Hans Kriek

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President-elect Trump sells America as a brand?

Against all odds Donald Trump has been elected as President of the United States. Voter scorn for status quo propels upset of Clinton. The American people choose Donald

By: EBR - Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump’s win -- stretching across the battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania – seemed likely to set of financial jitters and immediate unease among international allies, many of which were startled when Trump in his campaign cast doubt on the necessity of America’s military commitments abroad and its allegiance to international partnerships.

By Hans Izaak Kriek*

He talked presidential in his victory speech: ‘Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. It is time for us to come together as one united people. It is so important to me.’ The Donald offered unusually warm words for Mrs. Clinton, who he before suggested should be in jail, saying she was owed ‘a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.’

In my opinion the American political-media establishment does not understand the depth of anger in its own country. That is one of the most significant lessons of the 2016 presidential election, in which Donald Trump overcame the doubts of many reporters, pollsters and political scientists who strong believed Hillary Clinton was headed for a decisive victory.

Instead, white rural voters turned out in numbers that few so-called political experts expected, delivering that decisive victory to Trump.

Trump’s win -- stretching across the battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania – seemed likely to set of financial jitters and immediate unease among international allies, many of which were startled when Trump in his campaign cast doubt on the necessity of America’s military commitments abroad and its allegiance to international partnerships.

Donald Trump’s surprise victory sent shock waves through the global markets. Dow futures plunged overnight, but Russia’s market is up. President Putin said Trump’s victory was an opportunity to build ‘a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington’.

Hillary Clinton

How Hillary Clinton managed to lose an election to a candidate as divisive and unpopular as Donald Trump will baffle observers and agonise Democrats for years to come. Once the shockwave passes, some glimpses of rational explanation may become visible. It also did not help that what Clinton was selling was mainly herself.

The campaign’s strongest message was that she was uniquely qualified to become president. This was largely true, especially when compared with the grotesquely inexperienced Donald Trump, but big ideas took a backstage role. Campaign slogans are notoriously vacuous. Obama’s “hope and change” turned out to be more of the former than the latter.

Yet Clinton’s ‘stronger together’ only began to take shape in response to Trump’s divisiveness. It was attractive to many Democrats as a symbol of what they felt the campaign was about but it ensured the battle was fought on Trump’s terms. The political career of Hillary is ended now and she’ll never be the first female president of America.
Europe

Most in Europe were expecting to wake up with President-elect Hillary Clinton. But now that Trump has won, many political leaders in Germany and the EU are in no mood to celebrate -- with some exceptions. France's President Hollande says Donald Trumps win ‘opens a period of uncertainty’, In Brussels, President of European Martin Schulz said: ‘I'm not happy about it. But on the other hand, I also believe that the political system in the US is strong enough to be able to deal with a president like Trump.’

The prime Minister of the UK: ‘Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence.’ A few months ago, I interviewed Donald Trump as the first European journalist and I asked him about his plans about the NATO. I think it is interesting to (re-) read his answers.

‘You have doubts about the future of NATO, right?’ Trump directly: ‘The hallowed North Atlantic alliance is obsolete; we have to rebuild this institution. NATO is ill suited to combating international terrorism, which is the world’s single biggest threat’. He especially objected the US paying so much of the NATO bill, saying that the allies should “pay up or get out”; he refuses to see the US as the “world’s policeman”. In a town hall meeting in Wisconsin Trump said: “maybe NATO will dissolve and that’s OK for me, not at all the worst thing in the world.”

In casting doubt on the future of NATO, Trump has challenged an establishment consensus that goes far beyond Washington DC. Both Trump’s Republican rivals have denounced his view. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, accused him of “putting at risk the coalition of nations we need to defeat Islamic State”.

I asked him: ‘Mister Trump, as President, what will happen with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, the free trade deal with the European Union. Trump: “The deal is bad because it doesn’t cover currency manipulation. It’s the number-one weapon used by foreign countries to hurt the United States and take away jobs. The deal is insane; it should not be supported and not be allowed to happen. We are giving away what ultimately is going to be a backdoor for China.’

The first months of the Trump presidency

What are his plans during his first 100 days in office: “Appoint judges who will uphold our Constitution – this is so important; stand up to the many, many countries that are ripping us off on trade; change federal immigration rules to give our people the opportunity to fill good-paying jobs, and cancel regulations that send our jobs overseas; lift the job-killing Obama restrictions on energy production; repeal and replace Obamacare – it’s been an absolute DISASTER for families.’

We will wait and see. But as the Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan sings: The times they are a changin'...

 

Commentaren (tekst & beeld): ThePost Online | TPO Magazine | Nederlands MediaNieuws

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