During his campaign for the 2106 presidential run, Trump drummed into the thick skulls of his constituents issues he felt could heighten their fears. So he targeted the Mexicans who he blamed for the drug problems of the US. Trump said he would build a wall between Mexico and the US to solve the drug problems. Even after winning the presidency, Trump kept true to his promise. Last week Trump promised to deport three million illegal and undocumented aliens from the US. Of course such action would definitely affect people from my own homeland Liberia, many of who have been in the US for decades since the civil war, eking subsistence income from menial jobs to support families back home.
President-elect Trump’s foreign policy also seems likely not to shift from his campaign promises. The guy just doesn’t want to have any dealing with Islamic fundamentalists, Jihadists, as well as corrupt and despotic third world leaders. Donald Trump wants the rest of the world to put out the flames of their internal strives.
In a recent interview with one of America renowned cable networks, Trump maintained his objection to US intervention in Libya and the Middle East, even though at one point in time during his campaign he was kind of shifty on the Libya issue. But it is noteworthy to mention that from the inception, the US rationale for its Middle Eastern interventionism was carved around the need to curb terrorism. And today, although the lessons of 9/11 still smart in the ears of the American public, Trump actually deplores US being seen as a global police.
On the other hand, Africa’s Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka believes the era of Trumpism really spells doom for an African continent fighting terrorism. “One should expect that level of collaboration to diminish. Trump’s mentality is one of, ‘What are we doing there? What business do we have over there?” says Soyinka, when he spoke with Newsweek from New York.
Era of US economic protectionism
Given the general geopolitical dynamics of a Trump era wherein the next US president wishes to insulate US economic policies to better the plight of the American public, what should Africa and other developing economies expect?
Seriously, I believe it’s time to stop crying over spilt milk and concentrate on how to mitigate the effects of Trumpism. Obviously, the man’s entire campaign was based on making America great again. Simply put, the Trump administration, whether you like it or not, is going to ensure that external spending through foreign aid and assistance to developing countries is cut off to cushion the failing US economy. This means that the estimated US$34 billion in foreign aid to countries around the world for fiscal year 2017 will be cut off.
It also means that countries like Liberia and other developing nations who often rely on western support to augment their annual budget will now have to work overtime to ensure that revenues accrued from taxes and rentals are used wisely and equitably for the good of the general public.
The era of Trumpism also means that government (and when I say “government” I am not speaking loosely: I mean ALL branches of government) ensures that the national budget is fashioned in such a way that priority is given to education, health and infrastructure; with other sectors following.
This new global paradigm shift means our hospitals should be equipped with qualified doctors and equipment to the extent that government officials and ordinary citizens alike can walk into any of our public hospitals with the hope of having their medical issues addressed without having to be referred to Ghana or India.
The new era of Trumpism also means that Liberia as a resource-rich nation will ensure that those found in the habit of pilfering state resources be made to pay for their crimes; but not to be shifted around to fill other lucrative positions in government.
I just spoke with a Nigerian friend late evening, teasing his brains about Trumpism and Africa. To my utmost surprise, the brother was actually happy about Donald Trump’s ultra-nationalistic stance.
“Look my brother; in Nigeria we have most of the world resources even besides oil. But our leaders are there only to fend for themselves and not the people. You have a member of Parliament who owns four Rolls Royce vehicles that he cannot even ride in his home town because of bad roads. Electricity is big problem. Let African leaders see after our problems and forget about America,” Tunde said.
I know by now you might be thinking why I am wasting my valuable time talking about Trump. Do I really care about a Donald Trump whose campaign for the US presidency was based on hate, racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia and all other phobias? Of course I do! A trump presidency might insulate America from the rest of the world. Which could be bad for a country that wants to be seen as the singular bastion of global democracy. But this is a glorious opportunity to bring out the best in us. I mean us the so-called third world “developing democratic” nations.