Billionaire. Businessman. Narcissist. “Pussy-grabber.”
“The Donald’s” been called a lot of things.
But there’s a word many of us are still struggling with: “President.”
For a B-List celebrity to bulldoze his opponents this swiftly was not just unexpected: it was unprecedented.
Knock-out rounds against Cruz, Kasich and “Marco” propelled Trump from penthouse to White House in months.
Elected on a handful of action-points, Trump destroyed the foundations of the political archetype.
Clean. Cut. Professional. Qualities with no place in the new political order.
Experience was a curse.
Qualification caused alienation.
And while character-flaws obliterated campaigns, millions of voters decided political failings were greater than personal ones.
A chequered-past was preferable to an empty suit.
Misogyny became “locker talk.” Assault became “jealousy.” Tax fraud was “smart.”
A litany of personal and professional scandal was forgiven; because he wasn’t a politician.
Issues counted. Feelings mattered.
“No record” was better than a broken one.
In an inaugural address promising to “unlock the mysteries of space,” many of us are scrambling for the key to his success.
Our search for solutions is betrayed by our reluctance to accept the result: we don’t want Trump to be President.
It’s too ridiculous. Too improbable. Too dangerous.
We remain hung-up on the celebrity of Trump to comfort ourselves: “This isn’t happening.”
Reality-TV has become Reality-Life.
The boardroom will beckon. The gavel will fall. The finger, pointed: “You’re fired!”
But Reality-Life benefits from Reality-Rules.
Impeachments are rare.
Republicans dominate the House.
The Senate swings red.
Trump is immune.
And yet, there’s hope; hope that extends beyond the next four years.
Despite a sledgehammer policy agenda: politics has matured.
Banning Muslims, building walls, shredding regulations; these cartoon policies; this crayonic, back-of-a-cereal-box mess… these policies transcended Trump.
His personal failings were overlooked. For once, personality took a back-seat.
Attacks on Clinton were rooted in political failure: Libya. E-mails. Lobbying. Diplomacy.
People studied the issues – and voted Trump: the most divisive, unorthodox, contemptuous personality in American politics.
For the first time, the iceberg-candidate won – a candidate with not one, not two, but a whole graveyard of skeletons in the perennial closet.
The issues were bigoted. The policies, savage.
But the vote was principled. It was brave: it was ground-breaking.
Trump isn’t a Saviour of the Right. He isn’t a Saviour of the Left.. But he might be… Just might be… the start of a new age.
An age of politics where background, religion, race, gender, profession and ability serve not as tools to be beaten with; but as perspectives to see with.
Where a criminal record isn’t a hindrance, it’s a benefit.
Where a poor education is a qualification to learn.
Where a background of addiction helps fix our health system.
Where poverty, broken homes and relationships are a source for change.
An age where no one is a write-off. An age where, if we want to contribute, we’re supported. Enabled. Empowered. Trusted.
This is the future we can work towards. The reality of which we’ve proven already: that democracy – depsite its outcomes – is ready for a new kind of politics.
A politics where everyone is credible. Everyone is electable. Everyone – together – hopeful.
Hopeful for a new future.
A better future.
So for anyone thinking, “Corbyn’s a nice guy, but,” or “I like Corbyn’s policies, but don’t trust him to deliver,” remember this: If Donald Trump can do it, against insurmountable odds; against media narratives, against Establishment choices: Corbyn can too.
Trump had a small but deadly team of ruthless campaigners. And while Cambridge Analytica played a huge part in amassing supporters, the truth is tens of millions of Americans voted, when everyone told them not to.
We live in a new age. An age where, if reality says no, it’s a challenge; not a fact.
So when we campaign. When we strategise. When we work together. Remember three words: We. Can. Win.
(This article is an amended version of the original, published on Tremr: https://www.tremr.com/tim-johnston/donald-trump-celebrity-saviour-president)