Trump’s tri­umph is peo­ple’s voice

HAS­SAN OLE NAADO

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page -

“Trump pulls stun­ning up­set” — this was the head­line across many news chan­nels as the world woke up to news that Don­ald Trump had been elected the 45th Pres­i­dent of the United States. In Kenya, this pres­i­den­tial elec­tion was close to the hearts of many. Since Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is one of our own and was root­ing for Hil­lary Clin­ton, many of us were also for her. Above all, we also mis­tak­enly judged Trump as ‘un­electable’, based on his rather bel­li­cose and abra­sive lan­guage, which he dis­played through­out the cam­paign.

But when the re­sults trick­led in and the math in­di­cated Trump was headed for vic­tory, many were left in ut­ter dis­be­lief.

We first went into de­nial, then some sort of anger and then res­ig­na­tion as the bru­tal re­al­ity sunk in — the man who had been writ­ten-off as un­fit is un­doubt­edly the 45th Pres­i­dent of the US. And we have to live with that.

When con­fronted by such an un­ex­pected re­sult, many peo­ple tend to mourn and curse. They even start los­ing faith in democ­racy. I wish to call upon fel­low Kenyans to con­grat­u­late Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald J Trump on his stun­ning win in this elec­tion.

The rea­son he de­serves our con­grat­u­la­tions is be­cause his vic­tory is a re­flec­tion of the as­pi­ra­tions of the Amer­i­can peo­ple. He did not im­pose him­self on them. He pre­sented him­self to the Amer­i­can peo­ple, stated his case and per­suaded them to elect him.

As we re­flect on this rather ‘shock­ing’ out­come, there are lessons we in Africa, and par­tic­u­larly Kenya, should learn and in­ter­nalise go­ing for­ward.

When I spoke to an Amer­i­can friend from whom I sought to un­der­stand how and why the Amer­i­can peo­ple voted the way they did, he told me Trump’s vic­tory is indicative of a tectonic shift in world pol­i­tics, and the faster African coun­tries re­alisedthis, the bet­ter for them. It will en­able them to pre­pare and man­age the shift when it hits the con­ti­nent.

The shock­ing Brexit vote that saw the Bri­tish peo­ple vote to leave the Euro­pean Union is a clear in­di­ca­tion that more and more peo­ple around the world are get­ting tired of the sta­tus quo that pre­vails ev­ery­where, and want things shaken up. Many gov­ern­ments have lost touch with the peo­ple.They don’t seem to want to know what the peo­ple are both­ered about.

In or­der to have things shaken up, the peo­ple are look­ing for ‘cham­pi­ons’ who can have things re­ar­ranged even if it means bring­ing down the roof.

Trump and Boris John­son, UK For­eign Sec­re­tary, are in­creas­ingly be­ing seen as war­riors who are bold enough to take risks in tack­ling the chal­lenges that face their peo­ple head on. In the US, Trump iden­ti­fied the main prob­lem af­fect­ing the ma­jor­ity of the Amer­i­can peo­ple across the po­lit­i­cal di­vide— un­em­ploy­ment and the high cost of liv­ing. He spoke to the hearts of Amer­i­cans, point­ing out the per­ceived and real is­sues ail­ing them.

He promised them “bru­tal­ity” in deal­ing with the prob­lem. And since Amer­i­cans like risk-tak­ers and coura­geous war­riors, Trump’s mes­sage res­onated with the silent ma­jor­ity, un­like Clin­ton who ap­peared to be good in mas­sag­ing the prob­lem and too cau­tious. She spoke to the minds. and not the hearts of the peo­ple.

For us Kenyans, the les­son we need to take home is that the peo­ple, just like Amer­i­cans and Bri­tons, will soon get tired. Peo­ple will soon look up to cham­pi­ons who will be bru­tally hon­est with them and tell them what is re­ally ail­ing them and show them a clear path of how to rout those prob­lems.

We need to pre­pare our­selves to ac­com­mo­date the ‘shock­ing and un­likely’ Trumps and John­sons that democ­racy is likely to bring our way. Af­ter all, this is what democ­racy is all about — the peo­ple choose the lead­ers they want.

WHEN I SPOKE TO AN AMER­I­CAN FRIEND FROM WHOM I SOUGHT TO UN­DER­STAND HOW AND WHY THE AMER­I­CAN PEO­PLE VOTED THE WAY THEY DID, HE TOLD ME THIS IS INDICATIVE OF A TECTONIC SHIFT IN WORLD POL­I­TICS, AND THE FASTER AFRICAN COUN­TRIES RE­ALISE THIS, THE BET­TER

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