The Presidential Election

November 10, 2016

An old friend from Finland, who has lived in the United States and visited many times, wrote to ask me to explain the results of the presidential election.

I see it as THE BIG DISRUPTION. But this one wasn’t a disruption that came from the tech geniuses in Silicon Valley. This one erupted from the people across this country who were sick of a government that didn’t work. Think of a father trying to watch a football game while his young children and their friends are bickering on the other side of the room, arguing louder and louder about whose turn it is in the game they’re playing, when finally the father throws down the remote control, stands up and shouts, “All right, all of you: JUST SHUT UP!”

That’s where this came from. It was that sort of frustration with politicians and politics that led to the groundswell that elected Donald Trump. It was the nearest equivalent the American people could find to: “Throw the rascals out—all of them.”

The corollary is that a large number of people have hated Hillary Clinton for years. And those numbers—approaching 40%–were not easily changed. People were also overwhelmed by the complexity and intransigence of the conflicts around the globe. The drumbeat of bad news only got louder, raising our anxiety with no solutions in sight.

We desperately needed someone who could restore us to our former greatness—at home and abroad—and fix all those pesky conflicts. When along came a guy who said he could do all those things–and fast—they bought it. It was exactly what they wanted to hear. A great salesman knows how to tell you what you want to believe. And it looks as though Donald Trump has been a great salesman.

A great businessman knows how to leave a customer satisfied. It remains to be seen whether Donald Trump will prove himself a great businessman. (And a great president.)  Here’s hoping.