The texts started about 6:00 AM London Time. They were all apologies, angst, shock. Amongst my friends in America, only me and one other had been predicting a Trump victory.
Telling America's coastal elite that Trump would win was like vomiting at a dinner party to which one had arrived uninvited. And then doing a wee on the living room floor. There was the sense, even amongst the closest of friends, that one had transgressed a boundary of good taste.
I'd had a strange year which involved traveling to almost all of the so-called Battleground States. I used to spend a lot of time in the American Middle West, but hadn't been in the region for a decade. What I saw a few months ago was a ruination and emptiness unreflected in the rhetoric amongst my friends and their news sources. It was clear that a real and significant change had happened in the good ol' USA. Anything was possible.
I spent most of October in Europe, and whenever I'd tell some gentle-hearted european that Trump would win the election, they agreed immediately. I wondered if they really did think Trump would be the victor of if they were just being polite. Who knows? Some were editors and publishers with a vested economic interest in keeping me happy.
Then again, for how many years has Europe experienced the same phenomenon? How many elections have featured predictions of a Left or Centrist victory before voting day that have ended with a tsunami of the Right crashing down on the collective psyche? Trump has felt inevitable since Brexit.
There's going to be years of scholarship and journalism about this election and some of these journalists and scholars might even get it right, but here's a quick take: when the entire world, with the exception of about 15.000 people, has agreed on the total failure of Neoliberalism, it's probably a bad idea for a politcal party to run a candidate who is the living embodiment of Washington/Georgetown Neoliberal consensus. Especially if she's a terrible at campaigning. And a legacy pledge. And part of the party that's been in the White House for eight years.
It was only last week when it started to feel like people in power realized that Clinton would lose. Early voting returns had come in, we were told, and they were showing a marked decrease in Black Voters. The unspoken implication being that when the loss happened, we'd all know who to blame.
This laid bare the madness of the Clinton campaign and their news media apparathicks. People believed, honestly, that she would bring in as many Black voters as Barack Obama, who in addition to having a special and meaningful relationship with Black folk, is the most talented campaigner the Democrats have had since Roosevelt.
Obama is a political superstar. If there weren't term limits on the presidency, I imagine he'd be in power until the day of his death. Clinton has none of his gifts, and worse, had somehow tapped into the grotesque faux-outrage of the US's soft Left.
We've in for months, if not years, of people talking about Trump's election being the repudiation of political correctness. I don't know about that, but this is what I will say: if the only tool in your political arsenal is public shame, don't be surprised what happens when you encounter a shameless man.
Republicans are the clever ones now — the ones who understand mass
media and pop culture and the Internet and avant-garde post-moderism.
The Democrats are a party of people who clutch their pearls everytime
there's an opinion expressed by someone who wasn't born with a
PhD in Gender Studies from UC Berkeley.