The Barbarians

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The Barbarians are not just at the gate, they’ve broken through it.

Even though Hillary Clinton, by far the best qualified to be president, gained more than 50% of the vote, the village idiot Trump, one of the least qualified in history, was elected.

The US election system, already one of the world’s democracies’ most corrupt, is utterly broken. Corrupt? In some states, it is legal for political party workers to use intimidation to prevent “undesirable” people from voting. In some states, if you vote early, you can change your mind and go back and change your vote. The Republicans were deploying muscle gangs to intimidate voters in lines at polling places.

I don’t think people realise just how scary this result is yet.

  • Both Trump and the vice president Pence are anti-abortion. Pence is a fundamentalist Christian who is virulently anti-abortion. It is very likely that abortion will soon be made illegal in the USA. This must horrify many women. Abortion will be illegal even in the case of rape. We’ve hardly heard about this.
  • Republican policy, and Trump’s, is to abolish Obama Care, properly known as the Affordable Care Act. This will take health care away from mostly poor people. Can you imagine that? The world’s richest country, yet they will deny health care to the poor.
  • Trump is going to reduce taxes, mainly benefitting the richest, yet plans to massively increase spending on the military and infrastructure. It’s economically impossible without printing money. It is going to produce financial and economic chaos.
  • Trump’s fan base is white, gun totin’ lower educated males. The kind who carry gun racks in their pickups and wear guns on their hips in states that allow it such as Texas. These guys are not exactly tolerant and open minded. They will now feel licensed to be bigoted.
  • Trump and his inner coterie believe global warming and climate change is a “Chinese hoax”. They are committed to pulling out of the Paris climate accords painfully negotiated last year. This will give other countries an open ticket to ignore the agreement too. As a climate change expert said on the BBC Business Report this morning, this is disaster. This point took years to reach, and the USA is now walking away. There will be nothing to stop the horrendous effects of global warming. We will feel the effects even more than we are already.

And so on – I could go on and on. And despite Trump’s syrupy words about bringing the country together, protests and divisions have arisen already where there were none visible before. America is now an even more divided country: between the very wealthy and the rest; between the comfortably off and the huge poor population of the world’s richest country; between white poorly educated gun lovers and university educated technocrats who voted for Hillary; between the religious Right and all other religions in the USA, especially Muslims, much more of a factor than in this country; between white Americans and Latino Americans … and so on and so on. It’s started already – protests have broken out on the west and east coasts.

As one of my friends says, it is even conceivable that there could be a new American civil war. It would be between the heavily armed, bigoted, racist, anti-government militias (of which there are many) and perhaps the real military, deployed to protect the neutral population. Between the coastal technocrats and the poorly educated but heavily armed centre of the country.  This is pretty far fetched, of course, but we thought Trump being elected was far fetched too.

In summary, America is now a severely divided country and the poor and the sick and the lower skilled are going to suffer even more than they do now. Sheee-it!

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