Kenitra - On November 8, 2016, Americans casted their votes and put an end to a long and furious contest in one of the most controversial presidential elections in American history. It witnessed all; provocation, intrigue, cynicism and division. The world has held his breath for more than a year; since the primaries, whilst the two candidates were struggling to escape scandals, political bumps and the growing feeling of frustrations among Americans. Not to mention, that each terrorist attack; be it in America or world wide, was bringing about more tension, anger and fluctuating moods. Should we have any reason to claim that this year's election has made a great deal of the exception in the American political arena? The answer would be, of course, yes.
Kenitra – On November 8, 2016, Americans casted their votes and put an end to a long and furious contest in one of the most controversial presidential elections in American history. It witnessed all; provocation, intrigue, cynicism and division. The world has held his breath for more than a year; since the primaries, whilst the two candidates were struggling to escape scandals, political bumps and the growing feeling of frustrations among Americans. Not to mention, that each terrorist attack; be it in America or world wide, was bringing about more tension, anger and fluctuating moods. Should we have any reason to claim that this year’s election has made a great deal of the exception in the American political arena? The answer would be, of course, yes.
Most academics, diplomats, journalists hold to three basic considerations. First, there was great concern on Donald Trump’s exclusionary attitudes toward blacks, Latinos, immigrants, women and people with special needs. And, then comes his extremist rhetoric toward Islam, Muslims, and Arabs which altogether mark a breakthrough with the traditions of moderate political narratives in modern age America. After all, what Trump did was absolutely shameful and really caused much harm to the image of a democratically leading nation. Should it end here? Oh, hell no. You have sexism, bigotry and tax scandals…
Second, most Americans were greatly skeptical about the credibility and effectiveness of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy. One can easily point to the many wrong decisions made to deal with the chaos in the Middle East and North Africa. Now that Syria, for instance, is replete with a sectarian war, instability, violence and terror, no one should be surprised with the anger being voiced by many Americans, and certainly, Clinton is there to bear a portion of responsibility. Plus, the scandals of her email never stopped at a certain point. Rather, continue to gain momentum and raise more concerns over her professionalism. Every time she was trying to gain back the US public trust that “she was complying with both the letter and the spirit of the rules”, new things unravel and so on. It seemed like a Soap-opera. It should be a warning for all of us not to rush into pre-judgements and ready-made assumptions about her credibility and qualifications. Yet, the uncertainties inherent in her wrong decisions are now more than a reality. Clinton failed! Actually, failed so badly to the extent that it lost and the race to the White House wasn’t even that close and no evidence, even fragmental, to the contrary.
Then, comes populism! It was crystal clear that what marked this electoral scene most is the prevalence of various obnoxious anti-establishment and anti-intellectual political narratives. Both candidates reflect overwhelmingly reliance on unorthodox policies and centered most of their speeches on their personalities rather engaging seriously in what matters to Americans most. The whole thing was about who fits better to the oval office whilst issues of security, jobs, healthcare, etc, were shamefully left behind.
Again, the idea is that the approach of both candidates wasn’t indicative to serious treatment of key issues to American voters. Even the three TV debates which traditionally suggest true visions of how to solve the problems Americans face on a daily basis, did, instead, provide a bleak picture and fit perfectly to a less-than-expected performance. As Alexander Burns; the columnist at New York Times claims, “those TV debates were not those great moments that usually mark a turning point and a radical shift in the course of election campaigns”
That Trump won the presidency, should be a bit of surprise to all those having the power to judge properly as to what is true or right; either here in the United Staes or in the rest of the world. No wise man should have ever imagined that such a horrible scenario to take place on Wednesday. Just one day prior to the elections, every possible indicator pointed, in one way or another, to Clinton’s victory including polls, media commentaries, experts’ claims, the mentality being expressed in social media. Every tiny piece of information suggested that Trump’s things would certainly fall apart. However, Americans chose Donald Trump to be their new leader involving the demise of all that is a true or a solid idea. Now, that this guy proved to be appealing to larger-than-expected voters; America wakes up with a serious headache and puts the whole world in front of a terrifying truth. Now, that the reckless Trump will soon sit in the oval office, one as the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier among so many others can only expect “tough times ” in the future.
“The women -Thomas Frank thinks- we were constantly assured was the best qualified candidate of all time has lost to the least qualified candidate of all time” and “the man too incompetent to insult is now going to sit in the Oval Office.” The challenging question is: what went wrong? Why? Again, Frank proclaims the belief that “she has an impressive resume; yes she worked hard on the campaign trail. But she was the exactly wrong candidate for this angry, populist moment.”
To start at the top, Thomas Frank was not the only man to hold to such a paradigm of thinking. Throughout the course of the election campaign, most celebrities; if not all of them, haven’t hesitated to voice their anger on Trump and warn of the dangerous idea that Trump could be our next president. Just two days from the ballot, the American music icon Stevie Wonder made the comparison in an interview with “Philly.com” to how “voting for Donald Trump is like asking Stevie Wonder to drive,” whilst slamming trump for his “negatives remarks about women, Muslims and Latinos”. Unfortunately, now, Steve Wonder has to have “the last years of his life in a place of pessimism under Trump presidency.”
On August 13, 2016, and while talking to a group of journalists and reporters attending the 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival in Bosnia, Actor Robert De Niro compared Donald Trump to the mentally disturbed Travis Bickle in the legendary 1976 movie Taxi Driver; “what he has been saying is totally crazy, ridiculous, stuff that shouldn’t be even… he is totally nuts.” He added, “one of the things to me was just the irony at the end, he Bickle is back driving a cab, celebrated, which is kind of relevant in some way today too,” and that “Donald Trump shouldn’t be where he is so…”. Now that he is in the White House, De Niro may just say: “God help us.”
Even Bruce Springsteen Called Donald Trump a “Moron”. In an exclusive interview with The Rolling Stone magazine, Springsteen made of Trump phenomenon a sort of warning to all Americans. He said: “Well, you know, the republic is under siege by a moron, basically. The whole thing is tragic. Without overstating it, it’s a tragedy for our democracy. When you start talking about elections being rigged, you’re pushing people beyond democratic governance. And it’s a very, very dangerous thing to do. Once you let those genies out of the bottle, they don’t go back in so easy, if they go back in at all. The ideas he’s moving to the mainstream are all very dangerous ideas – white nationalism and the alt-right movement. The outrageous things that he’s done[…] are obviously beyond the pale for any previous political candidate.”
Should it end here? Of course, no. The attacks on Trump has come from all fronts and no one yet knows when these attacks would stop or, at least, soften, not to mention that thousands of Americans across the country still march in protest against Donald Trump blatant victory. Every once in a while, controversies over politics reach a climax. But, with Trump finally being the Big Boss of America, we can say that Americans “get a glimpse of the ugliest, most shameful spectacle in American politics.” So not to lose the sight of the big picture, we may trace Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson’s words that “the Party of Lincoln nominated a man who is dangerously unfit for the office,” and that “years from now, bright-eyed children will look up at Grandma or Grandpa and ask, Where were you when they nominated Donald Trump? Far too many prominent Republicans will have to hang their heads in shame.”
Now, that Trump fit perfectly to the portrait of a brilliant showman and knew well how to work the crowds, all of these horrible feelings towards Trump’s candidacy are, but news! To the misfortune, what was a crazy idea or fantasy is today a reality, and everyone should be prepared for more gibberish. It doesn’t matter any more how former Texas governor Rick Perry went too far on Trump calling his candidacy a “cancer on conservatism”, that “must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded,” or how Sen. Marco Rubio compared him to a “con artist” and an “erratic individual who should not be trusted with the nuclear codes.” The fact is that he is now the president. Yes, it is disappointing. “It is painful and it will be for a long time” as Hillary Clinton claims. But, the most shameful thing is that “our nation is more deeply divided than we thought.”
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