Wednesday, November 09, 2016

President Trump; Now - What Next?

When President Obama ended this skit by saying "At least I will go down as a President", I wanted desperately to believe his implied statement that Mr. Trump would never be President - although I had my doubts already. Now it is confirmed: Donald Trump will also go down - at least - as a President.

I am no political pundit, and I am not American. I am a concerned Nigerian who describes myself as a citizen of the world, and I am invested in living happily and helping other people rise above poverty and live happily too.

I had a cornucopia of thoughts on the way to work this morning, and I wanted to document them so I can come back (hopefully) in four years and see how my expectations turned out versus reality.
Trump won in more counties where most adults did not have Bachelor's degrees
1. Globalization is slowing rapidly, and nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise. My theory is that us (educated) folks from developing countries like globalization because it affords us the opportunity to move to and live in developed countries where systems work. (Educated) folks in developed countries believe in globalization due to a variety of reasons - including the exposure afforded them by education. Big businesses like globalization because they can leverage global supply chains to maximize gross margins. On the other hand - I also theorize that the (uneducated) natives in these developed countries who lose their jobs to immigrants are fed up with this situation - and are voting for that to change. Closely linked, people are tired of seeing their jobs move to Mexico and China, or go to Poles, Nigerians, or other immigrants who will do the same job for less money or benefits. Net - I think it's a new world order, one that is less "global".

Trump lost in more counties where white people were not the majority
2. Things won't be as bad as the media has made out. Bottom-line is the US has strong and working institutions, and President Trump cannot do as much damage as the world fears all by himself. Of course there will be high profile gaffes, strongly worded threats, and maybe more American boots on the ground across the globe. In the end - his image as a "tough ruler" will probably do more to make America "great" (read feared) again than the diplomatic approach the Democrats tend to embrace. Obamacare is probably gone, as it's a victory for the Republicans across the Senate and House too...but I honestly don't see the US building a wall across the entire border with Mexico or deporting ALL illegal immigrants. We'll soon see.

3. Nigeria might benefit more from a Trump presidency than we would have from a Clinton presidency. Dow futures and the US Dollar cratered in the wake of the news that Trump was leading the elections, and it appears the markets did not accurately model for a Trump presidency. I think "President Trump" will result in a weaker dollar and in higher crude oil prices - both of which are good for Nigeria. I can't wait to come back in four years and see whether I was right on this one.

4. I'm no longer sure I want to move to the US in the near future... I fear that Trump's rhetoric during the elections has emboldened closet racists, and I fear there may be a spike in outright racist behavior over the next few months. I definitely hope there isn't, but let's see what the next one to two years hold. Regardless - I'm a proud Nigerian (maybe I'm nationalist at heart too) - and above all I want to see Nigeria develop so more Nigerians can achieve their potential and find happiness here.

5. The mass media no longer sets the agenda, they report it; polling is no longer an accurate indicator of the mind of the people. People agree Mr. Trump said a lot of inappropriate things during this campaign - but the mass media did more to amplify his words than they thought. His every tweet was probably diced and sliced a million different ways on CNN. Mrs. Clinton lost the election despite winning the endorsement of nearly every major newspaper, including some very creative ones. Similarly to Brexit, most polls were wrong again. Like my brother likes to say, "the streets have taken over"!

6. Nigeria has a long way to go in the business of conducting elections. More than a hundred million people voted in the US election, on a work day, without heavy militarization or restriction of movement, and the results are out within twelve hours. Of course they had a significant head-start in this democracy thing, but it's sobering to see we're still a long way off from conducting elections at this level.

7. TB Joshua is a scam. Like his prediction that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency, many of his prophecies are just 'educated' guesses. Many of us thought Clinton would win, but none of us would have described our guesses as prophecies. Continue to believe his guesses at your own peril.

Now - we can only wait.

Best wishes for the United States of America!

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