The thought of Donald Trump becoming US president
The longer this year goes on, the more I feel we could be experiencing one of the newsiest 12 months in recent memory.
Much has been made of the number of high profile deaths since New Year’s Day but more significant are the potential political changes which could occur in the coming months, including the referendum on whether or not we should quit the European Union and the rise and rise of Donald Trump.
It is without question that the poll on June 23 will be the most important in a generation with its outcome likely to be felt over the course of many years.
A leading expert on European finances recently told a meeting I attended: “The one thing we know about this referendum is that we don’t know” and this Donald Rumsfield-esque statement made perfect sense to everyone there on the night as the British public has never faced a vote quite like it.
But it is Trump’s elevation from megarich loudmouth television star to megarich loudmouth contender to be the world’s most powerful person which could be the most significant event of 2016. If our referendum is a step into the unknown then the prospect of Trump in the White House is beyond the comprehension of most sensible voters everywhere, with the exception of the US, the only place where the opinions of the public matter. Much of the world has watched, open mouthed, as the brashest American who wasn’t in ‘80s soap opera Dallas tours the 50 states, saying pretty much the first thing which enters his head but growing in stature with each ill-considered utterance.
For the first four months of this year the rest of the world viewed each Republican primary election with an increasing sense of foreboding due to the gradual realisation this guy has a chance of becoming President Trump. If he beats Hilary Clinton then Trump could easily be the biggest story of the decade and one we in Britain might be really affected by. The possibility of a Trump presidency might be one of the best reasons yet for us to stay in a large, united European Union.