Monday, February 26, 2024

It’s beginning to show: Donald Trump is a serious contender for the Whitehouse

A week ago we watched as Republican nominee for the Whitehouse delivered his long awaited speech on immigration.

The world’s elite might detest it, but if before it there had been any doubts about his seriousness to become the President of the United States those doubts were at the end of the speech comprehensively dealt with.

Trump started by making it clear that if elected to lead the world most powerful nation he was going to start his term by building a wall along the border of Mexico and the United States.

That much, Trump told the world, he had communicated to the Mexican President at an ill fated meeting that had happened only a few hours earlier.

At that meeting he also told the Mexican President that Mexico, not the United States would be picking the tab for the wall.

Since that speech poll after poll has been showing Trump to be neck and neck with his Democratic opponent, the increasingly untrustworthy Hillary Clinton.

The elite resent Trump, but it is them who bequeathed the world with him and his fellow travelers across the world.

And there is no stopping the tide.

An immensely successful businessman, Trump is talking the language of the poor working class.

Call him a populist demagogue, it really does not matter.

What matters is that his message is resonating with those multitudes who feel they have not benefited from the global world economic order that has been a popular manta for such internationalist elites like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the last few decades.

Too many people feel like they have been beneficiaries of the much talked about global prosperity.

The result is over emphasis on national sovereignty, inward looking policies and the rise of nationalist polemics.

Across Europe rightwing political parties are on the ascendance; openly hostile to immigrants, virulently opposed to Islam and unrepentantly nationalistic in their outlook.

These are political parties that blame globalization for every misfortune and all ills under the sun.

History students will today look around and see seeds of a world order that has all that resemble the circumstances under which Adolf Hitler and Nazism grew and flourished.

It is a scary prospect.

Where trade liberalization used to thrive, they are now calling for insular protectionism. Where labour migration used to be a mantra, they are now fiercely calling for the erection of the famous wall as that one eloquently espoused by Trump as a signature economic program.

The decision by the British to exit Europe Union a few weeks ago is just the beginning.

It is difficult to see how Africa, Botswana included will in the end escape the popular rage against the elite the winds of which are currently sweeping across the world.

In Botswana for example, wages have been stagnant since 2008.

This is probably the longest and uninterrupted wage stagnation since diamonds were discovered.

For our elite this might be an economic reality. But for the great number of poor workers, this is much more than economics, it is politics.

Suppressed wages are already leading the ordinary people to question the legitimacy of their elected political office bearers. It’s an ominous sign that can only be discounted at the peril of our liberal democracy as we have grown to know it over the years.

Back to Donald J. Trump!

As I have pointed out on numerous occasions on this space, I am at heart innately pro-British.

But still I am fascinated by the American systems. And the build up to the presidential elections later this year has had my mind wholly fixated on that great nation’s capacity to surprise.

At the beginning of the primaries, nobody gave Trump a chance. He was dismissed as comic relief better suited for reality television than the bumpy political rollercoaster that is American politics.

Yet only a few months down the line with about fifteen scalps of his opponents on his belt, including a member of the Bush dynasty, Trump seems destined for the Whitehouse. It has a whiff of a fairytale about it.

Early this week he delivered yet another landmark speech. It was on national security.

Unlike in his many past pronouncements this time around he did not say NATO was obsolete. But he made it clear that the days of America being the underwriter of many of its traditional allies would under him come to an end.

He made it clear that American allies would have to pay more for their security. Outside NATO, he mentioned my name Saudi-Arabia, Japan and South Korea. He said these are wealthy nations that need to pay more for the upkeep of their security. While this has sent shivers across the pacific and also the middle east, in America it has come as music to the ears of ordinary folks who no longer understand why their taxes should be used to guarantee security of foreign nationals who are afterall not only a world away, but also much richer than many of the ordinary American people.

The money accrued from the savings, he said will be used to rebuild and replenish the American army, which by his reckoning is depleted and not combat ready.

 It is not inevitable that Trump will become the American President come the November elections, but events of the last two weeks have immensely enhanced his chances, including by doing what many thought he was incapable of doing ÔÇô acting presidential.

As it is the Americans are deeply distrustful of Hillary Clinton. And given what we have been reading about her email scandals there is no reason why anybody should trust her.

But to be fair to the woman, the kind of distrust she inspires is universally invoked by her elite colleagues around the globe.

The prospect of a Trump win is increasingly a big worry for the global elite.

But their greed is at the centre of it all.

As it is, Trump’s rise, we should remember is very much a product of circumstances, very much the same like Adolf Hitler was in the 1930s.


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