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Lessons from the U.S elections

Editorial

Lessons from the U.S elections

Thousands of people across U.S cities protested the election of Donald Trump extending the crisis gripping American politics

Thousands of people across U.S cities protested the election of Donald Trump extending the crisis gripping American politics



The fractious American general election has come and gone. In the last two years of the campaign, it held the whole world spell bound. The reasons for this are rather obvious.

The US is the Number One world power; and the office of the American president is, therefore, globally paramount. When the US catches a cold; the rest of the world sneezes.

So, up to voting day, the world held its breath. This was despite, and also because, the media portrayed that the winner would be: Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

The collective breath was merely waiting to breath out in the anticipated release that she had won.

Only the rank outsiders gave the Republican challenger, Donald Trump, a chance, in part because, the world had taken into account Barack Obama’s modest but relatively uneventful achievements; he had not rocked the American boat.

Also, because, as a political outsider to the American system, not fondly referred to as: the Establishment, Trump had even been at odds with the principals of the Republican Party, proper.

It is in the expectation of this, many people were caught off-guard. The blame for it has to be put at the feet of the international media and the pollsters.

For most of the campaign time, they gave the impression that Clinton would score, not merely the popular vote, but also the majority of the Electoral College electors, which is the more important aspect of the selection of the American president. This is where the mistake was.

The rest of the world followed the pollsters in misreading the American behaviour; and therefore, what mattered to them most. It is their own livelihood. That is the cord that Trump was able to touch and exploit.

Often, because of its international standing there is a perception that the Americans are interested in what takes place in the world more than what takes place at home.

At least, that is the inkling people tend to get from politicians like Hillary. We now appreciate that this is not entirely true. The rest of the world should not ignore the America that is for the Americans; and how they react to it.

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