America Wanted a Change

Published 9/12, 2016 at 12:56

Dear Reader
Here on this side of the pond we ask ourselves how was it possible for Donald J Trump to win the US presidency? Days before the election, and even as late as the voting day, most polls indicated that Hillary Clinton would win, albeit with a rather narrow majority.

But many have argued that Trump managed to mobilize the grey mass of Americans who do not normally vote. This time they went to the poles and the reason was that they wanted a change.

A change with Clinton in power would not happen was probably their assessment. But still almost 50% of Americans did not vote this time. For Swedes, like me, it is almost inconceivable that a controversial businessman and soap opera personality can be a country’s top leader. Many made the same assessment when Ronald Reagan became president and even when Arnold Schwarzenegger managed to get elected governor of California. But perhaps that is something we will have to get used to in Sweden and even in the rest of Europe, who knows.

How Trump managed to get elected, despite the crude statements he made during the election campaign, is striking for us Swedes. But in the US, anything is possible and is perhaps also a form of freshness. But for anyone to venture into politics and offend people the way Trump did many consider a real danger.

However, our society and our world concern everybody, as we all live in it. And if we are not satisfied with things, it is one’s right to work for a change. Donald Trump has proven that it is indeed possible, even though he is not a professional politician, whatever that is? But now that Trump has reached the presidency he also needs to deliver what he promised in order to make America great again. And that will probably be far more difficult than reaching the presidency.

One should also not forget that Trump is a businessman and not a politician. And as the smart businessman he is Trump detected an unsatisfied group with special needs. He tailored his campaign and rhetoric to satisfy this need in a seamless and brutal winning way. We should also remember that he also did it with far fewer resources than Hillary Clinton. Now the sales pitch is over, especially noticeable in his victory speech, he was humble and even made a small tribute to Hillary Clinton. What the world has seen and especially Americans is a remarkably chilling and brutal lesson in marketing and the art of leading a target group that for various reasons felt left out and mistreated. The only question is whether Trump really has understood what forces he has unleashed...

Jan Hermansson


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