I have been following the US presidential election, listening to Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s and Mr. Donald Trump’s comments, and promises of the things they intend to do for Americans and the rest of the world. I also watched and listened to the first televised debate between them yesterday.
My assessment, so far, is that Mr. Trump sounds more genuine, and would make a better president for Americans, and leader of the rest of the world, than Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Trump has come off as an anti-status quo candidate, while Mrs. Clinton has come off as a pro-status quo candidate.
So, what is the status quo, you may ask?
It’s no doubt that we live in a world dominated by America, in virtually all respects – political, trade, diplomatic, military, etc. With this dominance, America enjoys the privilege of determining, setting, and often dictating the global agenda. Indeed, America first, and then follows the rest of the world. Consequently, America enjoys great prestige from this dominance of international affairs. In fact, it is said to be “the world’s policeman.” And true to that reputation, the United States has a record of bullying, deposing and imposing leaders in other countries especially, using its all-powerful intelligence organ, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the military. Therefore, under the era of American dominance, the world is largely fashioned in the format of a master-servant relationship. Even regions like Europe and parts of Asia (like Japan, South Korea, and lately China), which enjoy a semi-autonomous status, these can be said to be subjects (as distinguished from servants or slaves) of American dominance.
But this privilege comes at a price: America virtually buys or pays for it, through such things as paying states’ membership fees at many international bodies like the United Nations, World Bank, NATO, etc. The United States also carries the responsibility of protecting and ensuring the security of many of its allied states around the world, mainly through military deployments and installation of military defense systems, like missile shields in Europe, Middle East (particularly Israel), and the Asian axis (notably Japan and South Korea). The challenge is that these costly obligations are met at (I think) little or no profit for the American people. Moreover, apart from the economic cost, this privilege also comes at a huge social cost, whereby, as lamented by President Barack Obama, America is blamed for almost everything and anything: when it acts in an attempt to remedy a given situation, it is blamed for either acting too fast, or acting inappropriately; and when it doesn’t, it’s blamed for inaction or delayed action.
So, this status quo is both advantageous, and disadvantageous for the United States; and I submit that due to its monetary and social cost implications, it is increasingly becoming more disadvantageous for it, largely due to the fact that with the emergence of other powerful states, having ability to serve as regional power centers, able to counter American dominance (like Brazil in South America, China in Asia, Iran in the Middle East, a number of European states under the European Union, and, of course, Russia), the world is fast becoming a partnership of equals, as opposed to a cartel of domineering and subjective interests.
It is this American domineering outlook that has largely defined, shaped and driven globalization, and it has had a profound influence on the global arena, leading to stability and progress in many areas, but also causing havoc and stagnation in others. It is this status quo that Hillary Clinton aspires to maintain, and Donald Trump aspires to change.
It is evident that while Mr. Trump is a dedicated American nationalist, standing for and championing the concerns of ordinary Americans, Mrs. Clinton is a consummate internationalist, clearly defending and promoting elite group interests of international actors, both in America and elsewhere.
Unfortunately, the brand and style of globalization today doesn’t work for ordinary people, who are the majority anywhere on the globe, and that’s mainly why there is growing global inequality, with resources concentrated in the hands of a paltry few rich and powerful people. In fact, this inequality is more apparent and obscene in America than anywhere else in the world.
Among others, Mr. Trump advocates balanced trade deals between America and other nations; calls for economic fairness, and job retention for Americans, by for instance, castigating ongoing shifting and relocation of American companies to other countries; and, as a typical businessman, demands value for money of heavy American security investments overseas. It is these policies that counter the disastrous effects of globalization today that selectively distributes resources to the minority business and political elite, who are the patrons of Mrs. Clinton, and whom she represents. Mr. Trump’s approach translates into meaningful prosperity for ordinary, majority Americans. He has their best interests at heart.
At the global level, Mr. Trump’s quid pro quo approach will neutralize America’s spirited and largely unnecessary dominance over other states, thus eliminating the servitude and slavish nature of globalization today. Mr. Trump views other nations and peoples as partners in building a shared world of opportunities and responsibilities. I doubt Mrs. Clinton does.
The future of globalization is a merger of mutually beneficial interests and opportunities, as opposed to just shared threats, whether actual or merely perceived. Our common destiny will be fully harnessed in bonds of equality, not subservient relationships.
Donald Trump understands that, but I don’t think Hillary Clinton does. Mr. Trump’s nationalist ideals won’t impede globalization. Rather, they will modify it. He deserves the support of all Americans.