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America Whitewashed

By Akrita Reyar | Last Updated: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 17:17

Most cannot believe it, but Donald Trump is all set to take oath as the 45th President of the United States.
 
Proving all naysayers and surveys wrong, Trump has pulled off an upset victory over Hillary Clinton, the Democrat hopeful.
 
Considered a maverick, the billionaire businessman has no political background and has never held any public office in his life. What makes his win even more surprising is the fact that he came across as an ill prepared candidate for the job in all public debates that he had with Mrs Clinton.
 
Hillary, considered to be better read, widely travelled and far more qualified candidate of the two, has been in the political system as a public representative, First Lady and Secretary of State for most of her adult life. 
 
Donald Trump is seen as cunning businessman man who has been openly boastful of having more money than he actually does, and for under paying his taxes by exploiting loop holes in the system.
 
Dubbed as a misogynist due to the his highly explicit and disrespectful references about women and a racist because of the outrageous comments about the coloured or immigrant communities, gave the creeps to those who believed in established sensibilities including many in his own party – the Republicans. 
Trump had repeatedly shocked people as he kicked out women with children who were disturbing him at his rallies or poked fun at the disabled.
 
Yet, America has voted decisively to put him in the White House.
 
One clear reason has been the rise of the angst of the WWCs – the Working White Class.  And that too mostly of the male category, which is why Trump’s misogynistic statements didn’t hurt his prospects much. Over the years, the White Working Class community has been feeling pushed to the corner with fewer jobs and lesser opportunities.
 
As per a PEW survey this year, the White middle class has shrunk in size with those with less than a college degree not having sufficient employment openings. Because of this, more and more in this category are facing poverty causing a resultant rise in broken homes, drug abuse, suicides and alcoholism.
 
For decades, college drop outs or those who never applied to go to university, could easily earn a respectable living due to availability of a large number of jobs in factories and through organised unions. However, with more and more free trade deals and rise in outsourcing, this space contracted.

Also ReadHow the Oscars indicate the rise of Donald Trump!
 
And with the ever increasing immigrants ready to work for lower than standard wages, a lot of blue collared jobs were usurped by them.    
 
Most Americans feel that Donald Trump will have a better vision to revive the economy than Hillary Clinton who has based her campaign on an “inclusive America” approach.  How his right-wing politics has echoed across the world was proven by the fact that the first European leader to congratulate the President-elect was none other than French National Front’s Marine Le Pen.     
 
Trump also played on the resentment all Americans feel against losing the business edge to new world powers like the Chinese and never ebbing flow of immigrants.
So when the Republican candidate ranted about building a wall on the Mexican border with Mexican money and deporting illegal immigrants, it may have struck a chord with the people even though his proclamations sounded ridiculous.
 
Additionally, his promise of cutting taxes and regulations, dumping the highly contentious Obamacare plan and bypassing environmental concerns to fuel the economy and manufacturing also ricocheted on the minds of the electorate.    
 
The Reality TV star in him ensured that he managed to get more media attention and air time without paying for it, such were his histrionics.
Most of everyone believed that Trump would not get through the primaries but ‘surprise surprise’, not only did he emerge as the final Republican candidate, he has probably won the most stunning and unexpected victory in the contemporary history of the United States.
 
The last time a candidate of the same party won presidential election for three straight terms was when George Bush Senior won in 1989 after two tenures were served by Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump ensured he stopped Hillary Clinton from a similar feat.
 
Hillary considered the more stable, level headed and highly experienced candidate may have suffered from being too much of a familiar face. Being a Secretary of State, her election would have meant “more of the same” administration rather than a fresh breath of air. She also suffered from ghosts of the past when she had defended her husband, former President Bill Clinton on charges of sexual abuse and countered corruption charges, not to mention the email scandal.
 
Then there was the really bitter battle within the Democratic party against Bernie Sanders whose supporters didn’t necessarily come out to vote for Hillary despite his bowing out of the race to clear her path.
 
While a funereal atmosphere was noticed at the Democrats’ headquarters where Hillary supporters watched results in shocked disbelief, Donald Trump for the first time addressed the Republican gathering on a more reconciliatory tone, saying he would be the President for “all Americans” and that he would build “great relations” with all those countries of the world who want good relations with the US.  
 
Come January 2017, one can barely imagine the scenario when Barack Obama will drive out and Donald Trump enters the White House. The transition will be full of meaning in more ways than one. America is changing and nothing would be more emblematic than that moment.
 
The incumbent president Barack Obama had ushered in a new era on the promise of change, and now America has voted to change his brand of politics and policies.
Unfortunately, amidst all this desire for transformation, one thing would remain unchanging. The country would yet again have to wait for their first woman president.  

First Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 18:08

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