What really surprises me, and almost everyone that I meet, is that there is any doubt about who may be President-elect of the USA tomorrow. It seems almost incomprehensible that anyone would choose to vote for Donald Trump. He is a vain, racist, bullying, misogynistic, ignorant liar who has run a campaign that has been devoid of coherent policy and has eschewed any form of evidenced opinion and yet he will run Hilary Clinton a close second for president, and could even still win.
The real question to ask is how is that? How did we reach the point where, just as people were willing to present lies as truth in the Brexit poll and people suspended their disbelief to vote for those delivering the untruths, in the States people are so disenchanted with a conventionally competent, but unappealing, candidate that they will vote for a charlatan instead?
It's clearly not just a Clinton factor. I am not wowed by her for many good reasons but would have no choice who to vote for. It's also not entirely misogyny, although I am sure it is a factor. There is something much deeper, and that is protest.
It's easy to use to say. The consequence, as the UK is seeing, is deeply destructive. Putting those bereft of real ideas in charge is already proving to be no solution to anything. But even if that might lead to regret (and I think it will) that does not mean that the sentiment that drove the protest was unreal.
People will only tolerate being ignored for so long.
People cannot be told they must live off debt forever.
In a world where material aspiration is sold as if it is the only true religion then people will both eventually be taken in, and be aggrieved that they are denied the opprtunity to partake.
And when people also intrinsically realise that the values being promoted are hollow and that what is really of value to them, from community, to education, to housing, to well-being, is being sacrificed to the material accumulation of a tiny minority at expense to themselves then they will protest.
This was what drove the Sanders phenomenon. In the UK it was not done so well. In both cases the lies of the Right have so far prevailed. But I am not going to write that another good crisis has gone to waste, or any such triteness: that is to descend to the Right's sloganeering level, and that is not an adequate response in any way.
The only adequate response is coherent policy. I have reiterated my belief in the Green New Deal, which I co-authored. It remains a rare, internally consistent, policy rich, people focussed, sustainable and financially deliverable plan for the UK which is focussed on addressing and actually meeting real human needs as opposed to manufactured wants.
It cannot, surely though, be the only such plan? If it is that is reason alone to suggest why people have resorted to the banter of fools as if it is political narrative: too many have not been given another option. Too many politicians are too frightened to even think an alternative is possible.
But an alternative is what is needed. Trump is not the alternative that the world needs tomorrow. That is very clear. But equally, nor is Clinton. That is why her election, if it happens will be greeted with relief but not enthusiasm. She is at best a candidate who should be the last of her neoliberal breed.
We do need a new era of politics that only Bernie Sander's came close to in the States and which is way beyond the Labour offering (such as it is) in the UK right now. And we should realise that if we do not get that new politics then Brexit and Trump are the warning shots of a new, more brutal (in every way) world to come.
There will be no winner by tomorrow morning. There may just be a chance to plan better for next time, here, in the US, and elsewhere.