POLITICS

Waleed Aly Says We Need To Take Trump Seriously, Not Literally

And Australia has a lot to learn from it.

10/11/2016 6:41 PM AEDT | Updated 10/11/2016 7:26 PM AEDT
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As the world comes to terms with President-elect Donald Trump, The Project co-host Waleed Aly says Australians should take him "seriously, not literally", as his election highlights an increased class welfare divide.

Speaking on The Project on Thursday night, Aly said that while sexism and racism played a part, it was the way he addressed the class divide that won Trump the election.

"I spoke to people who had lost businesses and couldn't find a way out. I spoke to people who didn't particularly like Trump but thought he was the only one listening," Aly said.

"Trump won because he promised to get those sorts of jobs back. He won because he attacked the big corporations who he said get rich, 'while you get poor'. I mean, I suppose he won on class, really, not because he is racist or misogynist."

Donald Trump pulled more black and Latino votes than Mitt Romney in 2012 and white women made up 53 percent of the President-elect's votes.

"That's not the profile of a nation desperately looking for a misogynist racist to lead them," Aly said.

"You know all those people coming up with driverless cars and the robots that will do the factory work in a decade? Well, they voted Democrat. And right now I bet they're off telling some company how they can save them money with labour costs boosting profits with their robots. But I bet they haven't spared a thought for the working class people who they're doing out of a job."

The Project co-host said Trump voters decided the system was "screwing them" and their vote was placed in the ballot box to ensure Trump destroyed it.

"Personally, I think it might all end in tears. I mean, they cheer when he promises tax cuts, but he is promising to cut the top grade, not theirs. I think it's important for Australia to draw the right conclusion from there."

Aly said Australia has a lesson to learn in this election, that could "save us a lot of heartache".

"I think the real thing to take home is that inequality really matters, it's serious. We hardly ever talk about it in Australian politics but we need to. I mean, Trump, at least, looked like he was listening and in the end, it turns out, that counted for everything," The Project co-host said.

"In America, they have this saying about Trump voters that they don't take him literally, but they do take him seriously. I think we need to, too."

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