Trump campaign sows fear and anger
The Republican candidate for the US presidency is a bigot who has made racist, misogynist, anti-immigration and isolationist comments. If he maintains his stand and becomes president, the US and world will suffer.
The Post is not in the habit of choosing sides in US presidential elections, but the views of Republican candidate Donald Trump makes it difficult to offer support. His speech yesterday at the party’s convention accepting the nomination for president laid out a grim vision of an end to globalisation with torn up and renegotiated trade agreements and barriers against the free movement of people. The rationale was that American jobs and economic gains and prestige had been lost and particular blame was directed at China, which was accused of currency manipulation, product dumping and theft of intellectual property. Such scaremongering is aimed at voters worried about their prospects and ignores the benefits of global trade.
American election candidates often take such a position, particularly when campaigning in rust belt states where the industrial sector has declined. Anti-China rhetoric is often heard, but the language moderates as voting day nears. Trump has taken a different approach, stepping up the verbosity. Much as he wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants, he seeks to put up barriers against the easy movements into his country of trade and skilled workers in an effort to bring back manufacturing and jobs.
The convention was told that the time for being politically correct had passed and truths needed to be spelled out. That is what Trump’s working-class supporters, tired of the undelivered promises of the political establishment, want to hear. He tapped into their fears about crime and violence against police and perceived declining living standards, promising swift reversals. But his numbers as to how the goals would be attained did not add up, just as were his accusations that his Democratic Party presidential challenger Hillary Clinton was behind the destabilisation of the Middle East and the rise of Islamic State terrorists.
Trump’s campaign slogan is to “make America great again” – an odd thing to say given that the US is the world’s only superpower. Globalisation has been a significant factor in its strength, giving its companies international reach that has made Americans wealthier. Global trade agreements are the world’s engine of economic growth. They are behind poverty reduction and have helped make the world more stable and safer.
Sowing fear and anger have been the hallmarks of Trump’s campaign. He is a bigot and has made racist, misogynist, anti-immigration and isolationist comments. If he maintains his stand and becomes president, the US and world will suffer.