If Donald J Trump wins the US election on Wednesday, your impulse may be to cry, scream or start building your bunker.

But don't freak out. It may be - in the long run - the best thing that happens to us. It may stop something worse happening.

Trump is the symbol of something very ugly happening in not just the US, but around the world. He didn't create this ugly thing, it created him. Sure, he lassoed it all into one place and gave it words to hurl at others, but it was there before him. It's the growing mob of angry people, who feel like they're becoming poor and powerless.

In some cases, these people have a right to feel angry. They've lost faith in the establishment. They've watched authorities use their taxpayer money to bail out cavalier and reckless banks and corporations. They've seen politicians lie and get away with it.

Advertisement

In some cases, the angry people simply aren't keeping up with the changing world. They may be men who don't understand why they can't indulge in a bit of casual locker room chat about sexually assaulting women. They may be white parents who don't understand the need for race-based scholarships.

These voters aren't going anywhere. If Trump loses they will still be there, and they will still be racist and misogynist and angry. If anything they'll be angrier. They'll see Trump's loss as yet another blow against them.

Steve Bannon, Trump's campaign chairman, says Trump has built "the underlying apparatus for a political movement" that's going to "dominate Republican politics" after this election.

A Trump win might be the blow off valve these angry supporters need. If he gets in - for the first time in a long time - they may feel like they're getting their way. If their collective frustration is a balloon, growing with every imagined slight against them, electing Trump might be akin to undoing the knot and letting a little air out.

If he loses, the balloon of frustration only gets bigger. Until it bursts.

Some think that burst may be violent. "If Trump loses I'm grabbing my musket," tweeted former Republican congressman Joe Walsh. "It could touch off a revolution," predicted Trump supporter Ken Shaw to the LA Times.

More likely, most of the angry supporters will sulk and grumble for four years, waiting for someone to champion their cause again. And when that person comes, they may be someone worse than Trump.

If you don't think there could be someone worse, remember that eight years ago you probably didn't think any political candidate could sound stupider than Sarah Palin. Now it's happened.

If there was anything good about Trump, it's that he's as subtle as the lights and sirens on an ambulance. Every word of hatred and every horrible idea of his is so signposted as to virtually scream "WATCH OUT" as it exits his contorting mouth. Worse than Trump, is a candidate who plans exactly the same evil, but sounds much more reasonable.

Trump may yet win. American university professor Allan Lichtman has correctly predicted 30 years of American elections. He's calling this one for The Don. He uses 13 true or false statements, and if six of them are false, the incumbent party loses the White House. In the last few weeks, the sixth statement turned from true to false.

On the bright side, if Trump wins, his mob of angry supporters will probably find their champion does what every politician does: he'll discover the Mexican wall project is too expensive, banning Muslims involves too much admin, and deporting so-called illegals takes manpower he can't afford.

If Trump's candidacy has moulded a movement out of all his supporters' anger, then his presidency may kill that movement through impotence.

Still, you might want to get on to building that bunker.