Seid Hassan- Murray State University
This commentary is an expanded version of a brief interview that I gave to the Amharic version of Voice of America, on November 9, 2016.
The two American presidential candidates were engaged in personal destruction rather than debating on the issues. As a result, President Elect Trump did not tell us what he his policies are on a number of issues, particularly domestic ones. It has hard to know, therefore, what President Elect Trump would do the issues and problems facing the United States and the rest of the world. Based on the very vague and limited promises that Mr. Trump uttered, the following short-term (immediate) and long-term implications could be contemplated:
I already have mentioned/alluded to some of these above. Mr. Trump would be unable to deliver on many of his promises, resulting in increased disaffections, divisions and conflicts among the American people. To recap, some of them may include:
- Bringing Jobs that Left America: A majority of those who voted for Mr. Trump happen to be non-college educated and relatively unskilled Americans. Those folks who believed Mr. Trump would bring the jobs that left America will find out that those jobs will never (and ought not) come back. Mr. Trump, therefore, would be better served by saving people (through paying for retraining, education, helping in job-hunting activities, etc.) rather than trying to save jobs that would never come back.
- Trump would fail to extradite the estimated 11-14 million people residing in America (due to financial and logistical constraints.) Some Americans who wanted the country’s laws being protected and implemented would be very disappointed if Mr. Trump fails to effectively kick out the aforementioned folks.
- The entrenched system that is largely driven by Wall Street and the lobbying (that is, the legalized form of corruption) would largely remain intact. All branches of the government being controlled by the Republic party would just re-enforce the status quo ante.
- Effects on Ethiopia: Mr. Trump’s elections as the President of the USA would hardly have any measurable impact on Ethiopia. In fact, the positives may outweigh the negatives if Mr. Trump implements some of the (vague) promises he made prior to the election. For example, Mr. Trump has said that he would dramatically cut foreign aid. My research has indicated to me that, particularly when it comes to aid dependent countries such Ethiopia, the negatives of foreign aid outweigh the positives. All that foreign aid has brought to Ethiopia is a vicious cycle of rampant corruption, rise in income gaps, perpetual poverty and aid dependency.
- Overall, this election is similar Brexit (that is, the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union.) For one, many Americans, sooner or later, will have a buyer’s remorse-regretting electing Trump as their president. Brexit effectively resulted a shrinking of the United Kingdom’s power (both economically and politically – in global scale)- such a shrinking being felt relatively immediately. To a certain extent, the same would be the case for America. Trump’s economic and foreign policies, if implemented, would lead to a decline in American political and economic superiority. Any economic decline of a major economy would certainly have serious negative consequences on the world economy as well.
Unfortunately, saving America from the looming disasters impinges upon its elites, who benefited from globalization and domestic policies (such as repeated tax cuts.)