By International Correspondent
One of the greatest upsets in presidential elections of the United States occurred on November 08, 2016. Against all odds, against almost all the opinion polls and of exit polls, Donald Trump romped home to victory. He defeated Hilary Clinton, a woman who spent most of her adult life in public service.
For some time to come, the political pundits would be analyzing this election to understand what really happened.
It should not have been so surprising for persons who were carefully following developments in US politics. The signs have been there for a long time – that the people were tired of the old establishment politics. Promises being made and never fulfilled.
It is probably unfair to say it was not noticed because since Obama, all were campaigning on shaking up Washington bureaucracy. None was able to do so.
Not only is the Trump phenomenon a rebellion against the establishment, but so too was the Bernie Sanders movement.
The fact that Bernie went so far, and according to Wikileaks, should have won the nomination, but for the manipulation of the Democratic Party.
Sanders offered real alternatives that struck a chord with working people, middle class students and people desperate for change.
In passing, if Bernie Sanders had gotten the nomination, we might have been celebrating his victory today. I say this because, like Trump, he was seen as anti-establishment. However, he is a superior intellect than Trump; he had not just slogans, but clear alternative plans and programmes.
The other sign of the rumbling at the bottom of US society was the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests. Here people were expressing their frustration of those at the bottom paying for the mistakes and manipulations of those at the top.
The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement is yet another indication that restlessness is present in the lower classes of the society. We also saw the movement of the 99% against the 1%. This movement has highlighted the great inequality in income and wealth that exists in the US.
Coupled with all of this is the fact that the economic recovery from the 2008 financial economic crises benefited the richest 1% in the US. Working people did and have felt the impact.
Among white working people, there also appears to have been alienation. Jobs were lost and new ones not being created fast enough. Those jobs that have been created are mainly in the services sector where the wage/salary levels are much lower than in manufacturing.
Coming closer to the end of the campaign, two incidents occurred that made it impossible for Hilary to recover.
The first was the announcement by the FBI that it has reopened the case to see if any criminal charges could be brought against Mrs Clinton.
This was after her campaign did its best to kill that. When everyone thought it was over, the FBI raised it again. Once more, it brought back the issue of the integrity of Mrs Clinton. It was too late for her to recover from that.
The second issue was the announcement that the cost to the individuals of Obamacare was going up by 22% and more, which was a huge setback. Again, it occurred too late for Hilary to recover.
However, the fundamental problem is the fact that people think that the policies pursued by Washington were not benefitting them. This was a vote of hope for change. Donald Trump must now face that reality. Can he bring the change Americans are demanding? Let’s wait and see. It would not be easy considering that Trump is probably in the top one percent as well.