Quote from Ted
As I witness the results of this election cycle, specifically the election of the next President of the United States, one absurdist play comes to my mind. It's a play titled, "Rhinoceros", written by Eugene Ionesco in the late 1950s. This play explores the themes of conformity, mass movements, the mob mentality. I remember it being in response to the Nazism of the 1930s-1940s, and the rise of Communism during the 1950s. It explores how easily humanity can collectively conform to some kind of extremism, where individual thought and critical thinking are sacrificed.
No doubt that the mood in the rallies that I watched oftentimes resembled a cult get-together. It's a reflection I've made in previous posts. I was uncomfortable witnessing the crowd's automatic and adoring cheers and laughs even when decidedly ugly things were said or displayed.
I watched Donald's acceptance speech. To his credit, he at least attempted to appear more presidential-like.
Even though this was a stark contrast to previous rhetoric and the speech was of course written by someone else I was still relieved to hear the more conciliatory tone. Whether it's sincere or not will have to be proven through future actions
but I still think that it was important that he didn't opt to further inflame the mood and antagonize those voters who were painfully dissappointed to see him win.
It was even slightly amusing when he said "Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country"
because it was obvious that the crowd didn't really know how they were supposed to react. Boo? Cheer? What? Quite a 180 from "criminal and nasty" one might say... but still I think that calming the crowd was a much better option than the alternative. There has been more than enough hostility and hatred.
Of course I realize that the speech was the product of smart speech writers and of course I realize its purpose but still, I find it a bit intriguing. What's his real persona? Both? No doubt he can be brash and arrogant (we've seen it) but were some of the offensive things said at the rallies simply a strategy to galvanize the crowds? Has he himself or someone else figured out that this would appeal to a large block of voters? If so, what does that say about those voters? Is he now going to emulate a different persona? Can he?
I think that the biggest problem now is the uncertainty that surrounds this man. No one knows how
he is going to behave. He will shortly be entrusted with a large amount of power. How will he handle that? Use it wisely or make rash dangerous decisions? The markets reflect that uncertainty. People's emotions reflect that uncertainty.
I think that there are a lot of things he talked about/planshe described before the election that will never come into fruition. Build a wall? Totally impractical/borderline undoable. I don't think it will happen. Mass deportations? I don't think that will happen either. It would be a massive time and money-consuming enterprise and I don't know how agriculture and other areas where many immigrants work would survive without their help. I suspect it was mostly bluster.
Imposing 45% tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. and 35% tariffs on Mexican exports? Don't think that will happen either. The costs of those tariffs would be passed on to U.S. consumers and businesses. I doubt that most Americans are willing to pay an extra 40% for their laptops or smartphones.
Time will tell.
As I said in my previous post, this wasn't the outcome I'd hoped for. At all. I don't think that he has the requisite experience for the job. Not that I've ever been President, but I imagine that it requires a very specific set of skills, knowledge and temperament. Being a businessman with no experience of foreign policy, diplomacy and the inner workings of politics will likely make the next for years a real challenge. As far as values go, I personally disagree with most of what he has said during the campaign but it's the lack of experience and his temperament that makes me worried.