Donald Trump – Winning and Implications
From the moment he entered the campaign, with a shocking set of claims that Mexican immigrants were rapists and criminals, he was widely underestimated as a candidate, and was opposed even by Republicans. His rise was missed by polling organizations and data analysts. He suggested remedies like ban on Muslims entering the United States.
His rallies were furious, entertaining, involved swearing and had tones to arouse nationalism.
Hillary (and supporters) on the other hand, the election often felt like a referendum on gender progress: an opportunity to elevate a woman to the nation’s top job and to reject a man whose bad attitude towards women had assumed center stage during much of the campaign.
Historically the white blue-collar voters were the most loyal supporters of the Democratic Party.
This time, the campaign of both parties were personalized attacks against each other than policy dominant campaign which our generation is used to. This was the background of the election.
Now let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses which resulted in the victory of Trump
Strengths of Trump
Mature, a real estate developer-turned-reality television star.
Was able to convert into votes, the anger of working class Americans who felt marginalized by elites and immigrants.
Being a political outsider (biggest qualification) who presented himself as having immediate solutions to the country's problems.
Populist policies like, building barriers against foreign trade deals and illegal immigration.
Campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”
Weaknesses of Hillary
Hillary lost than Trump won.
(Under estimated Trump. Wanted to create global leader image. (Had a team of 500 members to advice foreign policy when Trump had only 5). Wrong brand of feminism. She wanted Trump to apologize to women for his comments and misconducts but avoided questions regarding her husband’s sexual abuse. Could not make that a big election issue because it was embarrassing and unpleasant.
Focused her speeches on breaking the glass ceiling.
Struggled to create trust with Americans because of her decision to use a private email server as secretary of state. Couple of days earlier she blamed the FBI chief for her loss.
No clarity in economic policies, and she strained to make a persuasive case for herself as a champion of the economically downtrodden.
Parallels with India
Rabri Devi effect (Margaret Thatcher, Jayalalitha…)
Breaking the glass ceiling (Kiran Bedi)
P.C. George effect
Nationalism and egocentric leaders (Putin, Philippines, Turkey, Brexit)
Facts about victory
President Obama, a Democrat, ruled for 8 years.
The white retirees voted for Trump.
Whites with little or no college education voted overwhelmingly for Trump.
Many states voted for Trump's word that he would bring back jobs to the region devastated by free trade deals, and restore American primacy in manufacturing.
To the surprise of many, white voters who had helped elect the nation’s first black president, did not vote for a white woman.
Here are some numbers that have shocked Democrats:
1. There was no surge of women voters.
Even more shocking is the poll numbers of white women with college degree: 51 per cent voted for Hillary Clinton, but 45 PER CENT VOTED FOR TRUMP! In fact, Trump scored 42 per cent overall among women to Hillary's 54 per cent.
2. There was no surge of Latino voters.
Even more shocking, it turns out Trump performed better among Hispanics than Romney did -- 29 percent to 27 percent. More tellingly, Clinton underperformed Obama's 2012 showing among Hispanics by six points (71 percent for Obama, 65 percent for Clinton). And it did not matter that promised to deport illegal immigrants (majority Hispanics) and build a wall to keep them out; a significant segment of Latinos who are well-settled in America likely wanted that and supported him.
3. It did not matter to many women that he had boasted of groping women and was accused of sexual assault; large numbers voted for him, even those with college degrees.
4. And for all the talk of Hillary's superior intellectual ability and Trump's poor grasp of issues, significant sections of well-educated Americans, voted for Trump: He scored 45 per cent (to Clinton's 49) among college graduates, and even among POST-GRADUATES, he scored 37 to Hillary's 58.
5. we thought he was racist and people will vote against him but, consider this: AN overwhelming 71 per cent of NON-WHITE COLLEGE GRADUATES voted for Hillary Clinton, but a not insignificant 23 per cent of NON-WHITE COLLEGE GRADUATES voted for Trump.
Impact on India
During the campaign, Trump referred to India in several ways: As a country that was growing fast, as well as a country that was stealing American jobs, and as a target for terrorists. Early on in his campaign, he declared he was "looking forward to working with Narendra Modi".
For America China is major threat than India. So diplomacy with India is crucial.
Trump has also promised to ramp up US military presence in the South China Sea. Couple of decades ago this would have been a concern for India. However, with the changed world alliances this can be looked at as a comforting feeling than threat.
While Trump has promised to take China to task on unfair trade practices, India also might be affected because of the same reason.
It's no secret that Russian President Vladimir Putinfavoured Trump as a candidate. If America and Russia can come closer then, China is isolated. For India, that would be a welcome development.
We will have to wait and see Trump's approach to Af-Pak. Will he pull back from Afghanistan or push forward against the Taliban? India should hope for the latter, but will have to prepare for the former.
America’s need for West Asian oil is less than ever and its security footprint could further reduce. This would not be good news for Saudi Arabia, which had been living on the American security blanket for long time. This is an opportunity for India to improve its presence in the region and build stronger ties and negotiate better rates for the oil.
India now has to think beyond H1-B and L1 visas. Immigration and visas are a big reason for the Trump victory, so India has to go beyond these.
Overall, India has to be cautious and there are no reasons to be over optimistic neither to be despair.
It is uncertainty across the world, as Mr. Trump prepares to take office. His campaign featured a shape-shifting list of policy proposals. After the campaign no one is sure about what he truly believes. But one thing they know: Mr. Trump will thoroughly reimagine the tone, standards and expectations of the presidency.
His win is likely to set off financial jitters and immediate unease among international allies, many of which were shocked when Mr. Trump in his campaign cast doubt on the necessity of America’s military commitments abroad and its adherence to international economic partnerships.
In his campaign he had described his foreign policy in only the vague terms, preferring slogans as “America First” than detailed plans. His agenda involves threatening to slap punitive tariffs on foreign imports in an attempt to rectify trade deficits; forcing payment from allies for the security that America provides them; and being nicer to strongmen such as Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. In Mr Trump’s new politics of deliberate uncertainty, no treaty, international institution or alliance is safe.
In Europe, his victory has heartened the continent’s populists’ leaders, such as ViktorOrban, Hungary, and France's ultra-nationalist Marine Le Pen, who stands a fighting chance of being elected president early next year.
Trump’s views of security have frightened America’s NATO allies, and his admiration for Mr Putin—as well as his seeming indifference to Russia’s territory grab in Ukraine—has left frontline border states nervous. Estonia, fearing invasion, has begun encouraging its citizens to keep firearms in their houses and training them in insurgency tactics. Russia, meanwhile, is thrilled.
Before elections he took a hardline stand against China, but yesterday he said that he is willing to cooperate with China. His election will deeply unnerve Japan, America’s staunchest friend in Asia. During the campaign he accused Japan of free-riding on America’s security guarantee, and suggested that it and South Korea should develop their own nuclear weapons rather than shelter under the American umbrella—a recipe for regional instability.
Gulf rulers share the same fear. Trump will probably let the Pentagon finish the job of evicting Islamic State (IS) from Mosul. He is against refugees reaching West. But he hates intervention for ideological reasons, and is unlikely to leave troops in Syria and Iraq. Hardliners in Israel, meanwhile, are cheering Trump’s win: because his administration is unlikely to make any concessions to the Palestinians; He might revisit the nuclear deal with Iran. But Trump’s supporters in the Middle East like elsewhere, are the region’s strongmen, such as Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt and Bashar al-Assad in Syria. They now face the welcome prospect of an American president uninterested in promoting human rights or democracy.
If we look at the internal affairs of America, Trump’s tax-and-spending policies must pass through Congress. He wantsto cut tax, especially for corporates. But then to balance the shortfall in revenue, he will have to borrow. That will impact the fiscal health of America. He has also promised to build more infrastructure, which might create job, but eventually increase the borrowing.
He has promised to relook many multilateral and regional Free trade agreements. Trump has said that he is merely threatening to tear up trade agreements and impose tariffs, in order to achieve better trade deals. The goal of such new deals, according to his advisers, will be to eliminate the trade deficit.
He might come up with a big fiscal stimulus to boost the economy, though, higher rates might be needed to keep inflation down. That would send the dollar higher, which will hurt American manufacturers. Trump threatens to erect trade barriers, which would disrupt supply chains and dampen productivity growth. He wants to deport many of America’s 3m illegal immigrants, which could reduce the size of the labour force by up to 5%. And his tax plan is very expensive, costing almost $7trn over a decade, or around half of America’s outstanding national debt.
I don’t see any major changes in the policies than how it has been for the last few decades. Foreign policies, for that matter any policies, are not taken by individuals. They got multi layered bureaucrats, then the bicameral parliament consisting of 435 members in House of Representatives and 100 members in Senate.
He is a business man. So he will look where the money is. However, he is in an unchartered territory. My presumption is, trusting that his successful business acumen will make him a successful politician is akin to the same hope that Tendulkar will become a very successful caption. But he gets a good team then he will be successful.
Trump has been elected on a platform that might make the US more inward-looking.
This is the best for America. American wanted a president for all. And this is their best bet.
Growing trend around the world for Nationalist and egocentric leaders (which is disturbing).
Falling moral values and new world order. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that he did not get a chance to rape the Australian missionary who was raped and killed during a prison visit. We always look forward to America as the role-model. American soap opera, American phones, low-waist jeans etc…we are just blind followers. In this falling moral values what will happen to our children is a not a pleasant thought. However, I’m sure they will figure it out.