Trump’s blitzkrieg into the White House has taken all of us by surprise. Having previously been seen as a pariah (especially after the emergence of a tape in which he admits to sexual assault) and having sunk in the polls, a resurgent Trump fairly steamrollered a shocked Hillary Clinton. The response of her campaign seemed to be sluggish and horrified, a palpably slow collapse from within. Clinton HQ was emptying long before the election was officially called for Trump, those who had gone there to watch an impassioned speech from their would-have-been president slinking home sadly.
When the results were finally announced, the reaction sent shockwaves across the whole country. Clinton supporters openly wept in the streets, Canada’s immigration website crashed due to a huge volume of traffic, worldwide markets spiralled downward and world leaders were stumped.
Of course, there has been an outpouring of impotent fury on social media. Posts ranging from Clinton supporters expressing outrage to others claiming they’ll flee the country. Unfavourable comparisons with Brexit were also posted to the internet. Most were of the opinion that the United States had trumped Britain (literally) when it came to open idiocy. Some even staged protests in the streets under the slogan of “Not My President!”
But after the last few decades inside and outside of America, this wasn’t to be unexpected.
I’m going to put this simply, because I’ve written about US foreign policy endlessly in the past. You CANNOT consistently and flagrantly bomb, invade, steal from, rape and interfere in other people’s countries, make racism and paranoia a part of daily life and then whinge when you end up with a leader like Trump. Nations get the leaders they deserve, the leaders that reflect the collective mentality and intelligence of the people at large. What does it say about America when millions of Americans, in choosing their future leader, were willing to either back a lifelong careerist with deep ties to repressive regimes and worldwide atrocities, or an open bigot with a penchant for sexually assaulting women?
The vast majority of Americans willingly bought into the bigotry of their leaders, willingly backed decades of oppression and slaughter under the guise of “anti-terrorism” (before and after 9/11) and now they’re paying for it.
Some Republican “moderates” disavowed Donald and claimed they had nothing to do with him. It was decades of their openly xenophobic, militant policies that enabled his rise. Spare us your tears. In turn, Clinton supporters knew very well about her ties to Israel and Middle Eastern tyrannies, knew very well about her corruption, dishonestly, lack of regard for the electorate and support for the destruction of Iraq. Yet they wanted her anyway. Others were willing to back candidates like Jill Stein, a woman that claimed she wanted America to help Assad to subdue all of Syria by force. Some preferred Gary Johnson, an indolent man who didn’t even know what Aleppo was, nor care. When he found out, he proposed joining with Russia to force the opposition to back down.
In fact, if you talk to many people in the Middle East, they will tell you that they are glad that Trump won. Not because they like him, but because it will end the hypocrisy. For decades the US has bombed, raped, looted and interfered in their countries under the guise of helping to bring “freedom and democracy” to the populations. Now America has a leader that will end that hypocrisy and openly state what the Muslim world has known for a long time – that the imperialistic foreign policy of the United States is a war on Islam.
In fact, some Clinton supporters backed her by disingenuously reasoning (or wanting to believe) that she would bring genuine hope and change (Where have we heard this before?) Yet under two different administrations since 9/11, Republican and Democrat, there has been no change of policy. Bombings, killings and occupations of other countries continue unabated. FBI spying programs that ensnare and entrap the mentally ill (especially vulnerable Muslims) increased dramatically. Obama’s administration (supposedly much better than the Bush administration) rushed to rehabilitate as many tyrants as possible, from Ilham Aliyev to the Castros.
The White House changing hands will not stop (and has not stopped) the crimes of the United States, including joining forces with Assad. Now Trump will openly state the malicious intent that US politicians have painstakingly sought to hide. He will expose the crumbling empire for what it really is.
A Trump presidency will be terrible. But if we play our cards correctly, those among us that value justice and liberty can use his foul words and exposure of the United States’ true intentions to the advantage of our cause – pushing back against imperialism in all its forms, be it Russian, American or otherwise.