The exit poll that caught my eye from the US election was the one in which those who ticked ‘we detest both candidates’ then went on to break 69% for Trump. That would be me too. I think the US voters got this right. Each party nominated the only person who could have lost to the other party’s candidate, but Hillary was worse by far. As for talk of ‘role model’ deficiencies with the Donald, well Hillary attacked the women who accused hubby Bill not of lewd talk but of actual rape. On what planet is that better role-modelling?
And here’s another surprise: it turns out that when East Coast comics insult Midwest voters, as they have done for decades, those voters couldn’t give a fig what comedians and chat-show hosts think about the election. Same with Hollywood stars such as Robert DeNiro ( as per below) and all the other Tinseltown tossers who condemn Trump for his attitude to women.
Regular voters can see that these people are hypocritical morons, the sort who denounce the president-elect in one breath and gush with praise for fugitive molester Roman Polanski or Woody Allen, who couldn’t keep his aged hands of his stepdaughter. Give me the last 30 years of phone and email records for JayZ, Charlie Sheen, DeNiro and the rest and I will personally guarantee that there will be comments a lot worse than Trump’s. So maybe they should have the self-awareness to butt out. Every time some Hollywood halfwit supported Clinton, Trump got more votes. The post-election ‘sore loser’ protests have been enough to make me puke, such are the hypocrisies of the Left these days.
And, just by the way, it’s worth noting that Trump got more of the black vote than Romney or McCain. He got less (yes, LESS) of the white vote than Romney. So the whiny left should shut up about “racism” — except it wouldn’t have anything else to say, so it won’t. Trump also got more of the Latino vote than Romney (who speaks Spanish) or McCain (who has a child married to a Latino). Turns out wide open immigration is not popular with all sorts of groups, including some Latinos.
On substance I hate Trump’s attitude to free trade. I hope Paul Ryan blocks that in the House, though much of this sits in the realm of executive power. Meanwhile, I think Trump will be miles and miles and miles better on appointing Supreme Court judges, given Hillary’s pledge to nominate candidates who are, once you cut through her rhetoric, left-wing pseudo-politicians, much like all of Canada’s top Supreme Court judges and more than a few here in Australia. I like Trump on seeing that if China and Russia do nothing on carbon emissions — and the reality is that they’re not — then carbon taxes and trading schemes and massive subsidies of renewables are idiocy. If we now don’t change direction here in Australia we are going to go from comparatively low cost energy to some of the world’s most expensive, with all of the massive renewables subsidies driving low cost production into the ground. Those disconcerting sounds you hear are jobs, lots of jobs, leaving the country.
Likewise, it’s got to be better to have someone who says he’s going to cut taxes (personal and company) rather than Hillary, who was going to raise them. After a momentary drop immediately after Trump’s victory was confirmed, the market has rebounded and is going gangbusters. This should come as no surprise when the president-elect’s proclaimed policy is to cut taxes and get rid of Obamacare, awful for small businesses.
Oh, and when Trump says he’s sick and tired of effete European countries (and Canada) not paying anything for their own defence, and relying on the Americans to pick up the tab while they spend their money on uber-generous welfare-state stuff, well The Donald is absolutely correct. I suspect Australia might need to ramp up its defence spending mighty soon if it wants a sympathetic ear in the White House.
So, yep, the vulgar, narcissistic, lewd guy won. He won despite just about every big banker, all of Hollywood – 98% of journalists and commentators, and 90% of big company CEOs wanting Hillary in the White House and spending up big to achieve that result. That tells you how bad Hillary was.
More than anything, Trump’s victory was a thoroughgoing condemnation of Obama, one of the worst presidents of my lifetime. He’s been terrible on foreign policy (think the Iran deal, think Libya, think drawing red lines once, twice and then poof!). He’s been terrible on the economy for all the many people who have gone backwards under his watch, which includes most blacks and all of Hillary’s ‘deplorables’, aka half the country. Indeed, it is because of Obama that the Republicans now control both Houses of Congress and the presidency for the first time since … wait for it … 1928! You can kiss Obama’s legacy goodbye. It won’t exist in two or three years.
Obama one gift was to be perceived as a nice guy, rather than the blithering incompetent and blinkered leftist ideologue that he is. He was a black man elected to the top job by over a hundred million Americans (twice), which was a good thing as far as demonstrating that the old, endemic racism of Bull Connor and the segregationist Democrats of the Deep South belong only to history. But that still leaves Obama’s awful policies, one of whose few positive attributes seems to be the ability to bring out the village idiot in our own leaders. Think here of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s facial expression at the press conference when he ‘conceded’ that Trump had won (and made clear his patent preference for Hillary) – or think, too, of the outright idiocy of supposed right-of-centre cabinet ministers calling candidate Trump, amongst other things, ‘a dropkick’ when he was one of two candidates for leader of our most important ally. If you ever suspected that the Turnbull cabinet is replete with ministers who were given IQ tests and failed, those ill-advised remarks should serve as confirmation.
The smug, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou preaching from those who favoured Hillary (as if their antennae are the pinnacle of moral evolution), was unbearable. I would have preferred Scott Walker as the Republican candidate; but, that said, I would certainly have held my nose and opted for Trump. In fact, back on September 11, I predicted to Tom Switzer that The Donald would win. To demonstrate I was serious, I subsequently bet $100 on the Republican, which I suppose in some enervated way counts as putting money where my mouth was. Yes, the relentless publication of the polls purporting to demonstrate an inevitable Clinton victory made me have my doubts, but I figured there was a half-decent chance the polls might be wrong the way they were with Brexit.
Let me finish with that point about the polls. I have never believed, not for a second, that Tony Abbott would have lost the 2016 election if he hadn’t been defenestrated by 54 turncoats in his own party. There were 30 polls in a row showing Brexit would lose in the 12 months before that vote. And the poll accumulators had Trump behind throughout the entire race. If polls are destiny, Brexit never happened and Hillary is the American president.
But polls aren’t destiny. It’s plain they lean toward what the cultural elites want. It’s plain that many regular voters won’t and don’t tell pollsters the truth. It’s plain that the Liberal Party in this country made a huge error in ditching Abbott for Turnbull in order to appease the ABC and all of the many pundits who, up until quite late on election night in the US, were saying there nd here as well that the election was in the bag for the Democrat. A million former Liberal voters deserted the party this past July. It will be more at the next election if Turnbull is still the party’s leader.
Let’s be honest, and putting personalities aside, Turnbull has a lot more in common with Clinton’s policies than with Trump’s, which is why our current Prime Minister comes across as terminally inauthentic to so many of us on the small government, free speech, Hobbesian side of politics (and of the Liberal Party).
James Allan, Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland, is the author of Democracy in Decline