It always happens on a Tuesday night in November. That’s when we learn who it is that gets to try and run the United States for the next four years. In the lifetime of the Boomer generation, I cannot recall a more dramatic contrast than what we saw this past week, compared to that amazing night in 2008.
Eight years ago, as our southern neighbour was struggling to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, there was a genuine feeling that anything might be possible following the election of Barack Obama, the first African American to serve in the Oval Office. Who wouldn’t want to believe a man whose mantra was “Yes We Can”!
Unfortunately, it appears the Obama years will largely be remembered as a time of promise that went unfulfilled. The economy recovered somewhat, as it always does, but the gap between the haves and the have nots in America has never been wider, and the violent struggles involving race and guns have gotten worse, not better.
Now, as Obama prepares to turn the job over to The Donald, a man who was regarded as a sick joke barely 12 months ago, one can only hope that ‘political gridlock’ will continue to be the norm. It was that gridlock as much as anything, that prevented Obama from persuading Congress to pass more effective laws on gun ownership, and to bring in a health care system that had a chance of succeeding.
Mr. Trump made a lot of rude noises on the campaign trail. He wants to see a wall erected between the U.S. and Mexico, paid for by the Mexicans, and he want to keep Muslims from entering the United States. He thinks climate change is a hoax, and he wants America to tear up the Paris Accord, as well as inconvenient trade deals like NAFTA.
He wants to “make America great again”, but he’s a bit short on details as to what that means. For all those who are dreading the next four years, maybe it’s best to put your faith in Gridlock. More often that not, it seems to turn out to be the strongest prevailing force.
I’m Roger Currie