The United States of America is a unique experiment in human history. It is a country of immigrants, basically, where virtually every known race or country in the world has a sense of belonging by having some direct or indirect attachment. That is what makes America the global power that it has been all these years. The election of Barack Obama as president eight years ago, the son of an African, Kenyan father, and a white American mother, set the country apart from all the so-called developed nations of the world.
We thought Obama’s emergence was the strongest indicator of America’s unique integration as a melting pot of human race. But, unfortunately, that set the stage for the emergence, this year of a diehard racist and misogynist as the 45th President of the United States. The especially uneducated and unexposed whites who felt threatened about the demographic change taking place in the country, rallied round the son of a Ku Klux Klan father, Donald Trump, who himself is a product of German immigrants, married to a Slovenian immigrant and got him elected president on November 8.
Like many, I was following the US election with keen interest. At first, I thought to myself that the Republican Party, the Grand Old Party (GOP) of Abraham Lincoln can never select such a character like Donald Trump as a candidate. He eventually beat many decent aspirants and emerged as the presidential candidate. The ultimate deal maker who had cheated his workers by not paying them their due wages; who had conned those who won in his casinos by refusing to pay them; conned the Republican party by emerging as its candidate even when he has never worked in public service in his entire 70 years on earth.
As a person and as a candidate, Trump broke every rule in the books. He insulted women, insulted soldiers who died defending America, insulted minorities, insulted Blacks, the physically challenged, and America’s traditional allies. Yet the more he does such outrageous acts, the more he seemed to appeal to his core constituency – the whites of the lower class. It is such that his slogan: To Make America Great Again is code for Make America White Again.
The Americans knew that Trump is a pathological liar. They knew that he has no respect for women. They knew that he has undisguised hatred for Blacks and other minorities. They are even aware that he is totally ignorant of world affairs and is totally unprepared for the presidency. They knew that as Obama said, Trump is “uniquely and temperamentally unqualified to be the Commander in Chief”. Yet they voted for this consummate liar and a cheat as President.
There are many internal and external factors that can explain the emergence of Trump as American president. First, it is very clear that America is still a racist society. Second, it is equally obvious that regardless of the so-called human rights and democracy that America makes loud mouth about, it is a society of chauvinists which is not ready for a woman president. Third, the election calls to question the American brand of democracy where a person with more popular votes such as Hilary was denied victory in the name of patently undemocratic “electoral college.”
Fourth, Trump has to know that his legitimacy is questioned since for the first time, protests against the presidential election occurred in major cities around the country. Fifth, the neutrality of American institutions is also questionable with the way the FBI Director, Comey handled the Clinton email case which really affected the election days to the conclusion. Finally, the rise of isolationist and nationalist tendencies not only in America but around the Western world is very imminent with all its consequences. The British Brexiters lack any sense of history; they forgot that the EU was formed to eliminate the possibility of war, since the two World Wars of the last century started in Europe.
The main factor externally is Russian President Putin. An assertive Russia was able to influence the outcome of the US election in favour of Trump, who admires Putin, by hacking the emails of Clinton’s Democratic Party; using Wikileaks for Trump; and subverting the whole election process through various means to influence the final outcome. By so doing, Putin has brought Trump as American Gorbachev to bring the American empire to an end just as the USSR disintegrated 25 years ago. Already, a major state like California is recently contemplating opting out of the United States as a protest against the election of Trump. And this is just the beginning. Putin’s ultimate geostrategic objective is to destroy the NATO alliance using Trump.
As many analysts have concluded, Trump’s victory has been greeted with trepidation far beyond America’s borders. His confusing collection of policy promises and pride in his own unpredictability threaten disruption to the geopolitical order from South Korea to Syria. But these fears are felt particularly, keenly, in the Baltic States, Western outposts of the Soviet empire less than three decades ago, now vulnerable republics on the doorstep of an increasingly assertive Russia.
The Baltic nations have been concerned since Trump rose to prominence as a candidate about his apparent admiration for Putin, a man they see as a dangerous and predatory autocrat. They have watched the Russian leader foment war in Georgia and Ukraine, and seize Crimea, and have warned that they could be next, if Putin believes the protection from their US and European allies is faltering. In the month before his election, Trump described NATO as obsolete and raised questions over whether America under his leadership would come to the aid of a NATO ally under attack. In July, Trump had said that NATO was incapable of dealing with terrorism and that he would be willing to tell allies who didn’t “reimburse” America for its military protection: “Congratulations, you will be defending yourself”.
But NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, has issued a warning to the US President-elect Trump: “Going it alone is not an option, either for Europe or for the United States”, claiming that the West faces its greatest security challenges in a generation. Mr Stoltenberg recalls the blood spilled by NATO allies after they came to the aid of the US following the 9/11 attacks and warns that, rather than “deepening differences” between the 28 members, now is the time to “nurture what unites” under a “strong American leadership