Donald Trump’s victory in the November 8 United States presidential election is unique in many ways. The New York billionaire estate mogul is not the usual politician next door. Trump is different. Trump is unique. He is also unusual. His method is unorthodox. Yet he says what some people want to hear. He belongs to a special school of thought that believes that nothing is impossible. He has proved with everything he put his hands on. Trump is high on optimism and that has worked for him. He has unusual style of politics that does not conform to political correctness. He is anti-establishment. He is brash, bold and assertive in his campaign.
During the campaign, he said things that many Americans believe are un-presidential like building walls along border with Mexico, deportation of illegal immigrants and many others. He also said some good things as well. He wants to rebuild the US economy, create jobs and reinvigorate US foreign policy and relations. Trump represents change and many Americans embraced him. His campaign is anchored in making America great again.
Despite the misgivings the establishment has against Trump rhetoric, the reality is that his rhetoric resonate with most Americans, especially the Whites. Despite all negative polls predictions, newspaper and other endorsements for the Democrat candidate, Hilary Clinton, the Republican candidate, Trump emerged victorious in a unique way. Perhaps, Americans really want change and trump told them what they want to hear.
The campaign to the White House was highly divisive and recriminatory. All manner of weapons were deployed in the campaign war including racism, bigotry and sexism. The campaign war reverberated in other parts of the world including my country, Nigeria. While a few Nigerian commentators gave Trump some chance, many denounced him and even predicted him a loser. In doing so, they threw objectivity to the gutters and wrote what will please their ears. They wrote and behave as if Nigeria is an extension of US and part of the poll.
But Trump’s victory stunned them. It surprised them and caused them emotional upset. Trump’s victory is unprecedented and represents a phenomenon in US politics. America and the world are looking forward to what a Trump presidency would look like. The anti-Trump protests across the US may be an expression of anger by some losers. The fire of such needless protests will soon extinguish because Trump emerged through a credible democratic process.
While they have the right to protest, the protests will not change the situation because Americans have spoken with their votes. Whether the spoke well or not will be seen in the life of Trump’s presidency. They will have to live with a Trump’s presidency in the next four years. Those protesting should emulate Obama and Clinton over the poll and move on.
President Barack Obama has congratulated Trump for the victory and is working for a smooth transition of power after the elections. Hilary Clinton has equally conceded defeat and congratulated Trump for the victory. Hilary said she would support Trump for the good of America. She bemoaned the loss and asked her supporters to move on. According to her, “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy ensures the peaceful transfer of power.”
Conceding defeat and congratulating the winner in an election is the aspect of the US election Nigerian and indeed African politicians should try to emulate. Although ex-president Goodluck Jonathan was exemplary in this respect when he phoned his rival, Muhammadu Buhari and congratulated him even when the result has not been declared during the 2015 presidential poll, other Nigerian politicians are yet to imbibe that culture. They still behave as angry bad losers after each poll. An average Nigerian politician believes that he must win at every election. He does not entertain the thought of losing an election. If he loses, then that election is rigged.
That is why many of our elections end up at electoral tribunals and the courts. Unless our politicians change their attitude to electoral matters and learn how to concede defeat, our elections will continue to be acrimonious and contentious. They will continue to be battle fields where all manner of arsenals are unleashed on the opponent. Another lesson is that we should make our electoral process more credible. We should learn a lot from the US elections.
We should adopt their culture of debate and scrutinizing all allegations of misdeeds of politicians. We should start electing people into office based on what they have to offer instead of the tribe they come from. Our politicians are still obsessed with the politics of stomach. They should change that mindset and start embracing politics of national cohesion and welfare of all Nigerians. American politicians will always work for the good of America and Americans. Whether a Republican or a Democrat is in power, the interest of Americans is what matters to them. Donald Trump has commenced the journey of reuniting all Americans with his victory speech by asserting that he will be the president of all Americans. According to him, “As I have said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement, made of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family.” Trump also assured that “It is a movement comprised comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds, and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people—and serve the people it will.” Trump should abide by the principles of this movement. He should also moderate his rhetoric and accommodate all people.
The campaigns are over and this is the time to unite the people and make America great again. Trump’s emergence is significant in many ways. He is about the first American president to emerge from the business community. He has no political experience yet he won. The American voters believed in him and gave him their votes. Trump is a rugged businessman and entrepreneur. All these will bear on his presidency.
It is good that many American politicians have offered to work with Trump to ensure the success of his presidency. Trump should grab such offers with both hands. In his journey to the presidency, Trump needs the hands of experts and people with political experience. Trump knows this very well. For in his establishments, he employs people with skills and knowledge. Let Trump fulfill his campaign slogan of making America great again.