Trump’s pres­i­dency: only time will tell

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -


LIKE MANY Amer­i­cans, in­clud­ing the me­dia, poll­sters, and many per­sons around the globe, I was stunned at Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion vic­tory. Mr Trump ran a rogue cam­paign, cap­i­tal­is­ing on peo­ple’s fear, in­clud­ing those who feared him. Many vot­ers seemed dis­grun­tled and frus­trated with the sta­tus quo. Trump fed into their fears con­stantly, using race and im­mi­gra­tion as key points in his cam­paign which be­came di­vi­sive and con­tro­ver­sial. Vot­ers didn’t seem to care about all the other per­sonal stuff; in fact, they felt it made Trump more hu­man, with im­per­fec­tions.

They saw Trump with his busi­ness acu­men and no-non­sense ap­proach as the per­son who could best change Washington and get the job done, and that was all that mat­tered. Trump re­fused to re­lease his tax re­turns, un­like most pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates who do so for trans­parency and full dis­clo­sure. Again, most vot­ers didn’t seem to care about that. De­spite mak­ing deroga­tory re­marks about women, Lati­nos and mi­nori­ties, de­spite mock­ing the dis­abled and oth­ers, he seemed to have pulled in more votes than ex­pected from these same groups.

I’ve al­ways said that in pol­i­tics, any­thing can hap­pen: never say never. Obama and oth­ers said many times Trump could never win. Polls pointed to a Clin­ton vic­tory, even as the race tight­ened. Al­though Hilary Clin­ton fought a tough bat­tle, she lost much of her mo­men­tum when the FBI pub­licly an­nounced a week or so ago they would be re­open­ing her email in­ves­ti­ga­tion, leav­ing a ques­tion mark about her in­tegrity and the pos­si­bil­ity she even could be charged. She never re­cov­ered, even when FBI cleared her a sec­ond time. De­spite be­ing a for­mi­da­ble choice, de­spite hav­ing star power back­ing, and hav­ing far more cam­paign re­sources than Trump, de­spite be­ing a su­perb de­bater and with all the Trump con­tro­ver­sies, Clin­ton still didn’t win.


As elec­tion re­sults started to favour Trump, global mar­kets be­gan to tum­ble. These mar­kets re­flect fear, un­cer­tainty and panic and may ad­versely im­pact global economies and the very same peo­ple who voted for Trump to help them. Hope­fully, we won’t see an­other global crash, and re­ces­sion. It is ironic that Trump’s cam­paign took a ma­jor leap just a week ago, when the FBI an­nounced their re­open­ing of Clin­ton email in­ves­ti­ga­tion which, con­firmed one of Trumps key points – Clin­ton could not be trusted. Since then we be­gan to see a less an­gry Trump, he ap­peared more sub­dued, and sur­pris­ingly be­gan to look more pres­i­den­tial at ral­lies. As I watched him give his pres­i­den­tial vic­tory speech and later read the full text on­line, I was taken aback by the tone, which seemed more con­cil­ia­tory, hu­mane and gen­uine.

We can only wait to see if a wall will be built be­tween USA and Mex­ico and if Mex­ico will be forced to pay for it. We won­der if Mus­lims will re­ally be banned from en­ter­ing the US. There could be mass de­por­ta­tion of mil­lions of il­le­gal im­mi­grants which Trump promised. We don’t know if trade deals like NAFTA will be dras­ti­cally changed, nor is it cer­tain if the world will em­brace Trump. Mr Trump’s son, Don­ald Trump Jr, said in a re­cent CNN in­ter­view they’ve all grown and learned a lot dur­ing the course of the cam­paign, hav­ing met so many peo­ple from dif­fer­ent back­grounds, dealt with mul­ti­ple is­sues and con­tro­ver­sies, some of which af­fected them neg­a­tively. We hope this is all true, es­pe­cially for the new pres­i­dent. Only time will tell.


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