After Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney said these words about a man we now know as America’s President-elect, Donald John Trump: “If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished…Donald Trump is a phoney, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”
Last Tuesday, November 8 swinging into the wee-hours of Wednesday, November 9, the man who was and remains a scarecrow to many Americans and nations around the world won the presidential election in a close contest where 46.6 per cent of registered voters refused to vote. He defeated experienced former Secretary of State and a former US First Lady, Hillary Rodham Cllinton, standing in for the Democratic Party. Clinton was chosen by more Americans in the popular vote, but Trump clinched the ticket in the Electoral College. That victory now begs the question: Did Americans just elect a conman?
Whichever way you choose to describe what happened last Tuesday, in about 70 days from today, Trump will become the 45th President of the United States.
The outcome of the election was not only a rattler to members of the Trump campaign themselves, it was to the whole world. Heading into the election, the wind was behind Hillary in almost all opinion polls all around the world. The big guns in her party including incumbent Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, dug deep into their campaign arsenals firing shots from all vantage positions. Trump was hammered on all issues; from temperament to character and present and past shady business deals.
He had no support of all living former presidents from both parties. Governors ran away from him and politicians kept their distances. But he could boast of a hardcore support of adherents who saw in him what everyone else refused to see. These tub-thumpers could shout. They could fight. They could punch and kick on behalf of the man they now see as their deliverer from the hands of Washington D.C. political elite. They were white people lurked in rural areas across America. From my home state of Wisconsin stretching to Minnesota and Iowa, they are embedded in and around small towns and villages in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. They were voices that felt deprived of the American Dream of prosperity for all. They were uneducated, blue collar workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas during the economic meltdown of the 2000s. They have lost their homes and jobs and struggling to make ends meet.
If you call them racist and bigoted, that is your own indaba. But they are Americans who feel like their country was being taken away from them before their eyes by “others’, who don’t look like them. Seventy eight per cent of those who voted for Trump feared that their financial situations might get worse under a Clinton Presidency. About 80 per cent of those who voted for Trump feared an upsurge of terrorist attacks that may occur with the influx of refugees from ISIS-riddled Islamic nations. They trust Trump will defeat ISIS.
Well ahead of everybody, Trump identified the angry white group and spoke to them. His messages resonated without a doubt. For a man who never held any public office, Trump has become a suave, strong and intense voice in America’s political process with his showings on Tuesday. It is true that God enthrones and dethrones kings. He rules in the affairs of men.
During the campaigns, Trump called Hispanics murderers, rapists, and drug lords; and he promised to build a wall around the Southern border to ward off illegal immigration. Yet, about 30 per cent of Hispanics voted for the man who called them names. He raked in more votes than Mitt Romney did in 2012. These quiet voices were more interested in pocket-book issues than deportation threats. Trump’s business experience and background convinced millions that he is savvy about financial matters.
When he spoke about massively increasing jobs, wages, incomes and opportunities for them, they believed him. When he promised to change the ugly picture of 92 million Americans outside the workforce, and not part of the economy, they believed him. During his visit to Flint, Michigan, he reminded these people that in 1970, there were more than 80,000 people in Flint working for General Motors, but today, it’s less than 8,000. Trump spoke a lot about jobs amidst his sporadic invectives and verbal assaults on opponents and anyone who was not ready to agree with his stance on issues:
“Everything that is broken today can be fixed, and every failure can be turned into a great success. Jobs can stop leaving our country, and start pouring in. Failing schools can become flourishing schools. Crumbling roads and bridges can become gleaming new infrastructure. Inner cities can experience a flood of new jobs and investment. And rising crime can give way to safe and prosperous communities”.
There are many factors swirling around Trump’s victory, but the summary is that a man whose human flaws are obvious to all, who harassed women and assaulted them, who mocked the physically challenged and is considered a crooked, fraudulent conman, will be America’s next president.
On Friday, January 20, he will be sworn in. Millions of legal and illegal immigrants who are apprehensive of a possible Trump mass deportation must not ferret. But America will no longer be a haven for criminal aliens. If you work hard and play by the rules, you will not be bothered by the law or Presdient Trump. America has an entrenched process of governance and the rule of law that will not change.
If you thought that Trump is not a politician, you may be right. But you are wrong if you believe that the New York billionaire does not know the game of politics better than politicians. Although he has not held any public office in the past, Trump had hob-nobbed with politicians’ activities since his teenage years as a business apprentice with his father in New York. Trump knows politicians. He knows they are all about money all over the world. He has what they need; MONEY and now he’s got what they have always monopolized, POWER!
What about his promises? Most of them ran on empty gas. The country is waiting to see what he will do with the over 20 million Americans who have signed up with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Obama’s signature health care programme he has vowed to scrap first day in office. This requires an Act of the Congress; it will not be easy to undo. Building a wall along the US-Mexico border is a capital intensive venture that will also require the nod of the Congress. Trump cannot force Mexico to pay for it.
If con artists have successfully pulled off their debaucheries in the church of the Living God as pastors lying to the people who also sheepishly celebrate conmen, it is not an outlier to have them also as politicians anywhere in the world. And it will also not be surprising that America may now have one as President.