Trump’s joy is Obama’s pain

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Don­ald Trump’s jaw-drop­ping White House win is a slap in the face for Barack Obama, elected eight years ago as the coun­try’s first black pres­i­dent on the prom­ise of a na­tion united. At the po­lit­i­cal level, Hil­lary Clin­ton’s de­feat is cer­tainly a set­back for Obama, who cam­paigned hard for his for­mer sec­re­tary of state, trav­el­ing across the coun­try and em­ploy­ing the charisma and charm that she sorely lacks. But, aside from be­ing the loss of a typ­i­cal bat­tle be­tween the two ma­jor Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal par­ties, the 70-yearold real es­tate ty­coon’s suc­cess is also a sting­ing per­sonal blow for Obama.

It cer­tainly ap­pears that as if this ever calm, cere­bral and op­ti­mistic pres­i­dent failed to un­der­stand a large slice of the Amer­i­can elec­torate and ap­pre­ci­ate their re­flexes, fears and con­cerns. In­deed, it would seem Obama has failed to take the pulse of this other Amer­ica, a world of work­ing class whites who felt they have been left in the lurch amid rapid fire change from glob­al­iza­tion and an in­creas­ingly mul­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety. Over the short term, Obama, whose ap­proval rat­ings re­main high as he pre­pares to leave of­fice in Jan­uary, might well ask what will even be left of his legacy af­ter a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Trump has promised to scrap or over­haul many of Obama’s sig­na­ture ini­tia­tives, such as the health care plan that bears his name, the bat­tle against cli­mate change and the Paris ac­cord of 2015, and the pro­posed Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship trade deal. Obama has stated adamantly that Trump, crit­i­cized as a loose gun on ev­ery­thing from for­eign pol­icy to his treat­ment of women, is a dan­ger to democ­racy.”We can’t af­ford the other guy. Can’t do that! Can’t do that!” Obama said in Las Ve­gas a few days ago.

Tol­er­ance on the bal­lot

At the po­lit­i­cal and hu­man lev­els, it is hard to imag­ine two peo­ple more dif­fer­ent than Obama and Trump. This means their world view but also their views on women-Trump was ac­cused dur­ing the cam­paign of sex­ual mis­con­duct-fam­ily, money and in­sti­tu­tions, and even their style, the way they speak and the words they use. Obama, the son of a Kenyan fa­ther and an Amer­i­can mother, forged a path that led him to Har­vard and Yale. Trump in­her­ited money from his fam­ily and de­vel­oped a real es­tate em­pire cen­tered on ho­tels and casi­nos. He has boasted about pay­ing as lit­tle as pos­si­ble in taxes. Obama is an in­tel­lec­tual who likes in­tri­cately rea­soned dis­course, at times to a fault. Trump is a busi­ness­man who speaks his mind in blasts of short, ag­gres­sive and some­times vul­gar phrases. “Democ­racy it­self” is at stake in the elec­tion, Obama said re­cently as he lashed out at Trump. “Ci­vil­ity is on the bal­lot,” Obama added. “Tol­er­ance is on the bal­lot. Cour­tesy is on the bal­lot. Hon­esty is on the bal­lot. Equal­ity is on the bal­lot.

Kind­ness is on the bal­lot.”

Obama had per­sonal rea­sons to try to stop Trump. In 2011, Trump was not yet a can­di­date for the White House but had dis­played a taste for the lime­light, con­tro­versy and con­spir­acy the­o­ries. For months, he fu­eled the so-called “birther” move­ment that ques­tioned whether Obama had been born on US soil and was thus el­i­gi­ble to be pres­i­dent. An ex­as­per­ated Obama called this non­sense and held a press con­fer­ence to show off his birth cer­tifi­cate. He was born in Hawaii. A few days later, at the White House Cor­re­spon­dents Din­ner, at­tended by Trump, Obama cheer­fully said what he thought of Trump. “No one is hap­pier, no one is prouder to put this birth cer­tifi­cate mat­ter to rest than the Don­ald,” Obama said. “And that’s be­cause he can fi­nally get back to fo­cus­ing on the is­sues that mat­ter-like, did we fake the moon land­ing?” Just over five years later, Obama is get­ting ready to give up the White House to his for­mer foil.—AFP

NEW YORK: Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial elect Don­ald Trump (left) ap­plauds next to his son Bar­ron, his wife Me­la­nia, his son Don­ald John, and daugh­ters Ivanka and Tif­fany dur­ing elec­tion night at the New York Hil­ton Mid­town yes­ter­day. —AFP

A ‘Naked Cow­boy’ per­former sings about Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump out­side Trump Tower in New York City. —AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.