Last week’s election was certainly one of our more interesting ones, one which changed the United States from what it has been for 70 years into something significantly different. Which portends turbulent times ahead as the global power structure adjusts itself to a different U.S.A.
As to why D. J. Trump was elected, likely there were a number of reasons — one of which was that the federal government was not responsive to the interests of its citizens, a case of dictating to its citizenry rather than listening to them. And whereas some people who voted for The Donald believed in him and his message, others viewed his candidacy more as a Molotov cocktail to be thrown into the Washington, D.C., body politic to shake things up.
Whatever the basis for his election, the result is that a former business potentate will be moving into the White House in a couple of months. And whereas this man’s management style has worked for him in past business endeavors, it would appear doubtful that the sans tact approach of his will work with other government heads of state to produce a better world, as befits a nation that in the past has been referred to as “the leader of the free world.”
Today’s world is somewhat of a mess. The wealthy have bought off governments to secure and improve their individual fortunes to the extent that today 62 individuals possess more wealth than does half the world. The top 1 percent possesses more wealth than the rest of the world’s 7.5 billion persons. In today’s world, every one in five persons lives in extreme poverty, resulting in every second child born into this world being born into poverty and each day 22,000 children dying due to poverty. Is it then any wonder that there are today conflicts all around the globe? And today if we are indeed “leaders of the free world,” what do the above very real conditions say about the “leadership” that our government has provided?
Years ago I served as an officer of Marines, and one of my billets was as the officer in charge of an NCO leadership school. And on the wall behind my desk was a sign that read, “Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell out of the Way,” which I believe to be good advice, both for me, for those around me, and for the federal government.
Thus, when I look at the results of this last election, I’m encouraged. With The Donald in charge of U.S. foreign policy, it appears that the federal government will be backing away from its present involvement in seemingly every significant happening around the globe, which will provide an opening for others to step in to fill the vacuum created, for our planet is in need of both environmental rescue and moral action to ensure the birthright of each of us to food and water, shelter and access to medical services and educational opportunities — something that our country’s leadership has to date not actively pursued.
So just who will be these “others” who will be cleaning up our planet and improving the lot of men and women living here? Well, for one, with the continuing rise of “people power” and using social media, governments around the globe are now being mandated by those they govern to focus on the needs of the people (examples: Arab Spring, Brexit, the presidency of Venezuela, the legislature of Hong Kong, etc.). Also, in her concession speech, Hilary Clinton made the following personal observation, “Fighting for what’s right is worth it,” which has been a way of life for thousands upon thousands of people here and around the world.
So if for no other reason, I see the election of Donald Trump as clearing the way for a future, more people-centric and just world.
All of which, of course, is just my opinion.
Jeff Stewart is a retired project manager and former member of the KIBSD Board of Education.