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Prospect of a ‘President Trump’! Proving a Nightmare to US and Beyond

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young - RTX1KTWT

Featured image courtesy Newsweek

When the power or authority comes in the hands of unfit persons,

then wait for the Hour (End of times) – Prophet of Islam SAW quoted in Bukhari

Speaking to a sometimes rowdy crowd inside Trump Tower in New York City, one of the jewels of his global properties, in a start-off campaign , Trump wound up by saying: ‘Sadly, the American dream is dead. But if I get elected president, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again’. David Remnick, the editor of the precious and erudite New Yorker magazine, told his readers last summer that Mr. Trump was such an ignoramus, who knew nothing about politics, that his “whole con might end well before the first snows in Sioux City and Manchester.” In the Washington Post, Rula Jebreal noted, with more garb, that “like Berlusconi in Italy, Trump has built a political campaign employing unvarnished language and jaundiced humor.” Yes! Many wrote him off as a show-off or a comic who will fizzle out in the primaries. However, ‘the unthinkable is starting to look like the inevitable ,absent an extraordinary effort from people who understand the menace he represents, Donald Trump is likely to be the presidential nominee of the Republican Party’, wrote the Washington Times just before the ‘Super Tuesday’. The predominant position enjoyed by Trump in the Republican camp,  remains by and large intact with no significant dent, even after the Super Saturday.  Thus, Trump appears to be having the last laugh, at least for now.

Then what concern is this to the world at large? Although a significant amount of what Trump speaks of publicly is aimed squarely at an audience concerned with domestic American concerns, keeping with his broad theme of speaking for the angry middle class, and his pronouncements about foreign policy are so far although largely limited, it is no secret that whatever happens in US has clear international ramifications. Precisely the reason why the international community has been monitoring the campaign quite closely, going by the social media statistics for 2015 which showed that the U.S. election was the most followed news story on the planet ( and it wasn’t even officially the election year then).

True, Trump said that if he were elected president, he would become the calmest, nicest, most politically correct person in the world. But, his lack of filter and unpredictability has been a defining characteristic in his campaign., His race-baiting, xenophobia and belligerent nationalism, as a powerful article in ‘Salon’ online magazine by Conor Lynch noted , is resonating. His big brother talk which smacks of American exceptionalism has been creating unrest in the political portals in other capitals.

The Republican party is in full panic mode right now, as they  inch closer and closer to the March 15th deadline, for they know that even if  he wins the Republican nomination, because that’s largely dependent upon “the base” (to which he’s pandering brilliantly) and primary debates filled with candidates who mostly seem too scared to go up against him, the general election will be  an entirely different animal altogether – and it’s something Trump will encounter serious trouble to perform well in. In tweeting his “short list” of reasons to not vote for Trump, an influential neoconservative Eliot Cohen listed, “demagoguery, torture, bigotry, misogyny, isolationism, violence. Not the Party of Lincoln & not me.’ This sums up the mood in the Anti-Trump movement within the party, which is increasingly gaining traction, which has made Trumpism a nightmare for the GOP establishment .

How then did Trump triumph to this extent? According to analysts, Trump has cultivated a mass following that appears impervious to his missteps, miscues, and misstatements, no matter how xenophobic, racist, fascist his policies are. Trumpism is not a program or an ideology. It is an attitude or pose that feeds off of, and then reinforces, widespread anger and alienation. His vociferous campaign against political correctness appears as the underlying reason behind Trump’s successes in primaries. 71% of Americans say political correctness is a problem in the United States, up 10 percentage points from 2014, according to an August 2015 report by Rasmussen Reports. Trump’s words thus  “tap into is a nation that really has been suffering, particularly since 9/11, from a kind of national insecurity state, mobilized by a massive sense of fear,” says Henry Giroux, an author of the upcoming book “America At War With Itself,” which largely focuses on the rise of Trump. But Millennials see in such language a “darkness lurking beneath the surface.”

Yet, as Bret Stephens, in his Wall Street Journal column wrote, “the candidacy of Donald Trump is the open sewer of American conservatism.” And  “a Trump presidency … would mark the collapse of the entire architecture of the U.S.-led post-World War II global order.”

Trump is more being exposed as a congenital peddler in falsehoods that coarsen our politics, a xenophobic and a racist, a vainglorious demagogue who holds the Constitution in contempt, and an incompetent narcissist who would put their country’s national security and their ( already dwindling) international image at grave risk, rather than a pragmatic, a centrist deal maker and a strong leader. Donald Trump’s invective has disrupted the character of US politics. It will be hard to change. So, it’s time that Republicans put their best foot forward and ensure that Trumpism is consigned to the dustbins of history and defeated now before it further pollutes its’ ‘image’. As Washington Times said : ‘At this stage, even an extraordinary effort might fall short. But history will not look kindly on GOP leaders who fail to do everything in their power to prevent a bullying demagogue from becoming their standard-bearer’. Some reasons why Trump should be dumped were:

Another Fascist in the Making

As Jeffrey Tucker, in ‘Liberty,me’ argued, that Trump, whether he knows it or not, is a fascist (or is at least acting like one). Much like Mussolini and Hitler, Trump is a demagogue dedicated to riling up the people (particularly conservatives) with race baiting, traditionalism and strongman tough talk — and, according to polls, it’s working — for now. Political scientist and Air Force veteran Sean Illing, writing for Salon, wrote: “Trump presents a real challenge to our political system. It’s a mistake to think fascism – real fascism – can’t happen here, or that it would never look anything like it has in the past. That’s a dangerous illusion. It’s not at all implausible to say we’re one more terrorist attack or economic downturn away from something like a Donald Trump. presidency.”

In an essay in the Washington Post, Danielle Allen invokes Hannah Arendt to suggest that we must speak out about the danger Donald Trump poses to constitutional democracy. “Like any number of us raised in the late 20th century, I have spent my life perplexed about exactly how Hitler could have come to power in Germany. Watching Donald Trump’s rise, I now understand. Leave aside whether a direct comparison of Trump to Hitler is accurate. That is not my point. My point rather is about how a demagogic opportunist can exploit a divided country’.

Awful Political Role Model

‘We need our presidential candidates to be role models, not fear-mongers,” said The Rev. William Tabbernee, executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.  Danielle Allen says “Trump has no respect for the basic rights that are the foundation of constitutional democracy, nor for the requirements of decency necessary to sustain democratic citizenship. Nor can any democracy survive without an expectation that the people require reasonable arguments that bring the truth to light, and Trump has nothing but contempt for our intelligence.”. What he loves about America is simply its promise of abundance, not its tradition of self-government. Trump’s contempt for the law and all political and civil limits is part and parcel of his disdain for politics and all limits on what works; precise the reason to ensure that Trump does not get to that top post.

Political Demagogic Opportunist

Trump’s many outlandish, indeed repellent, statements have been well-documented .Never before has a prominent candidate for President made xenophobia, racial and religious antagonism, and fear – the organizing principles of their entire effort, like what Trump did. Islamic Human Rights Organization (IHRC), UK named him as the world’s worst Islamophobe. Pellebon, an African-American with the ‘Ending Violence Everywhere Coalition’. “It is immoral for a person running for the president of the United States to claim that others who are different by race, faith, colour, socio-economic status, or gender are inferior or less than, or are less American than any other. Trump, ever the bombastic showman and con artist, with his talk of Hispanic “anchor babies”,Mexican rapists, and totally shutting down entry of Muslims to US,  is sadly tapping into the “fear and frustration” out there in the cities and in the hinterlands, particularly as the economy stalls out. Fear of illegal immigration. Fear of being “overrun” by “the other.”

An Emerging International Bully

According to BMI Research Group,‘A Trump presidency could radically shake up the US-led international system, leaving Washington more at odds with both its allies and adversaries. In addition, a more unilateralist US could expose Eastern Europe and East Asia to greater Russian and Chinese assertiveness, respectively. Consequently, we would expect the US foreign policy and defence establishment to subtly resist some of Trump’s more controversial policies, although Trump would press ahead regardless’..In the post- Cold War era, the world has to deal with a higher dose of ‘American Exceptionalism’, which has made the world a much worse place to live in, of course with the threat of consequential terrorism and their intervention in affairs of other countries in their assumed role as the ‘global policeman’. Under Trump , US will work to further reinforce American exceptionalism rather than denying or apologizing for it. Trumpism is also giving impetus to xenophobic elements in Europe too.

In this context, it is heartening to note that with the anti-Trump movement fast gaining traction even among Republicans, Americans are realizing the imperative need to stop him to make America great Again ( not by electing him) , even if it means Republicans and Democrats joining forces to do so, thus creating a new force in the political centre, reminding us of what the poet W.B. Yeats’ described a society in trouble as  one in which “the centre cannot hold”. Equally important will be to remember that US’ international image will not be better served by putting a demagogue like Trump in the top seat who believes in further reinforcing the widely discredited American Exceptionalism, in  a world seeking a more just global social order.

But then, amidst this hullabaloo, one reality should not be overlooked.

As WSWS website said recently , “Trump personifies the backwardness and decay of the American political system and the American financial aristocracy.” ‘It’s Trump’, as the paleo-conservative commentator Pat Buchanan says, ‘who is connecting with that strata of America who hates liberals, immigrants, gays and a changing and progressive culture. Trump’s success is therefore a symptom of something very dangerous that will long outlive his present campaign. In that way, Trumpism has already triumphed, even before Trump will stand up for President  as the Republican nominee. Thus, it is imperative that factors which led a demagogue like Trump to rise up in American politics should be rooted out and silent majority heard by the powers that be, to avoid future Trumps emerging. Thus, not just Trump, dumping Trumpism too should be the ultimate goal of the Anti-Trump Movement.