Stephen Diver: There will be no healthy compromise after Trump victory

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Sound bites from the last 48 hours: "it's going to be crazy, but crazy good", "we're going get our jobs back from China", "I hate Hillary more than I hate my ex-wife", "we're going to kick arse - no more sissy-pants Obama".

And on the other side of the abyss, "I'm moving to Canada", "He's not my President", " We are so deeply shamed in front of the world", "how do I explain it to my kids?" "It's a white-lash".

Agony and ecstasy, tears of joy and tears of fear.

Irrespective of the platitudes given on the morning after, there will be no healing, no bridge across the divide.

The Republican and Democratic worldviews are so polarised and the disaffection so visceral that there will be no meeting of the minds in some healthy compromise.

Moreover and alarmingly, Trump needs not to compromise as he has full control over the levers of power: the Senate, the House, and the ability to fill the vacant seat of the Supreme Court.

In my meetings over the past week I was negotiating for the most with Republicans.

They were all charming, well-educated, wealthy white men, who readily admit that Trump was not the ideal candidate, but who nevertheless couldn't bear the thought of voting for Clinton.

As Michael said, "we had the choice between a bit of womaniser or a felon, and I was never going to vote for crook".

I pointed out the simple ignorance that Trump has of international and domestic issues, coupled with his short fuse and belligerence - but that was turned around to a virtue. "Well then he doesn't have to buy into all the established positions of the lobbyists and diplomats. He can be his own man and cut all the crap."

They acknowledge that Trump will be the bull in the china shop, but welcome it because they want the Establishment overturned.

Trump's victory lay in a combination of mobilising disaffected blue collar white workers (and seemingly also their wives) with an educated, anti-government, low-tax demographic.

Above all it was a revolt, a desire, at least, to overturn the high table, where multinational trade deals were struck which have ripped out the heart of US manufacturing.

It follows the same sort of anti-elitist rage that propelled Brexit and threatens France and the Netherlands. The electorate is screaming its rejection of high-minded economist analysis of the benefits of liberal trade and open borders because it just hasn't seen the promises fulfilled in middle and lower incomes jobs and incomes.

First the Bush dynasty and then the Clintons have been thoroughly squashed through this campaign.

Not only the Republican base, but also large numbers of independents and disappointed Bernie Democrats were prepared to roll the dice with Trump out of a raw fury with "all them".

There is plenty of blame to share, but some of it must be sheeted home to the Democratic party itself.

With hindsight we can see so clearly that Clinton was the wrong candidate for an angry electorate.

Her experience as Secretary of State and Senator was so easily redrafted by Trump as her being an insider, a senior player in the political conspiracy to serve vested interests.

More that the email debacle, her 40 years of public life, which seemingly gave her the perfect resume for the Presidency, actually critically handicapped her.

The nation wanted new blood and didn't so much care if it was tainted with all sorts of impurities.

Perhaps a Bernie or a Biden would have had greater success.

Make no mistake, the election and its outcome have seriously eroded the reputation of this centuries' long democracy that the US purports to model to rest of the world.

The vilification and intimidation of the candidates reminds one of anyone of the 'Stans.

As China or Russia, even Poland or Hungary, look on this debacle, they could be forgiven for thinking that there has to be a better way to choose a nation's leaders.

America as the shining light, the beacon of democratic leadership to the world it is undoubtedly no longer.

They said it couldn't happen, yet it has.

All the recklessness, ignorance and hostility of his campaign promises ring in our ears. How does one sleep at night in Vilnius, or in Phoenix as the child of an undocumented migrant.

Is the great wall indeed going to be built? I sat with dinner guests on the night of the election results.

A mother worried for her two daughters growing up where the President is a self-confessed abuser of women.

And a Jewish doctor noted - "Stephen, I feel my minority".

Stephen Diver is a former trade commissioner for New Zealand in Germany and now runs a business advisory firm in Auckland. He has been travelling on business throughout the US over the past 10 days.

- NZ Herald

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