By Iran Review
By Hossein Kebriaeezadeh*
There has always been a special sensitivity toward empowerment of radical right currents in political and social structures of the West, especially in the United States. However, despite all mechanisms devised to prevent this from happening, a new phenomenon in the form of the US Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is taking shape within the presidential election system of the world’s main hub of democracy, which carries many similarities to the West’s past bitter experiences with regard to the rise of radical right parties.
Trump’s remarks and what he says in his election meetings, which are an amalgam of populist ideas, radical nationalism, and rightist ideas, must not be taken lightly and nobody must think that these issues stem from Trump’s own personality. Trump must be considered as a person who is well aware of social, political and economic layers of the American society and is trying to take advantage of the existing gaps among these layers in his own benefit through propaganda ploys.
An election behavior, which is based on political sentimentalism and avoiding the accepted logic of liberal democracy by inciting the public sentiments in the United States, which sometimes gets close to racism when it deals with Mexican or Muslim immigrants, has caused trump to come up with ideals in politics, which were not extant before.
The 58th presidential elections in the United States is not simply witnessing protests to social support system, but is seeing a rise in radical patriotism, which is the dominant characteristic of most of Trump’s speeches. This issue has helped Trump, with his own personal characteristics, to be able to communicate with the American masses who are fed-up with politics. Trump’s totalitarianism is very attractive for this part of the American society, which is not a small part, because he offers new readings of American values suitable for existing conditions, which are not too intellectualist and boring, and also presents a new form of social support system.
Trump and Trumpism have found their own audiences. If the US public opinion welcomes him and Trump becomes the next president of the United States, nobody should simplistically assume that a new Hitler will be born in the United States. The political and social structure governing this country will not allow for a fascistic form of radicalism to grow, but Trump will follow his own rules within this structure and will play his rules in such fields as trade, accepting immigrants, domestic policy, relations with the legislature, foreign policy, fighting terrorism and so forth.
The foreign policy approach of the United States under Trump will become more aggressive and militarized in regions such as the Middle East, which account for most challenges facing the incumbent President Barack Obama. As put by the French President Francois Hollande, the foreign policy apparatus of Trump administration will be dangerous to the world peace, because he does not believe in win-win negotiations.
Trumpism, which believes that the American dream must be realized in the country’s foreign policy as well, is of the opinion that the United States should get anything it wants in international arena by any means and at any cost possible.
Since Trump lacks political experiences, he will be inevitably taking a businesslike approach to politics and in view of different forms of rationality and logic that govern these two areas, it will cause problems for the world, especially at critical junctures.
Before considering himself as a calculating politician, Trump introduces himself as a profiteer and by questioning traditional approaches of the Republican Party he will bring about non-structural and unsupported changes in realistic concepts related to domestic and foreign policies of the United States, strategic alliances like NATO, relations with friendly countries, and the type of the United States’ relations with and behavior toward hostile countries.
However, these untoward developments will not simply take place when Trump is elected as president, but the American society and politics is already under the influence of Trumpism.
Further strengthening of rightist ideas under a conservative cover in order to garner more votes will gradually provide suitable grounds for bringing about changes in the party structure and policies, which are followed by the Republicans. It is also possible that the tradition of republicanism in this country will undergo changes, the most important of which will be in how the American utopia is delineated from now on and also in the regulation of government’s relations with the masses.
From now on, populism will not be considered as a negative issue in the United States’ election system and this line of thinking will have its own new agents in future elections. This issue has, in turn, targeted the eclecticism, which has been institutionalized in the United States election system.
* Hossein Kebriaeezadeh
Expert on Middle East Issues