Our speaker on 14 March was Roy Ferguson, Wellington North Rotarian and former New Zealand Ambassador to the United States. Roy spoke on the recent US election and the inauguration on 20 January this year of the 45th President - Donald John Trump, a 70 year old businessman and television personality. 
It was an unexpected result - "for one thing, Trump's personal background seemed the antithesis of the wholesome family values that usually characterise a US President, i.e. multiple wives and a business background full of unsavoury deals and bankruptcies."
Trump's campaign seemed to be a policy-free zone based on slogans: "build a wall", "keep Muslims out" ... but little real substance as to how he was going to reprise Ronald Reagan's slogan to "Make America Great Again."
Roy provided extensive examples of Trump's "embarrassing campaign to an outside observer." (When Republican George H.W. Bush was President, Donald Trump was a registered Democrat! And when the votes were cast, "more Americans had voted for Hillary Clinton than any other losing candidate in US history").
The political reason for Trump's victory, Roy says, "is rooted in growing inequality...it manifested itself in the UK in Brexit, can be seen in the rise of populist candidates in the Netherlands, France and Germany - all of which have elections over the next few months ...it is worth pondering whether New Zealand will be immune from this."
But "having capitalised on this issue and propelled himself to victory as a populist President, can President Trump provide solutions?"