If I can strike a discordant note here…
Might there not be something to be said for having a US President who – amongst other, far less admirable things – can get on with Putin, doesn’t want to invade the Middle East, has set himself against political corruption, and is concerned about the effects on ordinary workers of globalisation?
The pity is that it had to take the form of this obnoxious, privileged, racist, sexist, ignorant, narcissistic, dishonest, tax-avoiding, asocial, thin-skinned (any more?) monster, instead of a genuinely left-wing champion of the people, like Bernie Saunders, who might have beaten him on his own pitch; or, best of all, a far more radical and inspiring woman candidate than the rather too conventional – except as regards her gender – Hillary Clinton. Trump really is a fascist. His appeal is almost exactly the same as Hitler’s in the mid-1930s, minus the particular emphasis on Jews. His was always the form a genuine American fascism would take. (And have you noticed how he has taken to thrusting his lower jaw forward after he has finished ranting, just like Mussolini?)
It’s all part of a pattern, of course – this, Brexit, the various populist movements all over Europe – of popular discontent with the impact, whether people realise it or not, of late-stage capitalism. It somehow seems deliciously apt that a man who is almost a caricature of late-stage capitalism – a shallow, greedy, unproductive chancer – should be the one to preside over what may be (fingers crossed) its death throes. Short of death, the only answer to it, in Britain as well as in America, must be a popular left-wing movement that addresses the Trumpists’ and Brexiteers’ fundamental material concerns, but without Trump’s and Farage’s dangerous nationalist and nativist baggage. Corbyn’s Labour Party comes close; if only it had – or Corbyn could become – a more acceptable leader. Can Bernie push the Democrats this way?
If this depressing election persuades enough of the discontented of this, it might turn out not to be the complete disaster it appears to be now. Cold comfort, I realise, but it’s the best I can do.