Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Letter of the Day | Trump’s presidency: only time will tell

Published:Thursday | November 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Like many Americans, including the media, pollsters, and many persons around the globe, I was stunned at Donald Trump's election victory. Mr Trump ran a rogue campaign, capitalising on people's fear, including those who feared him. Many voters seemed disgruntled and frustrated with the status quo. Trump fed into their fears constantly, using race and immigration as key points in his campaign which became divisive and controversial. Voters didn't seem to care about all the other personal stuff; in fact, they felt it made Trump more human, with imperfections.

They saw Trump with his business acumen and no-nonsense approach as the person who could best change Washington and get the job done, and that was all that mattered. Trump refused to release his tax returns, unlike most presidential candidates who do so for transparency and full disclosure. Again, most voters didn't seem to care about that. Despite making derogatory remarks about women, Latinos and minorities, despite mocking the disabled and others, he seemed to have pulled in more votes than expected from these same groups.

I've always said that in politics, anything can happen: never say never. Obama and others said many times Trump could never win. Polls pointed to a Clinton victory, even as the race tightened. Although Hilary Clinton fought a tough battle, she lost much of her momentum when the FBI publicly announced a week or so ago they would be reopening her email investigation, leaving a question mark about her integrity and the possibility she even could be charged. She never recovered, even when FBI cleared her a second time. Despite being a formidable choice, despite having star power backing, and having far more campaign resources than Trump, despite being a superb debater and with all the Trump controversies, Clinton still didn't win.




As election results started to favour Trump, global markets began to tumble. These markets reflect fear, uncertainty and panic and may adversely impact global economies and the very same people who voted for Trump to help them. Hopefully, we won't see another global crash, and recession. It is ironic that Trump's campaign took a major leap just a week ago, when the FBI announced their reopening of Clinton email investigation which, confirmed one of Trumps key points - Clinton could not be trusted. Since then we began to see a less angry Trump, he appeared more subdued, and surprisingly began to look more presidential at rallies. As I watched him give his presidential victory speech and later read the full text online, I was taken aback by the tone, which seemed more conciliatory, humane and genuine.

We can only wait to see if a wall will be built between USA and Mexico and if Mexico will be forced to pay for it. We wonder if Muslims will really be banned from entering the US. There could be mass deportation of millions of illegal immigrants which Trump promised. We don't know if trade deals like NAFTA will be drastically changed, nor is it certain if the world will embrace Trump. Mr Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, said in a recent CNN interview they've all grown and learned a lot during the course of the campaign, having met so many people from different backgrounds, dealt with multiple issues and controversies, some of which affected them negatively. We hope this is all true, especially for the new president. Only time will tell.