There aren’t any stories this week other than Donald Trump. As the most unlikely Republican candidate in years rose through the ranks to become the nominee, few held out any hope that he could topple the established and experienced Democratic nominee, and seemingly Presidential certainty, Hillary Clinton.
Earlier this week, we learnt that polls mean nothing, assumptions are foolish and the American Electoral College is nothing more than a confusing beast – Democrats being quick to point out that more Americans voted for Clinton than Trump. It’s unlikely these arguments would have come to the fore had she been successful and the situation reversed, but that’s the beauty of a robust democracy.
With world markets reeling, countries, businesses and individuals struggled to come to terms with the implications of a Trump Presidency – will it be positive or peppered with racism? Will all global treaties be destroyed? Will Trump blow up ISIS strongholds as he promised?
As we have seen from a very immediate financial turnaround, the reason markets spiralled out of control, was less about Trump and more about those responsible for our expectations. Pollsters and pundits have been telling us for a long time how big the Clinton lead was – up to 14 points, having shrunk to just over 4 on average after the Clinton email scandal was reignited by WikiLeaks. Entering election day, Clinton supporters in New York could be forgiven for celebrating early, as she quickly moved ahead, and even as votes were counted across Middle America Trump made a predictable comeback that didn’t concern many. But Clinton never recovered, despite taking California, and the world was left scratching its head – something the global markets don’t respond well to.
Since then, Trump has taken on a far more Statesmanlike¬†persona – ¬†meeting with President Obama, complimenting Hillary Clinton and even removing the promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico from his website. His surrogates now saying that the wall won’t happen right away.
Even as Trump protests gather momentum in cities around America, senior officials in both parties are doing their best to allay any concerns, ironically, presenting a united front in the face of public scrutiny and media beat-ups. The only dissenting voice being Cintone’s running mate, Tim Kaine, who has expressed a wish to keep fighting, something that other American politicians hae likely had enough of.
Critically, while the state of politics in the US is dire – almost half of all Republicans and Democrat voters consider the other party ‘scary,’ the economy is showing good signs (taking into account disaster zones like Detroit) and the business community seems less than concerned.
An informal survey of Silicon Valley leaders showed more optimism than would be expected, with many pointing out that Trump is pro-business, and with Peter Thiel as a key backer, the tech community can expect a lot of attention over the next four years.
Trump has also vowed to up infrastructure projects, and use this is a tool to decrease unemployment and kickstart the blue-collar economy – not exactly revolutionary, but undeniably effective.
It’s understandable that people are afraid, especially after such a brutal (and unreasonably long) campaign, but when the Trump team take over the White House in January, it will be surrounded by the checks, balances and expertise, that give America it’s strength. And who knows if Trump will surprise everyone? We need to give him a chance, for our own sakes.