Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a new world order led by the one and only Donald Trump. Xenophobic, sexist, crass, wealthy to an absolutely filthy degree and horribly misogynist, he claims to be committed to making America great again.
It would take a lot of small batch Bourbon to believe this but here we are and what we must do is try to have faith in the better aspects of the Trump agenda.
This will not be easy. You know you have a right cretin on your hands when the actual Pope inveighs against someone’s immoral logic.
Francis responded to Trump’s commitment to building a great border wall to keep Mexicans out of the land of the free by making disapproval of his ethics clear.
‘Christians do not build walls,’ he offered, when told of Trump’s plan. ‘A Christian excludes no one’.
In response Trump branded the pontiff ‘disgraceful’.
A key motif in Trump’s campaign has been issuing a lot of promises about bringing the ‘forgotten people’ of America towards some kind of recompense for their economic exploitation and cultural alienation. This sounds like a noble intention, but given Trump has built his empire and billions off the backs of the underpaid labour of those the economic system least serves, and given how he has managed to get by until now without considering these ‘forgotten people’ very much at all - it would take a certain kind of naivety to feel there is any truth in this.
If someone has hubris such as this man does, let us be very afraid of what he could do if he loses the run of himself and is not kept firmly under the control of a complex US administration both in congress and in the pentagon. The very instruments of the administration he will preside over will not be duped by his whims so he will never find political consent for the building of his ludicrous wall.
So let us not despair but instead have faith in the best part of the US government - the bulk of rational, ethically minded political representatives dedicated to building a better society - to keep the more egregiously florid aspects of Donald Trump’s will to power in check. He will not be granted sole authority on matters such as the use of nuclear weapons, so the idea that he might kickstart apocalypse because of a lack of hair follicles is impossible. There are all kinds of checks and balances we must keep faith in.
And it is actually not all bad. The possible strength of the Trump presidency is that he is not fully embedded in the US political establishment and so may feel freer to act in ways that tradition has hitherto debarred even when such actions are immoral - and this is something Hillary is guilty of even if she also possesses so much that is worthy of praise. His status as an outlier could turn out to be one of his best gifts. For one thing I think the US has a much better chance of establishing a better relationship with Russia under Trump than it would have done under Clinton - something vital for a more peaceful world order and, most importantly, something immediately necessary in attempting to end the horror of Aleppo and broader unrest throughout the Middle East. All of us must hope that Trump can be persuaded that the true goal of a US President should not simply be about making America ‘great again’, but firstly and lastly to use the discharge of immense power and authority to build a better world.