The subject of Trump vs Clinton never seems to have any ambivalence or any mild reactions, anywhere in the World. Almost no one I know supports Trump though no one has ever given me a cogent explanation on why they maintain such anti-Trump views other than the standard abusive adjectives they seem to have picked up from the media.
Before I start to put down my thoughts, I must make it clear that I am a strong believer that Trump will win and will be a good President for America. I must also clarify that I am a citizen of India and therefore have no vested interest in the US elections. Main stream media all over generally loves the existing establishment and believes in status quo. It is no different in America though I do wonder what drives such extreme reactions from iconic news anchors against a man who could be the next President.
Over the last century, America has taken the place of London as the country with its “streets paved with gold” and attracted the best immigrants from around the world. America was also asked to take the centre chair at the head table of the World which it has done with aplomb since the end of the War. Over the years, most nations have looked towards America to resolve their issues, their challenges and even their internal disputes and the American leaders have played their part most admirably.
But America as a nation has been “underperforming” over the past few decades.
- Its infrastructure is collapsing and needs serious investments. It is believed that an investment in excess of US$ 13 trillion is need to be invested in America.
- The middle class “white” majority is beginning to feel disenfranchised and the large black community is feeling alienated because nothing has been done for them over the past two centuries. Other minorities too seem to feel they are not getting their due – so is anyone really satisfied?
- The power of America is waning. American politicians have become used to solving the problems of the World and pontificating on every challenge the World faces. Most nations have become far more self-supporting and powerful and are now beginning to exercise their own power within their region.
- The United Nations, which was seen as the all-powerful body in the world with America virtually controlling it has started to lose its relevance in World affairs as well.
The World is undergoing a change – a change that started post 9/11.
Citizens of most “white” dominated nations who have traditionally been seen as very receptive to immigrants have started to demand their nations back. Brexit, no matter what some of the anti-exit supporters believe, was a vote to reclaim their country, their jobs and their nation. We will see many more nations in Europe demand their countries back and over the next few years we will see this happen.
Therefore, coming to Trump who has a simple slogan about making America Great Again, as an observer from the outside, I do believe he should for the reasons outlined below.
- He is appealing to the average middle class conservative voter who identifies with him and sees him as one of their own. The fact that he has a lot of wealth endears him further. These voters hear them speaking for them. Such voters believe that they have been alienated in their own land. Americans need jobs and he is promising creation of jobs including bringing manufacturing back to America shores – what this will do the American companies who have got used to outsourcing and large profits is currently not on his agenda. It is interesting to note that when I spoke to three senior naturalized Mexican Americans in Texas in June this year, all of them said that they would vote for Trump because what he was stating about Mexicans was hard to accept but the truth! Undoubtedly, America has been built by immigrants but as is always the case, the first set of immigrants become “more equal” than the last set of immigrants.
- The average human in most countries has little interest beyond their city, state and country. What role their nation is playing or not playing on the World stage has no relevance to most of us. Americans are no different. Trump is therefore appealing to the base instinct of every human American which is personal prosperity and personal security.
- He will bring a new perspective into the White House and to the World – a perspective that from a successful global businessman (yes I am aware of some of his failures and bankruptcies) and different from the establishment perspectives that have been espoused over the past few decades. A weak second term of Obama has further exacerbated the frustrations of the electorate. On a global scale, a change of leadership and a change of perspective has been seen in the last few years in several countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Venezuela and India and more changes will be seen.
- As a businessman, he will demand high accountability from bureaucrats and ask for results. The “you scratch my back and I scratch yours” culture will end and this has a large section of the establishment very worried. He is thick skinned and abuses hurled at him from all over don’t seem to bother him much, or at least he never seems to show it.
- The country is steeped in debt and successive leaders have increased this debt leaving the problems for the next leader. Trump understand the problems of debt and should take decisive steps to halt and hopefully reverse this trend. Trump is not beholden to any business group or political party, he is a rebel and an outsider within his own Republican party. This will keep him honest and permit him to take the hard decisions America needs. The fact that he is not a career politician is a huge advantage for him.
- From a security perspective, Trump will be hard and decisive against ISIS. He has clearly stated his support for a strong military and I do believe he will increase defence spending.
He has been blamed for his politically incorrect statements, which his constituency seems to love, since they see him telling the truth in a manner they have always thought of but never heard so clearly verbalized and articulated.
It has been my view, since the election process started in June 2015, that in the very long election process of America over 16 months, Trump has needed to keep making statements, right or wrong, to retain his salience in the minds of the American voter. He has managed to get an incredibly large share of the press coverage without having to pay for it. No one can deny that he has achieved this very successfully and that without spending too much money. And as the elections are drawing near, his tone has started to change and become more moderate and “presidential”!
Whether the wall comes up or not and whether illegal immigrants are deported remains to be seen. However he is a pragmatic and successful individual, there is no reason to doubt that the leadership of the world’s most powerful nation will be in safe and sane hands. He is succeeding not because of his personality or his wealth but because people are identifying with his popular positions. Once he is thrown into the deep end, he, given his vast experience, will learn to swim fast and win.
All said and done, a change needs to happen in the world’s most powerful country with fresh thinking. The American constitution and its institutions are strong enough to control any President who decides to run amuck.
Trump’s voters will turn out in large numbers to vote for their candidate – it will be a strong positive vote while I don't see the same enthusiasm in the reluctant Clinton supporters.
Hopefully we will see President Elect Trump in November!
The author is the founder Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies and the author of the best-selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office; An Eye for an Eye and The Buck Stops Here - Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur.
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