America Spring in a Disastrous Election Year

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Hometruths By Adeola Akinremi, Email: adeola.akinremi@thisdaylive.com

Unprecedented. After denigrating and degrading American institutions with name calling, bullied women; demean the disabled and sneered at a Supreme Court Justice in an unruly election campaign that was unconventional and full of obscenity, the 70-year-old celebrity businessman and political apprentice, Donald J. Trump, triumphed on Tuesday night, winning the electoral votes by a landslide. Trump had 279 against Clinton’s 218 electoral votes to coast to victory. No one gave him a chance from a ‘nasty’ primary process to grueling final weeks of the campaign.

It is a new American politics called “disaster,” by the very 45th President. An army of aggrieved Americans against political establishment and dishonesty in government ignored Trump’s many defects and his lack of decorum to overwhelmingly vote him into America’s Oval Office as their new president.

It was a nerve-wracking night for me as I watched the Florida and North Carolina results on big screen. The two went to Trump. It was unimaginable disaster that left Clinton campaign scrambling for votes in a small district of Maine, when it was clear that there was no help in Maine.

There are two critical lessons for the world here. The number one lesson is that American politics is unique to America. The second lesson is that the uprising against political system by the people as witnessed in Arab spring is still much in play.

And while it has been difficult for me to explain to my 7-year –old and 5-year-old daughters, how Trump won the election and proved the Gallup polls wrong on all sides, shoving aside the need to prepare to become successful as evident in his low scores during the debates, I found comfort in his note of reconciliation, when he made his magnanimous victory speech out of Manhattan early on Wednesday morning.

“I mean very sincerely, now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together,” he said looking out for those who helped him and those opposed to his ideas. “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”

“It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me. . . I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”

Let’s not forget that Mr. Trump began his campaign last summer with unkind words such as casting immigrants as criminals with pledges to build the wall on the border of Mexico, deport all illegal immigrants and making it difficult for Muslims to enter America.

The resurgence of that fear came with his election. The idea that an authoritarian will soon begin to make decision in the White House rattled the stock market once the results of the election started to magnify Trump’s name.

Clearly, investors around the world became jittery at the thought that Trump is the new American President. All three major stocks on Wall Street responded in the negative, falling by 3 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei index took a plunge in range of 5.4 per cent; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index decreased by 2 per cent. The Mexican Peso followed the same path falling sharply to an eight-year low based on Bloomberg figures.

In the final days of the campaign, across Europe, stock market rose with the clean bill of health given to the Democrat candidate, Secretary Hillary Clinton, by the FBI Director, James Comey, but soon pointed downward the moment Trump triumphed. What more, the dollar dropped.

For a long time Americans will continue to review the politics that enthroned Trump and the deeply divided country that made White working class voters to go with him on the need to “take our country back.”

But whether Trump made real his threat or not, Nigeria has lost a strong ally, the moment Mrs. Clinton lost the election.

Now, Nigeria will need to pause and redraw its foreign policy and of course relationship with America. It can no longer be in the Democrat way.

For many years, even with the government preceding the Muhammadu Buhari government, we have leaned toward the Democrat government for America.

Of course, the All Progressives Congress, led by Buhari borrowed many of its ideas from America’s Democratic Party—though APC has met brick wall of financial crisis in implementing its agenda—which now makes Nigeria vulnerable.

The idea that Trump is not a politician and quite intemperate may make it difficult for Nigeria to get some deals done with America with the Republican government under Trump.

But there’s always that opportunity, when a new government comes to power, especially in a place like America. It is to look out for America’s “interest” in global economy and politics.

Nigeria’s fight against insurgency will likely get Trump’s attention since his anger against ISIS has gone through the roof already, but his plan to deal with it is not clear to even those who are closer to him.

He may as well be interested in Africa rising narrative that people like the billionaire banker, Tony Elumelu, have championed for a long time, and now yielding some dividends in the number of budding entrepreneurs on the continent.

For me, America has made history. It has failed to improve democracy with this election and has given the world an opportunity to put women down.

Trump has overcome his fears. “If we don’t win,” he told Fox news on Election Day. “It will be a waste of energy and money.”

He has been congratulated by the aggressive Russian President, Vladimir Putin, an arch enemy of anything American.

Believe me, this shock and its ripple effect will last from generation to generation. It has opened another chapter in American politics.

Follow me on Twitter: @adeolaakinremi1