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Hurt, Confused And Vigilant In The Face Of Trump's America

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DONALD TRUMP
Mike Segar / Reuters
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There is nothing good, hopeful or exciting about president-elect Donald J. Trump. His antics, behaviour and recent appointees are all unbecoming of a president. What good is there in him to elevate him to the presidency of the United States of America?

Since becoming president unexpectedly, he has brought a slew of extremists to the centre of the American government. Rudy Giuliani, who has a long history of misconducts; Stephen Bannon, a white nationalist; Sarah Palin, an accidental lightweight vice-presidential candidate; U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, a known racist lone wolf as Attorney General; New Jersey's Chris Christie, in the midst of a serious scandal in his home state; and Myron Ebell, a climate change denier who been tapped as the president-elect's top adviser on the environment. These people were chosen for their political loyalties to Trump's unlikely bid for the presidency.

Ivana Trump, the president-elect's first wife, is launching a bid to become America's top diplomat to Czech Republic, and Trump is asking for top-secret security clearances for his own children and their partners. Is this what Americans chose as their president?

The "Trump effect" is spilling to other parts of the world.

Joining Trump and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, Holland and Austria are on the brink of electing populist politicians with little ideas and big slogans. In the worlds of Marine Le Pen, leader of France's Front National Party, the mainstream fringe of French politics, "Donald Trump made possible what was presented as completely impossible."

In Canada, the once-mighty Conservative party is reorganizing for a comeback of its formerly fringe self to accommodate the extremism that once defined it and to accommodate the Trumps of Canada.

Kellie Leitch, a prospective leader of the party, who once tried to implement a phone line to snitch on suspicious neighbours (Muslims) as a minister of the crown, has become the Donald Trump of the North with a little help from the highly controversial and offensive campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis.

There were many things broken and imperfect about Hillary Clinton, but she was exceptionally respected and qualified to be America's 45th and the first woman president. She started her career as a smart young lawyer in the midst of a historic Richard Nixon scandal, became a corporate lawyer, a children's advocate with the Children's Defense Fund, the first lady of Arkansas and the United States, an advocate of education, health and women's rights, an equal co-president with her husband, a Senator from New York and the third female Secretary of State, after Madeline Albright and Condoleezza Rice.

She ran a polished campaign for president. Sadly, she was shielded from talking policy and answering important inquiries about her past conducts; by far, her candidacy gave substance to what was otherwise a personality, not an idea campaign. I will certainly miss the Hillary presidency that will never be.

Donald Trump, on borrowed money from his father, built his empire by benefiting from tax loopholes that helped him escape paying income taxes; he discriminated against African-American clients at his properties; prematurely called for the execution of young African Americans who were found to be innocent in later years through DNA evidence; insulted all who dared to challenge him, used bankruptcy laws to his benefit to escape his responsibilities.

He looked down on the American electoral institution and called it corrupt.

He appealed to the white working class by helping them embrace the misogyny, bigotry and racism in themselves. It became easy, through him, to blame their neighbours for their own shortcomings and status in life. In Ohio and Michigan, he promised to bring back American jobs from Mexico, neglecting to explain why, as a businessman, he chose to send his businesses to those countries. He promised to deport illegal Mexicans and build a wall to separate his nation while failing to explain why his companies continue to hire illegal immigrants.

Hate and ignorance became the Trump campaign and won by managing to bring the fringe to the mainstream and empower the Ku Klux Klan segment of the American society. His becoming president has the same effect as the Irish artist, Bono winning the Glamour Women of the Year Award; Barack Obama becoming a Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2009; or Marisa Tomei, winning an Oscar for her performance in My Cousin Vinny. Shouldn't the qualified be awarded what is deserved?

Trump joins a long list of populist politicians who were elected while citizens decided to vote to protest in the ballot box, hoped for change and instead produced wrong results where there is no-buyer's remorse.

The fringe Rob Ford became mayor of Toronto, the most important city in Canada in 2010, by simply repeating empty slogans ("Stop the gravy train!"), like Trump, who himself kept repeating "Make America Great Again."The Arnold Schwarzeneggers and the Jesse Venturas continue to become wrong mainstream political actors.

The United States seems to have changed since the election ended a week ago. A black Texas veteran was refused service at a fast-food-joint by a manager when a Trump shirt-wearing customer questioned the man's eligibility for a free veterans' meal. According to the customer, "we did not see people like you over there (in Germany). They would not allow blacks." The veteran later reflected how "the election has changed the hearts and changed the motives of people."

In another incident, a swastika and the words "Seig Heil 2016" were painted on a store in Philadelphia. John Weaver, a noted Republican and top aid to Ohio Governor John Kasich, has reflected what is in the minds of the world -- "The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps form oval office. Be very vigilant, America."

The world is hurt, confused and very vigilant in Trump's America.

A shorter version of this blog first appeared in CNBC Africa.

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