Carry on Trump!

Elect­ing a pop­ulist dem­a­gogue with zero po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence looks haz­ardous for Amer­i­can health

Pakistan Today (Karachi) - - COMMENT -

THE 45th US Pres­i­dent, by his com­ments and ac­tions in the long elec­tion cam­paign, pro­vided plenty of fire­works and por­tents of the things to come if he was elected. The di­vi­sions sparked by his to­tally un­ex­pected win are now glar­ingly ob­vi­ous, while his choices for some key posts, con­ser­va­tive, filthy rich, white su­prem­a­cists, some say misog­y­nis­tic and racist, and his anti-me­dia re­marks, have cre­ated a furore in some sec­tions of Amer­i­can so­ci­ety. Th­ese in­clude women, mi­nori­ties, es­pe­cially Mus­lims and il­le­gal im­mi­grants. Even the num­ber of peo­ple at­tend­ing his swear­ing in was turned into a war of words with the me­dia, his Press Sec­re­tary de­nounc­ing al­leged ‘de­lib­er­ately false re­port­ing’. The hos­tile Press was ear­lier re­peat­edly dubbed as ‘dis­hon­est’ by the Pres­i­dent-elect. No won­der his ap­proval rat­ings were just 37 per cent, as com­pared to the 50 per cent plus in case of in­com­ing Pres­i­dents. So it would be fu­tile to spec­u­late on his first 100 days, be­cause ev­ery other day of his in­cum­bency prom­ises to be equiv­a­lent to a 100, if judged by Day One.

It was the women, fear­ful of their hard won rights be­ing re­versed, who turned out in their mil­lions not only in the US, but else­where in Europe, Aus­tralia and Canada, over brag­ging, sex­ist re­marks made long ago by Trump in an un­guarded mo­ment, and caught on au­dio. Women were largely back­ing the com­pla­cent and over con­fi­dent Hi­lary Clin­ton, and in any other democ­racy, she would be com­fort­ably en­sconced in the White House, hav­ing re­ceived 2.8 mil­lion pop­u­lar votes more than Trump. But such are the va­garies of the unique Amer­i­can Elec­toral Col­lege, which badly needs at­tune­ment to the needs of the mod­ern era.

And the worst is yet to come. Trump’s views on the Mex­i­can Wall, tar­iffs and trade, Tai­wan, global warm­ing, tor­ture, abor­tion, Iran nu­clear deal, NATO, Vladimir Putin, and the af­fir­ma­tion of Jewish set­tle­ments in East Jerusalem, come with an at­tached burn­ing fuse. But dem­a­gogues and dic­ta­tors can en­joy some limited suc­cesses by their sim­plis­tic response to oth­er­wise com­plex ques­tions.

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