Disclosure: I wrote several blog posts on the U.S. Elections – the first three below rooting for Trump and the last one distancing from him. You can read the posts at:
However, it appears that many of the ideas propounded in the first three posts above are on the verge of becoming a reality, with the election of Donald Trump to become the 45th President of the United States of America.
It is very apparent that the rest of the world did not expect this result. Even most Americans did not expect or understand this result. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote (only with an extremely small edge over Trump), but even she would not have expected that the rust belt and the unions would have voted against her.
What does all this mean for the U.S. and its so-called “two party democratic system”?
It is absolutely clear to any newspaper reader that Donald Trump defied all odds to win this election against a formidable opponent, who was very well funded (more than him by two to one), with a solid campaign which was very well organized, well planned and executed. Mr Trump did not even adhere to the advice given by his own campaign managers or by his own Republican Party. As a matter of fact, several Republican lawmakers publicly went against his candidacy and pledged their support to Hillary Clinton.
The root of the matter is the deep disaffection of the electorate in the heartlands of America, who felt abandoned by the establishment parties of Washington. They detested the dysfunctional Congress which was often held hostage to partisan politics and bad politicking of the worst degree. The American in the hearland of America hated Washington and its politics which went against his or her interests.
“Globalization” became a bad word amongst working class Americans who were increasingly losing their jobs and cherished dreams, and no one in Washington even bothered about them, let alone the imperialistic Clinton who charged USD 250,000 for a speech at Goldman Sachs despite crying out for middle-class America in her Campaign speeches. President Obama’s push on the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal was timed badly for the Elections – nobody likes a trade deal which is designed to give away to other nations much more than what the U.S. would get in return, despite claims to the contrary. There was no clear case for such a deal while the U.S. was undergoing domestic economic troubles, and only a liberal economist would set up such a deal, against the interest of common Americans on the streets.
in my opinion, Hillary Clinton’s money-making speeches to Wall Street firms and her email scandal precipitated the decline in the hearts and minds of middle class Americans. Her lucidity on the techniques of governance and foreign policy, her potential ability to tackle President Putin of Russia, her well honed diplomatic skills, her promise to create new jobs when a trade deal was waiting for Congress approval, the healthcare mess, et al, did not resonate with the electorate. Apparently, her perceived dishonesty did her harm, though this is arguable.
Coming to Donald Trump, he managed an outstanding win at the hustings whose legitimacy he had seriously questioned every week leading up to the polls. He demonstrated serious shortcomings relating to women, Hispanics (Mexicans mostly), guns, crime control, etch., etc., However, he emphasized one thing seriously to the electorate – that he will bring back the jobs to American and control Immigration in a tough manner. This is what the electorate wanted to hear. All his shortcomings were forgotten.
As I have written in my blog posts listed above, Presidents are different from Presidential Candidates. Reason will prevail once the world’s biggest political job hits the President and his actions. However, I do believe that President Trump will implement many of his committed actions – like the Mexican Border Wall, prevention of entry by immigrants from identified countries, reduction of taxes on the rich, re-examination of trade deals like NAFTA, re-examination of NATO expenditure, a stronger partnership with Russia to the detriment of Western Europe, and a stronger negative view of the rise of China, etc., For America, President Trump and his team will be good as their priority interests will be to safeguard America and create jobs for Americans. No one can fault them on these priorities. Any country will and should do that. The complaints from many countries on lack of open borders are usually self-serving.
As I had stated before, for the rest of the world to export consumer goods to the U.S., we all would require Americans to have jobs and increasing wages, allowing them to consume more of the imports into the U.S. Really “open” borders may not be a necessary pre-requisite for growth in U.S. GDP. If the legal aliens could be given green cards or citizenship, that would be great.
President Trump is going to be unpredictable, with sudden deviations from any script given to him at the White House. Other countries should be prepared for the same. Notwithstanding that, one needs to recognize that he is more of a businessman than a career politician, and so is expected to lack the skills for “real politick” and diplomacy. We are all in for a roller coaster ride, but if that turns out to be good for Americans, so be it. Let us take that ride hoping we will have a safe exit at the end of the ride.
12th November 2016