Courting the Vote
Very few seasoned left wing liberal pundits predicted a Trump presidency. The ones who did were laughed off in a fashion similar to how Trump running for president a year ago was. The polls didn’t get it right either. They all got it wrong – Donald J Trump is the 45th US president.
He heard the voices of half the country’s people who felt disenfranchised at the hands of the elite, saw an opportunity and took it. Credit where credit is due, no matter how much of an ill-informed bigot Trump is, he read the situation just right.
Even the most comprehensive census in the world cannot accurately quantify the subliminal tendencies within a particular group. That is perhaps why no one really fathomed how big the ‘basket of deplorables’ really was. So when Trump proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the US for example, it was everything his voter base wanted to hear.
Fixating on building a wall to keep Mexicans out – something that is both logistically and economically impossible and Trump knows it – was another slogan merely aimed to court the voters.
Bullying, condoning violence, imitating disabled people and racism became just some of the highlights of Trump’s campaign because it was not merely accepted by his voter base but enjoyed by them. People thought that his boasting about assaulting women and getting away with it would make Trump voters recede but that was hardly the case as more white women voted for Trump than Hillary.
Half of America is therefore ecstatic about having a crotch-grabbing pageant owner as their commander in chief. The ‘United’ States of America is quite evidently an extremely divided and deeply polarised country.
Democrats are now asking the obvious question: what the hell just happened? In a matter of hours they went from getting their first female president to having their worst nightmare come true. A combination of an overconfident candidate, an ambivalent voter base and the Electoral College explains it to an extent.
Hillary did not take Trump seriously until the first debate. After accepting the nomination at the Republican National Convention, Trump hit the road and started spreading his rhetoric, courting the votes he needed where he needed them. Hillary meanwhile over prepared for three debates that would not sway the electorate all that much.
Trump lost all three according to experts as they were devoid of fact or details on any policy on his part – just good old mudslinging with him going after Hillary’s emails and calling her a “nasty woman” at one point. Trump voters didn’t care if he had not learned a few numbers or whether or not he had a plan. Hillary’s voters got exactly what they were expecting – nuanced fact-based discourse with timed mention of the women Trump had allegedly assaulted over the years.
An underestimation of the depravity of an average Trump voter who cares little about his policies along with insufficient campaigning by Hillary is one explanation. The loss can also partially be attributed to the undecided voters and ‘millennials’. Two groups so hung up on how bad both the candidates were that they either voted for a third party candidate or didn’t vote at all both of which were technically votes for Trump.
It is no wonder why the emphasis of Hillary’s campaign during the end was aimed at increasing turnout and rolling out all the celebrities she could get to attend/perform at her rallies to woo the millenials. Sadly it was too little too late. Many now believe that Bernie Sanders would have defeated Trump had he won the nomination.
The popular vote went to Hillary but Trump won the Electoral College. So if it were about the candidate with the most votes overall, America would have had its first female president. But the President and Vice President are chosen by the Electoral College and it chose Trump.
Now there are country wide protests against the shocking outcome. Half the country is in a state of grief, anger and fear. But the half that lost eight years ago when the first black president was elected felt the same way. Obama however was not a rampant psychopath.
Like Regan there is a steep learning curve with Trump as well. Hopefully he will be made to understand the idiocy of some of his proposals and will drop them. All security and intelligence agencies will start the briefing process up till January when he takes oath and starts his four years. One hopes his temperament and vengeful tendencies give way to logic, fact, reason and more importantly inclusion.
In modern day America there is a bigger majority than one thought which still consists of rampant racism, misogyny, bigotry, homophobia all under the ambit of white nationalism. An ineffective and broken education system has acted as a barrier for this majority to be included in the globalisation process. Trump possesses all the characteristics of this majority, as do the likes of Nigel Farage from the UK and other far right European leaders who have applauded and welcomed his victory.
As for Pakistan-US relations we are already at a five-year low with aid dwindling to record low levels due to successive governments not heeding their call to do more against terrorists in our backyard. US foreign policy with respect to Pakistan has largely remained consistent whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican government. It is doubtful that Trump has any suggestions of his own on this region and hopefully delegates this duty to more competent people.
US- India relations are on the up and up with major trade and arms deals signed this year. India already has full support from them for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership that China consistently blocks in the absence of a non-proliferation treaty.
Historically America has not interfered excessively in Indo-Pak relations – always calling for a peaceful resolution via dialogue. Trump says he can mediate a deal between India and Pakistan, with his track record of failures maybe it’s best he maintains the historical distance the US always has.
The US remains critical of our development, testing and expansion of nuclear weapons. However apart from sanctions in 1998 the US was never too aggressive when it came to our nuclear arsenal. Whether Trump remains passive in that regard remains to be seen.
After this election there are bound to be major changes in the US. Trump is a complete outsider with zero political experience, a buffoonish demeanour and someone who lacks control over his child sized hands – be it while operating his twitter account or being around attractive women less than half his age. He is thin skinned to the extent of resembling a school yard bully who is grossly incompetent and dangerously unpredictable.
Americans chose him and now the world will also have to deal with him, for Donald J Trump is the new leader of the free world. Barring any incidents warranting his impeachment – he has the capacity to commit such a crime –he will remain president for the next four years. Maybe he just enjoys the perks of presidency and leaves the actual doing of the job to people with more grey matter.