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The peo­ple who will be most dis­ap­pointed with a Trump presidency are those who voted for him sim­ply be­cause it’s un­likely he will de­liver much of what he promised

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - ALEX O AWITI

It’s a week since Don­ald Trump stunned the world by be­ing elected the 45th US Pres­i­dent against all odds. One can feel and al­most touch the still re­ver­ber­at­ing af­ter­shock through­out the US, with many ask­ing the all-im­por­tant ques­tion, “Now what? Are we go­ing to sur­vive this?” The short an­swer is no­body knows the now what part but one can rest as­sured, yes, the coun­try and, in­deed, the world, will sur­vive a Trump presidency.

To be sure, things are not go­ing to be the same in Wash­ing­ton sim­ply be­cause we es­sen­tially have, for the first time, a Pres­i­dent whose loy­alty is not to ei­ther of the two ma­jor par­ties in the US — through­out the cam­paign trail, Trump and the Repub­li­can Party were di­vided on a num­ber of key pol­icy ques­tions.

This sim­ple fact brings with it its own great at­tributes and mon­u­men­tal chal­lenges.

On the at­tributes, he will cre­ate prob­lems for many, in­clud­ing Repub­li­cans from the safest of dis­tricts, in their re­spec­tive con­stituen­cies.

Pres­i­dent Trump will have no prob­lem push­ing through his agenda be­cause Democrats will have no way of stop­ping him, given Repub­li­cans now con­trol both Houses of the Congress. He is also likely to in­flu­ence the Supreme Court, given the num­ber of ap­point­ments he is likely to make.

On the other hand, how­ever, the chal­lenge for Trump will be to try and im­ple­ment mea­sures favoured by the an­gry elec­torate that elected him such as shred­ding in­ter­na­tional trade deals, build­ing a wall in the south and at­tempt­ing mass de­por­ta­tions of il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

None of these mea­sures can pass even a Repub­li­can con­trolled Congress be­cause there are enough mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans who will team up with Democrats to stop ev­ery sin­gle one of them, re­gard­less of what Trump does or threat­ens to do.

In­deed, many of us have been of the view, and have shared the same pri­vately, that the peo­ple who will be most dis­ap­pointed with a Trump presidency are the very peo­ple who were key in his stun­ning elec­tion, namely mid­dle-age, non-col­lege ed­u­cated white peo­ple, sim­ply be­cause it’s un­likely the Pres­i­dent-elect will de­liver much of what he promised.

We have seen this movie be­fore, es­pe­cially in Africa where politi­cians prom­ise the moon when vy­ing and de­liver noth­ing but mis­ery upon be­ing elected.

Kenya is no ex­cep­tion to this and there is a les­son we must learn from Trump’s elec­tion. We must have free and trans­par­ent elec­tions such that when one can­di­date wins, the loser can grace­fully con­cede as Hil­lary Clin­ton did. Clin­ton con­ceded even be­fore all the votes were counted be­cause she knew Trump had won the elec­toral col­lege vote.

The irony here is no­body knows what could have hap­pened had Trump lost. All we know is he was lay­ing the ground­work to whine that the elec­tions were rigged. But ev­ery se­ri­ous per­son, in­clud­ing Repub­li­cans run­ning most of the elec­toral sys­tems and their Demo­cratic coun­ter­parts, knew there was no pos­si­bil­ity to rig the elec­tion in favour of ei­ther can­di­date. The same can­not be said about our elec­toral process. If we love and care about our beloved coun­try, we should and must be unan­i­mous in de­mand­ing an elec­tion free from ma­nip­u­la­tion, in­ter­fer­ence, or any other form of rig­ging in­tended to rub­bish the will of the peo­ple.

When that hap­pens, can­di­dates can en­gage in vig­or­ous or even bit­ter cam­paigns — and none could be worse than what was wit­nessed in the US — but once the elec­tions are over, the win­ner is con­grat­u­lated and the loser lives on to fight an­other day.That’s what hap­pened in the US. Clin­ton not only con­ceded de­feat but also urged that her sup­port­ers ac­cept the re­sult and sup­port the elected can­di­date.

That’s what democ­racy is all about. Let us hope our pol­i­tics will rise to this level next year.


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