The incendiary politics of US president Donald Trump has finally been laid to rest. In an election year, had he shown some empathy with the grieving blacks instead of converting their pain into agitation or only if he resisted his insatiable impulse to speak without weighing his words, results could have been different for him.
The spread of the Covid plague could have been turned into an opportunity only if he showed modest respect for science. He could have avoided openly flouting the precautions and displayed himself as a responsible leader. People look up to their leaders regardless of political affiliations, especially during times of crisis. But he did it all wrong - on every count. But still, he provided a close contest. Let's examine how.
Trump though criticized for his apparent imbecile actions by the mainstream media and global intelligentsia but he still was secretly admired by many as well. For many people, he was a go-getter. A man of his words, right or wrong is a different debate. For them, he would not sugarcoat his words or hid behind vague diplomatic lingua, that generally never makes sense to the masses. Also, he was the one who provided considerable buoyancy to the US economy. He insisted on keeping US jobs for Americans instead of outsourcing those. He kept capital markets protected from anything that could torpedo the ascent of their indexes. However, this also turned out to be a double-edged sword for him. Though he helped markets, his fixation with these, also irked many. Super rich became mega-rich.
He wanted to take the US out of global trade agreements that were enacted, in the past, by the Americans themselves. He also questioned the 'free defense' offered to Western Europe under the umbrella of NATO. He didn't realize that under the hoop of big defense treaties, an entire populace of beneficiaries takes birth. And those beneficiaries would pick any kind of fight, necessary to protect their privileges. And Trump would provide them with enough ammunition through his erratic impulses only to be get ridiculed himself. And we always noticed that most of the public scorn that was directed towards him wasn't about his policies but his personal (funny) habits and nudges he would occasionally give to his opponents.
Trump brought fundamental changes to the perpetually chaotic Middle East. He prevailed upon the fundamentalist and dried up the cash flow lines for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, that eventually brought an end to one of the biggest human tragedy that was taking place in our times. His focus remained business but tried to do things on his own terms. His body language actually proved to be a catalyst in the transformation of most conservative Arab regimes that eventually started finding ways to ease up on the social freedoms that were unheard of before. Also to his credit, he initiated no new wars anywhere in the world rather tried to wrap up the existing ones. Thus a bit of peace, not to everyone, but to most was felt.
Such actions on domestic and especially on the foreign front were however interpreted as a weakness on the part of the US. It gave rise to the impression of a diminishing global power in the world. Many took it as the US is decimating its role in global affairs and eventually may turn out to be just another typical rich Western country, just like erstwhile global empires like the UK or France. Such impressions give rise to global power vacumes that eventually get filled by the others. And if those 'others' turn out to be those whom the US was engaged militarily or through other means of embattlement then the power center could gravitate adversely. And could hurt US economic interests in the long run. He perhaps also be also liked on these accounts by his political opponents and allies, in some cases, because to them it was like caving in. A sign of weakness!
Trump's dismantling of international environmental treaties earned him the wrath of a new voter's category. The Millenials, who were brought up with all the awareness of the deteriorating environment of our planet were simply in a state of shock. For them, regardless of the jobs, he created for them, they simply couldn't live with the fact that their leadership could be so callous about such a genuine issue. And it wasn't only confined to Millenials but anyone who understood the impact of such thoughtless actions. However, this deprived Trump of a big number of urban and semi-urban young voters in the Swing states.
Donald Trump, notwithstanding, his short-comings would be remembered for running the most 'happening' and colorful presidency. His penchant for staying in the news and the acts he would do to achieve that would always be quoted and dug out of political archives over and over, in the future. The big media houses would now again have to resort to a comparatively dull presidency. A career politician like Joe Biden may not be able to provide the necessary sizzling items for the journalists to work with. They would be attending presidential briefings with open-ended, vague, and diplomatically rich words. So they perhaps miss Trump for that matter 'dearly'. However, for a better part, now when someone cries for 'I can't breathe..', he might find some listening ears!