As the left remains beset by collective amnesia, Trump promises to take the political class on a four-year rollercoaster as he sets about reinventing politics as we know it, says Peter Bingle.
I must to admit to still existing in a sort of post Trump euphoria, so perhaps I am not as objective as is normally the case (!), but the Donald Trump transition is one hell of a show. Who needs television when true life is as exciting as this? Politics dull? You must be joking…
I always expected Trump to be less conventional than his predecessors but not only is he playing the game but he is playing a different game to everyone else. And what is fascinating is that all the initial signs are encouraging. Not only is change going to happen, it is going to be dramatic change. All the old rules have been torn up.
The Left are still traumatised and emotional. Facebook is full of tearful folk who seem unable to come to terms with what has happened. They had better calm themselves as they have seen nothing yet.
The Left are also suffering from selective amnesia. They criticise Trump for involving his family in the transition team but fail to remember that their hero JFK appointed his brother Bobby to be Attorney General. Time for a more balanced approach? Of course but it isn’t going to happen.
The President Elect is clearly a fan of Twitter and is using it brilliantly to make his point or to detract attention. Imagine how the crusty old mandarins in the FCO and Number 10 are coping with tweets about who should be our next ambassador to Washington. It is hard not to smile or even chuckle. The make-believe world of The Apprentice and the X Factor is morphing into what is amusingly called the real world. The Body Politic needed a makeover. It is certainly going to get one!
Over the next four years politics and politicians face a rollercoaster experience as the reality of President Trump and his unique brand of right wing populism impacts not just on the US but all around the world. There is the potential not only to make politics interesting again but also to make it relevant to people from every background and in every country. This must surely be a positive development.
Inevitably the world of politics will calm down in the weeks and months ahead. Much of government is dull and mundane and that will not change even under Donald Trump. I hope, however, that the new President will remain his own man and speak directly to an electorate which is intrigued by his personality and style of politics.
I was a student at LSE in 1980 when Ronald Reagan was first elected and remember attending a lecture the morning after. American students were literally dazed and depressed. Their world had ended and the future was bleak. Of course, Reagan turned out to be one of the great Presidents and I expect something similar with Donald Trump. We all just need to calm down …
In the meantime, however, the trick will be for all of us to hang on with both hands as the rollercoaster gathers speed…