Opinion / Commentaries
Tuesday, 22 Nov 2016 10:04 EATakipchumba@kenyafreepress.com
The president-elect, Donald Trump, of the Republican party won the recent past hotly contested presidential US election fair and square, much to the surprise of the political analysts, pollsters, the mainstream media and even the Democratic party's stalwarts. As I pen this article now, am cock-sure many people across the world are yet to come to terms with the harsh reality that the Republicans through their “rubble-rousing” candidate roared into incontrovertible victory.
Well, Mr Trump's victory proved many people dead wrong. Thus, calling into question the credibility of the self-styled America's political pundits, pollsters and other key players who are keen on informing the wider global audiences regarding the fast-changing political dynamics, thus aid them have a rough outline of how the election results would become. They have to change their strategies and tactics on how to carry out reliable and foolproof survey, if they should reclaim their lost trust and dwindling credibility. True, they never had their fingers in the pulse of the American politics. Which, irrevocably, turned out to tragically puncture their credibility tyres!
With this reality of Mr Trump's victory that hit pro-Clinton backers like a thunderbolt, it is within the range of veracity to say: many people within and beyond the shores of America were left with rotten and pungent eggs on their faces. Well, in full light of this unsettling political reality the mainstream media in the post Trump's election victory are reeling under the burden of trust crisis. Look, according to Pew Research centre, it's projected that merely 18% of the Americans trust national news; and a paltry 22% hinge their trust on local news.
This trend is worrisome! A chill pill. The people who used to overwhelmingly believe that the media is giving credible analysis founded upon reliable and well-versed sources are massively regressing. Just muse over the substantial percentage of the populace that lost vital trust in media [mainstream]. The reason for this noticeable decline in trust, in my considered view, stretches from the surfacing of the right-wing media that's hell-bent on whitewashing the past and present ills of the establishment and painting it in positive light, to the popular notion that, due to the media owners' avarice for money, the government is heavily bankrolling the campaign of pro-establishment candidate through the media. This makes most of the ordinary electorates depict the media as the government's propaganda machine and mouthpiece.
Bearing in mind that the media is in business, many people, rightly or wrongly so, believe that the government's clandestine fat envelope is quite difficult to resist. Thus, lending credence to the extensively held perception that the mainstream media is in firm grip of the powers-that-be. Which beggars the curious question[s]: did the US government operatives corruptly undermine the media's ability to give viable predictions about the recent elections? Did the mainstream media, which the whole world relied on, to mirror the political terrain of the global superpower state compromise its objectivity for whatever reason? The colossal margin of blunder committed by the media leaves a lot to be desired, doesn't it?
All right, despite Hillary Clinton's towering political clout that wrongly convinced many people across the political divide, racial lines, ethnic backgrounds, a huge segment of American populace opted, in the eleventh hour, to decamp her, obviously in favour of Mr Trump, who defied insurmountable odds to hit it big. Reason?
Americans had come to see Mr Obama [who passionately campaigned for the Democratic candidate, Mrs Clinton] and members of Congress has having failed to deliver on their pledges of a better and prosperous nation. Which, according to them, remains a mirage. In view of this imagination among the voters, Donald Trump was the better option. Further still, Republican voters lament on sky-rocketing spending and swelling national debt under the leadership of the Democrat's Barack Obama. With Mrs Clinton being the democrat's candidate, she therefore, has to bear the brunt of Mr Obama's “miscalculation”.
Folks, here was a score for the Republican's Trump. Hey! Don't be startled yet. Did you know that some significant percentage of the democrats had their jeremiads over President Obama's inability to get more progressive laws through the congress? What became of independent voters [those who aren’t aligned with any party]? Yes, they groused of the persistent partisan political bickering. This makes it easier for even an average thinker to know that, undoubtedly, Mrs Clinton, the definitive Washington DC insider was unmistakably the natural target for this infuriation.
Mrs Clinton was contemplated as the personification of ineffectual or rigged system, the ultimate insider of a grotesque establishment that had failed America! This shifted the political support base to the Trump's corner. Hold on there for a minute. Yeah, it would be unfair for me to sweep under the rag the notorious email scandal that rocked Hillary Clinton's political boat in the campaign trail, almost incessantly. The F.B.I director, Mr James Coney, said: “the investigations found no cause for the FBI to reverse its earlier decisions against an indictment...”Just eleven days before the election, the FBI discovered a fresh trove of emails on the computer of Mr Anthony Weiner, erstwhile New York congressman and estranged husband of Mrs Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin.
Ladies and gentlemen, this delicious developments took the democrats' presidential candidate off her step in the homestretch and predictably contributed to the tightening of the polls. Mr Trump, certainly couldn't afford to lose this “heaven-sent” opportunity to get his sharp political claws in to Hillary Clinton's political flesh. Trump and his Republican hotheads used this scandal in invariably attacking her character and enthusiastically portraying her as a dishonest and unworthy of public trust. And yes, this math worked well.
Alas, this calls into mind some line of a song I heard some years down the line: “...what you think is obvious is not always obvious....”Many thought, history of American politics was on the verge of re-writing. Historians were waiting with bated breathe, to hear the declaration of Hillary Clinton as the 45th POTUS, but the widely castigated and caricatured Trump romped into victory, stopping historians disappointingly on their tracks.
I knew, that the racial cards that Mr Trump was playing, his assurances to the white people that mass deportations of undocumented non-locals were part of his priorities; that he would make “America safe and great again” amongst other rafts of tall pledges resonated well with majority of the electorates including democrats. True, Trump bagged votes in Florida, Ohio, Texas, states that were believed to be Democratic party's vote bank. With all these facts in mind, Trump's surprising victory did not drop my jaw, at all. Surely, how could I be convinced that America's clout in global stage is still intact, given the manner in which Moscow is behaving militarily, Beijing economically and so on and so forth?
Mr Trump's catchphrase [make America Great Again] was timely and went down well with larger segment Americans, which eventually culminated in his victory as the next POTUS. In an election that is free and fair, understanding the real and general feeling of the ordinary wananchi is paramount, if anyone is to make an accurate analysis and prediction. Putting huge premium on political analysts, most of whom are hired surreptitiously by well-heeled politicians, is quite dicey. Tragically, you could be a slave to their fat lies, uneducated political exploration and intellectual snobbery!
My parting shot: now that the US president-elect appears to have buried[I don't know for how long]his narcissistic attitude and embarked on a healing national process following the bruising pre-election campaign that left many people “wounded” especially most of the democratic supporters, Americans have no option but grit their teeth and sincerely give Donald Trump a chance.
Kipchumba is a staff writer/columnist at the Kenya Free Press