It's a new year and the world will never be the same again. My original intent was to dip my toe into Twitter in the run-up to the election in November, so I could better understand social media, then step away. Today, marks my intent to do a daily blog post to expand on my Twitter posts. Twitter is a great for short exchanges and certainly brings discipline to the communication process, but this blog should help expand some of my thoughts and expand on some of those twitter engagements. So to my friends from Twitter, WELCOME. Its been a pleasure to share my thoughts and content with you. Hopefully this blog will give us a little more breathing space to better discuss the wider issues raised from my Twitter posts and exchanges.
For many years, my interest in political commentary has been limited to shouting at the news. Whilst I have been around in British politics in terms of business activity for a number of years (as explained in my November post). I have long been more interested in US politics. I blame my obsession with The West Wing!. The irony is, that episodes of the West Wing have proven to be eerily close to real life (before Trump that is).
Before we move on, let me put on record my admiration and respect for President Obama and Michelle. His sense of right, his dedication to the office of president remain a source of inspiration to me. To hear him speak, even now, makes me emotional, simply because of his sense of humanity. Am I a fanboy? I wouldn't say so, I could wax lyrical about his foreign policy gaffes, but on service to the office of president, for me he is the gold standard. Any nation that needs to be taken seriously needs a leader that can articulate the values of the nation he or she serves. I can think of no better example of that than Obama. On the world stage, he was and remains a giant and as a result, America was a giant too. He never spoke about himself, he never used the word bigly, he used well constructed sentences and each sentence ended on the same subject as it started, How refreshing is that, after the last four years? A reputation as leader of the free world, was carefully cultivated and nourished throughout his two terms in office.
Now let's talk Trump and the GOP. When George Bush was president, I often used to smile at his use of the english language and the sometimes uncomfortable world stage moments. Whilst I was on the opposite side of his politics, he came across as a decent man with integrity, values which have since seen him form a friendship with the Obamas. Where do I begin when it comes to Trump? I only really had a passing knowledge of him, but can claim to have said hello to him when I was working as a DJ in New York in the 80s. He made a fool of himself that night too! When he announced his run, I was mildly interested, but the more I heard him, the more he scared the life out of me. The consensus at the time, was that he wouldn't win the Republican nomination, but as time went on, I could see that his tactics of playing relentless offence and constantly ridiculing his opponents was resonating with a segment of the public. The rest is history and I remember saying to Jill my wife, 'This guy will destroy the world if they let him'. You can believe that or not, but those were my words, after having stayed up all night to watch election night events unfold..
The obvious followup question is, 'What did you think to Hilary Clinton?'. She was eminently qualified and alongside Trump, she was a 'shoe in', or so everyone thought. What they had missed, was the the normal rules of campaigning were no more. Political insurgency had been born and it had done so, under the radar of all the political norms. Chivalry was dead and the normal rules of engagement had been exiled to the dustbin of political history. There were no longer any rules of political war, anyone could be attacked, and wives and children were all fair game in Trump's world of campaigning. He was operating so far out of the box, that the polling models could not factor in, this new phenomenon of 'Trumpism'. He effectively succeeded in bending reality and normalising lies. He could say whatever he wanted with impunity. What's more, it appeared he had given a segment of the community, permission to be openly racist and that resonated. His strategy of painting Clinton a 'crook', was highly effective and James Comey's investigation was ultimately the nail in her coffin. Once again the Democrats had won the popular vote, but the Republicans had won the election. Back to the question of what did I think of Hilary, I think she came across as slightly arrogant and convinced she would win. Her relationship with Wall Street, devalued her brand and it remains my belief that she lost the 2016 election, Trump didn't win it.
Right, that's the introductory stuff over. Tomorrow we'll get started on my views of the current situation, I just wanted to set the scene for where I'm coming from. You'll also find some earlier posts here that give you a good background of my journey so far. It started with the death of George Floyd, which sparked me to create my first video.
Given the excellent response to my work on Twitter, I'm looking forward to expanding my commentary amongst friends.