My 350 on Donald Trump: leadership crisis in the West

"Trump's election and BREXIT speak louder than the referendum and election results."

Rene C Mugenzi
12 November 2016

Who would ever have thought that a man who has never held public office, calls women and migrants names that are socially unacceptable, and who has bragged about sexually assaulting women could be voted in as president of the most powerful country in the world.

This makes me wonder what has happened to the American people that made them reach the point where they have let the dark side of human nature influence their political decisions.

The general feeling of the American people is that they have been let down by political elites for many years. These politicians' promises of improving their quality of life significantly have not materialised.  On the contrary, they have been worse off. The recent economic crisis and the Government's reaction became a turning point in the overall dismay of the people towards politicians.

This was caused by the feeling that the Government was concerned with bailing out banks and corporations and forgetting to support the people who were most affected by the financial crisis. The people feel that political elites work for the benefit of big corporations, putting aside the interests and challenges of the wider working class.

Hilary Clinton is seen by many alienated voters to be one of the mainstream political elite, given that she held various political positions and given her family's reported connections and personal benefits from corporations directly and indirectly through the Clinton Foundation.

Their votes for a politically untested Trump over an ‘experienced’ Clinton were undoubtedly protest votes.

Similar sentiments of disappointment and mistrust of the mainstream political establishment have been felt by voters in the United Kingdom and led to the vote to leave the European Union, which was against the will of the majority of political elites.

Both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as President of America are strong signals of a crisis of leadership that the West is facing, more important than though caused by the economic crisis of 2008.

It is important that politicians recognise this root cause of the current revolution that has been expressed in the form of protest votes.

Politicians in the West should return to a genuine politics that would give people confidence in feeling that they are at the centre of politicians’ concerns.

Is the pandemic changing attitudes towards migration?

Will Canada give its undocumented essential workers their rights? And where are the immigrants in the country’s policy debates?

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 26 November, 5pm UK time/12pm EST.

Hear from:

Daniel Hiebert Professor of geography at the University of British Columbia

Andrew Parkin Executive director, Environics Institute, Toronto

Usha George Professor and director, Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement, Ryerson University, Canada

Keith Banting Professor emeritus and Stauffer Dunning Fellow, Queen’s University, Canada

Chair: Anna Triandafyllidou Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration, Ryerson University

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData