As the US elections finish, many people are scratching their heads wondering what it all means. For example, is Trump serious about the things he has been saying, or is he simply saying whatever was most likely to make a whole bunch of really stupid people crawl out from under their rocks to vote for him? Was he serious about winning at all, or was it just the ultimate reality TV experiment? Will he show up for work in 2017, or like Australia's billionaire Clive Palmer, will he set a new absence record for an elected official? Ironically, Palmer and Trump have both been dogged by questions over their business dealings, will Palmer's descent towards bankruptcy be replicated in the ongoing fraud trial against Trump University and similar scandals?
While the answer to those questions may not be clear for some time, some interesting observations can be made at this point.
The world has been going racist. In the UK, for example, authorities have started putting up anti-Muslim posters with an eery resemblance to Hitler's anti-Jew propaganda. It makes you wonder if the Brexit result was really the "will of the people", or were the people deliberately whipped up into a state of irrational fear by a bunch of thugs seeking political power?
Who thought The Man in the High Castle was fiction?
In January 2015, a pilot of The Man in the High Castle, telling the story of a dystopian alternative history where Hitler has conquered America, was the most-watched original series on Amazon Prime.
It appears Trump supporters have already been operating US checkpoints abroad for some time, achieving widespread notoriety when they blocked a family of British Muslims from visiting Disneyland in 2015. Ambushing them at the last moment as they were about to board their flight, it is unthinkable how anybody could be so cruel. When you reflect on statements made by Trump and the so-called "security" practices around the world, this would appear to be only a taste of things to come though.
Is it a coincidence that Brexit and Trump both happened in the same year that the copyright on Mein Kampf expired? Ironically, in the chapter on immigration Hitler specifically singles out the U.S.A. for his praise, is that the sort of rave review that Trump aspires to when he talks about making America great again?
US voters have traditionally held concerns about the power of the establishment. The US Federal Reserve has been in the news almost every week since the financial crisis, but did you know that the very concept of central banking was thrown out the window four times in America's history? Is Trump the type of hardliner who will go down this path again, or will it be business as usual? In his book Rich Dad's Guide to Investing in Gold & Silver, Robert Kiyosaki and Michael Maloney encourage people to consider putting most of their wealth into gold and silver bullion. Whether you like the politics of Trump and Brexit or not, are we entering an era where it will be prudent for people to keep at least ten percent of net wealth in this asset class again? Online dealers like BullionVault in Europe already appear to be struggling under the pressure as people rush to claim the free grams of bullion credited to newly opened accounts.
The Facebook effect
In recent times, there has been significant attention on the question of how Facebook and Google can influence elections, some European authorities have even issued alerts comparing this threat to terrorism. Yet in the US election, it was simple email that stole the limelight (or conveniently diverted attention from other threats), first with Clinton's private email server and later with Wikileaks exposing the entire email history of Clinton's chief of staff. The Podesta emails, while being boring for outsiders, are potentially far more damaging as they undermine the morale of Clinton's grass roots supporters. These people are essential for knocking on doors and distributing leaflets in the final phase of an election campaign, but after reading about Clinton's close relationship with big business, many of them may well have chosen to stay home. Will future political candidates seek to improve their technical competance, or will they simply be replaced by candidates who are born hackers and fluent in the language of a digital world?