Photo by Atta Kim
Photo by Atta Kim

I can’t help but feel a tremendous sense of sorrow for American women today, particularly young women trying to find their esteem and voice in America. I spent most of yesterday trying to intellectualise the outcome, but it comes down to three things, racism, sexism and privilege.

Did you know that 15 years ago ‘The Simpsons’ produced a skit where Trump wins the Presidency with the slogan ‘America, you are my future ex-wife.’ The Presidency is Trump’s vanity project, the crystallization of his ego. I don’t think even he expected it to go so far, but now that he has, I’m filled with dread by the personal power trip on which he will lead America.

The British press have been utterly useless in their commentary. It took them most of the morning to articulate any response and the day was filled with non-reports like rabbits in head lights throwing around incongruous analyses. Today, there is deafening silence, as if they simply don’t know how to be predictive of the obvious. The Irish press by contrast, are enraged with the result, but in much the same way that hearing of the suicide of a close friend unleashes anger and grief.

Trump is a sociopathic narcissist, a misogynist, a hustler, an actor and a sexual predator. It’s this last trait which fills me with horror given the implications for democracy or American feminism, or what’s left of it.  Trump seduced America in the most lurid way possible. He offered glamour and played on America’s worship of success, wealth and privilege. He manufactured insecurities and played on them, he said America can be greater, he can fix them, he can make it more beautiful,  he alone can enable them. All it would take would be their acquiescence. It was the grooming of an America ravaged by income inequality of which Trump sat at the top table.

I can’t help but come back to the realisation that it was this skillset as a sexual predator and his string of sexual conquests that gave him the roadmap by which to woo an insecure people and buy the Presidency. The implications for democracy are harrowing. He’s a player and the Presidency was his opus. In that vein, I can’t help but think of the movie The Thomas Crown Affair. Steve McQueen is the thrill-seeking millionaire, who plays fast and lose with love and the law to gratify himself, ultimately coming up emotionally empty and cold once he has gained conquest and mastery of his fascination, dumping the blame on his conquest.

The BBC has been obsessed with analyzing Trump ‘ The Statesman’ and I see his speech yesterday has averted meltdown in the markets. Alan Greenspan was on Newsnight last night saying Trump is an actor and now he will act as President. But I’m betting the farm that Trump is a far more twisted soul. A Thomas Crown. I’ll bet he doesn’t see out his Presidency and he’ll weasel his blame onto someone else, anyone else. He can’t delegate responsibility once he gets bored or frustrated with it. The idea that the Republican house and senate will restrain him is ludicrous. He is a demagogue with dark flaws unbound.

America is Trump’s future ex-wife, he’s profoundly dangerous. The only voice of clarity on the news last night was from the historian Simon Schama, who howled at the lack of recognition which race played in the election. This was not just about white angry males in America’s rust bowl, this was about the white middle-class, the white female vote. This was about white privilege and dare I say it white supremacy. Therein, lies the scale of the threat. America has accepted Moral Relativism and has mandated Social Darwinism. Americans, including educated whites, consciously chose to shaft fellow Americans specifically women and minorities in a way far beyond ideological differences. What now for American multi-culturalism? White women are suffering from what the Irish Times called ‘internalized misogyny’. In other words, to get access to privilege, gender values are jettisoned. America was ready for it’s first female President, but what was screamingly obvious, was that it wasn’t Hillary ‘more of the same’ Clinton. The Democratic female leaders share fault in this, but it wasn’t feminism, it was privilege.

Now, under Trump’s ‘new America’ women must now enter the new meritocracy of privilege with the additional caveats of: being under 35, being sexual desirable and being ready to denounce their gender. The incumbent First Lady is a former illegal immigrant, ex-lingerie mode, utterly Machiavellian and willing subservient to a sexual predator in return for obscene privilege.

I truly hope that young female Americans can organise themselves and can retain their identity and values against what has just happened.



~ Letter written by the Irish journalist Brian Byrne to Lawrence Pitkethly, one-time journalist for the BBC, now living in America.

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Well written, Q! I fear for my three granddaughters and all women, for that matter.

I can’t help but wonder though, will trump get himself arrested for assault, even before Jan. 20, 2017? What is to come if he is? Is pence any better? Ryan? He will self destruct, in my opinion. He is not my president. As far as I am concerned he is a criminal. Fraudster. Rapist. Belongs in prison.

Harsh words, true. But Truth is stranger than fiction.


Powerful letter, Q.

From the celebration of many Trump followers at his election, racial, religious and misogynistic attacks and abuse on the internet and in person, it’s clear that Trump has let a monster out of it’s cage and it’s not going back in willingly.

In our streets and on the internet, these brownshirt-esque vanguards of the Trump Movement are roaming conscienceless, empowered and emboldened by Trump’s win. They are not going away, Trump’s racist agenda (he announced on 60 Minutes tonight he intends to deport 2-3 million Latinos he claims are “criminal”) is not going away and neither are the black and Latino communities.

He also vowed to appoint a SCOTUS judge who will help kill Roe v. Wade. So his assault on women is not going away…and neither are women.

It sure seems likely that we are about to head into a 1970’s-like era of angry conflicts and confrontations between the U.S. (wish I could call it ours but it will be unrecognizable) government and a majority of the American people.

This call by spineless, unprincipled pundits (especially douches like Chris Matthews) that we are supposed to somehow ignore that Trump won the election solely by whipping up white hatred of minorities and the denigration of women and “give him a chance to succeed” is akin to sellouts in Nazi Germany insisting that the public give Hitler a chance to succeed.

No. Rewarding bigotry and criminal abuse with the presidency is not something any principled person should support. It DOES matter how he became president, the legacy of that continues in a dangerous ugliness whether we stick our heads in the sand or not.

Women, girls, minorities, LGBTQ, Muslims, etc. are now genuinely living in more fear for their safety than before Election Day. The threats to them are only going to grow under a Trump presidency and where will that leave this country.

Right where Russia and ISIS wants us, having a Virtual Civil War that undermines and devastates our nation.

IMO, there is no escaping this though the intensity of this new civil war could be less or more depending on whether, as you mentioned below, the majority of Americans can use their coordinated opposition to Trump to play on his need for approval and get him to lessen the damage he wants to do.

We’re back where we were when Bush was President but worse, the US government will now be the opposition for those who don’t subscribe to its abuse of power, cruelty and greed.

Trump is my president but he is also my enemy. I sure didn’t wish to ever be in this position again but it was the case with Reagan, Bush Sr. and GW Bush. What Trump is intent on doing threatens millions of Americans as well as people around the world.

He may have won the election but he has never won over the majority of Americans and they need to be the political force what stands between him and the terrible deeds he is intent on committing.


Have we accomplished what the radical Muslim’s wanted? Seems so. Across Europe and now here in America fear and nationalism seem to be in control at the moment. Where will these people lead us? will it be ‘us vs them’ as both extremes want? Or will this phobia pass and cooler heads prevail? Trump is the epitome of all radical ideas rolled into one person, he seems willing to surround himself with people willing to believe any outlandish conspiracy, and has millions of backers enthralled with his rhetoric. How do so many fall under the spell of a madman? Workers across rural America are convinced jobs will now flock back into their towns and counties, what are these people going to do when nothing appears, will they accept his platitudes and excuses or will finally their eyes open to the flim flam man that he is??


Spot on Brian and thanks!!


Thanks so much for passing along a thoughtful and eloquent letter, Q. I know that I state the obvious when I say that people are going to be talking and writing about this election for a long, long time to come, but it’s true.

It has been, can be and will be viewed through so many lenses. The lens of race. The lens of gender. The lens of class. Of economics.

Just an hour or so ago, I discovered this article (coincidentally, also by a writer living in Ireland) which I found both disturbing and fascinating. Embedded in the article is a two-minute commercial. One of the last commercial ads run by the Trump campaign. It’s well worth watching.

The narrative voice-over of the ad includes statements that could have been made by Bernie Sanders or Michael Moore. The author contends that what the Trump election (and the Brexit vote) signify is a howl of rage and resistance against the pernicious effects of ruthless global finance/capitalism.

Is a Trump election (or indeed a Brexit vote) an effective way to fight back? Not likely. But I found this analysis very thought-provoking: