Why is the Trump phenomenon spreading?

With the eyes of the world upon the 2016 race for the Whitehouse, it is indeed truly striking that Donald Trump, a demagogue and dangerous business mogul, far from being eliminated, is actually running neck and neck with his opponent Clinton in the polls. It would seem that the American public are ignoring the current international scene and the serious challenges facing social justice worldwide, as growing armed and global diplomatic conflicts worsen, whilst at home, the competitive model on which our economy is based cries out for an overhaul.

One could call the Trump campaign fascist as his support of white supremacy, and open and profound contempt for ordinary Americans, contrasts starkly with an already multi-cultural and multi-racial country. In terms of economic policy, he favours an economic model which generates neither shared income nor quality employment; a faulty model which is compounded by his call for protectionist policies which exclude co-operation with other economic regions. At the same time, he lacks any real proposals to guarantee minimum rights in education, healthcare and housing for millions of Americans. 

Personally, I wonder what Trump means when he says he'll "make America great again". I ask myself, what America? The Superpower and 'protector of the world' that promotes the greater supremacy of white people at the cost of everyone else? The one which promotes individual success over collective success? Does he mean the one that's building a physical wall of shame to separate 'his' country from Mexico? Does he mean one that is reshoring some of the industries who have left in search of better production costs? Does he mean one that rewards the one-percenters?

It matters not when he spouts claims such as: "When Mexico sends her people, she does not send her best; immigrants bring drugs, crime, rapists, and I suppose that some are good people." What matters much more is the large number of Americans who support such ideas and statements; and it seems that the rise of Trump's popularity seemingly goes beyond the American elections.

As one looks around the world, one can easily see the worrisome and neck-breaking spread of populism of whatever colour or creed, as well as xenophobia and demagogy, all of which are being adopted by growing numbers and in numerous political parties. As a result, there are uncountable missed opportunities to help grow an inclusive economy which would, amongst other positives, increase social justice, equality and wealth creation, while extending a strong lending hand to the most needy amongst us and to those young people seeking their first job.

Unresolved serious social problems bear very negatively upon ambitious political, social and economic projects whose aim is to prepare society for the future. I am also concerned by the disenchantment amongst the general public, which excludes the opinion of young people from creating a shared economy and society. It also means that fundamental values such as effort, shared responsibility, generational commitment, and solidarity are disappearing from our day-day working life.

Finally, what we need now, and more than ever, is young people who are committed to applying all their effort and intelligence to the long overdue economic and social transformation towards a more just society. I simply refuse to even think that Pokemon GO hunting remains their main goal.

Read the original article in El Economista.

Sabin Azua

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