The self-righteous political elite got it wrong yet again.
REFLECTING yesterday morning on Donald Trump's extraordinary triumph the French ambassador to the United States Gérard Araud mournfully drew a parallel with the outcome of the EU referendum here.
“After Brexit and this election, everything is possible. A world is collapsing before our eyes.”
His words encapsulate the anguish felt by the international elite at its wholesale rejection by voters on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the space of less than five months the electorates of Britain and America have heroically challenged the smug, progressive establishment that has prevailed for decades.
Just like Brexit the surge for Trump represents a vast, popular uprising against a self-serving global order. What is so shocking for the ruling progressives is that they never expected their recent defeats.
Insulated by their wealth, cocooned by their ideology, they thought that the British and American people would continue to swallow their propaganda, allowing them to maintain their grip on power.
Throughout the presidential campaign Trump was written off by most of the media and pollsters. He was constantly portrayed as too toxic, inexperienced, divisive and ignorant.
Even as the polls closed Trump's chances were generally put no higher than 20 per cent. It was a similar story with Brexit in the summer as the establishment lined up to denounce the Leave campaign as extreme and dangerous.
All major parties supported Remain. So did big business, the City, the arts, the trade unions and the rest of the corporate world.
Shortly before the results began to come through David Cameron was informed by polling company Populus that Leave would lose by 10 per cent.
This is the same pollster that, for the 2015 general election, developed a computer model called The Predictor, which forecast that the Tories had a minuscule 0.2 per cent chance of an overall majority.
In fact the Conservatives easily passed that threshold, winning almost 100 seats more than Labour. Yet throughout the election campaign Labour leader Ed Miliband had been painted as the inevitable victor.
All three episodes - Brexit, Trump and the 2015 general election - prove that the progressive consensus, propped up by pollsters and pundits, is disconnected from mainstream public opinion.
The complacent elitists, along with their cheerleaders, have shown no grasp of the widespread loathing for the establishment.
If they had they would never have put up a discredited figure such as Hillary Clinton, the ultimate Washington insider, particularly not against Trump, a genuine maverick outsider untainted by the political process.
In the same way, if Remain campaigners had possessed any understanding of the British public they would never have indulged in the lurid excesses of Project Fear.
This disconnection is a product of arrogance, self-delusion, wishful thinking and a failure to engage.
We can see that in everything from BBC radio comedy, where Trump, Tories and tabloids are the favourite targets, to the ultra-liberal celebrity world of the Hollywood movies.
Typical of the latter was an outburst last week from Helen Mirren, who urged American voters not to “make the same mistake we did” by backing Brexit which was “not only a hit to our economy but to our humanity”.
That kind of moral superiority is the hallmark of the progressives, who love to portray their opponents as bigoted, xenophobic or stupid.
This patronising attitude is particularly apparent over immigration, which the globalisers adore because it allows them to exploit cheap labour while parading their attachment to multi-culturalism. But it is the working class in Britain and America who pay the price through falling living standards, job losses and pressure on the civic infrastructure.
Unlike the wealthy diversity enthusiasts they see nothing wrong with stronger border controls, such as a wall along the Mexican border as Trump has proposed or an end to free movement from Europe as the Brexit campaigners want.
Nor do they despise their own country, in contrast to the selfloathing establishment with its relentless focus on ethnic victimhood and the alleged iniquities of Western civilisation.
What the progressives hail as tolerance and justice, the traditional working classes see as social disintegration and the loss of national identity. But such thoughts are deemed to be unacceptable, so voters keep quiet about them. That partly explains why polling has become so unreliable.
A climate of politically correct intimidation has driven too many conservative-minded voters into silence, unwilling to express their opinions beyond the privacy of the polling booth.
Just as we have the phenomenon of “shy Tories” and “shy Brexiteers” in Britain, so in the US there was an army of shy Trump supporters.
High-profile American political consultant Frank Luntz, who foolishly called the election for Clinton on Tuesday afternoon, based his decision on exit polls but as he ruefully admitted: “Trump voters were either lying or refused to talk to exit pollsters.”
Those same voters have changed the political landscape with a shock as great as Brexit. The progressives' empire is crumbling. Regime change is on its way.