IAN HART: United States set for a rollercoaster ride

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

If you think British politics is a toxic environment, to quote the legendary song by Bachman Turner Overdrive – you ain’t seen nothing yet.

I was on holiday in the United States for the week leading up to last week’s presidential election.

When it comes to stateside campaigning, nothing is off limits – but, ultimately, negativity is the watchword.

The traditional party political broadcasts of the UK would be viewed as being about as cutting-edge as the hula-hoop, and the Americans – at all levels, as it wasn’t just Trump and Clinton going to the polls – don’t use the TV ads to tell the voters what they’ll do.

Instead, they spend air time slating the opponents to a level that couldn’t happen here because of our defamation laws.

Then election night arrived, and the pollsters got it spectacularly wrong before Donald Trump’s historic victory panned out.

For Trump’s part, he almost took on the mantle of Susan Boyle.

From the outset almost a figure of fun, who no one took seriously.

But as the momentum gathered, like the little snowball rolling down the mountain he became unstoppable.

For Hillary Clinton, trumpeted as the first female President even with the polls about to close, to lose to any candidate was bad enough, but to be defeated by Trump is now her career-defining moment.

As for Trump, he’s clearly going to be America’s ‘Marmite’ President, as the last week of nightly nationwide protests already indicates.

From the original home of the theme park, it’s certainly going to be a rollercoaster ride – just what state the United States will be in when it eventually gets off remains to be seen.

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