ANSAR MAHMOOD BHATTI
Much to the disappointment of the majority of people in Pakistan, and elsewhere in the world, Hillary Clinton could not make it to the Oval Office. She met an ‘unexpected’ and big defeat against the business-tycoon Donald Trump. While her supporters and campaign manager are trying to figure out what actually went wrong and where, the Donald Trump camp was rightly out on a celebrations spree soon after the final results were announced.
For many Donald Trump was a non-serious candidate, who was seen as someone who was out to destroy the US relations with the outer world particularly, if voted to power. Then, also came to fore some of his outrageous remarks about women and the way he had treated them in the past. However, when it came to breach of national security, Trump did fare well viz-a- viz Hillary Clinton since he was not carrying any baggage of this nature.
Donald Trump in fact played too smart. He ventured to convince the native Americans that people of other nationalities would outnumber them sooner or later, if not stopped immediately. The only way of stopping the influx of aliens was to put in place a government that was fully aware of this issue and also had guts to tackle it head-on. In America, majority of people are Protestant Christians, including Trump, an aspect that his campaign managers focused on effectively to convince the voters to vote for him.
Incumbency factor also helped Trump a lot. The Democrats government led by President Obama was often criticized both at home and abroad for injustices that it meted out to people during its eight years tenure. Obama for example could not give an efficient health care system that he had promised to his people. On external front also the government had to face serious criticism for its “misadventures” in Syria and Libya. To some, if Yemen is in turmoil these days, the US is also partially to be blamed for it. Above all, the people wanted a change desperately, as they had seen enough of Democrats during the eight years.
On the contrary, the biggest drawback of Hillary Clinton to my assessment was the fact that in 240 years history of the United States never has a woman won a presidential election! The people perhaps could not reconcile with the apprehensions that heavens would probably fall if they elected a woman as their president.
If we look at the accusations leveled against Donald Trump during the election campaign, majority of them were linked to moral turpitude, which in normal circumstances would been a very serious offense. For reasons best known to the voters, Trump managed to go scot free on this account simply because his opponent Hillary Clinton was accused with the breach of national security. Trump successfully exploited the email scandal thus bringing the American people to believe that Clinton’s elevation to the office of US president would add to their country’s woes.
Although, FBI gave Ms. Clinton a clean chit in the email scandal only two days before the polling, perhaps it was too late. The damage had been done excessively and the situation could not be salvaged! Donald Trump during the election campaign openly called for the arrest of Ms. Clinton and also hinted at initiating a criminal case against her once he was elected as President.
Relations between Pakistan and the United States may not see any substantial change under Donald Trump despite the election rhetoric. Practically, these relations are dysfunctional for some time now and may probably remain so even during Mr. Trump’s tenure. While it is no secret that Donald Trump is more inclined towards India and even during his election ploy he categorically stated that during his tenure US, India relations shall be given new dimensions.
When it comes to relations with Pakistan, the United States has traditionally collaborated with the agents of status-quo. It has invested little in the people of Pakistan owing to which the gulf between ordinary people and America has widened over the years. Trump’s remarks about Pakistan’s nuclear programme were not encouraging to say the least. But as is usually the case the world over, candidates do not always abide by their pronouncements made during the election campaign when they are elevated to office they had been vying for, and better sense usually prevails. This will hold true for Donald Trump also, who will have to chew most of words said so vehemently as part of the election rhetoric and the apprehensions that stemmed from it will also subside in due course. One should only hope that he will conduct himself impartially while dealing with Pakistan and India!