Now, Mr Donald Trump’s victory is official. On January 6, the Electoral College result will be certified during a joint session of the American Congress. Trump received 304 electoral votes and Hillary Clinton 227, though she had 2.8 million more popular votes than the winner. This is the tragedy/comedy of US presidential polls.
The election result has raised too many eyebrows the world over. Trump’s China biting during the election campaign was new in the present open-door policy regime of the country. He categorically asserted that China is a de-facto enemy of the US since it has been grabbing employment opportunities from millions of its youth. Trump charged China with currency manipulation. Towards Japan, he spewed hate and lamented the burden of military expenditure to protect the country with no result.
About India, he had no regrets in blaming H-1B visa as unfair and promised the electorate to end it. H-1B visa is extremely important to the Indian software industry and in its absence our flagships in IT may sink.
He was not soft towards the neighbours too. The curious thought of making a new ‘great wall’ to stop the illegal immigrants from Mexico brought the poll campaign to a virtual pre-World War condition. Trump’s Islamophobic utterances created ripples even in the minds of positively thinking cosmopolitan non-Muslim voters.
In European politics, Trump-like figures have been emerging in the anti-immigrant mind set, created by economic instability and the exodus from the war-torn West Asia. The Brexit also was the product of this political phenomenon.
World politics will closely watch the new normal relation between Russia and US during the Trump’s term in the White House. Russia, which has been supporting the Syrian regime for long, and US spending millions of dollars in the so-called war against terror may not be finding it very easy to make any fruitful political results in West Asia. But Syrian president Bashar al Assad said, “If Trump can genuinely fight against terrorism he can be our natural ally.” Resolving the Aleppo siege is going to be the first litmus test for the new Russia-US bonhomie.
Indian politics and economy are eager to know President Trump’s attitude and are not expecting the very same approach that he had taken during the poll campaign. The right wing attitude of Trump very well fits into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ideology. Some insignificant Hindu extreme groups staged a dharna in Delhi and prayed for Trump’s victory on May 11 since Trump is against Islamic terrorism. Though this action is not endorsed by the RSS, the contours of the Indian psyche are supportive of these types of irrational thoughts.
Indian business community knows Trump as a business tycoon who had done successful ventures even in a non-metropolitan city like Pune. The magnificent Trump Towers in Pune have become the signature design of Indian high-class dwelling. Just by lending his brand name, Trump could harness handsome profits from his projects.
But unfortunately good businessmen could not become successful US Presidents in the past, says Paul Brandus, a journalist in the Presidential leadership and history. The studies separately conducted by Siena College Research Institute and American Political Science Association show that of the 43 US Presidents, those with business background—Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter, George H W Bush, George W Bush—did poorly compared to their non-businessmen counterparts.
The stage is set for Trump to act. Will he be in his campaign mode or be in the responsible Presidential governance path? Wait and see.
C P John
Former member, Kerala State Planning Board