President Trump? The sky is likely to remain in place

So the unthinkable has come to pass and the great unwashed (read disenfranchised working class whites) of the American electorate have won the day. Reality television has been catapulted into the most powerful office on the planet and the weeping, wailing and lamentations of the left have begun—along with a number of riots and clashes between supporters of the president-elect and those who oppose his election to the highest post in the land.

Although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, the American electoral college is designed to make the contest for president one of regional victories, rather than overall preference of the nation. This is quite common in federal systems and seeks to place a balance on the tyranny of the majority, but when the two are mismatched, as is fairly often the case, dissatisfaction is loudly voiced by the losers—along with petitions and vows to “do away with the electoral college,” but don’t hold your breath.

Right now the “losers” of America are revelling in a victory that took the ruling elite, the winners of the globalized economy and the gated community of the American Dream, completely by surprise. It is their day in the sun.

There will be plenty of analysis and soul searching taking place over the next four years, but that in itself is a very good thing. The US system was built to withstand the seismic shocks that occasionally come from democracy and, nuclear launch codes notwithstanding, there is little reason to believe that the world will not continue to turn after Donald Trump takes office. It just might be a little hotter is all.

For a region which seems to be in a state of near constant recession, Manitoulin may well be largely insulated from the broader effects of the economic fallout of a more protectionist US policy. Certainly local beef farmers may be looking askance to the implications that tighter borders will affect, and other agricultural exports could be impacted, but we will be unlikely to lose our major manufacturing plants as they move south—because we don’t have any.

The more likely impact might be the boomeranging home of our expat children if the economic fallout from potential trade wars come to pass.

But our ancestors have weathered isolation, drought, the War of 1812, Fenian raids, the Great Depression, world wars, low water, high water, Liberal governments, Conservative governments, NDP governments, the Great Recession and a host of other calamities that were touted to end the world as we know it. We are still here.

Not that the potential for an even worse calamity is not just around the corner, but chances are we will not see that coming.

If the predicted tide of US refugees does come to pass, Island property values could see a dramatic rise and American pop singers may come to dominate the JUNO Awards (comedy is safe, we seem to be dominating that portion of American culture already), but in general life will go on much as it has for the past several generations.

The environment seems set to take a nasty hit, with Mr. Trump’s avowed disavowal of climate change and antipathy toward the Environmental Protection Agency, but we have been hammering the environment and the atmosphere since the advent of steam power and another four years will likely not make that much of a difference to our fate—it will remain bad.

Anxiety is rising across the globe, fueled by the immediacy of social media and the hysteria of youth. But as those who have weathered the Cold War’s Sword of Damocles can attest, most of that effort is wasted.

As a human being, Mr. Trump will be under tremendous psychological pressure within his own psyche to do a good job—because he knows that in four years America will be judging him at the table, they won’t hesitate to take a page from his book to declare “you’re fired.”