What Trump’s victory means for the world


Donald Trump’s election campaign was a movement for divisiveness. He picked out his constituency as the American white middle class, and told them that their interest would be put first before anything else. In a way, Trump’s election campaign was more reactionary than it was innovative. It was a backlash against the mainstreaming of movements for equality and positive discrimination such as “Black Lives Matter” and the LGBT activism. It was also a blow to the voices of nuance within America that called for looking beyond oversimplified stereotypes of Muslims, Mexicans, and minority racial groups, and to judge them on the merits of their individual actions alone rather than view them through a preconceived lens of bias and prejudice. Essentially, Trump stood against the foundations of liberal individualism on which American society is based, as he pandered to the sentiment of jingoism and bigotry within America, and mobilised that segment of the American population to vote for him.
On the international stage, Trump’s doctrine of “putting America first” necessarily entails forsaking the past liberal internationalist policy of moral and principled concerns informing US foreign policy. Trump has made this much clear that during his term as president, US relations with other countries would first and foremost take US interest into account. While this may appear to be nothing new, as in the past US actions have obviously been dictated by its interests first, but nevertheless US actions, especially its military campaigns abroad, have always used as justification a certain kind of moral imperative whether they are human rights concerns or a threat to international peace and stability. And that in turn has put a certain degree of pressure on the United States to be judged by the world on the basis of achieving those ostensible objectives. Hence, for a president who has publicly forsaken commitment to any such higher cause and plainly conveyed to the world that the US would only look after its own interests, it is safe to predict that his foreign policy would be much more aggressive than that of his predecessors. And it is not much difficult to see how it will be so. Trump has said that he would cancel the Iran nuclear deal that has brought Iran back into mainstream international diplomatic sphere. Trump also wants to turn his focus on ISIS in Syria, to the exclusion of the civil war taking place there.