Island Editorial (Cartoons added by TW from Internet)
It was America’s Brexit moment. Donald trumped Hillary Clinton’s Democratic leviathan which was backed by media moguls and Wall Street to the hilt and secured the much-coveted US presidency.
Trump was demonised by his opponents and the media in such a way that even the people in far away countries thought his election would precipitate the Apocalypse. No sooner had the polling got underway in the US than the prospect of a Trump victory jolted Asian markets, which had expected an easy Clinton win. Those who panicked will have to come to terms with reality and face a world with Trump as the US President.
It was a case of ‘Trump vs the Rest’ with all US and western corporate media besides web publications and opinion makers ganging up against him. Even CNN and prestigious publications like The New York Times stood accused of being partial to Clinton. What Trump has won is not an election as such but a propaganda war of Goebbelisian proportion. Not all key Republicans threw their weight behind him; some of them even campaigned hard against him, calling him names. Even international figures such as UNHRC Chief Zeid Hussein, who should not get involved in the political affairs of UN member states, campaigned against him openly. A beleaguered Trump has won against all of them.
Trump was given several nasty sobriquets including racist, misogynist, bigot and fanatic early in the race and they would have demoralised any other candidate. Do the election results indicate that Americans have endorsed the negative attributes Trump was said to possess? No! Desperate for a leader to hoist their country from the morass it finds itself in, they were left with no alternative. Whether Trump will be able to play the messianic role as promised and live up to their expectations remains to be seen.
The entire American system was loaded in favour of Clinton. Even the mighty FBI buckled under pressure; it had to lift the so-called email scandal cloud in time for the polls to ensure that her interests would not be adversely affected. If Bernie Sanders, the best candidate in the race, had received that kind of backing he would have been able to beat Trump.
Those who strove to defeat Trump made a fatal mistake. They underestimated the power of the conservative white America, which has proved that it is still a force to be reckoned with by propelling the man of its choice to victory.
Americans needed a US president to solve their problems and not a President of the World, as it were, to get involved in engineering regime changes in developing countries to the neglect of national priorities. Trump promised to stay maniacally focused on domestic affairs and building the economy without being distracted by exporting democracy to the rest of the world. Americans knew if Clinton won, she would be another leader like Barack Obama. They voted for Trump.
One of the biggest challenges before Trump will be to make America, characterised by the gung-ho zeal of a gunslinger, less arrogant and more tolerant. He, in spite of his rhetoric, seems to have realised the need to rebuild America and recast its image. If the US solves its own problems without being a problem to other countries, it will help solve most of the problems the world is faced with.
It is hoped and prayed that the sobering political reality will have a mellowing effect on Trump and he will prove his critics wrong by conducting himself responsibly. He, no doubt, has to fulfil his pledges ‘to make America great again’, but some of his promises are best left unfulfilled if he is to win over the voters, mostly minorities, who did not back him. After all, he has declared, in his victory speech, he is the President of all Americans.
TW’s PS: Island, Divaina and the racist politicians of Sri Lanka should be rejoicing at the winning of the worst of the two evils