What you need to know:
- The more outrageous the things Donald Trump said, the more traction he got with his followers.
- The view that Trump’s support was confined to blue-collar whites and rednecks turned out to be a myth.
- Many of those who had made up their minds to vote for Trump did not want to admit so to pollsters, opting to fall in line with the politically correct crowd.
My closest cousin, perhaps because of his extended stay away in Somaliland, has a cool way of cutting through the humbug of fake local pundits.
Throughout he stuck to his position that America would happily elect a vulgar egotist as president, never mind the politically correct conceit of online Smart Alecs.
Actually the first thing which helps explain Donald Trump’s rise was his utter disdain for political correctness. The more outrageous the things he said, the more traction he got with his followers.
The view that Trump’s support was confined to blue-collar whites and rednecks turned out to be a myth. He was the beneficiary of votes from white Americans from disparate demographics – college-educated, the less educated, males and females. A surprising 30 per cent of Hispanics also voted for the man who had derided their race as rapists and drug pushers.
November 8 was a lousy day for opinion pollsters. They had gotten everything wrong. However, it is more accurate to say the pollsters were lied to.
Many of those who had made up their minds to vote for Trump did not want to admit so to pollsters, opting to fall in line with the politically correct crowd.
European pollsters had similarly misread Britain’s decision to exit the European Union (Brexit). The Brexit campaign was led by British nativist extremists with pronounced Trump characteristics such as Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, now the Foreign Secretary. Both Trump and the Brexiteers are driven in a big way by a loathing of immigrants.
In a case of once bitten, twice shy, EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is calling for a meeting of European leaders and Trump to “understand” his agenda.
The other fable was that the election outcome was a statement about the United States not being ready for a female president. That can’t be true.
The problem with Hillary Clinton was that her Establishment credentials stood no chance with an electorate intoxicated with Trump’s ‘America-First’ ramblings. In fact nearly as many white women voted for Trump as for Clinton.
There was a lot of overblown rhetoric all around about how Trump is an ogre. All of us must have come across plenty of otherwise smart, respectable people who rooted for Trump, and without a care in the world.
There were those like my cousin from Somaliland who had accurately read the underlying mood in America.
There were other Kenyans who were for Trump, not because of anything, but for the sheer kick and novelty and perversity of it all.
Those saying Trump is okay supposedly because “he will be tough on African dictators” are talking nonsense. First of all, Africa is not on his radar at all, unless Al-Shabaab or Boko Haram or some such terrorist group captures and kills a group of Americans.
Kenya featured in Trump’s worldview only obliquely through his involvement in the “Birther” movement that sought to disprove Barack Obama’s legitimacy as president. He has surely forgotten our country since then.
Secondly, Trump seems to have a liking for strongmen, not an aversion. He speaks fondly of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, for instance. Pushing for American-style democracy across the world is not Trump’s thing. He has never even spoken about it. Those who will get a better handle on him are those who will deal with him like they are negotiating a business transaction. Ideology talk bores him.
I don’t sympathise with the anti-Trump protesters pouring out of American universities following the election result. America freely chose to elect this oddball. He did not seize power through the gun. America has for years lectured Africa about good governance and about spawning tyrants.
Trump is America’s problem now. Let them deal with it.
A big lesson from the Trump fiasco is about the whole nature of “change” platforms which political candidates love to campaign on as opposed to the “status quo.” Trump was indisputably the change candidate compared to Clinton the Establishment figure.
Well, with what we have now seen, Wanjikus the world over should very carefully consider what kind of “change” somebody is promising before they put that ballot into the box. Otherwise you end up lamenting in the manner of the brilliant headline by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper upon Trump’s victory. It simply read: W.T.F.!