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Trump & the globalistion conundrum: Can the president elect fight the very thing he benefits from?

Sourjya Bhowmick | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:39 IST

Republican candidate Donald Trump won an unexpected mandate on Wednesday. Most political pundits had predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the elections but Trump, hated by many for his misogynist, parochial and illiberal views, proved them wrong.

While analysts are still trying to decipher what went wrong - whether America has fallen for populism, why did women vote for Trump, whether Americans really want Muslims and Mexicans out of the country - many voters are still in deep trauma.

"Lots of immigrants are scared that his (Trump) supporters will react in an extreme way. I do not think it will be rampant but it can be sporadic... I hope it is not," said an Indian from Kansas City.

While another voter from Los Angeles said how her teenage daughter asked her if her daughter's best friends mother, a Mexican, has to leave America.

The biggest worry, clearly, is about immigrants. These immigrants, according to Trump, are taking away jobs from the Americans.

This rings in a sense of terrible deja vu. Advocates of Brexit had also campaigned on a similar note. Trump during his campaigning had said this election would be 'Brexit-plus-plus-plus'.

But the most definitive part is - globalisation has finally met its strongest and possibly the worst enemy after decades. And the irony is - what Trump says, he could not have said if we were not living in a globalised world.

Globalisation & definitions...

"Globalisation describes a process by which national and regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through the global network of trade, communication, immigration, and transportation," says the Financial Times dictionary.

"More recently the term has been expanded to include a broader range of areas and activities such as culture, media, technology, socio-cultural, political," the Financial Times adds.

Mark those words and think what Trump campaigned against. He aggressively wants to build a wall to stop Mexicans from crossing over and he is anti-outsourcing.

...and what it has done to the US

Economic effects of globalisation have helped easy movements across the world and millions immigrated to developed countries in search of livelihood, and at times, to escape conflicts. Other forms of integration led Indians and Chinese dominate the outsourcing and Information Technology sectors.

Economic impact clubbed with socio-cultural amalgamation has unnerved the traditional mindset of many Western nations. Immigrants, much younger and skillful, in countries which have an older population, have hit the locals in terms of jobs and when it comes to the conventional understanding of 'cultural norms'.

Additionally, globalisation has also led to income inequality. While the promise was to narrow down the gap between the rich and the poor, the reality has not been rather different. The top tier (such as Trump) gained a lot, while the bottom (the majority) gained nothing.

Significantly, in the US, it is being alleged that income inequality is in its worst phase since the great depression of the 1930s.

Trump's campaign was smart enough to expose the 'perils' of globalisation.

The fact is - Trump is a beneficiary of globalisation. Would he fight the deeply ingrained phenomenon? Though he has friends in this battle - from Nigel Farage to scores of Right wingers sprouting across the world - whether he can fight globalisation, however, is the bigger question.

Edited by Jhinuk Sen

First published: 11 November 2016, 6:22 IST
Sourjya Bhowmick @sourjyabhowmick

Born and raised in Kolkata, Sourjya is all about the numbers. He uses data to contextualise stories on a broad range of topics. Formerly with the Hindustan Times and IndiaSpend, any time not spent researching and writing is spent reading non-fiction and tackling his unending collection of films. An alumnus of Presidency College, Kolkata, he has a post-grad degree in Political Science from Calcutta University and was actively involved in student politics. He's a fan of Tintin comics, Germany's football team, Mohun Bagan and Old Monk.