The aquavit came out around 2:30 in the morning, when I realised Trump would win. By 5 I'd surrendered, went to bed considering how we journalists had failed. I'd written on election day for Newstalk Ireland about the 'imperfect storm' of ten ways in which Trump 'swift-boated' America, projecting his weaknesses as a candidate onto the voters themselves. It reads like a template for his victory, yet I did not take it seriously enough, not even as I watched America's sensationalist media chase Trump's theatrical grand guignol ahead of issues to the bitter end.
There is no one explanation for Trump's triumph. Not media, not gender, not race, not the anger of white men in the rust belt's industrial wastelands. Not crookedness, not Russia, not collusion between James Comey and Rudy Giuliani. Dislike for Hillary may have polled lower, but it proved stronger than dislike for Trump.
We misread people who took Trump's vision seriously, as they had Ronald Reagan's in 1980. They didn't really care if he built a wall or not, abused Miss Universe or not. I thought he aspired to become America's Berlusconi, with his own TV network. Many fear he'd prefer being America's Mussolini. Can he deal with Putin, May, or Merkel as he did the contractors building a casino? Can the job of being 'Leader Of The Free World' really be that simple?