Americans are angry but were directed to vent their fury at Mexicans, immigrants and Muslims.
The American voting public has just elected Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. Here is why it is a disaster.
Trump is a serial business failure. He would be worth twice as much if he left his father’s inheritance alone. He is a serial groper, harasser and misogynist. He mocks the disabled. He throws scorn on Muslims. He wants to build a wall to keep out Mexicans. He does not believe in climate change, blaming the Chinese if anything.
His reality TV show failed. Routinely, his casinos, hotels and golf courses fail. He doesn’t pay his taxes and says that it “makes him smart” for not doing so. He did deals with the Yakuza in 1992 to keep his businesses afloat in Japan, only to see them fail too. He thinks that lying or just making things up is perfectly acceptable.
He has never held political office. He has no experience of political life at all.
The reasons for his win are complex but not unsurprising. The American dream fell apart a long time ago and Trump capitalized on the fear and uncertainty facing so many. Social divisions have grown so wide that the top strata of society have no connection to the rest. His win gives succor to the alt-right, bigots, racists and fascists the world over.
This is worrying especially in Europe at present. It will close off the nations of the world, not bring them together. It could firmly lead to the end of the West for good, but the disease of hyper-financial capitalism and ethnic nationalism will thrive. Perhaps this is the parting shot of Western capitalism before it fizzles out, only to find new ground in the East.
There is much thinking to suggest that it was the poor, less educated “left behind” who voted for Trump, but as the post-election is likely to reveal, it was also the rich, educated white groups outside of the big diverse states that voted for him.
All these groups want “their country back,” but this is merely cover from overt racism—in this case, the fear that their positions in society are at risk because of the immigrant, the minority, the other. Like Brexit in the United Kingdom, it was not just the poor, white uneducated folks in the north who voted but rich, white educated and mortgage-free folks in the south who also voted for Britain to leave the European Union.
What we have in the world today is a global population more connected to each other digitally, but less so culturally or politically. Hate and self-interest trump any sense of collectivity. It is a post-West world and America is losing its grip. Americans are angry but were directed to vent their fury at Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, etc. This is fascism in all but name. This is the new normal, and now both sides of the Atlantic will feel it, and for the foreseeable future.
*[A version of this article was also featured on Tahir Abbas’ blog.]
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.
Photo Credit: Narvikk