Oh, what a night! By now, everything has been said and written about the upset of the century. Donald Trump is the next President of the United States of America and leader of the free world. Hillary retires and that’s the end of her political pursuits. So what of it for us, citizens of Spain? Judging from the spectacular media coverage that had us glued in front of our TV sets, Ipads and cell phones throughout election night, there was a lot at stake across the Atlantic, too.
Let the pundits and spin doctors analyze the significance of all that went down. 2016 has been an election year in Spain, also. Elections here, there and everywhere. Populism on the rise. Brought to you by the economic crisis. Let the voters hear what they need to hear, do it forcefully, and the path to success is guaranteed. It has been like that since the beginning of times.
At least, since the days of the late Roman Republic. So I have gathered after reading the Cicero Trilogy by Robert Harris. Political strategy, conspiracies, class struggle, rigged elections, gerrymandering, kickbacks and bribes, you name it, it’s all been there since time immemorial. In Spain we know all about it. We’re fast learners. The U.S. Elections have demonstrated that voter dissatisfaction is a plus for those who know how to channel mass discontent. And then, there’s the media and social networks ready to exploit the element of suspense. So it was during election night here in Spain. We learnt all about the red belt, the Democratic wall being shattered in the northeast, the anachronistic electoral college with its “winner takes all” disregard for the “popular vote”. We’re now privy to the intricacies of the American voting system, a complicated machinery which affects the entire world in which we are not allowed to participate, of course. Like it or not, here in Spain, Donald Trump will be the man of the moment for the next four years. So, sit back and enjoy…if you can.