The Americans have not chosen Trump. Hillary Clinton’s defeat is due to a specific choice by the American electorate not to want her as President. It must have been tough for Hillary, since she has been holding on for a lifetime, accepting everything to reach the most desired result, to be the most powerful person in the world. But maybe it was precisely all the compromises that were necessary to reach the peak of the Democratic party and the Government that have made her too detached from the people. For a woman who’s been sensitive to human rights, suffering must have marked her personality, at first the betrayals of her husband, then all the legal actions and the trials, the negotiations as a Senator and lately the international diplomacy as Secretary of State. The “reason of State”, in fact, to keep hidden within herself, thoughts and actions that it’s better not to disclose because hardly understandable and acceptable to the common people; all of it just too much. And in fact, something has not worked out, some information has leaked out, and from this arose the scandal and the investigations by the FBI about private emails forwarded without too much attention.
Hillary has lost badly. Unable to get in tune with public opinion, never natural and unable to engage with the public, she has also paid an electoral strategy whose aim was to counter Trump, a candidate who’s come out from nowhere to prevent her from reaching the goal of a lifetime. Her administrative experience was not worth her victory, because what prevailed instead was the suspected involvement in financial and economic interests especially with Arab countries. The Americans wanted to eliminate everything that in their eyes was old and corrupt, too tied in traps and snares with national and supranational authorities. Clinton failed to explain her electoral program, certainly more protective for the middle and weaker classes and in any case stronger than Trump’s. Anyways, Hillary has won on the overall voting, but has definitely lost in the calculation of the Electors. The very low turnout (about 50%) has also had its impact, as has the fact that 2.6 million Americans are denied voting because of law regulations related to past or present convictions. Those who suffer the effects of the electoral results are mostly blacks and Hispanics.
The other candidate – Donald Trump – won a majority of the Electors despite his vulgarity and suspicions of tax fraud. He managed to bring his voters to the polls. He’s been able to reach the hearts of the American people, rancorous and resentful, convinced that the administrative apparatus is hopelessly corrupt. Now Trump, with a fully Republican Congress, will be able to dismantle piece by piece all the achievements of Obama’s policies. Not least, he will nominate the next Supreme Court judges, thus posing a serious restoration mortgage on society for decades to come. The gun lobby and the private healthcare exult, and American citizens will continue to have the most crowded prisons and the worst sanitary system the world.
Trump promises tax benefits, debts and deficit decreases; increase in jobs and economic growth. A wall to mark the southern border will be built, the right of citizenship by birth will be eliminated. He wants to focus on fossil energy sources. One of the promises made by Trump is in fact the dismantling of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), which deals with the protection of the environment and the development of renewable energies. Then, there is the international politics, the difficult relations between Russia and NATO: “We want to help our allies, but we are wasting billions and billions of dollars, we cannot be the policemen of the world and we cannot protect the countries which do not pay for our services”.
Yes, Donald Tramp is the typical populist politician, as our Marine Le Pen or Nigel Farage. Populism attracts people because it gratifies their expectations for improvement when economic conditions are difficult. But there is a price for that. In exchange for more or less achievable promises to the people, populism easily produces figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini, Viktor Orbán and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The populists use the moralistic rhetoric, make unrealistic promises and launch personal and unfair attacks on their opponents. They demonize the elite of the moment and bring as the example the common people: these are methods to manipulate the confused and misinformed electorate.
But populism actually does spread because many citizens feel betrayed by the traditional political forces. To a large extent, this can be explained by the growing influence of unelected bodies that manage the “public”. And even elected leaders have more and more limited working space, due to permanent institutions that often serve supranational organizations (e.g. UN, NATO, European Union) or international financial and trade lobbies.
To prevent the populist tendencies and greater democratic choice, we must acknowledge and address this general discontent. Problems such as the loss of the middle class, fear of immigration, the absence of meritocracy and job opportunities, and the relocation of businesses in areas with cheap labor are issues to consider and solve.
Surely, what has happened is the failure of the moderate left-wing that has not been able to address the new elements of marginalization and has made the capitalist right very powerful as it easily collects the rebellion of the dispossessed but then really works in the interests of private investors. This is what happened today in the United States of America.