Brexit Times Ten: The Autumn Of Discontent

After Britain voted decisively to leave the EU in June, many joked that what happened in the UK may not necessarily stay in the UK. After all, if Britons were foolish enough to leave Europe, perhaps Americans would be stupid enough to elect Donald Trump.

After self-styling himself as Mr. Brexit, the former Apprentice star promised a "Brexit times ten."

And, he certainly did not disappoint: all hail President Trump.

A political outsider whose candidacy was mocked when he first threw his hat into the ring nearly 18 months ago, the reality TV star has achieved the most improbable victory in modern U.S. history. And he didn't do it with a razor-thin margin either: he catapulted his party into perhaps their most powerful position ever, with a tight grip on the Oval Office, the House, and the Senate.

After starting his bid for the White House by branding most Mexicans as criminals and rapists whilst threatening to build a wall with Mexico, he went onto to insult African Americans, women and Muslims alike whilst endorsing the Ku Klux Klan, and vowing to muzzle the press, and jail his opponent Hillary Clinton.

One of these outrageous remarks would have felled a normal candidate, but the number of times Trump has managed to resurrect himself from the political dead defied all logic. Even a string of sexual assault allegations was not enough to stand between him and the White House.

It reveals not only how deeply unpopular his rival Secretary Clinton was, but also how powerful his anti-establishment rhetoric was to a no longer silent white majority who have languished since the 2008 financial crIsis.

Although a Great Depression was avoided, the loose monetary policy of the last eight years has only made the rich richer, whilst the ordinary man on the street floundered as his real wages failed to keep up.

There is a deep anger amongst the electorate and voters in both the U.S. and the UK stood up against globalization and all of its perceived ills. What we are witnessing is a revolt against the political and economic order that has governed the western world since the end of WWII.

Trump struck a chord with the angry disenfranchised working class who have seen the certainties of their world fade. And, as was the case with Brexit, the incumbents underestimated the power of the populist.

But, as the old saying goes: the mob rules Rome. And on both sides of the Atlantic, an emotional campaign with a basic battle cry overcame all rationality: the people voted for change without a thought for what will follow. An act of desperation perhaps but their voices have finally been heard.

Eight years ago, the U.S. voted for "Hope". Today, America ushered in not only a complete change of the guard, but a Brave New World. Whether this marks America's descent into pessimism remains to be seen.

With elections coming up in France, Germany and Italy, it will be interesting to see what happens next. If Arabs had their spring five years ago, perhaps the west is finally having its summer and autumn of discontent.

Those determined to see the glass as half full will dismiss all of Trump's election banter as mere gibberish. Will President Trump be different from Trump the candidate? The optimistic view is that the heartless xenophobic racist sexist candidate will transform once inside the Oval Office.

Such a change is plausible but such tactics are what earned him the presidency in the first place. Moreover, he has rejected all previous efforts to be brought to the middle ground.

And, Trump's bombastic character does have a frightening element of uncertainty. As Hillary Clinton argued ,a man you can bait with a tweet is not someone you want in charge of nuclear weapons.

However, there is always the chance that he might take this chance to remould himself into something more presidential now that he's no longer competing for the White House.

The world will certainly be closely watching Trump's first 100 days in office. There is much at stake and he must decide what kind of president he hopes to be. Let's hope that it is someone who America can be proud of: the world and future generations are counting on him.

Oh, how I miss Barack Obama.