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Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Blame and End Game

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance - or DABDA - are the 5 stages of the K├╝bler-Ross model of processing grief. Today, we are still at stage 2 - Anger - with people protesting on American streets. I think most Europeans went straight away from Denial to Acceptance. Moreover, Europe is in a "6th" stage of What's in it for me / us?

Many news reports that I'm reading are focussing on the Blame Game (eg, FB, FBI, WikiLeaks). I suppose we could safely call this stage 3: Bargaining. Claiming that Trump shouldn't be President because he lost the popular vote by 1,0% (almost 1,3000,000 U.S. votes) is part of this Blame Game. Before the election, Trump claimed the "system is rigged". After the election, the Democrats claim the "system is rigged" (eg, Electoral College). Note: numbers updated on 20 Nov 2016.

There is an interesting exception: Michael Moore, who already is in stage 5: Acceptance. I fully recommend reading his July 2016 analysis on "5 reasons why Trump will win" and his 9 November FB post (hat tip @ FirstFT). Michael Moore seems to be one of the few persons who understands what happened. He isn't looking at others (ie, blaming) but is taking accountability and responsibility for one's own actions - or the lack thereof. The Blame Game just delays learning from mistakes.

Many Europeans blame the far right (eg, Farage, Le Pen, Trump, Wilders). They are missing the point. The classic left-right schism is almost gone. Today, it's about nationalists vs internationalists. The success of these nationalists is based on their ability to cherry pick from the classic left-right agenda. There is a brand new ball game and many people are still missing it.

From mid 2015 to early 2016, I was mildly positive on Donald Trump (eg, Main Street vs Wall Street) until his despicable behaviour emerged by mid 2016. Back then, I saw his enormous potential by cherry picking from a Democratic and Republican political agenda. My only surprise is that he survived despite his behaviour. The hatred towards her was even bigger than I expected.

This hatred is mutual though. A PEW article of 22 June 2016 states: "More than half of Democrats (55%) say the Republican Party makes them “afraid,” while 49% of Republicans say the same about the Democratic Party." (hat tip @ Stephen Colbert, video >1.30 minutes). These divisive feelings were already clear during my various vacations in the USA, back in the 80's and 90's.

The Republican GOP has won but I think, feel and believe that this is a classic Pyrrhic victory. Trump is neither a Republican, nor a Democrat. Please see my 24 July 2015 blog: a Trump - or Trojan - Horse. Trump is a nationalist and also in it for himself. On 7 November 2016, he said: “If we don’t win, I will consider this the single greatest waste of time, energy…and money” (WSJ).

Donald Trump has changed and will continue to change the political playbook. I expect that the U.S. end game consists of 3 political parties but only after splitting up the current 2 in 4, and then a subsequent merger of 2 into 1. Then there will be 1 progressive and nationalist party (Sanders-Stein), an opaque nationalist party (Trump), and an internationally oriented conservative party (rest of Dem+Rep). America is in for some big surprises.

Big Country - Look Away (1986) - artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2