So now we know. The 45th President of the United States will be Donald Trump, a billionaire who has presented himself as an insurgent anti-establishment figure who promised change. And what did the Democratic Party machine do? Instead of choosing their own insurgent who defined himself as a democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders, they chose the establishment- personified figure, Hillary Clinton. How dumb was that? The success of the Trump campaign has, in my view, been a vote against Clinton rather than for Trump, and can be summarized as "anyone but Clinton". One of the best responses to Trump's success came from the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn:
"Trump's election is an unmistakable rejection of a political establishment and an economic system that simply isn't working for most people. It is one that has delivered escalating inequality and stagnating or falling living standards for the majority, both in the US and Britain. This is a rejection of a failed economic consensus and a governing elite that has been seen not to have listened. And the public anger that has propelled Donald Trump to office has been reflected in political upheavals across the world."
I don't know what a Trump presidency will mean for America and the world in detail, no-one knows, but I think we can be sure of one thing, that demonization of Russia and Putin will stop. The Clinton team and establishment figures that supported her have made Russia enemy number one in their campaign. I hope a more mature dialogue between the two heavily nuclear-armed states will begin that respects the interests of both nations.
Hillary Clinton was advocating stronger military intervention in Syria, and the enforcement of no-fly zones that would have put America on a collision course with Russia. What a catastrophe for the whole world that would have been!
Let us de-escalate the conflict and let the Syrian people decide who will govern them. The insistence by the US and the West that Assad must go first has been the stumbling block to ending the unbearable suffering of the Syrian people. It is not up to the Americans, the West, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia or anyone else to decide how Syria should be governed and by whom. Let us have elections in Syria supervised by international bodies to ensure that they are fair and free. Russia says they want parliamentary and presidential elections in Syria, and so let us take the Russians at their word and work for that to happen
I was listening this morning to someone on the Today programme talking about the US becoming isolationist under President Trump; this is not a bad thing, in my view, when it comes to foreign policy. Interventionist US led to the catastrophic Iraq war and the continuing suffering of its people. Interventionism destroyed the Libyan state, and now lawlessness and anarchy are blighting the lives of its people. Military interventions abroad and particularly in the Middle East, rarely if ever, produce good outcomes for the people who have the misfortune of being interfered with. Commentators should stop making statements as if they are evident truths, no explanations required. Serious journalists should not let them get away with it.
What lessons do we learn from America as it elects President Trump? Well, the anger with establishment figures and politics as usual is deep and profound. This is reflected here in Britain by the Brexit vote. The lesson for the Parliamentary Labour Party is this; stop undermining Jeremy Corbyn. Any other Labour politician chosen as leader will be seen as an establishment figure and Labour will be punished for it. The only person in the Labour Party capable of winning the next general election is Jeremy Corbyn. As I said in a previous article, my advice to Labour MPs is to embrace the insurgent Jeremy Corbyn and win the next general election.
Had the Democrats chosen Bernie Sanders as their candidate we would now be talking about President Sanders instead of President Trump.