Till last night I thought any Democrat but Hillary could easily beat Trump. Now I don't.
It was a revolt against what Democrats and the GOP had become, against globalism. Bernie was part of the revolt too, but he could not have won. Biden has a down to earth, avuncular quality and is a nice man (though it's hard to respect a man who says he's a Catholic but backs abortion), but it wasn't about personalities. Except in that Trump's amazing coarseness and dangerous outspokenness was what made people see him as the antidote to identity politics.
Please remember that what we make of Trump is filtered through the American press, that is horrified by him (there are simply no words) and the European press that is always horrified by Republicans.
In 2000 George W Bush was treated in the European media as a potentially dangerous idiot, who hadn't visited Europe. In the end, it tuned out that he had once, as a teenager with his mother and father on holiday. Reagan was always regarded in Europe as a dangerous fool, throughout his eight years in the White House.
I don't watch TV and follow news on the net via newspapers. I just watched Mr Obama for the third of fourth time in 8 years - he is lovely. And funny. He struck me as cold and desiccated some years ago but he is not. Not folksy of course as American Presidents often have been from Carter to GWB. Which doesn't matter, of course. Whenever he Michelle or Bill campaigned for Hillary they only highlighted how weak she was.
Hillary's concession speech yesterday was dignified (she couldn't bring herself to appear before the cameras on election night to concede) but I am so pleased not to have to put up for eight years with her dull speeches, that smile and, yes, those pantsuits.
Still, though she was a very weak candidate, who got close to the top only by marriage and whose way had been cleared for her by her party's establishment, it wasn't about her.
It was what she perfectly represented.
The ideas that Obama represented with eloquence and freshness with her seemed cant. But the ideas were out of date. Identity politics which promised liberation in fact turned out to be, in they eyes of the Deplorables and others, a prison.
Politics in America is a lot about television. The election is a lot like that old film, Network. Don't underestimate how much hatred of the (extraordinarily biassed) media drove Trump to victory. Yet media made him a star.
Thinking about globalism brings to mind these words of Disraeli's which explain where the USA, the UK and Europe have gone wrong since the 1990s.
In a progressive country change is constant; and the great question is not whether you should resist change which is inevitable, but whether that change should be carried out in deference to the manners, the customs, the laws and the traditions of a people, or whether it should be carried out in deference to abstract principles, and arbitrary and general doctrines.In 2016 people in both Great Britain and the USA voted for the traditions and customs of a people and against abstract and general doctrines.