Fear born in Paris was used to reshape world affairs

And so here we are, at a place in international affairs where it seems everything has been turned on its head. This week last year, as people gathered in Paris for a football match, to go to a concert, to enjoy life, we did not know the fear that would be used for much of the following 12 months.

It was a fear that was in many cases justified by the sheer horror that followed in Brussels and Nice. It was a fear that led Europe and the world to a brink, to a state of frenzy that leaves us with inexperienced people in charge in the UK, and in the US.

And so today people worldwide are confused and angry. While many others are seeing the results as just being a manifestation of the rage against the machine. Of being a frustration with the body politic, of a desire to move away from the centre because many feel that the centre has failed them; they represent a new movement in international politics, one that may well be replicated in other countries across Europe in the coming two years.

Already since the US result, we have seen the emboldened messages of welcome from the far-right parties across Europe. This success has warmed the hearts of the likes of Farage and Le Pen and Petry and they will use it to show other countries that it is acceptable to throw out the established political mores and to seek instead a new ideal, an ideal that perhaps will not be as socially inclusive or welcoming as the established policies.

For decades we have been accustomed to politicians fitting a certain template; of being informed, educated, literate, caring and not divisive, and in the main they have. However, the increasing anger and vulgarity in the discourse of politics sees it as a race to the bottom.

There was a tendency from those who were supposedly in the know to look down their noses at the demographic of the Trump supporter. And the Brexit supporter. It was assumed that they knew not what they did but that there would be enough votes form the educated masses to see Hillary and Remain through. But the lesson that has to be learned is that the hard work has to be carried out if those who feel excluded are patronised and demonised as deplorables and xenophobes and racists.

If our worst comic book fears are to be realised, then an unstable President Trump is going to react badly to a bit of provocation and push that nuclear button, but I do not think that is going to happen. The success of the Trump presidency will depend to a large extent on the team that surrounds him. The Republicans will use his success to advance their cause, to rebuild and to make them ensure they do not have to reply on such a candidate again.

One would hope that the bluster and lies and hyperbole of the election campaign will be shed once one gets into office where more exacting standards of accuracy and truth will be expected.

But just because he has been elected does not mean that we can forget the language and behaviour and attitude of the president-elect. His presidency, like the campaign will be event-filled and always potentially explosive.

The businessman who always boasted his ability to make the deal had to make the best pitch of his life to close this deal.

And he has almost pulled it off.

The pressure will be on Trump now to deliver some of what he promised. As Obama found out, the promises and catchphrases can often come back to bite you if the people don’t feel they have been delivered.

Rhetoric got Trump into the White House and rhetoric could be what catches him out at the end.

The deal has not been completed.

He takes the seat in one of the most powerful offices in the world.

It is a job that requires a maturity and selflessness that I do not think he possesses.

He will miss his tweets and his lifestyle.

He ain’t no Pope Francis.

The show will go on.

’Til it doesn’t.



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