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Playing the Trump Card

After all the kicking, screaming, hair pulling and protesting before, during and after the US elections, reality has set in – real estate businessman Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States, the highest and most powerful political seat in the world. In his hands lies the future of the modern world, because with a push of a red button, mankind will cease to exist.

Even after the elections, thousands of protestors took the streets to reclaim a victory for the liberals and for whatever freedoms and rights they say were earned by people and organizations during the term of Barack Obama. The organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, who originally sought a permit for a gathering of 200,000, said that as many as half a million people participated. Many in the nation’s capital and other cities said they were inspired to join because of Trump’s divisive campaign and his disparagement of women, minorities and immigrants. With signs and shouts on hand, they mocked what they characterized as Trump’s sexist language and demeanour. In latest tweets and posts, a footage of Trump turning to wife Melania, uttering something with a scowl, then turning around again to flash a smile to the crowd, leaving the woman with a visibly worried expression on her face, has the entire social media begging the world to #SaveMelania. Trump once again proves the point of many women in the US – that he is a misogynistic and chauvinist man who should not be president.

Despite the negative attention he is calling to himself, Trump is trying to please the millions who did vote for him, beginning with threats to defund Planned Parenthood, with the latter threatening to sue the US government if it pulls the plug on their flow of money. He continues to make pronouncements on building a wall, and economists and pundits are starting to fear what his promise of pulling away from China and resurrecting the auto and manufacturing industries in the US will do to the economy. This is all welcome news to some Americans, mostly from the midwest and the south, who feel that they have been ignored for a long time, and that only cosmopolitan Americans have benefitted from the policies of the Democrats for eight years.

Most political observers see Trump’s win as a popular vote, different from a populist vote. According to them, America and the world should not confuse populism with popularity. Trump’s presidency allows him to occupy the Oval Office as the weakest new commander-in-chief in living memory, having lost the popular vote by almost 3 million. This shows that Trump has no political mandate to speak of, and his disastrous poll numbers are hard to overstate, despite what he claims as a victory for himself and the Republican party. Whether they like it or not, however, he was declared President.

Even his Republican comrades are running away from him as far as possible, and about sixty Democrats did not attend his inauguration. Of course, Trump doesn’t care, and if he could only muster, “You’re fired!” he would, but that line now belongs to the Terminator, Arnold Schwarznegger, who took over the show.

And that’s what it is – Trump’s presidency is one big reality show, and our neighbours to the south are mere players. After all, in the last two decades of television, we have been brainwashed into thinking that Americans are foul-mouthed, rich wives of a certain zip code, a family of celebrities who do nothing but get plastic surgery and change their genders all in a day’s work, or a family of uneducated beauty pageant hopefuls who are drugged with soda and sugar to stay hyperactive, with their lives ready to be scrutinized by the whole world. That’s the world Trump lives in, and that’s how America will be observed in the next four years.

In a card game, the trump card is a playing card of the suit chosen to rank above the others, which can win a trick where a card of a different suit has been led. In other words, it is a valuable resource that may be used, especially as a surprise, in order to gain an advantage. Playing the trump card is an advantage for some, but for the US, it’s a card no one wants to deal.