Of Donald Trump and American Values

Most sensible thinkers considered it an adventure that would be short-lived and never fulfilled; this is how many citizens around the world perceived the emergence of Donald Trump as a potential presidential candidate – until we were all shocked when he was elected President of the United States. People who habitually advocate for “thinking-out-of-the-box” were probably astonished to see a president emerge from outside the American political arena, which has dominated nearly all American presidencies. Trump’s presidency, per se, invalidates any kind of political sensibility!

The adoption of a moderate and reasonable approach towards our global challenges has proven to be an ineffective American policy that people who believe in liberal democracy have been trying to advocate for years. Apart from blind American Democratic or Republican Party loyalists, a large segment of American society decided, quite contentedly, to vote for Trump. These citizens were won over by the candidate’s ideas and policies, period. Apparently unhappy with the “politics-as-usual” tactics that established American politicians have been applying for decades, they decided to bring in a business tycoon who knows nothing about politics.

United States politics is known to be “a tale of sin and virtue”. Bringing Trump to power will highlight the country’s sinful policies, making them more bold and obvious, to the detriment of its traditional sugarcoated policies. The newly elected president, who is driving the United States towards more racism and ignorance, constitutes a very real, unprecedented challenge for Americans; namely, to arrest the spread of the “Trump phenomenon” during his tenure of office. Efforts to expand liberal values should be multiplied substantially, simply to offset Trump’s impact.

Despite its harsh and heavy criticism of him from the moment he became a potential presidential candidate, the American media (once recognized as a “fundamental player” in the manipulation not only of American citizens, but also of citizens around the world) failed drastically to persuade Americans of Trump’s shortcomings. A large portion of American society probably saw the media as a biased entity that does not convey the truth to citizens – which in fact it doesn’t. The U.S. media should therefore reexamine its ethical role and its actual impact on citizens.

People who believe strongly in liberal values should not only recognize their defeats; they must also come up with new ideas and devise a more functional structure to promote their beliefs. Trump won’t be able to change either the world or the American political dynamic; this can only be achieved through a strong and solid advocating mechanism, not by a single person – even if that person is the President of the United States. In fact, an important potential advantage of Trump’s presidency is that it may motivate American civil society to strengthen its role further.

By realizing his presidential campaign promises that are full of racism and hatred, Trump is, in a way, helping this world to become a better place. Building a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico and prohibiting the citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States are clearly prejudicial polices. Nevertheless, these policies should serve to vitalize Americans who refuse Trump’s political stances and positions, prompting them to promote the liberal and moral values that they believe in more energetically.

Being the legitimate president of the United States won’t automatically empower Trump to be a world leader expected to face a good deal of resistance from other leaders and universal citizens. Eventually, American citizens will either intensify their endorsement of their president or reinforce the role of civil society. People who fervently believe in democratic values, especially those who are currently in power, should extend their efforts beyond rhetoric. Meanwhile, advocates of liberal democracy should not only work to condemn Trump; they should also explain to citizens the consequences of his dreadful policies.

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