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Why did Hillary get Trumped & What Does it Mean for Ireland?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are tightening their grips on the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.

Why did Hillary get Trumped and what does it mean for Ireland?

Up until a few hours ago, how many of us uttered the words “President Trump” without smiling to ourselves at the sheer absurdity of such a notion? How we all laughed when he arrogantly announced that his victory would be like “Brexit plus, plus, plus”. Well it’s happened; they’ve gone and made him the most powerful man in the world.

The obvious question to be asked is what kind of electorate would go for a man who promised to build a huge wall along the Mexican border and also wants to identify and deport people based on their religious preferences. This is a man who openly judges women on their appearance and has been caught on tape boasting about sexually assaulting them?

This is a man who thinks not paying taxes is “smart”. He has no problem telling everyone how rich he is even though he’s been bankrupt six times. Indeed, some of his business dealings have left a trail of destruction, causing many job losses among those who trusted him. He’s has been described by commentators as obnoxious, insulting and offensive.

But despite his many traits, he won the contest and he is now the President-elect of the United States of America. One of the main reasons he won was the unpopularity of Hillary Clinton – this is a statement, which sounds obvious, of course, but she was seen as untrustworthy and aloof all though the campaign by many.

In a piece in the New York times last May, columnist David Brooks said: “Clinton’s unpopularity is akin to the unpopularity of a workaholic. Workaholism is a form of emotional self-estrangement. The professional role comes to dominate the personality and encroaches on the normal intimacies of the soul.”

In simple terms, she failed to make the vital personal connection with the majority of voters. All work and no play made Hillary a dull lady. Also, Hilary’s involvement in the Middle East and the her role in the deletion of classified emails from her personal server pushed the distrust even further.

Hillary was also seen to represent a social, economic and political system that has, according to many, betrayed the working class of America. Wages are consistently low and millions of jobs have been shipped abroad. Many decent hard-working Americans are angry and are tired of seeing the rich become richer and the poor stay poor. Make no mistake, this is a revolt and, ironically billionaire Donald Trump is its leader.

What does this mean for us here in Ireland? Many politicians here openly supported Hillary Clinton and derided Trump as a racist and a misogynist who was not fit for office. Last May, Enda Kenny described comments made by Donald Trump as “racist and dangerous”. One future event to look forward to is the Oliver Twist moment when our Taoiseach makes the annual trip to the White House to meet the new president with the bowl of shamrock – providing Enda Kenny is still Taoiseach and Trump actually wants to meet with him.

Of those jobs that were shipped from America, many thousands of them came here when a multitude of US multinational companies set up here because of attraction of low corporation taxes and highly skilled workers. Those jobs could now be in danger as Trump has promised to slash America’s corporation tax from 35% to 15% in a bid to attract these companies back home.

This is also terrible news for the 50,000 Irish who are illegally living in the US. Donald Trump has promised to come down hard on illegal immigrants. He also plans to end the popular J1 visa, a programme, which sees thousands of Irish students spend the summer months working and living in the US.

This morning we logged on to a world full of political commentators on Facebook and Twitter. We turned on our televisions to see Trump giving his victory speech. One surprising aspect was its conciliatory tone and how human Donald Trump looked. Knowing he was going to win, maybe the US administration drafted in someone who can actually write speeches.

It’s not the end of the world. He might not be half as bad as most people fear, he could turn out to be a great president – only because, like the fictional MP Jim Hacker in the sitcom “Yes Prime Minister”, he’ll be ‘handled’ by the American equivalent of the civil service during his time in office.

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