US voters have abandoned political correctness. Have they also abandoned decency?
They have clearly voted for “change.” Eight years ago, they did the same.
They have voted against competence according to common standards. Maybe because they perceived competence to be correlated with “no change.” Maybe because they viewed competence as a weakness. Picking non-competent leaders can pay off in specific bargaining situations. In general, it is unlikely to pay off in the longer term.
Race was key. Whites strongly favored Trump over Clinton, and non-whites strongly favored Clinton over Trump. Non-whites will continue to grow as a share of the voting population.
Voters were unhappier than ever with the two candidates. Are they sufficiently unhappy to trigger the beginning of the end of the system of presidential primaries?
Some members of the old elite have lost. Who are the new members to follow them? How will the elites respond to this experience? By becoming more inclusive? Or by protecting themselves from the mob?
We have seen in the past how major political shocks can affect a country’s attractiveness for foreigners, its role as a cultural and scientific center, and in the longer run, its international influence. Will we see the same in the US?
How will the American election affect how other countries view the case for or against democracy (see earlier post)?
In the New York Times, Paul Krugman fears that America is a failed state and society. He writes
There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. And there were many other people who might not share those anti-democratic values, but who nonetheless were willing to vote for anyone bearing the Republican label.