Dear PM Lee, greetings and wishes of good health to you. Let me preface a few thoughts on this 2016 Kafkaesque US election with the following pertinent quotes:
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. (Mencken)
Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. (Churchill)
Fast forward to January 20, 2017… with the presidential inauguration over, the earnest task in governance begins — a well-nigh impossible task though for America’s first woman President as she tries to heal the post-election political fissures. In fact she would find herself to be more at home abroad with her international counterparts befriended during her Secretary of State tenure than having to now confront from time to time local chants of ‘Jail to the Chief’.
FWIW, let me back up here some with a more detailed readings of my crystal ball on USA Election Day 2016 and on the next 4 ensuing years.
1. With initial hesitation but with eventual resignation, Trump awkwardly conceded defeat to Clinton. Trump made this obligatory concession not so much in keeping with time-honored tradition but as a strategic move to cherish his business interests and personal reputation. But whoa, Trumpers are left dumbfounded how their point man got trumped in this contest by his so deeply flawed opponent that has consistently drawn worse unfavorable ratings.
2. Notwithstanding the defeat, the ‘Trumpism’ movement remains alive and kicking post election. Namely, the vein of popular discontent towards global corporatism, rampant illegal immigration, political ineptitude in Washington, along with sentiments of religious xenophobia and nativism is now ever so heightened. Ruefully, this 2016 election has but engendered an ever more polarized American body politic.
3. The HRC administration can expect pervasive paralysis in working with Congress, with little if any significant bills passed — the price for being a seriously compromised choice for presidency. Paraphrasing Trump’s campaign manager, HRC’s presidency will shine with ‘never-ending scandalabra’. The prospect of ever-lurking FBI indictment on the President’s husband’s eponymous foundation, known as the Clinton Foundation, would loom over her presidency like a sword of Damocles. Thanks to Wikileaks email exposé, the Clintons are being credited with elevating pleonexia to a high art form.
Now, a word on what could have been for the also-run. A remorselessly hard-charging indefatigable 70-year-old blessed with the knack of needing only half the amount of nightly repose of ordinary mortals, had he captured the ballot, Trump would have doubtless for better or worse, made his political mark as a robust change agent in the mold of Margaret Thatcher. Alas, his hidebound instinct doomed his political campaign — his obstinacy in refusing to even walk back from having denigrated the ever-mushrooming Latino electorate is baffling to say the least. (As an afterthought, it is even more baffling, why this billionaire candidate, for all his strident patriotism, did not propose to donate the presidential annual salary of merely $400K to charity if elected president and offer his service pro bono? The $400K remuneration in question would be deemed chump change compared to the sixty over million dollars already expended out of his own pocket in his presidential bid — he could have figured the PR value in so doing would be immeasurable. Incidentally President Kennedy did just that as he donated all his presidential paychecks.)
A closing observation: as America’s first women leader of the free world about to be beset with divisive politics and gridlocks at home, nations of the world at large had better be prepared to resign to an anemic foreign policy coming out of the White House in the next 4 years.