It is a surprise in some respects and then not in others that Donald Trump was elected as President of the USA. On one hand he came into the presidential race as a sort of lone maverick that could seemingly make outlandish statements, put whole cultural groups down, make brash and crude comments about women and still remain popular. But besides his undeniable ability to completely rewrite the script for achieving political popularity in my view there are primarily 3 big factors that got him the job:
- He was undoubtedly like no other candidate in the history of US presidential elections, as already stated from the outset he always had the ‘something different’ appeal because by all accounts he was (and still is) an unknown quantity that regularly says things that others wouldn’t even dream of saying let alone tweeting to the world in the early hours of the morning.
- Hillary Clinton was an absolutely dreadful choice of opponent and for most Europeans purely and simply represented the lesser of two evils. How could anyone in their right mind possibly be hyped up at the idea of Hillary being in power when the Clintons are such money grabbing corporate bed fellows? Aside from having the right idea about climate change and the very real existential threat that it poses Hillary Clinton simply represented more of the same democratic policies that have lost touch with the working classes struggling to make ends meet. Which leads quite significantly into my final point…
- Trump was able to tap into a very real sense of resentment, anger, fear and disappointment among American working voters that the system that most are mere slaves to is actually making their lives much worse as time has gone by. Of course the reasons for this are not always as simple as they appear on the face of it – perhaps Trump did have a little boost from Russian meddling but the negative emotions had to be there in the first place in order to exploit them further and for America to call out Russia for interfering in elections smacks of unrivalled hypocrisy.
Trump, played a very sneaky game plan in exploiting people’s fears about immigration, the same trick had been played for Brexit and whilst there were many other factors to consider few can deny that it does indeed have a noticeable effect. As many of us humans can instinctively be fearful and mistrusting of other cultures, especially when we are feeling like those cultures appear to be eroding the prevelence of our own at the same time so the ideas of building walls, banning visitors from certain countries and taking an extremely hard line on immigration can be very appealing to some, and understandably to some of his most ardent supporters Trump can (so far) literally do no wrong.
But I am happy to go on record and say that very soon Trump is set to be the most unpopular president in American history and even his most devoted fan base will soon come to realise that what they were sold is actually the complete opposite of what they will end up getting. Donald Trump represents so many things about American culture that those of us in the rest of the world find completely vulgar and ignorant. The fact that Mr Trump would choose to walk away from one of the most important environmental agreements of the modern age simply on the basis that it will not be good for the American economy (which by the way is on the verge of a catastrophic collapse anyway) is testament to his complete inability to see the bigger picture. What is the point of having a better economy right now when your country is being battered by extreme weather every year from now onwards? Weather that becomes so intense to the point that any meagre savings that America does make from sticking with fossil fuels will pale into insignificance at the exponential costs that will continually arise from rebuilding in the wake of nature’s extreme revenge? The level of ignorance and arrogance displayed by this man in this particular area is unrivalled among world leaders.
To his supporters, you know the ones that hold up signs with slogans like ‘Trump Digs Coal’ the idea that Donald is going to revive a dying industry that the rest of the world is swiftly moving away from may seem like a golden promise but it is absolute nonsense and I can assure those people that it isn’t going to happen whether they like it or not (sorry). In my rather modest life I have lived through some terrible and catastrophic events in the history of natural disasters, I can recall a number of utterly dreadful hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes and earthquakes that have devastated the planet and any and all life that happened to be in the path of such disasters, but I have never in my life known a year when 2 extremely powerful hurricanes have completely savaged the US coast within a few days of each other. And as if this wasn’t enough it is even harder to conceive that these were not even the only hurricanes going on in the Atlantic at roughly the same time! To cap off this display of nature’s raw power over the oceans there were even some significant earthquakes happening in midst of this carnage – perhaps a stark warning to us that even on land we are just as vulnerable?
If one were of the mind-set of older civilisations you could easily be forgiven for thinking that the God or Gods that many put their unwavering faith in are not best pleased with us right now and are making a point of telling us! Of course to your biblically inclined Republicans there are no such dilemmas, if almighty God has provided such resources for us then it is our God given right to utilise them and if God decides to reprimand our actions then so be it. This is so unbelievably backward that it beggars belief, but as the rest of the world continues to be amazed at the sheer lunacy of the man that can competently be described as the worst president ever chosen by the American people. As Noam Chomsky rightly points out, working class voters are right to be extremely disillusioned with the Democratic party, but in voting the Republicans into power they are actually siding with their class enemy and Donald Trump for all of his maverick allure and ability to sound like someone who is going to drain the swamp, actually ends up being the very person that fills the swamp with more toxic waste and then diverts it into local water supplies just for good measure.
But the somewhat sad irony of all of this is that I can completely understand why Americans would vote for Trump and given the dreadful alternative available to them why wouldn’t they try something untested and unproven? What’s the worst that could happen? Well it just so turns out that a lot of extremely bad stuff can happen in handing the reigns over to a person known for their narcissism, fiery temper, inability to empathise and apparent desire to make very real threats to other countries that could well prove the catalyst for the next nuclear war that would make previous use of nukes look like school science experiments by comparison. So my prediction (for what its worth) is that the American people have only just seen the tip of the iceberg that is heading their way very soon under Mr. Trumps stewardship.
Of course the impending and inevitable US recession can be blamed on the Democrats who would in turn blame it on the Republicans before them and so on ad nauseum. The reality is however, that as much as Donald Trump will want to shift the blame onto congress and the Democrats for the incoming descent into the financial abyss, to his dwindling fan base all the talk about Making America Great Again will have lost its magical lustre by this point. The notion that the section of society that are most deserving of a tax cut are some of the richest in society is yet another example of the disparity between the Republican agenda and the very people that voted for it. If anyone is being screwed over by Donald Trump and the Republican party it is the blue collar working classes that are facing an unprecedented battle to find steady jobs paying decent living wages when so much employment in America is now being replaced by automation. If you really think Donald Trump and his cherry picked team of multi-millionaire congressmen have got any concern about the people at the bottom of the social ladder then you are likely to be bitterly disappointed.
As if to confirm my thoughts about Mr Trump and his views on the available global economic solutions that are concerned with the distribution of wealth, capital and labour his comments in his first ever address to the United Nations General Assembly contained some choice comments about Socialism, namely that ‘From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.‘ Yes Donald, it is indeed fair to say that Socialism is far from perfect and no country has yet found the perfect model to upon which to implement it (Venezuela is hardly worth a mention in the first place as it is in a terrible state for the most part due to its complete and total reliance on oil exports as a source of income). But to pick holes in Socialism (which by the way is completely different to communism and the two should not be compared) is to fundamentally ignore what is potentially the greatest failures of the currently adopted economic system that the USA is so entrenched in and that is Free Market Capitalism. Capitalism that puts the unquenchable thirst for profit above all other considerations, including the environment (hello ringing any alarm bells again here?), society, the labour workforce and even the consumer.
Socialism is yet to find its most effective means of application but there are plenty of respected economists who have a number of great ideas to completely changes this (go check out the YouTube videos of Professor Richard D Wolff and his project Democracy at Work, for example). Whereas Socialism at least promotes a world view that all of humanity is in the same struggle together (which of course we are) and that we can actually achieve much more by working together whether rich or poor than by living in the type of Dog eat Dog and greed driven world that is associated with Capitalism. I am absolutely convinced that the trademark Free Market unregulated Capitalism that the United States is well known for and that Donald Trump is clearly a strong advocate for is quite simply a precursor to modern day slavery where the ultra-rich exploit the rest of the world’s population to the point where the entire system is built upon debt and like a house made of cards once a few of the supporting structures at the bottom begin to wobble the whole thing collapses on itself and the super-rich might well wish to consider whether they could do more constructive things to support the ongoing development of society and protecting the environment rather than just sitting on ludicrous sums of money that they could never spend in a hundred lifetimes.
There is no doubt that Donald Trump will continue to enjoy popularity among his support base for a while yet and good for them. But once more for the record I would like repeat my prediction that far from being the answer to their prayers and the solution to their problems, in the not too distant future Donald Trump will actually galvanise an unprecedented popular uprising against the current political and economic systems that have been allowed to unashamedly flourish at the expense of the very people that keep them going. There are some big changes coming soon and we are entering a new era of realisation about our ability to be manipulated by higher forces and our real collective power to fight back against this. This may sound rather biblical and ominous but really and truthfully all I can say to this is… it’s about time!
Perhaps somewhat ironically, later down the line we may well have to thank Mr Trump for getting us to come to our senses much quicker than we might have done otherwise!