Progressives, in my opinion, tend not to be charlatans. Yes, they earn social favour and self-esteem from expressing fashionable sentiments but by and large they truly, passionately think that black is white, water is dry and one add one equals three. Trump, on the other hand, is a true charlatan; as arguable a claim as that JFK is dead. Consider his denial of the fact that he called global warming a Chinese invention. It is right there in a tweet. But, as a charlatan, he’ll happily lie his way to success.
Trump’s support base is rife with charlatans as well: a ragbag of anti-Establishment misfits looking to cause trouble; somehow including both 9/11 conspiracy theorists and Rudy “a noun, a verb, and 9/11” Giuliani. Many of them spent the week approaching the election accusing Clinton’s campaign staffers of being active paedophiles but now Trump has won they have grown oddly indifferent to this alleged child abuse. Aren’t there kids being raped, lads? Instead, they spent the day whining about the fact that “rape Melania” (Trump’s wife) was a trending topic on Twitter, ignoring the fact that their complaints had popularised the meme.
I am not sad that Hillary Clinton did not win. Had she triumphed I think progressives would have smugly, energetically advanced their ruinous ambitions. But while Trump was just the man to take down her campaign, and his supporters were just the people to help him to do it, they have shown that their great talents are for insurrection. The talents of insurrectionists, such as charisma, opportunism and mischievousness, are often less valuable in rulers, who also require detachment, sagacity and soul. How can we trust people with such an unserious approach to the truth to answer the awesomely complex and significant questions of trade, diplomacy and the environment? How can we trust a man with such miserably bad taste to re-invigorate American culture? We cannot. We can only respect the fact that no one except Trump could have inflicted such a great and necessary shock to the system and hope that he is surrounded by enough smart people that they can put the pieces back into a more effective shape. But there is no reason to have faith that this will be the case. There is no reason to have faith in anything – except God, perhaps, if you believe in Him.