That has not been Trump's approach. He has tried very hard to convince people that he tells it as he sees it. He has made mistakes in spades. He has got in by understanding what scares America and promising them that he has simple solutions to the worst of their fears. Losing your job in the Rust Belt? Don't worry - Donald will stop foreigners from taking jobs from good old boys. Worried about austerity and seen your income go down whilst others get richer and richer. Don't worry - Donald the billionaire asset stripper and tax dodger will stand up for the little guy. Worried that America is entering a decline and is no longer unchallenged top dog? Don't worry - Donald will build a wall to keep the rest of the world out and everything will go back to the way it was before.
You have to recognise the skill at manipulation that has gone into this victory. I have never believed in the idea that the American President isn't very bright. You don't get to win an election that is so fiercely contested by being stupid. Ronald Reagan may have made the odd gaffe but he was actually a very smart man who knew exactly how to pass himself off as a folksy nice guy whilst he proceeded to implement some very clear policies. I happen to think they were completely the wrong policies but that doesn't mean that he wasn't deliberately following a very clearly thought through ideological agenda.
Trump has proved brilliant at campaigning. Again and again he said or did things that would have finished off most candidates but he held his ground and managed to convince voters. He insulted the memory of a US soldier who had given his life for the country. But not to worry - this showed that he really was determined to put all those Muslims in their place. He boasted about appalling behaviour with women and how easy sexual conquest was for the famous. But not to worry - this showed that he was a red blooded American male and at least the country would be run by a real man. He mocked a disabled man and threatened to have opponents beaten up and Hillary jailed. But not to worry - this showed he wasn't part of the establishment.
Michelle Obama wonderfully stated that "When they go low we go high!" Trump proved that you can win a lot of votes by doing it the other way round. He went for the lowest common denominator and drove home one very simple message. Your problems are all the fault of other countries and the fools in the White House that have let America down. All we have to do is build a wall, put up customs duties, cut taxes and scrap environmental policies and America will be great again.
It has to be admitted that as a strategy for winning an election it has proved very successful and is dangerously likely to be copied by a lot of other politicians in the very near future. Watch out for France and don't trust Boris.
But the problem with winning is that you have to deliver. The real question now is not: 'why were so many electors so stupid as to believe him?' In hard times it is easy to get yourself believed by telling people that their worst fears are completely justified and you can fix them with a few strong simple policies. The real question is: 'what happens when it doesn't work?'
Some people think that now that Trump has won he will immediately change his tone and try to govern from the centre ground on behalf of the whole of America. I think that is a total illusion. The same people said the same thing when he won the nomination. Trump himself knows that he has to try and deliver on what he has promised. Don't expect him to lighten up. This is someone who places a high value on his own opinion and is very sure of himself. He will try and do what he has told us and a lot more very unpleasant things besides.
The problem for him is reality. He might just be able to build a wall across over 1,000 miles of inhospitable land. That won't bring the factories back. He can put up tariffs. He can't stop that putting up prices in the shops or other nations imposing their own tariffs. That will lose even more jobs as we know from the 1930s. He can cut taxes. But he can't do that and balance the budget and he hasn't told anyone what he will cut back on to make things pay.
So the really alarming question is what will he do and what will the American people do when all the good things he has promised fail to arrive and some very ugly consequences emerge from applying policies that were effective campaign slogans but very bad economics. I worry about what attitude his supporters will adopt when they get nothing but miserable failure back for all their enthusiasm and hope. Will they move even further to the right or will they look next to Bernie Saunders style solutions? I also worry about what Trump will do and say if he starts to find his dream falling apart in his hands and his popularity going down the drain. Will he accept a defeat by the electors as readily as he accepted victory?
In these circumstance there is only one thing that progressives with a more hopeful vision of the future can do. That is to put forward clearly a better vision of the future. If America wants to make itself great again then it can't do it by closing the borders and dreaming of the past. We live in a global community and the days of American domination and guaranteed wealth are going fast. The only way to make American great again is for it to invest in the next generation of technology, skills and infrastructure. Just as the only way Britain can survive successfully outside the EU is by being the best at what the world is going to want to buy in the next decades.
For me the single most promising way to do this is to invest in the technology of green energy and to make sure our financial industries provide services that are actually useful rather than going for the quickest short term profits and generating another horrible crash. Don't expect to hear Donald offer that solution as he pulls out of climate change talks. Do expect to have to fight very hard to get that one realistic solution heard and implemented in the UK and the US.