Social media was abuzz on Wednesday night after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, but voices closer to Wagga have expressed hope and concern about what many have called a ‘revolution’ in politics.
Trump’s narrow win after a bitter 18-month election campaign has been hailed a victory for the people by Wagga councillor Paul Funnell, who said it should be a wake up call to bureaucracies at home and abroad.
“Bureaucracies are out of control,” Cr Funnell said.
“It’s a clear message to all those left-wing social libertarian thinkers that the majority of people have had enough.
“They want government to get on with the basics and what’s important, not social agendas.”
For local governments, Cr Funnell said, that meant a focus on “rates, roads and rubbish”, while other tiers should concentrate on jobs, housing and defence.
“Get all that other garbage off the table,” he said.
“A nation is what a nation makes and grows. It’s almost like the beginning of a revolution without a shot being fired.”
Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic Dominic O'Sullivan said Trump would need to keep an open mind about how he balanced his election commitment to working-class jobs with his highly protectionist anti-trade policy agenda.
“It is hard to see how provoking a trade war with China or withdrawing from international free trade agreements will create jobs,” Professor O’Sullivan said.
“There will be unrest as people find trade wars, geopolitical instability and unsustainable public debt do not create jobs, and do not bring security and inclusion to people who perceive themselves on the political outside.”
Agricultural consultant Andrew Bomm said the election could affect farmers in both good and bad ways.
“It looks like the Trans-Pacific Partnership won’t eventuate and there were a number of good outcomes for agriculture in that,” Mr Bomm said.
“But on the other side if the US withdraws some of their trade partners may turn elsewhere and there may be opportunities that stem from that. It’s probably going to be a mixed bag.”
Cr Funnell admitted local farmers may come under pressure, but they should look to the greater good.
“We should want to protect out own backyard, there’s nothing wrong with that,” he said.