12 December 2018
With leaders such as Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Rodrigo Duterte, Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping, the geo-political scene will be interesting – and erratic. Photos: Internet, Facebook
With leaders such as Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Rodrigo Duterte, Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping, the geo-political scene will be interesting – and erratic. Photos: Internet, Facebook

The rise of crazy men and the fall of powerful women

The unthinkable has happened: Donald Trump has won the US election, securing the keys to the White House.

Financial markets reeled as the voting trends came in, with major stock indexes tumbling as much as 5 percent, just like what happened after the Brexit vote in June.

However, as we have seen before, it proved to be just a knee-jerk reaction. Investors regained composure quickly, helping key gauges end Wednesday on a positive note.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after some initial choppiness, finished with a solid 1.4 percent gain.

After earlier fretting about a Trump presidency, investors in the US began focusing on the sectors that could potentially benefit from the victory of the maverick business tycoon.

Leaving aside the markets, there are still some real concerns across the world as to the shape of things to come after Trump is sworn in as US president on January 20 next year.

As the world grapples with a host of political and economic issues, a new element of uncertainty has come into play over the future as Trump takes the most powerful office on earth.

The president-elect, as we all know, is a loose cannon and totally unpredictable. It won’t be reality television anymore, but rather a serious game.

As world leaders sent congratulatory messages to Trump after his stunning win, there were some who could not hide their anxiety.

French President François Hollande, for one, remarked that the US election result has ushered in a time of uncertainty.

Trump has, among other things, threatened to scrap trade deals, walk out of a climate change pact and slap new tariffs on Chinese goods, prompting critics to label him “crazy” and “dangerous”. 

Well, the world is now ruled by many unpredictable state leaders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is ready to work closely with Trump, a prospect that makes the world more nervous.

Others who be welcoming the change of leadership in Washington include Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been cursing outgoing US leader Barack Obama, and possibly North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Coming to China, it will be interesting to watch how Trump will deal with President Xi Jinping as they discuss thorny issues such as cheap Chinese labor, currency valuation and export subsidies.

Don’t be surprised if you see the two heavyweight men sit across each other in a McDonald’s fast-food outlet.

Looking at the overall picture, the five leaders — Trump, Putin, Duterte, Kim and Xi – will make the geo-political scene in the world more interesting – and erratic.

Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton has reversed a trend that saw women leaders on the ascent in various parts of the world.

Earlier this year we saw the rise of woman power in Britain, where Theresa May took office as prime minister, and in Taiwan, where Tsai Ing-wen became the island’s first female president. 

Before that, we had Germany’s Angela Merkel, who in 2015 was named by Time magazine as its Person of the Year.

But in recent months there have been setbacks to woman power as Dilma Rousseff was ousted from the top post in Brazil and Korean President Park Guen-hye is looking shaky in her position.

Had Hillary Clinton triumphed over Trump, it would have been a landmark event for the cause of female political empowerment.

Conceding her “painful” election defeat, Clinton told her followers Wednesday: “I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”

It has been a hard battle for Hillary, who even Trump acknowledged is owed a debt of gratitude for her long service to her nation. 

But alas, the top prize has proved elusive for the former Secretary of State and First Lady.

The world is not exactly thrilled with the victory of Trump, a former host of the reality TV show “The Apprentice”, but we should bear in mind that democracy is not always easy.

We have to learn to deal with the outcome, whatever it is.

Just look at the Londoners who were opposed to Brexit but are now coming to terms with the reality.

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EJ Insight writer

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