrought by his abrogation of global leadership, a retreat that has seen the advance of the tyranny and massive nuclear proliferation. Obama’s name will be associated with the Middle Eastern upheaval and turmoil, the flow of the refugees into Europe, un-resisted Russian aggression, the ignominy of the Iranian nuclear deal and betrayal of US allies.
Most of all, Obama’s presidency will be remembered as the leading cause and trigger of the American people wishing to distance themselves from other people’s troubles, since the isolationist undercurrent, alive and well through most of US history, seems to have been given voice to an as-yet-unknown extent. Obama’s legacy will not be celebrated for its greatness, except by his barrackers. Rather, it will be remembered as an illustration of the immortal saying about good intentions and their consequences.
Yet Trump will, in his own words, strengthen America’s military machine and make sure it remains the best fighting force on the planet. That will take money. A lot of money. It means that the Democrats’ priorities will be superseded and budgetary restraints imposed on welfare and entitlements (including Obamacare). It will also mean demands on American allies for a larger contribution to their own defense. There’s nothing more annoying than a bludging friend. Behind Trump’s rhetoric is a very simple instruction: “Guys, start paying for your own security!” It is not beyond the realm of the possible that Australia will be asked to pay more as well. We’ve been riding on the American coattails for long enough.
The brightest flash in the Trump ascendancy is that the next president, judging by his words, will neither suffer nor be cowed by the PC police. The ripple effect from this simple defiance should be immense. Trump’s tendency to call a spade a spade may well be replicated all over the world. Will its influence help to see the end of Section 18C law in Australia? Who knows, but it will affect the atmosphere in which these kinds of legal follies are conceived, sustained and implemented.
The main lesson of an American election for the world, including Australia, is this: the silent majority can still find its voice. This majority has been gagged by PC culture and the Left’s creeping, ever-expanding crimps on freedom of speech, plus the elites’ preoccupation with irrelevancies and useless niceties. I dare to hope there is an antipodean Trump waiting to reflect Australian voters’ concerns. When he or she takes the microphone and is heard, our local left will have something to fret about.
Dr Michael Galak and his family came to Australia as refugees from the Soviet Union in 1978