Trump’s win is an interesting experiment as far as world culture is concerned. All have been harping about  US influence on the values we have established as rational norms. The trends have been often attributed to ‘Americanization’. Liberalism at large is seen as a project spearheaded and controlled by men in suits who sit somewhere-everywhere. It is these men, bearing the badges of the red, white and blue who are recognised as the hands in the gloves of transnational bodies such as the UN, IMF, NATO, WHO etc. The values propagated by INGOs all over the world are seen as messages sent in by the school of thought that prevails in that country. And yet, Trump wining the elections and now being at the helm is nothing less of an oxymoron negating all these preconceived notions.

Trump and the support he got challenges most, if not all, of what the US stands for. It has always termed itself as the land of dreams wherein people of all creeds and backgrounds can live the American dream. It has been proud of being a page turner for those living and having faith in the nation: a chance to restart and live the life that they’d want to live. Obama was and remains a reflection of that US. During his presidency, the man elegantly maneuvered through the ugly world of politics, staying steadfast with liberal humanist principles and human rights. He shunned away bigotry and demanded immersion and acceptance. Given that the country that lived 8 years under the said leadership chose now to replace him with his exact opposite brings about confounding questions that, for now, cannot be explained. Does it imply hence that the American populace at large is inertly bigoted and Trump is the means to escape back into their real selves? Does it predict that what has been constantly and obsessively termed as rationalistic virtue was but a façade and the world is much, much uglier than what we thought before? Or, does it simply imply that altruism and decency is but a futile exercise and all that really matters is the putrid high of selfishness? Some analysts have argued that Trump’s election is a reflection of wrong economic policies and an ungainly attitude towards Wall Street. The economic-frustration explanation falls short Trump’s sppeches are analyzed. He did not give an economic model as an alternative to the current system. The momentum of his campaign ran solely on racial, ethnic, anti-humanist rhetoric and he proudly exploited this. And yet, people voted for Trump. People voted for an America led by Trump.

The world culture experiment will receive Trump rather uneasily. How can it not? Trump stands exactly opposite to the rationalist norms. He does not believe in the rights embraced by the UN, pursued by the US itself and now seen as a pledge and commitment all over the world. Similarly, he does not believe in climate change when the majority of intellectual proofs and insistence on its reality comes from academics, scientists, intellectuals and politicians from the US. These aforementioned norms are now widespread and form the essential characteristics of a civilised west. The EU has embraced these norms wholly and continues to keep them as core of their social psyche. Trump’s election and his US will come directly in conflict with these. How the world and hence the world culture reacts to this will be interesting to see. Angela Merkel has already expressed her frustration, rather subtly, by declaring that she would work with Trump so long as he adheres to the humanist principles of rights and obligations. Will Trump be steered back into the conversation out of pressure or would he, now the most powerful man in the world, change the whole discourse of our conversation.

Trump’s election is a tragedy but then again, it is a reality. How the US deals with this is a matter of perspective. Jeremy Corbyn for one seems to have “no doubt…that the decency and common sense of American people will prevail.” Almost all A-list US celebrities have vowed to continue to ‘fight for love’. The fact that Trump won, after the countless campaigns against him spearheaded by these celebrities, is proof that pop-culture’s impact on the population is exaggerated. Trump won and he is here to stay. How the world reacts, and more importantly, how the US itself reacts is anybody’s guess. There can be no predictions in an unpredictable Trump world.

The author is a freelance writer based in Islamabad.

Given that the country that lived 8 years under the said leadership chose now to replace him with his exact opposite brings about confounding questions that, for now, cannot be explained.