THE US presidential elections perhaps hold a lesson for our own democracy.

Donald Trump’s deep character flaws made him utterly unacceptable for a second term for over 70 million US electors who voted against him. Yet there were also 70m US electors who preferred such a flawed president, an antidote to a business-as-usual candidate.

This situation is surely an indictment of the politics-bound US federal government where the two-party political system seems more concerned with defeating the political opposition than it does with providing a functioning government. And with the modern world throwing a myriad of challenges at us, a functioning government is more important than ever.

Our own two-party political system has served this country reasonably well for three centuries but it is itself configured to promote a them-and-us division that has already failed us badly over EU membership and Brexit.

The four-year presidency of Donald J Trump provides us a less-painful lesson on how our own politics-as-usual can be dysfunctional. Viewed from afar, the lesson may be more easily understood.

When the challenges get difficult, a political system that promotes two-party them-and-us politics is no longer fit for purpose.

The biblical quote used by Abraham Lincoln prior to American’s bloody Civil War comes to mind: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”


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