The victory of the Republican Donald Trump over the
Democrat Hillary Clinton has come as some sort of a surprise to observers.
It has been described as the victory of racial hatred over the principle of racial equality. The hate campaign conducted by Trump against Muslims, Hispanics and other immigrants during the pre-poll canvassing had, it appears, got many adherents; otherwise it would be difficult to explain his victory. His victory over Mrs Clinton, Barak Obama's Secretary of State and wife of a former president, is, however, not large, and the demonstrations taking place against him in the wake of his election as the President shows that he cannot easily get away with this victory. As protests against Trump continued with increasing participation of people, at the time of writing, across the United States there are reports of threats against Latinos, Muslims, African-Americans and members of the LGBTQ community, that many feel are a result of Trump's rhetoric.
But it is a gross mistake to attribute Trump's success solely to the alleged spread of racialism. It is true that racialism is almost an inalienable part of capitalism and American political opera, particularly in a country dominated by whites. Even in countries with a democratic face, such racialism, ordinarily quiescent, may sometimes erupt in various forms. This is specifically prominent in times of crisis. It is a universally known fact that the US economy is yet to recover from the impact of the melt-down of 2008 more importantly, there is no sign of a recovery in the near future. Barak Obama has not been able to mitigate the situation in the least, and the phenomenon of discernibly large unemployment and underemployment persists. Besides, Obama has not been able to put an end to outsourcing of business processes, a curse that continues to plague American job-seekers. The US capitalists continue to outsource their business processes because that is far cheaper. There is, however, another and not less serious side to the story. Immigrants from Asian and Latin American countries have come to occupy most of the ordinary jobs, thus depriving US youths of what they consider their rightful place in the economy. The irony is that these immigrants as well as the American blacks are not unwilling to accept lower wages and salaries than what the average white American considers as the minimum. In a situation of severe crisis, US capitalists cannot afford to pay, given their expected rate of profit, what a semi-skilled white American considers the appropriate wage.
But the million-dollar question is: will there be any basic change in the US foreign policy, which is based on the drive for world hegemony. Obama, with all his lofty talks, never tried to alter this course, the course of making the economies of Latin America, Africa and Asia subservient to the US economic and political interests. Rather his various moves in Latin America and the oil-rich regions of Asia present him as the flag-bearer of the traditional US hegemonism. That his success has been small does not show that he was willing to shed the imperialist legacy. Will Donald Trump follow a different course? Assuredly not. His talks on the NATO may be of concern to European powers and intensify inter-imperialist rivalry, but that does not mean that he is going to give up US strategic interests, specifically the interests of US multinationals in exploiting the labour and natural resources of the Third World. What he does in the face of the Russo-Chinese opposition will be an interesting thing to watch.
That demonstrations against Donald Trump's election victory are mounting show a severe political crisis in the USA. Never before in the history of the USA did a president, even the much-denigrated Richard Nixon, face such demonstrations immediately after his election. Again, never before openly outrageous talks against Blacks, Muslims and Hispanics figure so prominently in an election campaign for the chair of the President. What is not, however, clear is whether in the eyes of the demonstrators, Mrs Clinton was a better choice. If elected, she would have done what she thought most well-suited to US imperialist interests, and in this sense, there is little difference between her and her adversary. These demonstrators, it seems, are unconscious, willingly or unwillingly, of the fact that a nation that oppresses others cannot liberate itself and that unless and until they come out against the adventures of the USA abroad, the discrimination against them cannot be wiped out.
Victory of Donald Tramp as US President seems to have brought in jubilation in the saffron camp in India because the Bharatiya Janata Party and its frontal outfits like RSS see in him a true 'friend' of India. Perhaps they are counting too much on his islamophobia. Surprisingly Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed happiness on Donald Trump being elected as US President.
Till now, US had a policy of just lip-talk against Pakistan-generated terror against India by continually giving heavy financial aid to Pakistan. But the saffron ideologues think tough talking by Donald Trump against global terror and support to India raises hope of US being active for setting Pakistan right against all its activities against India.
But real-politik is not that surrealistic. It's not that easy to negate Pakistan in America's geo-strategic plan in South Asia, particularly in Afghanistan. Both Democrats and Republicans are on the same wave length when it is the question of American hegemony. No doubt, many progressives, here and abroad are losing sleep over what happened in American presidential election. But if one looks at what's been going on for the last year, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to understand how this happened. Clinton campaign wasn't speaking to the real hurt that America was feeling and wasn't offering radical solutions that Americans need to solve the urgent problems of their time. Then many people ended up voting for Donald Trump because they didn't believe that Clinton was actually going to change America for the better.
Vol. 49, No.21, Nov 27 - Dec 3, 2016