This Potus Will Make The World Go Bust
Tehelka|30 November 2016

The man who believes global warming is a hoax and has a short attention span will now preside over the affairs not just of the United States but of the whole world. A daunting prospect.

Ridhima Malhotra

It was a gloomy Wednesday morning. After the overnight demonetisation of big currency notes, there was a lot more to lament as the vote counts started trickling in in favour of Donald Trump. It felt like the earth was going to slip off its axis! I anxiously breathed in some highly toxic air of my beautiful city of New Delhi as the man who believes global warming is “an expensive hoax” emerged as the 45th President of the US (POTUS).

It wasn’t unexpected, but unbelievable. Americans have chosen the person who has time and again expressed disregard for civil liberties and scientific fact, and displayed ignorance, vulgarity and crassness. The new President Elect of one of the most liberal democracies in the world is a man who does not represent the country’s value system. On the contrary, during the course of the campaign he distanced himself from the intrinsic ethos of American culture and increasingly polarised the American people through his venomous hate speeches and derogatory comments. He confidently took recourse to an avalanche of xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and easilyverifiable falsehoods. He offered only rhetoric and no coherent plan explaining how he was going to ‘make America great again’.

Trump counted on the middle-class white voters by exploiting their anxiety over issues such as the economy and terrorism. Average Americans are fed up with the growing economic inequality in their country and Trump seems to have understood that. The middle-class and averagely educated Americans who voted for him care more about their own jobs than about multilateral trade or NATO or climate talks or immigrants or the global economy. Trump may not have given them facts but he knew how to target their feelings. Having no comprehensive plan, he told them that he would tilt Left in his economic policies and they fell for it. Apprehensive as well as elitist voters, presumably white, succumbed to the lollies he offered in the form of hollow oratory.

While Hillary Clinton was certainly not a perfect candidate, at least she has her head on her shoulders. She had her basic manners intact and dint display the naivety that Trump so foolishly wore on his sleeves. He not only distanced himself from some of the things the Republican Party has stood for but also embarrassed his own party members on many an occasion, so much so that some of them openly refused to support him. Perhaps he wouldn’t be standing on top of the world today had Bernie Sanders defeated Clinton in the Democratic Presidential nomination a few months ago.

It’s quite amusing that the choice for the head of the mighty American empire was reduced to who was lesser of the two evils. The media openly and largely endorsed Clinton not so much because of her but because everybody expected catastrophic effects to follow a Trump presidency. The media, however, failed to judge the potential of the white Americans. Prepared after much research and calculations, many exit polls predicting comfortable leads for Clinton toppled on their heads. The media failed in its analysis of the mood of the people that turned out to be anti-political establishment. Claiming that Trump, being a filthy rich entrepreneur and having no political or military experience was out of touch with ground reality, the media itself was unaware of the resentment of the working-class people and the staunch elitism of the whites.

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