[Opinion column written by Larry Burchall]
Like many other people around the world, after having followed one of the ugliest and lowest of political campaigns, I never seriously thought that the outcome would be President Trump.
However, having worked as co-Chairman of the PLP campaign [1996 – 1998] and having publicly collaborated with Sir John Swan [2011 – 2012] during the OBA run-up to their victory in December 2012, I am fully aware of the fact that political outcomes are heavily influenced by deep emotional facts.
With USA pollsters predicting a narrow win for Hillary Clinton, the New York Times giving Hillary an 84% chance of winning the presidential race, and with the massive turn-away from the Democrats and their candidates; it is clear – to me – that President Trump was born out of a deep anger amongst a layer of white Americans.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 9, 2016
Trump’s wave of support is reminiscent of the USA’s Reconstruction period in the late 1800’s during which the US Supreme Court handed down the Dred Scott decision and ushered in a decades long period of lynching of blacks.
Given the way that the whole of US Government works, and doesn’t work, the likelihood that a now all-Republican controlled White House, Senate, and Congress will make some radical policy changes is now very strong.
This powerful triad will be able to pass legislation with this easiness a direct contrast to President Obama’s sometimes extra-ordinary difficulty in getting simple legislation through both Houses.
With all that, and with the USA certainly on track to become more isolationist and perhaps even erratic and unpredictable in its foreign policy, the World can expect to see China and Russia become far bolder and more strident in their foreign actions.
Even as I write this, European media report that NATO is planning to deploy more troops closer to NATO’s borders with Russia. Indeed, German tanks are being sent into Estonia to beef up Estonia’s border with Russia. These European media reports suggest that as many as 300,000 NATO troops are being put into a higher state of readiness.
But here at 32n64w, what does President Trump portend for us?
As a businessman, President Trump and the other two parts of the triad are likely to leave Bermuda alone and not mount any serious effort to suck the lifeblood out of Bermuda’s unique economy by trying to repatriate as many as possible of the big companies who operate in and through Bermuda.
However, that positive may be offset by a stronger EU initiative to close down almost all offshore financial centres.
Will President Trump preside over an American economy that booms and grows with good spin-offs for us at 32n64w?
Time will tell. However such a boom is unlikely because of the still on-going shift of manufacturing and industrial capacity from the high cost ‘developed’ West to the lower-cost ‘developing’ countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.
In short, under President Trump, Bermuda will sail far closer to its motto of “Quo Fata Ferunt”.
Between now and 2020, the Trump winds will blow Bermuda somewhere. And given the massive upset engineered by Trumps contrarily successful run for the Presidency, Bermuda may find itself doing what much of the rest of the world is doing this morning.
And that is scratching heads, furrowing brows, and puzzling out loud: “What happened?”
- Larry Burchall
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