This Tuesday it will be exactly one mortifying year since Donald J Trump was elected to the office of President of the United States. Which is really 364 days longer than that state of affairs should have been allowed to persist.

And, yes, I know the USA has been made a laughing stock and the presidency has been brought into disrepute and international tensions have been ramped up to a ridiculously high level, but it hasn't been all bad.

Let's consider some of the good things that the Trump regime has brought us.

We've already mentioned one - America has been made a laughing stock. If you've happened to strike up a conversation with the sort of Americans who leave their own country in the past 12 months, and discussed their president, you'll have picked up on a note of ruefulness, usually but not always stopping just short of an apology.


The reason this is a good thing as that a lack of respect has dented America's dominance of international affairs. Albeit its values of inclusiveness, personal freedom and unity have been ignored at home, its inclination to dominate and throw its weight around the world at large has been considerably diminished.

Although you shouldn't try telling the president that - he still thinks he has a lot of dominance, in fact, people tell him it's the best dominance they've ever seen.

Power loves a vacuum and international leaders have emerged to fill the one created by the political sinkhole that is Trump. Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron and Xi Jinping have all been happy to demonstrate the sort of behaviour that distinguishes a functional leader.

Trump's contempt for the media has been a godsend, invigorating them and spurring reporters on to ever greater efforts of digging beneath the surface to get at the facts.

As well as raising professional standards, he has also had commercial benefits for the likes of The (Formerly Failing) New York Times - one of the world's great media institutions - which saw subscriptions soar as regular folk looked for a reliable source of information about what was really going on.

There has been a general stiffening of spines as go-with-the-flow types who never liked to make a fuss decided enough was enough and this sort of imperial bullying had to be confronted head on.

To name just two high-profile examples: Trump's fellow Republicans Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins who voted against all three versions of an attempt at a health bill that would have withdrawn care from millions of people. They did this in the face of immense pressure and threat of serious fallout for their States. They did not buckle.

Trump's ascendancy has also made people less likely to muck around with their politics.
This is the "I just wanted to give Hillary a fright" crowd. They and many others are now more sage in their political decision-making.


Democracy has been the winner as people who were previously indifferent took to the streets - in the early days of the presidency - and developed a resolve not to let something this absurd happen again.

You couldn't miss the satire boom, with podcasts such as Pod Save America, in which former Obama staffers incisively pilloried the president with the advantage of inside knowledge about how the White House is supposed to work. These and other observers have treated him as the bumptious figure of scorn he is.

Finally, for us plain folks, Trump has been an inspiration and a solace. We can go out into the world in the secure knowledge that no matter how bad a job we're doing or how dumb we think we are, we're doing a better job and are smarter than this guy.