Our Presidential Lecture 2017

‘Trump, no way he’d win,’ … or so thought Professor Tony Badger, The HA President who gave us an excellent insight and historical perspective into Trump’s unexpected presidency.

Trump was not the first business candidate to wish to be the American President. There was Henry Ford, the manufacturing genius, who was attacked by the elite;

I admit I am ignorant…I don’t like to read books, they mess up my mind.’

Also, among others, there was Herbert Hoover in 1928, a very bad speaker with a lack of political manner. But, none like Trump, a speculator, reality TV Star, self-publicist, and someone who had no political background.

Everything was against Trump, but he won despite his attack on a female journalist, the war hero John McCain, a disabled reporter, and apparently all Mexicans. Not even a tape recording exposing his sexual attitude to women put off his supporters. Many of these came from rural towns in the rust belt, people who had been left behind; blue collar workers, who flocked to Trump.

Although Clinton had a stellar public record, there was an historical hatred of the Clintons. The voters may well have been put off by Comey bringing up the issue of the Clinton emails just before voting day.

Trump’s 100 days and after have shown that he prefers rallies to details and does not display the stability and some of the competence in order to be successful. Foreign policy so far has been dominated by bluster and tweet.

Professor Tony Badger was, until 2014, Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge. He became the president of the HA on 15 June 2017.


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