Against all odds, Donald Trump pipped Hillary Clinton at the hustings. It was a case where Clinton’s victory was a supposed foregone conclusion. There was a heady concoction of ingredients – vocal supporters, pliant media, complete Democratic party support, tacit GOP dislike for its candidate and to top it all a near about offensive opponent. It was a bolt from the blue on the final day when all hell broke loose. Perhaps the American people are still yet to come to terms to the fact that Donald Trump is going to be next POTUS.
There are various implications that come along with the ascent of Donald Trump as arguably the most powerful man on the planet. Let us look at a few:
Implication 1: Un-holy-ing Cows
When the elections were being held, I had a discussion with a friend of mine. He commented that the US administration is a well-oiled machine and relies very little on the head of the state. However disruptive the head might be the constituents will ensure that it would be business as usual in the system – be it foreign affairs, economy, homeland security or what have you. Near about most aspects are clearly enumerated by the respective parties and toeing the party line is the only option available. So one would expect a GOP President to be capitalist in nature with little left-of-centre behaviour and the Democrat would be the exact opposite.
Yet, Donald Trump is going to be different. Even before he has taken the oath he has shown that there are absolutely no holy cows for him. There was a certain promise with which he was elected for the top job and that itself will be weighing on him. Thus issues that have been in the deep cold freezer and done and dusted are going to be brought to the fore – recognising Taiwan (even perhaps to use it as a counter-weight to China’s currency manipulating ways), undermining the relationship with NATO, re-configuring the interest with Russia, so on and so forth. President-elect, when he drops the suffix is going to come out all guns blazing and we are going to see altogether different combinations emerge. There is a goodish chance of seeing a US-Russia-UK axis emerge creating a strong counterweight to EU.
Implication 2: Politicising Incorrect-ness
Going forward, do expect the political correctness to go straight out of the window. There was a certain way a consummate political lifer used to behave. Not this man. He will behave the way he deems fit – bullying individual companies in to toeing his line, keeping the pliant media at arm’s length, communicating directly to the larger public through different avenues like Facebook or Twitter, building a wall (physically and mentally) for all non Americans or even announcing important policy decisions on Twitter. It is the end of perhaps the holier than thou perception that the President had and in a way Donald Trump might be democratising the position by bringing it closer to the common man. The common man read blue collared, under-educated, working class white American who was left scratching his or her head at the political gobbledegook being dished out every day. Eventually, the next POTUS, intentionally or unwittingly going to present the political going-ons in a very simple laymen terms for everybody to understand
Implication 3: Action Stations
It appears that the years of managing and being at the help of his business has made Donald Trump a person who has a bias for action. Thus, there is a goodish chance that the President-elect is going to be a man of action. There would rarely be an instance where in he would let the situation drift much to the chagrin of everybody involved. It wouldn’t much matter whether the action taken is on sound judgement or thought through, the crux of the matter would be that no situation would be unnecessarily fester or drift about. In all likelihood, there is little chance of empty rhetoric.
Implication 4: Individual vs Collective
Every decision henceforth from the POTUS’s office will have the imprimatur of the man. He will have ears for everybody but the final decision on any given situation would be his. Perhaps, he feels that he has more objectivity and smartness than anybody else and perhaps he is able to see any given situation in a different light. Nevertheless, every decision made would be only his to make. Thus, being pally with Russia and UK, a virtual break-up of the cosy club of NATO, riling up China, breaking up the multi-lateral agreements and cozying up to bilateral and many more such decisions would be entirely his call and perhaps aided by a close clique that he has. Thus, the idea of governing by consensus and taking everybody along would be a completely still-born thought under his watch.
Implication 5: Anti-Global Nationalistic Tendencies
POTUS is going to repeal whatever he deems to be unfair to the common American. It could be an agreement that was signed years earlier or a silent tacit understanding that affects the US or even an extolled virtue of being the torch-bearer on climate change. There is a good chance that US would go back on its commitments on the reducing the carbon footprints(thermal based power plants and the attendant coal mining industry being a big jobs creator, coal mining has been steadily decreasing in US over the years from 2008). Any earlier decision that he feels affects the country’s present is up for scrutiny – thus turning US inwards and nationalistic in nature. This would affect the immigration policies, work visas, multi-lateral trade agreements, border and homeland security enforcements and the decision-making at various private US companies.
Also, there is an attendant upshot of this idea, though not exactly affecting the US directly but definitely affecting the world indirectly. 2017 is a year of elections in EU. Germany, Spain and France are looking to elect new national governments. The nationalist leaning ultra-right anti-globalisation parties (akin to the narrative arranged by Donald Trump) are just about licking their lips at the prospect. Earlier it was Br-exit followed closely by Cl-exit (Clinton-exit) and the world could just wake up for a rude shock with Gr-exit, Sp-exit and Fr-exit on the horizon with National Democratic Party, Respeto Party and National Front of these respective countries performing exceedingly and surprisingly well at the national hustings.