Home / Tribune / The 10 Lessons from the election of Donald Trump (Cyril Castro, Nov. 22nd, 2016)

The 10 Lessons from the election of Donald Trump (Cyril Castro, Nov. 22nd, 2016)

Cyril Castro is the President of Europe Populaire, a French political party, a partner of the N-Platform network launched in 2014 (with the support by the Association of Friends of Franck Biancheri) to help small and medium-sized political parties in Europe to get closer together and to bring a genuine European dimension to the debates in the context of the European elections. In this article, he gives us his movement’s analysis of the victory of Donald Trump in the American elections.

  1. Scores were tight state by state. So it was not the polls that were all wrong (we are within the margin of error and Mrs. Clinton finally got more popular votes than Trump), but the pollsters and the so-called experts, who have not been able to explain the refining of their figures and measure the wish to change, the tone, speech, and the anti-incumbency factor;
  2. Even if some like me had announced in different ways, the victory of NO to the 2005 referendum, the FN (Front National french political extrem rightist party leaded by Marine Le Pen) to the European elections, of Natanyaou, of Brexit and Trump, and our “elites” had hoped the opposite, their fault, their big fault, is never to forsee a plan B, resulting in being captive to a single thought;
  3. Donald is not Ronald: Comparing Trump to Reagan is nonsense and a lack of cultural filth, shared by many, for it is forgetting that Reagan had been a political expert for 30 years, had made a tour of the republican states since the Fifties, he had even competed 12 years before at the Republican primary, and especially, was governor of the great state of California! Reagan in 1980 in a relatively stable and predictable world was more prepared than Trump in 2016, in an extremely uncertain and constantly changing world;
  4. One must be extreme in his remarks, hold incoherent and vehement speeches in order to be noticed, to promise everything (these are the weaknesses of my party Europe Populaire which proposes an ambitious program but quantified and coherent, which is not attractive enough to the voters), taking on a different, more flexible line when elected. And this raises two problems: first, the respect for public statements, which, by contradicting it in a more consensual manner, will disappoint many; second, the Front National has been doing the opposite of TRUMP for two years. Indeed he softens his speech, which foreshadows a program that is harder and more dangerous than announced;
  5. The desire for greatness of a country (America First or America Great Again) no longer means the need to oppose or impose itself but also to retreat into a protectionism that does not protect anything in the long term especially when its debt is held by an outsider;
  6. Europe, which didn’t make a shift after the jolt of the Brexit vote, should have responded and spoken with one voice following the election of TRUMP. We have two months before January 20, 2017 to act. Thinking of a plan B for weeks as Europe Populaire demanded, would have facilitated the task instead of believing there is no issue by burying our head in the sand!
  7. The split between men/women is low, and ethnic differences have narrowed in the US in voting preferences. White women voted TRUMP. The glass-ceiling will break but for a candidate who carries a project of change for the whole Country, not only for women. This will happen one day, and probably on the Republican side first, because it will mean that certain prejudices will have fallen and this candidate will not refer to the hated Hillary (who in any case has already made history, as recognized by the president-elect). The current divide, which applies to the USA as well as to us, is between those who profit or believe in globalization, and those who feel relatively failed, neglected, belittled, or who no longer have the strength to believe in the future drawn for them but not by them and not right away;
  8. The election of TRUMP raises questions for us, as French and Europeans, because America has been our ally and we share so much with this country, even if some can, sometimes, deplore it. Indeed, the issue is whether we are headed towards political protectionism, detachment by choosing a diplomacy based on tension, obstruction or even confrontation, or a more subtle diplomacy that ultimately maybe softer and fuzzier;
  9. Europe must rely on itself, believe in its power, give itself the means, and be proud of its values, not in confrontation with the USA but independently, vis-à-vis this Friend. Especially since, in spite of the extreme violence of the US campaigns, we know how Americans can close ranks around national and supra-national goals. It is important to re-invent the world or to invent a new world, including standing steadfast on asking the US to respect of the current treaties that bind it to the rest of the Planet. To be strong for oneself and by oneself is the duty of Europe vis-a-vis the citizens of here and elsewhere, which will make of us a trusted continent, one that is listened to and respected … Hence, a more dependable ally by demanding more, including for the United States itself…
  10. The People are always right … Politicians must show that they are up to the task by trusting them or pointing out the path by adult to adult instruction!!!
    In any case the American youth won a utopian and idealist wise who also marked this campaign: Bernie Sanders, who remains the big missed appointment of this America which in fact is playing the American bullies because it is afraid of the world…

Cyril Castro, 22nd of November 2016
Europe Populaire

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