Gabby Ogbechie, TPG.
Since the Second world war which ended in 1945, the world has never witnessed a phenomenon such as the emergence and triumph of Donald J Trump at the polls, and his subsequent swearing in as the 45th President of the United States of America. That is, with the exception of the 2008 Global Economic Crisis which basically impacted every soul on planet earth with bankruptcies, suicides, etc. That Trump ran on an ultra populist platform in which “making America great again”, making “America first”, declining participation in TPP, NAFTA and other Trade blocks because of the perception that those agreements were causing loss of jobs for America; “building a wall” to keep out Mexicans, defeating ISIS, keeping Muslims out of the United States, etc. were soundbites which eventually ensured that Donald Trump became President.
Two weeks to election day, the polls indicated that Hillary Clinton was ahead in the polls by as much as 10 – 15 percentage points. However, one thing became clearer as the days sped by; several happenstances and coincidences conspired to not only deny Secretary Clinton the Presidency, but ensured that Donald Trump became President. So much of what candidate Trump said during the campaign pointed to a man who was prepared to exploit whatever would give him the Presidency, ranging from “hobnobbing” with Vladimir Putin of Russia whose dislike for Obama and Clinton was so glaring one could touch it, to accepting the authority of WikiLeaks on any subject whatever, irrespective of the fact that Julian Assange was, as it were, “persona non grata” as far the American establishment is concerned.
Donald Trump’s disdain for Mexican immigrants who he characterized as “thieves, drug peddlers and rapists”, and Black Americans who’s lives, to him didn’t matter, were evident. Furthermore, his stance on fundamentalist Muslims and immigration were issues that should have cost him the election but, instead, he left Candidate Clinton so far behind in the Electoral College votes that the entire world was benumbed. However, in all the polls showing that Clinton was far ahead of him before the election, the only person on Planet earth who believed on election day that Candidate Trump would win was Donald Trump himself. This was so because more than anyone else right now, Donald Trump possesses an uncanny ability to know how people would react to breaking news, and how to deflect negative attention from himself.
It took a man like Donald Trump who wasn’t very religious by any dint of the imagination, to make America realise that ISIS was a much more bigger threat to world peace than the Obama administration had let on; that Christians were being persecuted all over the world with America not saying anything about it; and that God must be brought back to his pride of place as the One who made it possible for America to be called “God’s own country”. He outlined all these in his foreign policy speech, and lack of adequate reportage of that event basically eclipsed the foregoing issues.
We at LandAssets endorsed Hillary Clinton for President some couple of weeks before the election. We found Julian Assange/WikiLeaks’s release of incriminating leaks; James Comey’s re-investigation of Clinton’s emails; etc. affronts to the Electoral process and wished that every American would cast an anti-Trump vote. But heaven had a different take; and the fact that we are here with Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States looks like God declaring that he still rules in human affairs.
This brings us to the core subject of this discuss; President Trump has miles to go in the learning curve before he becomes the President God wants him to be. In no other aspect of his Presidency must the learning curve be shortened than in his stance on trade. Going by his election pledges and resolutions, it was obvious that Donald Trump was bent on taking the developed, Western world as far away from Globalization as his term in the oval office would let him, and with all the nibbling which went on via his now famous tweets and the Taiwan call, China felt rattled, enough to effect a very cultured but effective response: Davos 2017 presented that opportunity.
President Xi Jinping became the perfect salesman and advocate for World Trade and Globalization, a concept which, like so many other things, the West foisted on the rest of the world from the time of the Roman Empire, through the scramble for, and colonization of Africa to the contemporary period. The irony in the obvious fact that the President of China, which barely came out of its isolationist policy some forty-some years back was urging the leader of the free world to embrace the inevitability of Globalization was not lost on most people. If anything, it was awkward and embarrassing.
With his swearing in over and done with, President Trump has been resisted every inch of the way by Democrats and Liberals internally. His travel ban Executive Orders have been mired in controversy and stopped by Federal District judges. Externally, Washington, owing to the President’s insistence on abiding by candidate Trump’s pledges, is forced to watch from a distance as world leaders queue up to go to Beijing to make trade deals with Xi Jinping.
Sometime in 2015, President Obama came to the inevitable realization that the developing world was increasingly drifting towards China and tried at stemming that tide; not by going bilaterally to those nations, but by arrogantly summoning them to Washington on one of such trade conferences as the one that saw African nations as one trade block. At last count, Theresa May of Brexit-ed Britain, Angela Merkel of Germany, King Salman the Saudi monarch, with his entourage of 1500, comprising of 25 Princes and 10 ministers and business leaders have equally made the trip. Lastly, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel was also in China.
Where does this leave the United States? It would seem to us at The Property Gazette that Donald Trump may end up winning the battle only to lose the war. With the inevitable rapprochement Rex Tillerson offered during his Beijing trip, it is crystal clear that President Trump wasn’t looking forward to a trade war; but the America he seeks to make great again is fast losing grounds and leadership to China.
Furthermore may we dare ask this inevitable question; to which country would America sell her products after it would have ceded a good percentage of its world market share to China? With the deals it made with China, Russia has smothered the effects of NATO Sanctions. With the deals it is currently making with China, Saudi Arabia is creating investments which would ensure that its reliance on America not purchasing its oil shouldn’t remain the game changer it has been.
With a population of 1.5 billion, and with another energy hungry giant in India gradually awakening; manufacturing, technology and innovation wise, America might just find itself truly isolated trade wise. Globalization is a fact of human capital development which shouldn’t be abandoned because of the ugly face of terrorism which the West shies away from under the euphemism of “immigration”.
We observed back in 2013 that Globalization, a great concept, was being threatened by Western countries, especially Britain with the notion that while funds from Developing nations could move around the world unhindered, immigration would stop the investors of such funds from travelling out of those countries. It is unfortunate that European nations which exploited Third World economies are the ones who now seek an end to Globalization because they don’t want to share in the burden of making better, the lot of those economies they exploited. As we close, it is absolutely vital to observe that much as we have accepted the inevitability of Trump’s Presidency, we shall continue to pray; for the greatness of America and the good of the whole world, that the leader of the free world would embrace once again, the reality of Globalization.
Finally, as informed commentators like Ms. Brigitte Gabriel have observed, terrorism has been the hallmark of fundamentalist Islam. In videos they have circulated via You tube, they have not minced words over the fact that they want the rest of the world to accept Islam or be slaughtered. The Islamic Caliphate of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has put these concepts into operation in Iraq and Syria in recent times. In a speech to the Islamic Scholars and Leadership in Egypt in 2015, President el Sisi demanded that those spiritual leaders should school their followers to the effect that it wasn’t possible that the rest of the world, all 6.2 billions of them, would wait docilely for 1.3 billion Muslims to force them into submission to the Muslim religion or be butchered.
The rest of the world is gradually accepting the undeniable fact that the war against the Caliphate must not be fought with the decency reserved for decent people. The growing reprisals all over Europe are indications that the welcome of the Western world for potential terrorists have worn thin. Soon, the rest of America, like President Trump, like Steve Bannon, like American ultra nationalists and even the racists would learn to apply “America First” rightly, in the preservation of their own lives, not in isolating America from the rest of the world.