Five years ago, it would have seemed unthinkable that the United States and the United Kingdom could be led by such mavericks as Donald J Trump and Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson respectively.
But the Western democratic world's new normal was confirmed late Tuesday night (NZ time) when the Conservative Party's 180,000 members voted to replace Theresa May as British Prime Minister with Johnson, rather than his rival for the top spot, the traditional "safer bet", Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
It is easy to make all manner of comparisons with the two trans-Atlantic leaders, to dismiss and lampoon them as caricatures. Yet their standing as two of the world's most powerful men demands acceptance - even if only as symptoms of a global malaise, an immense dissatisfaction with the political status quo. But it is much harder to accept that, in the process of establishing a new world order, once-fundamental values such as truth, integrity and often human decency, have been rudely and roundly relegated to the sidelines.
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Is someone often described as a dishevelled, gaffe-prone buffoon - albeit a well-educated, politically experienced, charismatic and apparently charming one - really the best person for Britain's top job?
It certainly won't be a conventional first 100 days of office, either. Instead, Johnson has one primary box to tick achieve in that time: to deliver Brexit (although he has also set himself the task of uniting a country riven by frustration, uncertainty and no small amount of fear - and defeating Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the next election to boot).
There will be many in the Conservative Party horrified by Johnson's appointment - he acknowledged as much during his acceptance speech to the party faithful - unable to quell the personal and professional warning bells given some of the legacies of his time as former journalist, London mayor and foreign secretary. But it is likely some party members voted for him purely for the reasoning: if he can't do it, who can? Some must wonder whether depth or long-term thinking are really essential to the immediate task of Brexit - is it instead the unconventional that is now required? Could Johnson in fact be the very man for the job?
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There is no doubting Johnson has been handed a poisoned chalice, even as a champion of Brexit. If he can negotiate a successful divorce from the EU - whatever that might look like - it would be a personal and political triumph. In times of trouble, a nation certainly needs a figurehead. There are no few references to a modern-day Churchill mantle. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and all that.
First, however, Johnson must unite his own party, stem the outgoing tide of dissenters, form a stable Cabinet without making more enemies, and do what Theresa May has found hitherto impossible: get a divided Parliament to agree on a divorce deal with the European Union, then get the EU to do the same - or drag the UK out with no deal as he threatens. Believe it or not that's actually the plain sailing part; from there it's uncharted waters.