A Trumpian Deal, And The Path To The Next Financial Crisis

Dr Ioannis Glinavos   |   November 23, 2016    5:52 PM ET

What can we expect from a Trump administration in the field of financial services? The short answer is the dismantling of the post-financial crisis regulatory framework erected under Obama. Is this something one should worry about? The answer is yes, very much so. The headline aim in banking and financial services reform is expressed on the President-elect's transition website as the dismantling of Dodd-Frank. Trump has spoken about replacing Dodd-Frank with a 21st century version of Glass-Steagall, a policy that has met with popular approval.

What is Dodd-Frank, and why has it become the main target of a Republican shake-up of US regulation? Let us start by admitting that everyone is unhappy with financial regulation. The left because it doesn't go far enough, the Republicans and the financial services industry because it increases compliance costs and restricts the kinds of products available, putting pressure on profit margins. Dodd-Frank was the Congressional response to the 2008 financial crisis. Enacted in 2010, it contained measures designed to prevent future financial crises and, if they happen, deal with their consequences. It also heralded a new era in consumer protection in the financial services industry. The Act represented the most significant state intrusion in financial markets since the Great Depression.

Trump's team is projecting the message that replacing Dodd-Frank, perhaps by bringing back Depression era legislation, is the solution. The Banking Act of 1933 (known as the Glass-Steagall Act) separated commercial-banking and securities activities at Wall Street firms and was one of the most important legislative responses to the failures of the Depression. It is touted as being simple, short, inexpensive and successful in providing for the stability and safety of the US banking system till the beginning of the century. Why not bring it back then?

The Republican message is that measures such as Glass-Steagall worked until the Clintons took them all away, paving the way for the financial crisis. A Trumpian deal which swaps Dodd-Frank for Glass-Steagall brilliantly delivers on campaign promises in one stroke, we are told. Indeed, enthusiasm for Glass-Steagall is rife on both sides of the aisle. Resurrecting it was advocated by Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, as well as the Republican convention.

Could this work? The short answer is no. The famous stability and prosperity of US finance after WWII has a lot to do with the network of rules and regulations that restricted bankers from fuelling uncontrollable crises. Glass-Steagall was a big component of this network, but only one piece of a much bigger puzzle. Asking for the return of a single piece of the puzzle makes great soundbites but is disingenuous. It reveals the real objectives of the incoming Trump administration: the dissolution of the post-2008 regulatory framework in order to release the industry from the shackles of state oversight.

Would you like a modern version of Depression era regulation? Indeed, there can be a 21st century version of Glass-Steagall; it is called Dodd-Frank. President-elect Trump is very likely to repeal significant portions of post-2008 regulation, it is true. Don't bet however that he will be bringing back their 1930s forebears.

The above assumes that it is correct to make a direct link between deregulation and financial crises, but is this the case? This is a topic of fierce debate along predictable political divides. Republicans bemoan the bureaucracy and inefficiency of a large regulatory state. Democrats fear what the market can do when left to its own devices. The best explanation of the links between deregulation (or the lack of controls) and crisis was provided by American economist, Hyman Minsky. Markets have an innate propensity towards crisis, he said. Left to their own devices, financiers will combat diminishing profits by taking more and more risks. The result is a tremendous crash sooner or later, in one sector of the economy or another. The conclusion from Minsky's studies and a lot of post-2008 research is that the job of the state is to put the brakes on markets so as to prevent things from getting out of hand. This implies costs and administrative burdens. It necessitates a less dynamic and possibly smaller financial sector. This is the price to pay for stability.

American voters, by electing Donald Trump, thought they were voting for more protection, stricter controls, a harder attitude towards Wall Street and more emphasis on the 'real' economy. Trump's transition plans will deliver precisely the opposite. Banks released from the restrictions of Dodd-Frank is great news for US finance. It is also bad news for citizens. Trump supporters in the Midwest may find delight in the rhetoric of bringing back 'simple' solutions that worked in the past. Let us hope that they will feel the same when the US economy reacts to 'simple' solutions by generating complicated crises.

Matt Bagwell   |   November 23, 2016   10:45 AM ET

Ellen DeGeneres has received America’s highest civilian honour from Barack Obama for her influence on the gay rights movement.

The comedian, actress and chat show host was praised by the President, who said her bravery helped “push our country in the direction of justice.”

Awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Obama said: “It’s easy to forget now, when we’ve come so far... just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago.

“What an incredible burden that was to bear - to risk your career like that - people don’t do that very often. And then, to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders.”

The award, which recognises contributions to United States culture, security and international interests, is the highest honour a civilian can receive, alongside the Congressional Gold Medal, a similar accolade awarded by the US Congress.

Other celebrities to be honoured included Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan and Robert Redford.

“These are folks who have helped make me who I am,’’ Obama added.

“Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, personal way, in ways that they probably couldn’t imagine.”

Before the ceremony, Ellen tweeted that she couldn’t get into the White House as she’d forgotten her ID.

“They haven’t let me into the White House yet because I forgot my ID,” she tweeted.

However, she eventually made it inside and celebrated by taking advantage of the many stars she was rubbing shoulders with to film a rather special mannequin challenge, which she also shared on Twitter...

Nice work, Ellen.

The World's Ability To Tackle Climate Change Could Vanish In A Trump Presidency

Anders Lorenzen   |   November 22, 2016    5:54 PM ET

I see myself as a positive person, always searching for the positivity in any given situation. But with Donald Trump's election to The White House, I find myself searching very hard for those positive elements.

I have never doubted that if the world is to tackle climate change and stay within the so critically important two degrees target, then we need the US onboard. That is why I have been so optimistic about overcoming the climate fight ever since Obama took office. And my optimism peaked when Obama in his second term went all in on climate change, doing more than any other US President had done on the issue. And he did not stop there. He continued to treat this issue as an absolutely top priority. And he engaged in foreign relations that would quite likely lead to the implementation of the first global climate treaty The Paris Agreement.

But if President-Elect Donald Trump is going to do as he pledged on the campaign trail, Obama's climate legacy could vanish in a matter of months. The US, as the historically largest emitter and the current second largest emitter, absolutely need to play a critical role if we are to tackle climate change. Or we would need China and India to seriously up their game, and that scenario is as unrealistic as they come, as those countries will not increase their ambitions unless the US does.

In terms of domestic emissions reductions policy, if the US was to scrap all its targets, this could result in a real increase in CO2 emissions. Nationally this could be devastating, but globally it would be a disaster. The Obama Administration has inserted climate change into almost every single government department, making it a key foreign policy issue and funding low-carbon projects in the developing world. Trump has said he would cancel any funding of UN climate programs, and this alone would be an absolute disaster. And so would be his planned reform of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the architect behind the groundbreaking Clean Power Plan - which for the first time in history saw US coal power plants regulated. Trump is set to appoint a key climate-change denier to reform the agency. Making fossil fuel infrastructure a key investment plan should also worry everybody. His energy team is set to be made up of the most extreme wing of the fossil fuel industry. The famous Keystone XL project, which had been considered a victory for environmentalists is set to be back on the drawing board. Trump would love to approve the project, that is if Canada is still interested. Other pipelines, such as the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, would be fast-tracked. A Trump Administration would also permit more oil drilling on federal land, on previously environmentally protected areas, offshore and in the Arctic. He would also attempt to revive the coal industry.

There is still a lot we don't know yet, such as what will happen to renewable energy. We know of his hate for wind power. And we know of his belief that solar does not work. But is there any legal way of him banning production? We know that many in the Republican-controlled Congress support renewables. And some optimism should be found in the fact that US leading renewable energy states are in places such as Iowa, Ohio, Kansas and not least Texas which are all Republican states. There will be an important group of Republicans who would wish to protect investment in solar and wind, and that is important.

We should also remember that a lot of US growth in renewables does not only come from national policies but also from state-lead policies. So the states mentioned above, as well as the Democratic renewable energy powerhouses such as California and New York and the New England area, would continue to do well. But in states where there is no political ambition and desire for renewable energy, we're unlikely to see a change. But the big worry, and where Trump has power, would be for offshore wind energy. The US is only just embarking on their adventure in this area, but licenses approved by Obama could be revoked by Trump.

But a real positive element is that in all the areas where Trump would seek to overturn Obama's policies there will be a fightback and legal challenges. The Clean Power Plan is already embroiled in a legal battle. It is stuck in the Supreme Court, but the proceedings cannot be resumed before a new judge is appointed following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Unless somehow Obama by pure magic can make an appointment in his last two remaining months in office, Trump would likely appoint one who is conservative-minded and will look in his direction on climate and energy. But the good thing is that it could create further delay, and we should not expect Trump can get away with all his reforms. Many will be stuck in legal battles which can take time. What has served as a setback in Obama's climate policies can be a benefit here. And it can buy time until the midterm elections in 2018. Normally a sitting President will face a backlash in the midterms, and will at least be expected to lose one of the two houses. If Democrats could mobilise and win back at least the Senate they could cause Congressional gridlock, the same gridlock that prevented Obama from doing more, and this gridlock could benefit the climate fight.

There are many ifs and buts here, and it is a long and distant road we face with many unknowns. And from the outset, it looks disastrous for climate change. But amongst all the dark clouds there is hope, and we must do our utmost to pursue that hope.

First published on A greener life, a greener world.

US Presidential Election 2016 - Lessons Learned As A Young Fabians US Delegate In Florida

Louisa Metcalfe   |   November 17, 2016    8:49 PM ET

I joined the YF US Delegation to Florida to campaign for the Democrats during the US Presidential election as this was an election which not only affected US interests, but also had an impact globally. Having studied a Masters in international relations, and now work with the UN and EU, I had an interest in this election and had seen first-hand the stealth isolationist wave beginning to champion western democracy after June 23.

We flew out to Orlando, Florida on 2 November 2016, with a week to go before the election to central Florida, a key part of a marginal swing State with a significant number of Electoral College votes. We were assigned by the local Democrat Party campaign office to canvass Hunters Creek, in Orange County, which we were told was the third most significant area in the country.

The doorstep
I, as well as most of the delegation, had an intuition that Trump might swing this election (I guess, hence our decision to spend our annual leave volunteering to stop this). Once arriving in Florida, our intuition became confirmed. Around half of the voters I spoke to on the doorstep, said they'd vote for Trump, with a fair number not willing to disclose (interestingly the ones not willing to disclose were always women, signifying a 'shy Trump' vote which may misled pollsters). The results put question marks over our campaigning data, as well as polling data, which was meant to contain 100% Democrat voters. This in turn, undermined our strategy, which was to only target Democrats, as it was not effective to be speaking to Trump voters this late in the game, according to our strategists (I'm not sure if this is true if the election was won in the last week).

One thing that we noted on the doorstep, that we had not predicted was support from all sections of society. We'd been lazy in putting the support for Trump down to a perceived marginal decline in the interest of white, working class men; when the reality was that the people who voted for Trump were Hispanic, black, white, old, young, men or women; and lived in large white picket fenced houses to lower income housing estates.

Resources and strategy
The second turning point, which solidified our prediction was the lack of other volunteers in the area, which was the third most important district in the USA. Outside of our British delegation of 15, there were sporadic shifts of other volunteers from all over the country, but this was thin on the ground. There were hardly any local volunteers. It became clear that there was little flexibility locally, as the campaign was also rigidly controlled from 'the top', and members of our team who'd worked in similar campaigns in the UK (and later, the campaign manager at our local office) conceded that the strategy was weak and not coordinated well. We queried why we weren't shifting to the rust belt, if we'd already lost Florida, or at least another more rural area in Florida, after Orange County looked sure to be going Blue.

In terms of election materials, we could see that the Democrat's leaflets and flyers were not as glossy as that of Trump's. Importantly, Hillary had no signs up, bar a couple outside the Staging Office, whilst Trump had a barrage of 'TRUMP PENCE' signs up all over one of the local polling station (which was curiously a Baptist Church, which may alienate atheists and those of other faiths). This was targeted, efficient and bullish, although potentially pushing the boundaries of electoral rules (since you should not promote a candidate within 50m of a polling station, and these signs were on its lawn). Another worrying fact, was on top of voters having to queue for hours on end on polling day (voters are not allowed to vote if they are not in the queue at 7pm, which has previously meant that many were not able to vote); we heard from one voter, that he had been to vote early three times and had not gotten the chance to vote. From what we could see there were far too many areas which had been assigned only one polling station.

Rallies
The third turning point was attending the Obama Rally in Kissimmee two days ahead of the election. Although the spectacle of the event was incomparable to any political event I've seen in the UK, there was a lack of a sense of hope and optimism, and Obama himself appeared tired after 8 years in office, and spoke his past achievements and the need to elect Hillary to continue his past legacy, rather than to offer something new. There was also no sight of Hillary in Central Florida, who went to Miami a few days before the election, a Democrat stronghold in the State. Meanwhile, Trump offered change, and was darting around the country, staging rallies in New Hampshire and Michigan on the same night, only a couple of days before the election, challenging contested and marginal seats, rather than sticking to safer areas.

Election Night
On the election night it was clear to see early on that we had lost Florida, and many of the 'rust belt' States, which were traditionally Democratic strongholds, had gone red for the first time in decades. Although we had won Orange County at 60.4% of the vote, the majority of the more rural areas of the State had turned Red. The shock and fallout after the election showed that many just could not anticipate the result, and had not been able to comprehend the result. It reminded me of the Brexit result, which unfortunately was not a surprise to most of us in the Delegation (also Labour Party members, who had campaigned for the Brexit Vote), but which took the UK largely unawares, as did the US Presidential election. I'd go as far to say I think this is the key factor in the outcome of the US presidential election. It looked like either complacency or denial to not have campaigned harder earlier on in the election, with many, at home at least, finding the idea of Trump as president no more than a laughable impossibility, rather than a dangerous economic and political threat.

Lessons learned
The key takeaway from the result of the UK EU referendum and the US Presidential election was the fact that it is not only those who lose out to globalization who might want to turn to a more protectionist system, a la Trump, Brexit or possibly, in the future, Le Pen. It is now the majority, as inequality grows, the more 'losers' of globalization there are, and in a democratic system, the more far right governments there will be, until the Left come up with a new narrative for the 21st century. Just as Labour's stagnant position is rooted in the past, Clinton's was 'more of the same'; whilst Trump and Brexit had the air of radical change and catchy slogans. So if there's one thing we've learnt from this election it's that just as the cause of the shift to the right is rooted in a backlash to globalization, so is its solution: a united and cohesive solution to the problems of inequality and economic insecurity globally. The US, UK, and Europe as a whole must learn from these lessons and not continue to laugh off the wave of the populist right. This is a backlash against globalization, inequality and problems with the financial system which have not been addressed in the since the financial crisis, and this should be the battle ground of the left. Instead of finding solutions to Fordist capitalist models, we need to look at the issues centred on the Anglo Saxon model of capitalism, or 'casino capitalism', which rather than impacting just white working class men, affects us all.

Louisa Metcalfe - Young Fabian US Delegate, Chartered Accountant, auditor of UN and EU projects and is holding a YF event in Parliament on 6 December 2016 on reforming wealth taxes, with Richard Murphy, Seema Malhotra, and Andrew Harrop.

Something Within Keeping It Great

Sonja Lewis   |   November 17, 2016    7:27 PM ET

Since President Obama's election in 2008, American expats have been thrown into the spotlight, particularly in the days following an election. Eight years ago, my girlfriend and I couldn't go anywhere without being offered congratulations, as if we had elected him single-handedly. Four years later when he was re-elected, although the hype had died down somewhat, we were still hailed as children of a great nation and treated with respect wherever we went.

Fast-forward to 2016. The spotlight is on US expats again, but this time it feels rather uncomfortable. Wherever I am -- in a taxi, a restaurant, the supermarket, the hair salon, a posh designer shop -- someone offers me condolences. To be honest, I am starting to feel like taking cover, like I did the day after the election, when after finally wrenching myself out of bed, I dressed in sloppy clothes and holed up in the house all day. I could not face the world, not even the news ... especially the news.

But wait a minute! I've had my day of mourning, right? It's time to move on. After all, the USA is a democracy and everybody's candidate can't win. I do get it ... really! But here's the thing: this was not a normal election. And that is the point that I fear is being overlooked, except at a superficial level. The abnormal somehow became the norm, cutting right into the heart of what underpins the country.

Folks had vehemently compared plums and sour grapes for nearly two years, insisting the grapes were better, healthier for the nation. Still I held out hope. But when that hope vanished into in a map of red, I sort of vacated too.

Although it bothers me how the candidate who lacked any political experience could beat the candidate who is perhaps the most qualified candidate the American people have ever had to run for President -- like her or lump her, she has the goods --it bothers me even more that someone could win on a platform that rejects its country's core values and waves that rejection in its people's faces.

I think that is what the tears are about: mine; the inconsolable lady my Uber driver told me about; the countless men and women who confessed to tears in the media. And those who have sobbed silently, too.


We understand that we are facing one of the biggest anomalies of modern times; an aberration that is less about the person who won and more about what it means that he did; what it means about our mores, our ethics, our norms. Who are we? What do we stand for?

No one is perfect. Nor is any country. But most of us have something within us that determines right from wrong, fact from fiction. Governments have it too when they have the best interests of their people at heart. Some call it a 'moral compass'; others refer to it as the 'conscience'. And for some; it is linked intrinsically to a faith, a creed, and for others, it is not.

That something connects us to a moral code, which guides the way we live. It is at the heart of our standards, our customs, as individuals, groups, societies, irrespective of creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation and so on.

It is this something that binds relationships, holds friends, families and societies together, even when we beg to differ. It is that same something that demands tolerance, upholds freedoms and embraces equality.

Normally when this something is rejected or shattered, we recognise it as extreme and do what we can to put it right again. On a global scale, we have seen this throughout history in the form of radical movements powered by facism, racism, sexism, terrorism and so on. Needless to say, it feels unsafe, uncertain and worrying when the core values that underpin our lives are threatened.

So what do we do to maintain the values that steer us clear of a complete breakdown? When I think back to a time in my life when the world as I knew it had changed, and not for the better, I remember trying my best to put it back as it had been. It took weeks, if not months, to understand a few key elements for avoiding collapse.

Acknowledgement is key: understanding that the new situation is what it is and in doing so, realising that acknowledging this fact can be a healthy form of rejecting the anomaly, even when those driving it insist that it is indeed normal ... just a different way of seeing life. Whatever!

Next, I held fast to what was good and pure, as St Paul advised the Philippians: 'Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things' (NIV, Phil. 4:8).


This helped me to discern between an extreme opinion and a reasonable one that feeds into healthy living.

Then, I took affirmative action such as avoiding volatile debates and got on with doing the right thing. I dug deep into that something within me, even when I didn't feel like it. And you know what? I think that is what America is going to have to do, too.

After all, it is still a great country, as a close friend reminded me recently. I can vouch for that. But here's the thing: greatness comes with an admission of mistakes, a campaign to make reparation and the willingness to remember, if only for the purpose of avoiding previous mistakes.

Moving forward, politics has to be about keeping America great. That's the spirit!

Donald Trump Reaction: The World As We Know It Is A World That Never Was

Craig Berry   |   November 17, 2016    2:04 PM ET

There has been much anxiety expressed in recent days on what the election of Donald Trump in the United States, on the back of the Brexit vote in Britain, says about 'us' (whether the referent 'us' is the Anglosphere, the West, or the human race in general). The general consensus seems to be that the world as we know it - the liberal world order, with NATO, the European Union and free(ish) trade at its institutional heart, and democracy, individual rights and tolerance as its foundational political values - is over.

To take just one example - singled out precisely because of how reliably sharp an observer of the United States he usually is - The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland has written prolifically and apocalyptically in the last few weeks on Trump, prophesising 'a new age of darkness'. Even the neurotically neutral BBC has asked whether Trump's win marks 'the end of liberal democracy'.

It should lead us to wonder whether our world would have been much different today had Donald Trump earned only 269 votes in the electoral college. In truth, this world as we know it never really was. To understand our world as a physical manifestation (or even approximation) of liberal ideals is to ignore the reality that it is essentially an imperial order, centred on American economic and military power, which is itself an echo of Britain's empire.

America's empire has been more completely realised than its British ancestor - using 'soft power' much more effectively to exercise a degree of influence in every corner of the world - but may ultimately prove to have been more short-lived.

Empires are by nature oppressive. But to redefine the liberal world order as an imperial order is not to denounce every feature of American leadership. Rather, the point is to recognise the role of the unequal distribution of power internationally in the constitution of world order, and indeed the exercise of hegemonic power both through and beyond the formal system of sovereign nation-states. Conflict is presented by imperial leaders as an aberration, but instead is endemic, a necessary companion to the stability that characterises an empire's core territories.

All empires are characterised by a civilisational paradigm. For the Anglo-American imperial orders, liberalism - in its many guises - has served this purpose. The liberal paradigm often constrained Anglo-American imperial practice, even as it has legitimised it, and offered opportunities for self-realisation and enrichment for many individuals across the world, including those belonging to previously oppressed groups (so long as they refrain from directly challenging the imperial order).

Liberalism has also sustained capitalism, a set economic practices that ultimately underpin American power, by offering both moral and pseudo-scientific legitimacy to capitalism's key organising principles.

As such, while liberalism has delivered many benefits, it has always been secondary to the maintenance of imperial order, and as such co-existed globally (and, to a lesser extent, domestically within Western countries) with multiple forms of deprivation and inequality. 'The world as we know it' is a patronising trope to those for whom 2017, whatever it brings, will not seem all that different to 2016.

The liberal paradigm did not instantaneously disappear on 23rd June or 8th November. It has in fact been under attack from a pathology of its own making for several decades. The emergence of neoliberalism in economic thinking in the 1970s - immediately following the strengthening of liberalism in cultural terms in the 1960s - is the key historical milestone we need to understand if we are to appreciate the historical significance of the present moment.

Neoliberalism can be defined as the valorisation of private enterprise, and indeed of the state's (illiberal) role in enforcing related values in economic organisation. On the one hand, the emergence of neoliberalism represented the moment at which imperial elites abandoned the belief that their power had to be cloaked in a more inclusive liberal perspective.

On the other hand, however, it also represented an unmistakeable signal of imperial decline. Capitalism was faltering as a source of meaningful prosperity, and the dissemination of neoliberal ideas served to discipline unruly subjects that were inconveniently becoming accustomed to perennial increases in living standards.

The neoliberal era has further eroded capitalism's productive capacity, and will prove to be the zenith of the American imperial order. One of the paradoxical hallmarks of decline is that the imperial elite rarely see the end coming. Witness Barack Obama's surprisingly warm White House welcome to President-Elect Trump, in which he told his successor that 'we now are going to do everything we can to help you succeed, because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.'

Obama has not been converted to Trumpism. Instead, despite the fact that his election represented a momentous triumph for liberal values, he has come to typify the hubristic aloofness of empire, convinced that the normal order will resume once the Trump experiment fails. Better to indulge Trump now than denigrate the presidential office, which so vividly personifies American imperialism.

Tellingly, Obama has subsequently asserted that Trump will not abandon the NATO alliance, despite Trump's own contrary suggestions. Obama's remarks echo those of Henry Kissinger, who has argued that high office will moderate Trump because 'he cannot reinvent history' - Kissinger's history is of course itself an invented one, defining American leadership as the protagonist in a heroic defence of civilisation.

Trump will indeed fail, on most conventional measures, and even on his own terms. I would be astonished if he were elected for a second term in four years. But Trump's future failure will not herald a revival for the present order. His is a movement of the interregnum between orders. He has no coherent vision for making America great economically or militarily, or understanding of what made it great in the first place.

But Trumpism is essentially only possible because the American-led world order has so completely run out of ideas for its own renewal. Trumpism is simultaneously both an amplification of neoliberal rationality, and a post-rational response to its failure. For Trump, America will only be great again once all of its citizens are working in service of national prosperity, but this is only possible if American jobs are protected from the market-based competition the United States invariably insists on implementing elsewhere.

The Keynesian economist and historian Robert Skidelsky has offered a bizarrely sympathetic hearing to Trumpian economics, arguing that Trump apes much of conventional Keynesian thought on deficit financing, and could therefore be 'a solution to the crisis of neoliberalism'. Yet even if Trump were to successfully implement a textbook account of Keynesianism in domestic macroeconomic policy, much of the rest of the Trump platform - such as his approach to immigration, climate change, the United States-China relationship and the dollar-based international monetary system - would, frankly, be suicidal for the American economy.

In reality, Trump is a product of the worst of American capitalism, and Trumpism a product of its inability to mitigate its most destructive tendencies.

Like Brexit, Trumpism is an attempt to maintain and deepen a domestic distribution of wealth and power in the face of mounting existential challenges. An empire's last stand, always, is to turn against the inhabitants of its own motherland, fostering domestic divisions as a final, desperate act of misdirection.

The decline of the American empire does not mean the end of globalisation - quite the opposite. Trump's rhetoric on trade is pure froth; we only need to look at the business model of American firms such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Uber to understand that big capital today is not constrained by anything as archaic as a trade deal, or the absence of one.

The technologies underpinning these business models represent in fact one of the key elements of the United States' imperial unravelling, as capital has become less dependent on the state's support in developing (global) rent-seeking opportunities. Paul Mason's 'postcapitalism' thesis sees the liberatory potential in such a development, but the painful reality is that, in time, some nation, or group of nations, is going to find a way to tax the rents associated with these technologies, and indeed probably weaponise the technology too, ushering in a new imperial order.

It will probably not be the United States, the (outgoing) elite of which remains in thrall to the delusional and really quite small-fry philanthro-capitalism of Mark Zuckerberg et al. The only serious contender is China, as its domestic tech firms begin to outstrip the American first-movers, and its economy adapts much more successfully to climate change.

It is precisely by seeking an accommodation with China that the American empire could yet be saved from itself - arguably the Obama administration has moved tentatively in this direction. Alas, Trump prefers to revive the notion of China as a new 'yellow peril', even accusing it of fabricating evidence of climate change.

The Chinese regime of course has many socio-economic contradictions to overcome before it is in a position to assume a hegemonic status in world affairs. The intensification of internal strife over democratisation will also hamper the emergence of a Chinese-led world order; in other words, liberalism may yet have the last laugh.

My thesis, in brutally short terms, is that the American empire has outlived its economic usefulness. Crucially, however, this was true before Trump. The empire will of course survive for now, beyond Trump, but we can expect its decline to continue inexorably in coming decades.

The world will become more illiberal as a result, but we must not overlook the extent to which liberalism had only become selectively embedded in world order to begin with due to its hitherto compatibility with American imperialism. Trump's election may in future be seen as a decisive break with liberalism, but the earlier turn to neoliberalism had already signalled that liberalism and American imperialism had become increasingly incompatible.

Will President Trump Extend The Disastrous 'War On Terror'?

Clive Stafford Smith   |   November 15, 2016   12:00 AM ET

President Trump promises to bring back "a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding". Although he likes it "a lot," he does not "think it's tough enough." What the Spanish Inquisition called tormento del agua is, for Donald Trump, "minimal, minimal torture." As for Guantanámo, he is going to "load it up with bad dudes". He thinks it's just fine to extend the rules governing the Cuban legal black hole to American citizens - something at which President George W. Bush balked.

In other words, he wants to undo all the work that we at my organization Reprieve - and many others - have struggled to carry forward in the years since 9/11, and turn back the clock.

Human rights victories were surprisingly difficult under eight years of Obama, who failed to make any great effort to close Guantanámo. He released detainees at a far slower rate than his predecessor. He fought us at every turn to hide the horrors - including the still-secret videotapes of former Guantanámo detainees in the force feeding torture chair. And he battled to prevent federal courts from meaningfully evaluating their claims of innocence.

He permitted the CIA (which comes under his authority) to conduct a frenetic campaign to quash the Senate Torture report, even spying on elected senators. It was the first such investigation to refuse to speak to a single torture victim (including every person I have represented in the last 15 years of litigation over these ghastly secret prisons).

And yet, far worse than this, while President Obama claimed that he would end torture and secret prisons, and dispense with the language of the "War on Terror", what he actually did was substitute in a policy of assassinating people around the globe. This has been an ever expanding robotic war where a 'Squirter' is the name given to a target who runs away (and presumably soils himself) when a Predator drone appears overhead, and a 'Bugsplat' is what we call the bloody detritus after the Hellfire missile explodes.

Now, once a week, the great institution that is the White House hosts "Terror Tuesday", where the president sits down to a powerpoint presentation to decide who we will assassinate, with a thumbs down reminiscent of the Roman Coliseum. Rather than take steps to abolish an American death penalty that has become tainted by manifestly unfair trials, our Constitutional-law-professor-turned-President has installed a death penalty where we dispense with a trial altogether. Other countries have now followed suit.

Instead of kidnapping someone and rendering them half way around the world to a Guantanámo, America now assassinates them - based on the same flawed intelligence that has resulted, to date, in 739 (94.9%) of 779 Guantanámo prisoners being cleared of the allegation that they were the worst-of-the-worst terrorists in the world.

Assassination was declared illegal in 1758. Yet now President Obama has sown some dreadful seeds, and we will witness a bitter harvest. Trump favours assassination, and the woeful intelligence of Guantánamo will dictate who appears on his fickle Kill List.

The fact that we have reached this parlous position, largely without outrage, can be laid at the door of liberals, who have conspicuously failed to deliver the long brown envelope of home truths to our chosen, liberal president. It was easier to combat excess when President Bush was in the White House, because many across the political spectrum were willing to express their outrage.

It is time for humanitarians of any political stripe to coalesce on the march towards decency. If, today, we are inspired to do this, we can probably put our commitment down to the election of President Donald J. Trump.

Why Women Are Hurrying To Get The IUD

Danielle Cuaycong   |   November 14, 2016    6:22 PM ET

Donald Trump's presidency may have come as a shock (or not). Perhaps the most controversial President, with little to no experience of actually any politics, Trump will impact not only those he targeted in his campaign (yes, I'm talking about the wall he plans to build) but also women across the United States.

Trump was undoubtedly vociferous about his intention of revoking Obamacare stating that "On November 8...we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare" during his speech in Philadelphia. With Obamacare, certain plans under the Health Insurance Marketplace are compulsory to cover a plethora of contraceptive methods, from birth control pills to diaphragms. Albeit Trump said he would replace Obamacare with another form of health insurance, there is a general consensus that this replacement could potentially remove the ability to get free birth control - one of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) benefits.

An IUD - a long-lasting method of birth control implanted in the uterus - can cost up to $1000 and to pay this without any form of insurance can erode a woman's wallet quickly. If Obamacare is revoked and insurers do not cover this contraceptive, many women will be unable to use this form of contraceptive, either settling for a form of contraceptive that is more expensive or one with more severe negative side effects.

The implementation of Obamacare in 2010 led to the sudden increase in demand for IUDs due to their cheaper price, practicality and the absence of a need for copayment. Mirena, a hormonal IUD, lasts for 5 years while ParaGard, a non-hormonal copper IUD, can last up to a staggering 12 years, much longer than Trump's presidency. Long-lasting with a 99% effective rate, the IUD seems perfect and women all over the Internet have expressed the need to exploit the cheaper price through Obamacare now,

The withdrawal of Obamacare will lead to 22 million Americans being impacted by the loss of their health insurance. Thus, roughly 11 million women will be affected by the change in affordability of contraceptions once Trump's presidency is instated. However, despite all of the benefits of the IUD from its long-lasting effectiveness to the chance of getting it hormone free, the myths of IUD still linger in the atmosphere with a small percentage of women claim that the IUD is their preferred method of contraception.

So, in the hustle and bustle of women on the internet encouraging others to go and get an IUD before Trump's inauguration on the 20th of January in 2017, as a woman, it's still important to weigh up the pros and cons of this form of contraception.

Eve Hartley   |   November 14, 2016   12:56 PM ET

If you’re wondering what’s left to smile about, imagine Vice President Joe Biden plotting to embarrass Donald Trump. 

Memes have envisaged conversations between Biden and President Obama, with the VP scheming to troll the Republican’s first days in the White House.

From changing the size of the toiletries to fit Trump’s small hands, to introducing Nigel Farage as the UK Foreign Secretary, Biden’s mischief knows no bounds. 

But every time Biden gets too excited, Obama, the voice of reason, talks him down. 

Here are some of the best scenarios we’ve seen so far:

But in reality nothing said it better than this:

Trump: My Hopes, Fears, Prayers And Reflections

Benedict Rogers   |   November 11, 2016   10:11 PM ET

President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton showed extraordinary graciousness, dignity, generosity and stature in their response to Donald Trump's surprising victory, and it is to their credit. President-elect Trump - words I find difficult to write - also showed surprising, uncharacteristic magnanimity in his victory speech and his meeting with President Obama at the White House, appealing for unity and speaking respectfully, for the first time, of the incumbent. I hope this lasts.

It may be that Trump's vulgarity, rudeness and threatening behaviour during the campaign - well described by Margaret Beckett - was all just an act, a show put on by a reality TV host playing to the gallery, or at least to his base. Let's hope so. For his behaviour during the campaign was among the most unbecoming for an incoming President.

Michelle Obama's line - "When they go low, we go high" - rings in my ears and stays in my mind. Boy, did they go low, and wow how amazing it was that the Obamas stayed high, even in defeat. I hope and pray that it is the case that the low levels to which Trump sank were simply a show, and that now he has won he will behave with the dignity and generosity of spirit his new office behoves.

There are, however, three things urgently needed right now.

First, no matter how much many of us may dislike it, we must accept the result - as we did with Brexit - and make it work. We must minimise the damage and seize whatever positive opportunities there might be.

Second, as with Brexit, it is imperative that the President-elect rein in his demons, especially his more extreme supporters. He must unequivocally condemn the wave of racist attacks, violence and hate speech which have occurred in recent days - the swastikers, the verbal abuse of racial minorities, the violent assaults on gay people. He must especially disown the Ku Klux Klan and their ilk - something he patently refused to do in the campaign. If he is not the racist that his opponents believe he is, he must act quickly to demonstrate that. He unleashed a lot of demons during the campaign which could tear the fabric of the United States apart if he does not act demonstrably and responsibly to bring the country together.

And third, those of us who do not understand how people could vote for a man like Trump need very urgently to listen and learn. When people are angry, they sometimes do stupid things - but that is not a reason to ignore the causes of their anger. Clearly, a significant proportion in the United States are very angry - angry at the establishment which they feel does not represent them, angry at their stagnant economic circumstances, angry that for too long they have not been heard by the political elite. The same is true in Britain, and that anger led to Brexit. The same could be true in France, Germany, the Netherlands and across Europe, with consequences that could be horrific.

Those of us, on the centre-right or the centre-left of politics, who believe in liberal democracy, open society and an internationalist outlook should be alarmed at rising populism in various forms around the world. From Modi in India and Duterte in the Philippines, to militant Buddhist nationalism in Burma and UKIP in Britain, to Putin and Trump, populism, nationalism and in some cases extreme racism and religious intolerance are all peas from the same pod. All these are varying shades of the same phenomenon, and they have their far left equivalents too. All play on fears, tap into anger and preach hatred.

But we should not just be alarmed. We should listen, learn and then act. We need to develop a vision that is true to the values of liberal democracy, one that celebrates diversity, promotes basic human rights and freedoms, protects the vulnerable, respects human dignity, liberates and empowers people and provides hope. A vision that is rooted and grounded in the realities of life, in an understanding of how hard the daily grind is for many ordinary decent working people, and is not consumed with lofty words and false promises, yet at the same time still lifts the spirits beyond the politics of anger and hate. A vision that offers real solutions.

Yet while our political leaders must focus on addressing the needs of their angry populations at home, they must not slip into a politics of parochialism. For many years, millions of people in countries ruled by dictators or torn apart by terrorists and religious extremists have looked to western democracies, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, to be their voice. We must not fail them.

Dissidents jailed and tortured in China or Russia, activists beginning to build a very fragile new democracy in Burma with the old military regime still powerful and still breathing down their necks, religious minorities across the Middle East, Pakistan and Indonesia, look to us to speak out for the basic human rights that we enjoy and which they have for so long been denied.

Over the past year or so hundreds of human rights lawyers in China have been arrested and detained, booksellers from Hong Kong have been abducted by Chinese agents, and Hong Kong's freedoms are being shredded. In North Korea, at least 100,000 people languish in political prison camps in dire conditions. In Eritrea, prisoners of conscience are locked up in metal shipping containers. In Burma, Muslims are facing a campaign of hatred which some experts say amounts to ethnic cleansing and may be a warning sign of genocide, while in Syria and Iraq Christians and Yazidis face what many believe is already a genocide.

In addition to the millions whose human rights are denied, millions more are in dire poverty, caused by war, natural disaster or bad governance. Humanitarian aid, development and efforts to tackle corruption - as well as to end the scourge of human trafficking or modern-day slavery - are challenges which the United States, Britain and the west cannot shirk.

In other words, we cannot and must not retreat either into isolation, protectionism or appeasement. As countries that still enjoy wealth and freedom, we must not pull up the drawbridge and disregard our responsibilities to others less fortunate than ourselves. We must reinforce free trade. And we must not coddle dictators.

Those thoughts are addressed most directly to President-elect Trump, a man who dismissed the Tiananman massacre as simply a "riot" and appeared to show admiration for the way the brutal butchers of Beijing quelled it. In particular, Mr Trump's friendliness towards Russia's Vladimir Putin is a source of deep concern. Putin is a bully, and we should speak the only language bullies understand: we should stand up to him.

My preferred choice for US President was Marco Rubio, as I wrote on these pages earlier this year, because he is consistent in speaking out on international human rights. There are many in the US Congress who continue to champion freedom around the world, in particular Congressman Chris Smith, and I hope they will keep a very watchful eye on Trump's foreign policy.

A key test will be who President-elect Trump appoints as Secretary of State. There are rumours that it could be Newt Gingrich. I have not studied Mr Gingrich closely, but one of my favourite films is Nine Days That Changed the World, a documentary he made about Pope St John Paul II's visit to Warsaw which sparked the Solidarity movement in Poland, leading eventually to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and the liberation of eastern Europe. If the messages within that film suggests that Mr Gingrich might share St John Paul II's passion for human rights and freedom and put them into his foreign policy, given the chance, that would be very welcome.

Similarly, while not without controversy, Vice-President-elect Mike Pence is known to have shown an interest in international religious freedom and human rights when he served in Congress. I may be clutching at straws, but if foreign policy is largely guided by Mr Gingrich and Mr Pence, things may not be as bad as we fear. As long as Sarah Palin is not let anywhere near a foreign policy or security role, please God.

The immediate consequences of the US election result have been chilling. In Moscow, Beijing and Pyongyang, as well as among Islamic extremists and Burma's Buddhist nationalists, and in almost every authoritarian regime in the world, there have been celebrations. May President-elect Trump prove us all wrong, may those celebrations be short-lived and may America take its place once again in the world as a decent and bold champion of universal freedoms and human dignity and as a nation we can all look up to. That is my prayer tonight and every night until Inauguration Day - and into his presidency.

Trump's Victory Shows The Manifestation Of America's Discontent

Thomas Smith   |   November 11, 2016    6:08 PM ET

DONALD Trump's announcement to run for presidency in June 2015 was met largely with laughter and disbelief. Almost 18 months later, his seismic election victory sends shockwaves through America and again causes people to disbelieve- though there are few laughing this time round. It's unexpectedness is borne out of consistent polls that antithetically predicted a comfortable win for Hillary Clinton, and the often chaotic nature of Donald Trump's campaign. Several comparisons can be drawn between the U.S. election and Brexit; pollsters, academics and the media failed to foresee a large turnout in support for the anti-establishment, right-wing movements. Trump's unanticipated victory was underpinned by a surge of votes from white working class men (both university and non-university educated) and a smaller than predicted number of minorities and women voting for Clinton. Of the myriad of reasons that made millions more than expected choose the business tycoon, it was the disenchantment at the current establishment's approach to pressing issues, such as immigration and Middle-Eastern policy, that played the central role in securing his remarkable victory.

Although not apocalyptic, the state of affairs in the U.S. over the last decade has been turbulent at the best of times. A poll carried out by the Economist this week on whether respondents thought the U.S. was heading in the right/wrong direction revealed 32% more people believing their country was heading down the wrong track. In March of this year, 61% of respondents in a survey carried out by A.T. Kearney believed that immigration 'jeopardizes the nation'. The salience of immigration has also sharply risen in the minds of most Americans- in 2002 the Harris Poll found that just one percent of respondents ranked immigration as one of the two most important issues for government- this figure rose to 19% this year. Rhetorically brash and brazenly offensive, Trump's proposed solutions to America's ills evidently attracted millions of voters towards him over Clinton, whose liberal stance (she proposed to increase the number of Syrian refugees America accepts by 550%) did not sit well with those who favour a precautionary approach in the face of the mounting terror threat.

Immigration is one of multiple grievances and fears that U.S citizens hold. As many as 70% of Americans view ISIS as the number one threat to American interests; although Clinton did repeatedly pledge to eradicate them, Trump's stalwart claims of forceful and immediate intervention struck a chord with Americans anxious about the ISIS threat, and made Clinton's proposals appear liberal and overly tentative by comparison. His language throughout the campaign was colourful, and his often daring rhetorical devices used to win over attention and support - through the use of ad populum, ad baculum and ad hominem fallacies - instilled confidence that he would implement tangible change in American foreign policy and bolster defense in a climate against the backdrop of maximum levels of terrorism threat. On the economic side, both candidates repeatedly prioritised the middle class in a bid to successfully attract one of America's biggest demographics- but Trump's direct appeals to the middle class to ensure they would no longer be 'forgotten' with his proposals to collapse the current seven tax brackets down to three, and effectively reducing the income tax rate for low-income Americans to 0, was instrumental in drawing swathes of support from the disaffected working classes.

One of Trump's most vital components in his victory was that of his opponent. A full overview of the misdemeanors and dubious histories of both candidates would perhaps necessitate a short novel, but the actions of Hillary Clinton over her lengthy political life- the most notable being the deletion of over 30,000 emails and flirting with prison charges- was sufficient to repel enough people. Although her campaign was well thought-out, and her outlined policies in the televised debates logical and with substance, the combination of a deceitful history and imperfect policy ( her idea to make college education debt-free worried economists due to its potential impact on the national debt ) made Trump - who is not without his own plentiful scandals - the worthier option. Indeed, a poll by the Washington Post in August showed that 56% of Americans have a negative opinion of Clinton. Whether the more energetic, charismatic and 'cleaner' Sanders would have performed better than his female counterpart will always remain unknown, though Democrats will inevitably wonder about what could have been.

Brexit demonstrated that the collective rise of the disenchanted working classes and right-wing against the traditional establishment is possible, the U.S. election highlighted it is by no means a one-off. Citing his representation of 'the working man and woman', Trump embodied a protest against the status quo, and emboldened millions of Americans to translate their serious concerns about immigration, the economy and ISIS into a vote for him. Aggrieved by the current state of affairs and the Democrat incumbency over the past eight years, Hillary Clinton represented a continuation of establishment policies that millions of ordinary Americans felt 'silenced' by. To most people, the result on Tuesday came as the biggest shock is US election history. But to some, the element of surprise is not so considerable; for the millions of people who felt forgotten and afflicted by the establishment, and disaffected at the cautious approach to immigration and terrorism, were bound to rise up eventually.

Thomas Smith

Note To World: Hillary Clinton Won the Popular Vote. Yes, She Did

Alex Ratcliffe   |   November 11, 2016    5:57 PM ET

This is what Michael Moore, filmmaker and political activist, in his Facebook- post-gone-viral, has enjoined people to remember in his five-point plan for the morning- after one of the world's most dramatic election campaigns, and its ensuing results. "The only reason he's president," Moore wrote, "is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College." Funnily enough, Donald Trump himself declared in 2012 that "the Electoral College is a disaster for democracy" and this about the very 'College' which has earned him the position of President-elect of the United States.

The Electoral College is made up of 538 electors usually nominated at their state conventions. According to the College, the candidate who wins the majority of popular votes in a state wins that state's electoral votes (decided mainly by population). So the election, as we saw through the night, is in reality a battle to win specific state victories that will give the candidate the 270 required electoral votes. Thus millions of votes cast can be irrelevant to the results if the voter does not live in a competitive state.

How the electors per state are elected, whether they are compelled by law to vote for their party's candidate, this is another long story. The reason this method is being discussed now is because it is rare that the popular vote does not agree with the electoral vote, and although this method 'usually works', this time it hasn't. The last time the electoral and popular votes did not coincide was in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush won the electoral vote. What is being hotly debated now is whether or not Donald Trump has a mandate to effectively govern, given his failure to secure the popular vote.

The point is this: perspective, for those who feel this is one of the darkest days in history. Out of nearly 120 million votes cast (of a population of nearly 330 million), Hillary indeed won that popular vote, but the sum total of votes cast indicate an electorate divided. There would have been protests on the streets no matter who won.

This division and uncertainty is nothing new after the experience of Brexit; that horrible sense that the rational world is crumbling down around you; that no matter how much we talk of unity there is disunity; no matter how much we wish to expand, embrace, love and progress, the equal and opposite reaction still comes: to restrict, divide, hate and regress. Almost like scientific law.

For myself, though an avid student of Government and Politics, a hopeless idealist and admittedly a fan of the politics of The West Wing more so than House of Cards (more factual though it may be), I will not be following the media circus that will build around the trajectory of the career of the new President, because I will resist distraction and getting sucked up into the dark hole of fear and confusion that will inevitably be felt when viewing the next 100 days. How much do we need to know to get on with what we have to do? To re-establish balance and unity? I have to remember this.

I will not be glued to my screen for every word from the White House; I will probably not even be watching the inauguration, to avoid the uncomfortable cognitive dissonance of watching the new President Trump swear on the Bible; I will definitely not be following those political 'leaders' who will be schmoozing with the new President, all the ones that previously distanced themselves from him, and who will be formulating (and possibly reversing) the policies for the nation; I won't listen to the spin-doctors who will try to tell us Trump's 'character' has changed overnight and we now have a responsible man in the presidency (though I will continue to hope and pray for this miracle and his epiphany); and I will not be thinking about and fearing what may come next, unacceptable and unpalatable as that may well be.

Instead I will take heart from Obama's calm and rational recent speech after the win: "Stay encouraged, don't get cynical; don't ever think you can't make a difference... We all go forward with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens, which is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy".

And Hillary's final words in her dignified and inspiring concession speech. What courage, fortitude and resilience. You really have to hand it to her: "Never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it... for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. For, there are more seasons to come, and there is more work to do."

King Lear said: "This is not the worst, so long as we can say, 'This is the worst' ". That meaning may be obscure, but we can take from it that this is not the worst, if we take this now as an opportunity to gather our resources, work together to unite, and build on the goodwill that does exist and with the people who want to heal, and go forward. Always forward.

""Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always." (Mahatma Gandhi)

Am I a hopeless idealist? Maybe. But right now, today, from where I sit and how I feel, I am sure that Hope Trumps Fear.

What Will Trump's Global Effects Be?

Danielle Cuaycong   |   November 11, 2016    5:39 PM ET

Donald Trump's contentious victory as the 45th US President will undeniably have rippling effects experienced throughout the world due to the transformations in relationships with other countries that will occur after Trump implements his various policies.

Colossal criticism has been asserted by Trump on the membership of the US in NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation), an intergovernmental military alliance. For the past 60 years, American foreign policy has been shaped around NATO. Trump condemned the organisation by claiming it as superseded and stated that its members were churlish allies who benefit from the USA's munificence. Hence, Trump has proposed he would retract American forces from European and Asian countries unless they pay up. NATO is indubitably dominant, composing 70% of the global total of combined military spending. Trump's chief complaint lies with the issue of the NATO members not meeting their expectation of spending at least 2% of their GDP on defence, with only five of 28 allies doing so. With the US spending the most defence, significantly more than the 2% of GDP asked from NATO members, Trump wants America's European allies to "pay their bills".

Trump has stated his belief in easing tensions with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, praising him as a strong leader, claiming they would have a peaceful relationship with one another. Albeit Obama claimed he wanted to "reset" the US-Russia relations and start fresh during his term, the ties have remained strained, feeble and indignant. It must be noted that Trump has not elaborated much on what the idea of 'easing tensions' actually entails but both Russia and the USA share the intention of fighting against the radicals of the so-called Islamic state of Syria.

Perhaps the fundamental change to the world will be the escalation in tensions between countries after the execution of Trump's policies. With the intent of scrapping the NAFTA between the US, Canada and Mexico, and the potential withdrawal from the World Trade Organisation, protectionism will be on the rise. With a fervent desire to stop 'job losses', Trump has the wherewithal to impose tariffs of 45% on China and 35% on goods shipped from Mexico. Subsequent effects of tariffs include an increase in prices for consumers, a decline in imports and potentially, retaliation from China. Implementation of these tariffs will result in 'de-globalisation' and is likely to increase tensions between the US and China even further.

However, Trump's argument for this is to enable Americans to gain their jobs back because the increase in tariffs will impel domestic production to occur and a spell of 'self-sufficiency', prompting more Americans to be employed in the manufacturing and production of these products. By increasing the employment levels, the standard of living of Americans will increase, especially those who have not seen substantial change under Obama.

Despite the likelihood of an increase in protectionist policy, a Donald Trump presidency is expected to be welcome by China, which is expecting a more isolationist US foreign policy. Another task of Trump's tasks on his to-do list is to suppress the likelihood of Asian countries such as North Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons while encouraging countries such as Japan and South Korea to reduce their dependency on the US and develop more nuclear arsenals for themselves.

US politics is deemed to be in entire shambles with Trump calling Kim Jong-un a "bad dude" yet also stating that he would happily negotiate with him. These somewhat erratic statements by Trump make the US less hopeful for a 'safe' America but we can only sit back and watch how Trump approaches exceedingly complex political issues between countries like North Korea and the US. Perhaps, he could even use his "You're fired" phrase from The Apprentice to North Korea when discussing nuclear weapons.

With the Paris Climate Agreement having being ratified in April 2016, the president-elect proposes the notion of "cancel(ing)" all of the climate change regulations that Obama implemented during his term, within his first 100 days of office. Obama recognised that early on, he would be unable to push through significant legislation as the Republicans held both houses of Congress and, subsequently, Obama compiled a plethora of initiatives to decrease the USA's greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption using regulation. However, the flip side of the coin means that Trump has the power to immediately order the regulators to cease enforcing the rules with the identical authority Obama utilised to get these in motion. Examples of what Trump will cancel include the Clean Power Plan, which aimed to let states develop strategies to decrease carbon pollution from power plants by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. Thus, it will be no surprise that there will be a notable hitch in the reduction OF greenhouse gas emissions. To the dismay of green organisations across the world, Trump has a set idea of using coal for manufacturing, despite the lack of fossil fuels and the negative externalities of COAL consumption.

However, it should be noted that Trump has argued that human-caused climate change is a lie and is a "hoax created by the Chinese" in an attempt to reduce the competitiveness of US manufacturing by using more renewable energy sources or less efficient energy. Furthermore, the US remains legally bound to the Paris Plan for 4 years so we could still expect to see Obama's climate change plans materialise. Moreover, although environmentalists will not be a fan of Trump's plan, the focus is on providing cheaper energy for families across the nation and through this, employment levels are expected to increase, placing a positive multiplier effect on the US economy and for subsequent generations.

We can expect to see significant changes with Trump's presidency, from his protectionist policies to his flimsy approach to protecting the environment. There is the possibility that Trump will be able to fulfil President Bush's aim of a "Europe whole and free and at peace" but Trump's intermittent personality and radical approaches to ethnic minorities in the US induces more fear in both the US and the UK. The only way we can approach the next four years is by "keeping calm and carry(ing) on."

Presidential Reflections - A New World Order

Gavin Callaghan   |   November 11, 2016    5:34 PM ET

I'm currently writing this blog from 37,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.

I'm on my way back to the UK from Miami where I have been campaigning for Hillary Clinton in the Sunshine State.

Like most people I'm shocked at the result.

As I reflect on the campaign, I cannot help conclude that there are striking and obvious similarities between the way in which this election played out, and our Brexit referendum in the UK. There was a generational division in the vote with middle aged and older voters delivering the White House for Donald Trump whilst the under 30s - who will live longer with the consequences of this vote - voted for Clinton in a landslide. Immigration was a central tenant for both campaigns and instead of hope, Trump and Brexit traded on hate.

As far as I can surmise, the truth is this; there is a New World Order in play. It's led by Donald Trump and Nigel Farage. It is scary. But it could get worse. That's unless the progressives on both sides of the pond act quickly to remind people what progressive politics has done for them and what it will do in the future. We must learn to once again speak with emotion and conviction about our plans and celebrate our historic achievements.

I believe there are four main parts to this new world order; the realigning of our national values, the manipulation of the democratic process, technological revolution and control.

Firstly, there is a fundamental shift in values and virtues. For instance, intelligence, expertise, fact, reason and civility are now seen in the contemporary political arena as vices akin to untrustworthiness and deceit. Instead, the world is implicitly instructed by Trump and Nigel Farage to accept ignorance, misogyny and hate as the best traits to define a nation because they speak to a 'rebellion against the establishment'.

I think progressives must wake up to this if we are to change the hearts and minds of people who support Trump and Farage at home and abroad. Whether we like it or not, the start line for our conversation has moved backwards. We like to think we are living in a wholly inclusive and tolerant society but just isn't so. 

The truth as borne out on June 23 and November 8, is that Britain and America are more intolerant, more hateful and more divided than at any time in the last three decades. Politicians have exploited difference for political expediency but what is worse, they have been allowed to do it, virtually unchallenged until it is too late and the public's views are already deeply entrenched on issues such as immigration and the economy.

Our differences are magnified by social media and 24/7 rolling news. Trolling has taken the place of civilized debate. We are told education doesn't matter as much as it once did, but that life experience is more important. We have come to regard expert opinion and corruption as one and the same. And people have come to believe passionately, deep in their hearts, that there is a better Britain and America out there - one that has been lost - which these votes will somehow rescue.

It's why we need to see the task before us as one where we renew our commitment to challenging hate and intolerance wherever it appears. We must convince our countries that tolerance, decency and respect are the values we want the world to associate with our great countries and which lead to healthier and happier places to live, work and raise families.

Some will say that time alone will bear this out. In other words, Trump and Farage will be found out for the liars and hateful political creatures that they are; that the countries they have changed forever will wake up to the fact that we have more in common than divides us. They may be right. But I don't believe we should leave it to chance. Particularly given how volatile politics is at present.

That's why it's time for the rebuttal. It's time to talk up our progress, not just protect it.

As President Obama often alludes to; if you had a choice of which moment in history to choose to live, you'd always choose now. Despite the many harsh contentions of 21st Century Britain and America, our nations are more prosperous, healthier, fairer, more equal and more just that at any time in human history. It is the triumph of previous generations of Democratic and Labour activists.

In 2012, on the eve of the last presidential election, I sat in downtime Columbus, Ohio and listened as Obama explained that elections should always be about two things; "the future and hope".

I don't think this election met those tests and I don't think that is part of the structure of this new world order. Trump will argue he was hopeful about the future as he aimed to 'make America great again'. But the actuality is, he labored on about the past, wanted to turn back time and hate triumphed over hope.

So if the world is as outraged by Trump's victory as they appear to be, then it is time to really challenge the far-right. And it starts by reminding the world that the people who have actually stood up against the status quo for centuries have been the progressives, not the reactionaries. The people who are largely responsible for the advances in national prosperity, improved healthcare and delivered a more equal and just society than before, were all progressives. Is there more work to do? Of course there is. But never forget that Labour and the Democrats have got more right than they have got wrong over the last century and we need to reclaim that credit with the public.

And that leads to the second aspect of the New World Order. Democracy.

I believe in democracy but it needs to rigorous and reformed. I believe that in order for democracies to function as they should, it requires the presentation of reasoned, balanced arguments that inform voters and empowers them to make decisions based on the facts. That means our democracy extends beyond the ballot box and the physical act of casting your vote. It extends to the media, the strategists and the pollsters. Each have a responsibility to promote healthy debate, inform positions, prevent catastrophe and present the facts.

All parts of the democratic process should work together, hand in hand.

Too often in modern politics that hasn't been the case. Balance has been ostensibly omitted. In years gone by our consumption of news was controlled by journalists and their editors who would ensure that the sources were checked, double checked, and true. There were also only a select few sources of news; the main broadcasters and four or five national tabloid and broadsheet newspapers.

Today, we decide what news we receive as we fill our iPad, iPhones and tablets with the apps we want and we follow the journalists, bloggers and commentators we want on Facebook and twitter. The result is that we create echo chambers where rumour fills the time between the traditional tip off and the source being checked. Before you know it a lie is half way around the world. It's devastating for political campaigns and politicians. Yet as Brits come to terms with Brexit and Americans realise the reality of a Trump presidency, its increasingly becoming a toxic component of our democratic process.

Put plainly, today politicians can choose to manipulate the public very easily. They fill social media with lies and deceit and then sit back and watch as opinion poll after opinion poll demonstrates their gambles have landed. They never need the approval of an editor or a favourable journalist to get their message - however warped - out into the public domain.

No two people have done this better than Donald Trump and Nigel Farage.

In the UK the democratic process was manipulated to allow the country to vote to leave a union of 28 European countries, that saw Britain lead in the world, negotiate international treaties and trade deals and foster the longest period of peace in our continent's history. In the US the first black president will hand over the keys to the White House to a man who is openly supported by the KKK. This isn't a positive direction for anyone and it certainly isn't progressive.

I'm not suggesting democracy always has to be inspiring, but it has to rid itself of the intrinsic iniquitousness and depravity that now underpins its ability to function as it should.

However, I don't wish to categories all Trump and Farage fans. Progressives did stop listening and that should be a lesson we take away from 2016.

Anti-immigration is a large part of the Trump/Farage appeal to many people, but the year 2016 is also the year in which politics has had to confront the harsh realities of a technological revolution that has not been to the benefit of generations of workers. For the 11 years that I have been a student of British and American politics, we've known that advances in technology were costing people jobs, particularly those over the age of 50. We actively choose not to act on the basis that the remedy for this problem was simply too difficult.

But we got away with it in 2005, 2008 and 2012 because these people effected weren't voting.

Now they are.

Trump's success in Ohio and Michigan and Brexit's success in places like Barnsley and Sunderland are testament to the feeling of abandonment felt by many millions of voters who have seen their jobs become redundant in an economy that puts a premium on the power of technology over the power of people.

Between 1997 and 2010 in the U.K. it was the creative economy that was the second fastest growing behind the financial services. Jobs in graphic design, social media and multimedia journalism substituted the traditional jobs in factories and mines that were no longer needed. The same can be said for the automotive and aviation industry in the US, where great feats of engineering and scientific discovery have increased the efficiency of productivity but reduced the necessity for human hands to build. 

Now the republicans led by Trump and UKIP led by Farage have seized the chance to speak to these people's grievances and have appeared to put their futures first in their list of political priorities. 

It's Labour and Democratic territory but it's been lost to hard right extremists. 

It will be uncomfortable for some progressives but in order to win these voters back we need to be prepared to have conservations along the lines of British jobs for British workers, British homes for British workers and Benefits for Brits.

As Obama went on to say in Columbus in 2012, 'I don't believe that government can solve all of our problems, but I don't think it's responsible for them either. I don't want to spend all of our time blaming other people. I believe we're all in this together. I believe that we have to take responsibility for ourselves, but also look out for one another". 

And it was his focus on responsibility that hit home with me because it speaks to the Trump and Farage appeal around 'control'. If people really do want more control of their lives, then they must be prepared to take more responsibility. The shift in power that we are seeing in the UK and US towards greater control for the population - toward a more direct form of democracy - means the state or the establishment can no longer be to blame for the troubles facing working and middle class families.

The line that it's 'people power' who are 'giving the establishment a good kicking' is often part of a Farage interview script. But what will he do when it's not the fault of the EU or the establishment? What will Trump do now that he actually is the establishment?

In my view, having now campaigned in both countries in 2016 and seen for myself what is happening on the ground, it is clear that Trump and Farage are not politicians, and this is not a new world order, capable of coming up with progressive policies to change the fortunes of millions of Brits and Americans. Only progressives can do this.

Right now too many people have hate in their heart. You see it and hear it in cars and conversations, in schools and churches, in offices and street corners. Immigration stirs something in people that leads to venom. We are so blinkered by the narrative of hate and division peddled by Farage and Trump, that we fail to think for ourselves. To imagine something different.

As the brilliant LBC presenter James O'Brien said this week, by voting for Trump, 'people have voted to make their lives better and others' lives worse.' The same can be said for the people who voted to leave the EU.

Progressives must take back the narrative on immigration and the economy but also show, once again, the value in taking responsibility for yourself and your community. History proves that we are the ones who think big, who create bold policies that positively transform countries. It was Labour in the UK and FDR and the Democrats in the US that after the second world war, had the foresight and the vision to create the New Deal and the NHS, the Marshall Plan and the Welfare state. We built housing and New Towns, put a man on the moon and had the first black president to lead the free world.

So let's see this calendar year as a moment to shrug off our collective timidity about our progressive record and about our capacity to deliver big again in the future.

I know that there is much to be genuinely downbeat about if you're a progressive in trans-Atlantic politics right now. Brexit has unleashed demons in every town, city and region of the UK and the 45th president of America is openly racist, sexist and allegedly a serial sex offender.

Both UKIP and the republicans have fought campaigns on the most pernicious platforms since before the Second World War. They have encouraged their electorates to replace reason with fiction, to ignore science and fact and instead put premiums on difference and division. Their words have resonated - even to the households of people who should know better. The toxicity from one neighbour towards another is visible in all communities the length and the breadth of both countries. So it would be easy to walk away and quit. 

And yet as I return to the UK with friends who traveled stateside to be the change they want to see in the world, I take away the words of Hillary Clinton, the most inspiring female politician of my lifetime, who said in her concession speech on Wednesday, "To all the young people, please, please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it. It's always worth it. And we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives."

And with that, we progressives prepare ourselves to confront the challenges of our generation and say loudly and clearly that we are fired up and ready to go again.