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EDITORIAL: What manner of man is Trump?


BARBADOS NATION

EDITORIAL: What manner of man is Trump?

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“Your belief generates the power, the skill and the energy to succeed at achieving your goals. Doubt saps your will to succeed and signals to everyone involved that your are going to fail.” – Donald Trump in his book Think Big And Kick Ass.

DONALD J. TRUMP, president-elect of the United States of America, deserves heartiest congratulations on a phenomenal and historic victory in Tuesday’s elections.

His success is all the more exceptional, not just because of its enormity, but also for the fact that this most unlikely political candidate produced a coat tail that has given his Republican Party a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, incorporating candidates who openly declined to support him during the very long campaign.

Here was a businessman who determined that having achieved fame and fortune in his chosen field of endeavour, it was time for him to delve into politics at the highest level in the world’s most powerful democracy. And he has done it with purpose and panache.

Nothing should be taken away from outsider Trump for, after all, he defied conventional wisdom, confronted his own party, disobeyed the rules, distanced himself from some of its most influential leaders, dared the odds and confounded the polls to deliver the 45th presidency to himself.

What manner of man is this?

The answer can be found in the thinking he espoused in his book Think Big And Kick Ass (2007): “If you believe you can do something, other people will believe it too. Give off the attitude that you are important and worth listening to. If you value yourself, others will respect and value you.”

He certainly lived by his own script.

But the hard work now begins for Trump to deliver on his grandiose promises, some dangerous threats to revamp the changed make-up of American society, as well as reverse several policies of outgoing President Barack Obama, all with his ultimate oft-proclaimed determination to “Make America Great Again”.

He faces a multifaceted challenge, but he has enormous goodwill on his side and an enviable track record of getting things done.

His victory was hard fought against Hillary Clinton who sought to change her role in the White House from first lady to first female president, but disappointed “bigly”, to coin one of Trump’s well-worn campaign terms.

Pundits have immediately begun to determine how she managed to lose virtually all of the swing states as well as treasured, loyal Democratic ridings.

Fundamental to her defeat was a failure to capture the working class element and the youth vote, bothof whom her opponent in the primaries, Bernie Sanders, attracted. This was compounded by an overestimation by her campaign, of the commitment of black and Latino voters to her cause, assuming that Obama’s coalition would, by virtue of inheritance, becomeher coalition.

On the other hand, Trump attracted to the polls, both at the primary and general elections, millions of Americans, many in rural communities, who felt extricated from the political process and offended by the priorities of the Washington ruling elite of which Clinton and her husband, President Bill Clinton, were seen as life members.

Many of them voted for the first time in many election cycles, asserting their right to have a say in the affairs of their country.

We now anticipate that both domestic and international policies will dramatically shift under President Trump. We trust it will be for the better of all Americans and indeed, all of us.

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