This moment belongs to Trump

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 11 November 2016, 12:00AM

Well there you have it folks. Donald Trump, a man branded as a “racist,” “sexist,” “tax-dodging fear-monger” among other colourful descriptions has become the leader of the free world.

Against all odds, polls and projections, the billionaire and an “outsider” known for his xenophobic and anti-environment policies claimed a stunning upset at the U.S Presidential Election. 

Trump took the formbook, shredded it and kicked it to touch as he had the final laugh at everyone who ridiculed his chances of becoming the 45th President of America. 

In typical Trump fashion, when he stepped up on the podium at the Hilton Hotel in New York for his victory speech, he could have well sung “I did it my way” if he wanted to because that’s exactly how it happened. 

Here was a billionaire only previously known for forking out the millions needed to build office towers, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and other branded facilities worldwide. Known as a ladies man having played a key role in pageants such as the Miss U.S.A., if anything, hardly anyone gave him a chance when he stepped up to announce his candidacy.

His campaign was interesting. His strategy was unorthodox. It was raw and it made people cringe, it stirred up so many emotions among different people depending on what the topic was. 

When the heat got too much, even if people were backing him, they were certainly mute about that support. But Trump would not be persuaded. He didn’t change, nor did he bow to popular opinions. He was steadfast and he continued.

In his own way, he was refreshing to follow. 

Why? It is simple really.

Over the years, we’ve become so accustomed to all the political speak by these seasoned politicians whom we can almost guess what they will say to sway the votes. 

But Trump spoke his mind. He said what so many people were thinking yet were afraid to say in case they upset the status quo and set off social media in a frenzy. He took the blows for it but even if we couldn’t understand what he was up to, Trump knew where he was going.

In the end, he found a sweet spot with the American people.

No one could have summed it up better than U.S Senator, Bernie Sanders.  After Trump was declared the overall winner, Sanders issued a statement, which said:

“Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. 

“People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids - all while the very rich become much richer.”

Indeed, the American people, it seems, are tired of the usual rhetoric from seasoned diplomats and politicians who can often lie to your face with a smile.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton would have made a wonderful President. Most of us wanted her to and even on these remote shores, the excitement about her was noticeable.  Everywhere you turned, the writing was on the wall that she was to become the United States first ever female President. We all thought the election was a mere formality.

Alas it wasn’t to be. This column had warned against writing off Trump.  Many of us might not agree with him and many might still not be happy with the fact he has now been voted to the highest office in the White House but it doesn’t matter, does it? 

The most important people in this case are the Americans who voted. And they have clearly shown through the votes they want Trump to be their President. Who are we to judge that decision? Who are we to say the Americans have lost their minds? 

Clearly, this moment belongs to Trump and his supporters. And we congratulated them. What the future holds is uncertain especially in relation to a number of controversial issues – including immigration and climate change funding – raised during the campaign. But let’s be optimistic.

Two days ago, we were talking about Trump the loose cannon who was running for President. 

Today, he is Trump the President of the United States of America. 

The office is bigger than the man and judging from Trump’s much more conciliatory tone (see his speech on front page) as well as the graceful acceptance of defeat by Clinton and Obama (see their speeches on page 2), democracy is well and alive in the United States of America and the rest of the free world – including Samoa – should be rejoicing. What do you think? Write and share your thoughts with us!

Have a wonderful Friday Samoa, God bless! 

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 11 November 2016, 12:00AM

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