14 November 2016
The US presidential election has shown how divided the country is. But a great power needs to be strong at home with the people and their leaders sharing a common vision of its place in the world. America needs to heal its internal divisions. For its friends abroad, a strong and stable US is good for the rest of the world.
President Donald J. Trump – not many outside the United States thought they would be uttering those words. Indeed, the shock from his stunning victory is probably greater in the rest of the world than it is in America. After all, almost half of Americans voted for him. They wanted him to be their president because they wanted America to change. According to election analyses, his support was strongest among non-college white men and women who had fallen behind economically and felt the country’s political and business elites were not paying enough attention to their concerns and working in their interests – the forgotten people in President-elect Trump’s words.
He succeeded in tapping this groundswell of resentment which played up in many issues – globalisation, America’s free trade agreements and immigration. Some commentators have said this election signaled the end of the neoliberal idea that countries serve the interest of their citizens best when they are open to the world, trading freely and with open borders that encourage the movement of people, goods and services. A Trump America would be nationalist and protectionist first.
… Han Fook Kwang is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research interests include Media, Governance and Politics.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 15/11/2016