Against some predictions, Donald Trump, early yesterday morning won the American presidency under the platform of Republican Party against Hillary Clinton who contested under the Democratic Party. Some stakeholders in Nigeria including Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate; Oby Ezekwesili, social activist among others may have been disappointed but Americans have convincingly chosen their 45th president based on what they want.
For Americans, the sudden accusations against Trump of groping women, being insulting to different races, ill tempered, too erratic and using vile languages didn’t matter to them. What mattered was ‘Making America great again’ which was the campaign slogan of Donald Trump.
Despite spending less than Hillary Clinton whose campaign slogan was ‘Stronger Together’ and despite the sitting president of the United States Barack Obama campaigning relentlessly against him, Trump was chosen by the Americans. It was reported that Clinton team raised about $1.3 billion for campaigns while Trump team raised about $800 million.
Akonte Ekine, a PR expert based in Lagos who assessed the won and lost election, said Donald Trump consistently maintained his message, ‘let’s make America Great again’ throughout the 18 months campaign period. Quoting reports, he believed that the campaign message was built on wild inaccuracies, and vague to non-existent policy proposals. He built his campaign on divisive anti- immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, garnering even the support of white nationalists.
Again, according to him, within the same 18 months, the Democratic presidential candidate also created and led her campaign theme with the phrase “Stronger Together” focusing on positive messages of unity and the old standard American value of brotherhood and good neighbourliness. Nonetheless, the voting public who are the consumers in the America’s market place voted for the businessman as the next President of America.
The puzzle then is how come Hillary Clinton’s message which seemed to have connected and resonated in the society a “message that is not divisive, a message that seems to hold the old America ideology of supporting each other and building bridges instead of walls. How come that message didn’t give the value of the result in the market place against a message of divisive, a message of abuse and a message of character assassination and abuse?”
According to Akonte, Trump relied on the social media more than Hilary, his messages came first on twitter and the traditional news channels were responding or reacting to his tweets while a segment of the Republican party kept disassociating themselves from what is assumed to be a bad candidate but yet the voting public swung to his messages at the end of the day.
“Lesson on consumer engagement is that while the lead channels were conscious of pushing the message of a dysfunctional personality based on his series of scandalous comments and supposed illogical conversation, President Donald Trump was connecting with a larger voting public and the poll couldn’t notice it until the die was cast. He struck a chord according to Vox.com with the public.”
He further explained that the President elect of America connected with the emotions of the Americans more than anything else; he worked on the emotions of the Americans who wanted greatness. Americans simply demonstrated on Tuesday that they were so frustrated and so fed up with the status quo.
“Rural voters turned out in greater numbers. Over and over in exit polls, voters reported they wanted change. But he also won in Florida, a far more diverse state that Hillary Clinton banked on taking by driving up Hispanic turnout,” according to a US medium. What Americans want was found in Trump message – ‘Make America great again’.
Also assessing the factors that gave Trump victory, Amit Kapoor, in his social media blog said Trump election defied all odds. He recalled FBI’s clearance of the email investigation coming 2 days before Election Day seemed to have stopped Trump’s late surge; she had the most important and fascinating surrogates including the likes of Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton and she had the backing of most of the main stream media and majority of newspapers.
On the other hand, according to him, Trump didn’t have much support, most of the media hated him as he was mired in a variety of controversies, and still he won the election.
Kapoor linked his winning to strong position on economy, an issue that concerned Americans more. “Before election, when undecided voters were asked to rate both candidates on a variety of parameters such as foreign policy, personality, and temperament, etc the only issue on which Trump did better than Clinton was economy. It was very clear that Hillary was a much more polished politician, measured in her words and overall looked more presidential. However, Trump, being the shrewd businessman he is, hit all the right notes on the key issue of economy, talking about reducing taxes for corporates, bringing manufacturing jobs back to America, and making better deals with other countries.”
“At every given chance, Clinton talked about her 30 years of experience in public office. It seems that instead of benefiting her, it went against her. People were fed up with career politicians and current state of Washington D.C. They were looking for an outsider to bring wholesale change and “clean up the wreck”. Trump fit that bill perfectly.”
Another thing, according to Kapoor, while Democrats used the media, Trump spent his time traveling to meet people and establish connection. Again, media orchestration against Trump did not matter.
Kapoor further said that minority vote is important but majority vote decides elections. “Some of the severest condemnation of Trump came for his loose, irresponsible, and offensive comments about Minorities (Latinos, Muslims, and African Americans). It was very clear that they all would enthusiastically vote against him. However, it seems that majority of people, including most democrats, forgot the fact that 78% of America’s population is still white.”
It is instructive that after winning, Trump election victory speech was embracing of all races. He is ready to work with everybody to make America great again. Congrats Trump.