Donald Trump once posted a picture of himself on Facebook with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, apparently to have an appeal to the American middle class that he can be one of them. There seems to be no problem with the picture as compared to his other insult-laden posts but the picture depicts his ironies: he was at his yuge (sic) private jet while wearing his trademark suit and tie, and eats at real porcelain plate, distantly similar to his supposed-to-be-supporters. His emergence as a politician rose from the inequalities that Americans experience yet the millionaire businessman has thoroughly misguided millions to thinking that he is not a lapdog of oligarchs and other vested interests. Now, he becomes the US president, impending the realization of a female head of state and bringing democracy to shame.
Making American “great” again
Almost every nation in the world sees the United States as the greatest country in the world, except probably from North Korea. It has the largest armed forces of the world with military installations in all continents except Antarctica and usually acts as the world police. It is only the hegemonic country in the world up until Russia and China can actually challenge it. It has the largest economy anywhere and is virtually connected in all others’ economies. It has been considered a bastion of democracy by upholding freedom and human rights as cornerstone of its nation, and has advocated it more than any other American produce. Where did the United States go in the 21st century?
Despite its first world status, America seems to be lagging in some aspects. It is the only developed country that lacks universal healthcare for all its citizens. Its numerous military installations are being questioned if they are necessary. It has let ISIL rose from the remnants of its ludicrous war on the Middle East while embracing the Saudis and Israelis at the same time. It let economic saboteurs get away with millions of dollars lost in the economy. The political arena there is run by oligarchs and vested interests embedded in its capitalism-minded political and economic institutions.
Here comes an outsider in the name of Donald John Trump. A millionaire businessman and celebrity in his own right, he triggered the misogynist, racist, and bigot tendencies of Americans disgruntled by the “weakening” of the United States in world affairs. As an outsider, Americans believe that he can radically change the mainstream political system as he says that he is not beholden to the lobbyist and vested interests that have plagued the federal government. But he has misled his supports to the root causes of American problems: he constantly blames Muslims for terrorism, called media biased against him, and blames the “establishment” for a possible Clinton triumph.
The rise of Trump reflects the frustration of the developed world to bring back their glory days. Throughout history, a country that has achieved a certain level of development would have the tendency to further itself excessively to the point it may cause implosion. This can be seen in the Asian dynasties and European colonial powers as they expanded their territories, as well as various economic crashes where the bubble phenomena was involved. The United States has been a victim of its imperialist ambitions where “weakness” means consuming more.
System is rigged
Polls have consistent ruled in favor of Hillary Clinton, albeit with unsubstantial margin, thus Mrs. Clinton’s confidence for a victory. Yet again such polls were proven wrong, at least in the Western world as seen in Britain during its general election and EU referendum. As expert political analysts would know, political behavior cannot be accurately measured by statistical models. Compounding to the wrong statistical models is the outdated electoral process of the United States, the electoral college. As a compromise for the conflicting parties for a Westminster parliamentary-style process and direct democracy, the process posed a problem in the evolving electoral pattern of Americans in the 21st century. Flaws included the lack of possibility for third parties to become part of the government despite having a solid support base, the unfair first-past-the-post system, and the dominance of two parties in a diverse political environment.
Another promising candidate could have a better chance of winning against Trump but still offers the same anti-establishment platform: Senator Bernie Sanders. His political beliefs were considered to be already radical in the United States but considered moderate in Europe. His chances were actually higher than Clinton but the Democratic party nomination proved to be a hindrance to his ascent. Disgruntled supporters of Senator Sanders refused to support Clinton and asked for him to run independent but to no avail. While some of his proposals have been adopted by Clinton, it seems that she was faking it and does not really intend to do such things such as making Wall Street accountable for the American economic collapse.
You say you want a revolution
The victory of Trump proved one thing: there is a room for an anti-establishment candidate. There is a sentiment across the world that the status quo does not fit the evolving challenges that people face. Citizens around the world are not content that inequality still persist, electoral leaders do not listen to them, and a huge part of the political arena are controlled by a small elite. Mirroring the image that Karl Marx illustrated in the 19th century, the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. It may not be communism but a spectre is haunting the Western world: the spectre of post-liberalism.