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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
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.
IF WE LOVE AND CARE ABOUT OUR COUNTRY, WE MUST DEMAND A FREE ELECTION