The big, bad pedestal. That’s what’s the issue is all about. It’s not about democracy or people or freedom or rights. Those things matter in a decent world. But in the bad, bad world, it is about the only differentiator we know and understand: Power.
President Donald Trump did hurt the United States of America. He hurt its vanity, the image it projected to the world. He brought the notion of “America the Powerful” down from that big, bad pedestal. That is of more concern to the world at large; the internal ramifications are left to the American people to digest.
‘Establishment’ hated him
That is largely why the “establishment” of the United States dislikes him. Rather, hated him since 2016 when he boldly snatched power from them by channelizing the pent-up domestic unhappiness while the establishment lunched at The Knickerbocker Club or the Metropolitan planning which country to force-sell arms next.
The liberals call Trump names. He is a traitor. He is a Klan leader. He is a racist. He is power monger. The “establishment” in the USA and the liberals in so-called democracies across the world, including us (!), are the ones calling him names. These are the ones who want to be hailed as the protectors of custom, tradition and democracy, preferably in that order.
Try berating Modi…
But look at the social media which the “intellectual” looks down upon as the running sewage of uncivil communication. The social media is agog. It may tangentially berate Trump (After all how many occasions do you remember when you could bluntly abuse a world leader and get away with it? Try berating Modi for size, to know what I mean.) But it appeared essentially excited at the prospect of America seeming to be brought down by its very own to its knees, at its weakest, defenceless, disrobed of its natural leadership of the world. It suddenly did not appear, in the world’s eyes, brutally savage, undemocratic, foolish, amoral, racist, as it were, with impunity and unilaterally attacked, wrecked, destroyed and left rudderless country after country in order to push the frontiers of its capitalist business.
The social media’s uproarious element was someone saying Iraq was planning to send a peace-keeping force to Washington. It wasn’t clear if the force was to be named after Saddam. There were others saying that countries like Afghanistan and Somalia were concerned with the internal disturbances in the USA. China quietly slipped in its comment: What happened in Washington is similar to Hong Kong.
Trump did to America what none else could do
The thing is, the world is happy with what Trump did to his country. Because nobody from outside could have managed that. High time the Americans know that there is a world out there, beyond the horizons of Coke and Burger, that hated having had to kowtow to the US, hated having had to suffer lectures on economy, human rights, population control, debt-financing from the US, hated having the unwanted and unwarranted entry of the American Army into their homes, dictating how they should live and importantly, who should live and who should die. They hated America that played God.
That bile is coming out now, thanks to Trump. Trump may have done an unpardonable disservice to his country as President, but he managed to puncture the ever-expanding balloon of global spite. Best it is punctured now, than at a later stage in a premeditated manner.
Every country wants to be independent
America need not worry that the world is calling it names: anti-democratic, rights abuser, racist, hegemonic. Cool. All countries aspire to these characteristics. Some already have it. The others are on the way. Democracy is a concept, in present times, practised, as far as possible, in its breach. What some of us are worked up about are ideals of democracy which existed once upon a time; certainly not today.
But, yes. America should worry that the rest of the world is no longer willing to be a loyal subject or a disloyal subject. Every country wants to be independent, not only in terms of self-governance, but free from god fathers and god mothers, free from “world powers” sharing the world between them. The world is full of living countries with living souls that value independence as much as America.
Look at China
And this world is sure losing its patience with the boorish bosses. Look at China. How Taiwan stands up for its independence from the Mainland? The mighty Chinese Communist Party had to bring a draconian law to subdue protests on the tiny blip of Hong Kong. Small countries near the South China Sea are getting edgy every time the Chinese command them. Even Japan! Japan was the first to hurt China in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, asking its companies to exit the country. Australia is willing to lose millions owing to Chinese bans and incredulously high tariffs on Australian exports.
Several countries in Asia and Africa, realising their day-to-day lives haven’t changed much because of the Belt Road Initiative which is only helping China gain access to the west, are beginning murmurs and the murmurs are beginning to be heard in Beijing.
The American foreign policy may continue to hang around unipolarity or bipolarity, Russia may continue to peddle non-existent bossism, China may continue to dream about being the next super power, the rest of the world has had enough. Today it laughs at the United States because it feels “Amrika” is no different from them. A crude level playing field, but a level playing field nevertheless.
There is a lesson in this for those leaderships that aspire to be Trumps in their own countries, try and impose their ideology and their principles of orthodox conformism on the people, bankrupt institutions and values and lobotomise a section of the people to the extent that they are ready to launch an insurrection. It is all about power. Tweak that notion, you are left with hot air.