The election of #Donald Trump as the 45th US president has shocked America’s well-wishers (Russia is understandably happy) to no end. How could such a man win, is the common query at several levels. One gets a feeling that Trump’s own ‘mysterious’ response to the outcome of the results if it had not gone to his favor has found an expression among other quarters now.
But there is no denying the fact that Trump is the new president of the world’s most revered democracy. And Hillary Clinton has lost despite leading in almost all media projections over the months.
But why is there an air of utter disappointment after Trump won the presidency/ He didn’t capture power by force like it happened in many developing countries. It was through democratic means that he became the president. So expressing doubt about his victory is equivalent to doubting the very democracy that Americans have proudly grown over the centuries.
Leaders like Trump are by-products of a popular grievance
To understand this, let us be very clear at the beginning that elections are not exactly determined by a candidate’s personality in modern democracies. Whether Trump groped women by their genitals or whether he hated Muslims and other immigrants living in the US is irrelevant in the final outcome for he is nothing more than a by-product of a sentiment of disappointment, anger and desperation. It is because the popular mood in America has become so disappointed over the years of agony that it led to the creation of Trump as a liberator. The subjectivity of Trump as a person is immaterial in this pursuit. Hence, all that misogynist, crass, personal attacks that the candidates had made didn’t finally give any advantage to his opponent, unlike what many had expected. It perhaps would have worked in the 1950s and 60s. But not in the modern democracies where people’s priority is the most important.
In India, too, we have seen rise of Modi on similar lines
In India, too, we have seen the same in the rise of Narendra Modi. Whether Modi himself is a pro-Hindu figure didn’t matter in the ultimate count in 2014. It was because the assertive middle-class of the country found him a better candidate to meet their ambition that he was voted to power. The same is about Arvind Kejriwal, another popular politician who though has a limited influence but yet had handed Modi’s BJP a crushing defeat in the Delhi election of 2015, despite being perceived as a bizarre two-in-one combination of a ‘Naxalite and democrat’.
In today's democracy, there is no majority but a cluster of minorities
Questioning the credibility of a winner in today’s democracies is a common occurrence now but it is not a healthy sign. Democracy is not about ethical political arrangements where each and every party, big or small, black or white, urban or rural, male or female is expected to be siding the ‘good’. That’s political correctness and it is a time when such correctness is on the retreat. This is an era when societies have become too free and too complex to be fitted into a simple good or bad model. There is virtually no majority now in any democracy and hence the victory of a ‘minority’ as we are familiar with in such systems is often seen with suspicious eyes. But we need to keep in mind that ages of democratic practice have empowered each and every minority in today’s societies and their assertion has become as important as a simplified majority as it was even 30 years ago. The winners of elections in today’s democracies are voted to office by an aggregation of minorities who find similarities in their interests to choose a particular candidate. Thus, when another set of minorities sees the result going against its preference, it starts questioning the system’s integrity.
The system hasn’t collapsed. On the contrary, it’s the democracy which has made it more assertive. But if we start condemning democracy thinking it is falling apart, the very basic purpose of people's rule gets defeated. #Election 2016 #NarendraModi