In the Aftermath of Trump’s Election…

By Marwan Mouasher

تم نشره في Tue 15 November / Nov 2016. 01:00 AM
  • Marwan Mouasher

All expectations bases public opinion polls and analysis, including that of this particular columnist, in regards to Donald Trump’s chances to become President of the US have failed. In the end, the white middle class revolution, especially those who live in the countryside, against the state institution was stronger than Hillary Clinton’s capacity to hold the vast social basis of the Democratic Party, and that is simply because here persona does not inspire trust.

The vote for Trump was more or less a fusion of desire for change and distrust in the credibility of Democratic nominee Clinton, who eventually gathered 6 million votes less than Obama’s last ballot count, with Trump aggregating less than what both Republican nominees before him did; Romney and McCain. That is despite the fact that Clinton, nationally, gathered more votes than Trump did.

So, what do we expect of Trump? The truth is that we do not have any other criterion besides his stances and positions during his elections campaign, given he has no history in office, and therefore no clear track. Generally, election positions are not always reliable, and almost all previous elected presidents did not abide by their election promises. We also do not know who his team is, especially with many of the experienced republicans who served in previous republican administrations declared publically that they refuse to work with Trump.

Nonetheless, Trump did in fact run the elections on the basis of opposing Free-Trade Agreements, and calls to institute an introvert US policy, even in relation to traditional NATO allies. On the other hand, his position on immigrants, particularly Muslim and Latino immigrants, are discriminative, as he was the one who launched a campaign to prohibit entry to Muslims, then went back on the demand, and alternately called for extensive and intense security procedures before allowing Muslims into the United States.

His position from Iran is uptight; he wants to revoke the Nuclear deal with Iran, and may actually succeed in doing us under the patronage of a Republican congress, which is going to make Gulf countries ecstatic, in addition to his position on not prioritising democracy or human rights. Egypt welcomed Trump’s victory, given that Obama and Hillary were on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood after the 2011 revolt. Jordan will also be relieved by Trump’s focus on countering ISIS and not concentrating on the issues of political reformation.

Moreover, Trump wants to coordinate with Russia on Syria, and does not favour the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad, which will alleviate considerable pressure off of the latter, after Clinton promised to escalate support of the Syrian revolution. As for Israel, his promise to move the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem also relieved the Israeli far right, even though promises of the sort were made before by other nominees, and none realised their promises.

The new president’s candidates for his team are still pouring in, and most are extremely ideological; like Newton Gingrich, Bob Corker, who is the head of the Senate’s foreign affairs committee, as well as Richard Huss, and John Bolton. As for his consultants, one of them is Middle Eastern; Walid Faris, who is of Lebanese descent, and is specialised on terrorism, with ultimately conservative views on the region.

Many Arabs began rooting for Trump, based on the presumption that he will follow more balanced discourses towards the region! This kind of reminds me of the rooting many Arabs gave for George Bush, thinking he would be better than Al Gore for the reason. The result was; Bush waged war in Iraq, and contributed to the release of extremist factions in the region, constituting massive damage we are still suffering of ‘til this day.

In Any way, I think it is too soon to judge Trumps effect on the region and the world. But I personally fear that his lack of expertise and his discriminative sentiment and views towards Muslims, coupled with his steep moral and ethical standpoint, in addition to his leniency on human rights issues, all combined do not omen well. Still, until his team is formed, and the features and characteristics of his administration crystallise, it is difficult to generalise or judge. Let us just wait a while and see.