Thursday 23 November 2017

Time for Jobs President to deliver more than crude nasty soundbites

By David Looby

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

OF all the post mortem soundbites on US President elect Donald Trump's stunning victory over Hillary Clinton, it was a comment from the mouths of babes, an 8-year-old pupil to be specific, that stopped me in my tracks.

Walking up the street on her way to school, the student said in hushed, frightened tones: 'America is in deep darkness'.

Nail hit on head! I felt in similar darkness when I awoke Wednesday morning very early, (for me), to read on the bottom of the CNN channel screen that the Donald was due to be announced as the 45th American President.

The darkness lingered all morning, creating a miasmic fog in my brain, to the extent that I kept forgetting what I was doing and barely got the Whirlwind Princess and The Little Fella to school and creche on time. At work I couldn't focus on anything and kept going back to news websites to check that what had happened had actually happened.

Was it my ego that was bruised for not seeing this coming? Or was it utter, eye-popping-out-of-head incredulity that HE, the thin skinned, volatile racist, gurning man who casually spoke about being able to grab pu***** because he is a 'star', was going to replace Barack Obama as the most influential politician in the world.

Stupified I scrambled for meaning in a sea of knowing retrospection on news channels. Ultimately it hit home that all the world can do now is try to get along with things and that American citizens, in particular, find it within themselves to not let this most divisive and morally bankrupt man divide a nation already riven with racial tension and inequality.

The election was won in the Rust Belt, in red neck states that haven't voted for a Republican since the 1980s where people felt they had nothing to lose and as a result coloured in the circle for Donald Trump, hoping the New York businessman would make a difference in their lives. Already the President-elect has shown himself to be inconsistent at best, and temperamental and hateful at worst.

Take his tweets, for example. One minute he's blaming the media for inciting 'professional protestors' to take to the streets against his election and the next he's praising the protestors, before going on to attack the New York Times.

The guy's about as consistent as diarrhea.

But, that is not to say he shouldn't be given a fair shot and we can only hope that America, which was once such a beacon for the world in times of war, in times of innovation, in times of social progress, emerges from this heady darkness and becomes great again, as he promised, hand on heart, so many times on the campaign trail.

A move to the right is inevitable and one fears what this will mean for Muslims and 'different' people in a country which was built by the hands of people from numerous different races, including us Irish. Will the 'alt right' ragtag of misanthropes and wannabe Nazis, gay haters and twisted moralists still have the ear of this demagogue? Will Vladimir Putin turn him to the dark side? Will he become patriotic and use his business acumen to create millions of jobs through bold infrastructure spending on roads and God forbid walls? Only time will tell. We have never had an election in Ireland which has had so much drama or such a dramatic protagonist. Enda v Micheál never excited that much interest, but then signing the contract didn't have the import of giving a touchy megalomanaic the codes for the nuclear bombs!

Wexford People

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