Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Rise of Trump: An international perspective.

Donald Trumps rise in the domestic political platform of US politics carries its own malaise of the lack of serious intellect within the Republican Party allowing a conceited ego maniac to hijack the party. While his presence on the political scene started as a form of abstract entertainment he moulded himself, backed by his panache to be racist, sexist and conceit, to appeal to a debased anger that underlies many Americans personal thinking, he catapulted himself to be a front runner by projecting the unthinkable and the unsaid. Domestic politics aside, Donald Trump is perhaps the scariest of the candidates when it comes to visualising his potential role and impact on international politics.

Should be be taken seriously enough to ever become the President of the United States his current menu of recipes for approaching the international political scene is not only fraught with a demagogue's ideological frame of mind but more alarmingly a lack of intellect and finesse. His flippant remarks about Mexicans being rapists, Muslims being barred from entering the United States and the not so welcoming attitude towards all and sundry suggests Trump is way out of his league in understanding how world politics works. One cannot help but imagine a world with Trump as the leader of the most powerful country being a more unsafe place than ever before.

If his appeal to the average American is that he represents their anger at the loss of jobs to China and invasion of low paid foreign immigrants, he is also out of the touch with the anger that a large body of people around the world have towards America's lack of empathy for the political and social needs of the people they have tried to shape into their own mould of foreign policy. While Trump as the leader of the free world may still have some affinity to the likes of Putin's leadership of Russia (he did admire Putin's hatred for the press), Trump will certainly be out of his depth in dealing with the Chinese, Japanese and the large assembly of Muslim leaders whose people he has sought to paint in one sweeping stroke with his demagogic brush.

On a more deeper note Trump has thrived off harping on what is wrong with the world, including the American domestic scene, but has not offered any solutions on how to fix things. Whenever the debate has turned to a serious note Trump has had the nerve to bring the discussion down to raw emotion even centring on the vulgar. However, Trump's antics are not just some school boy tantrums but a carefully designed charade to keep the debate at an emotional pitch, a almost vulgar disdain for the serious question, the serious answer or indeed an agenda that begs anything more than a rhetorical profanity for what this man can end up projecting.

If ever elected as the President, Trump will have the power to take military action, and given his bullying style could well even pressure Congress into creating a world order where the search of peace will be replaced by a search to get even. Sadly as much of his anger on the domestic front is misplaced, the same might well be true of his vision of world politics, leading us to foresee a World According to Trump where the dictum of 'shoot first question later' might well be the order of political action.

Trump die hard supporters will argue that he will mature and mould himself into being a leader of the world and while projecting a strong America will also forge a more effective leadership on the world map. This might well happen, especially if he leaves world politics to a competent Secretary of State, however given his ego this is highly unlikely. One can only wonder in fear of how he will approach the thorny issues of Middle East politics, or acceptance of China as an equal partner on the world scene or engage in a serious dialogue with Europeans or the Mexican and Canadian neighbours (both of whom he has not been kind to).

Political watchers can only hope that even if he wins the Republican ticket  Donald Trump may fail to raise the ante when it comes to the final stretch of the Presidential race. Indeed from an international perspective we know too well that US Presidents are not elected for their acumen of international politics but more on the basis of their domestic agenda. Let us hope people within America realise that Trump may appeal to the unsaid within American society there are still a vast silent majority who balk at his egotistical style which offers only platitudes of hate and no substance on solutions.