Donald Trump emerged as the victor from the strangest presidential elections in U.S. history, turning many analysts and pundits into fools in the process. Trump becoming the 45th president of the U.S. after a campaign followed around the clock by many in Turkey was no huge surprise for some of us. In Turkey, where support for Trump surged as the election campaign progressed, the election of a businessman with no experience in the elected office over a politician who is a symbol of the establishment is seen as just what the doctor ordered.
The degree to which the tension between Turkey and the U.S. has risen in the past two years, mainly after the deepening of the Syrian crisis, has been unprecedented. The public negativity and bias on display toward Turkey by U.S. diplomats and politicians, commentaries published daily in U.S. media attacking Turkey, forced the Turkish public to pay an inordinate amount of time and effort following American politics and foreign policy to understand why this was so.
The reason why Turks mainly see Trump's victory as an encouraging sign is due to the hope that the new president will bring a breath of fresh air to bilateral ties.
While the new president's Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, bigoted and misogynistic outlook toward life does not resonate among the Turkish society steeped in a history of multiculturalism, Trump still inspires within Turkey the hope that the bankrupt and disappointing U.S. establishment will be replaced by something better.
The failure of the Obama administration to keep its promises, the U.S.'s proclivity to wage proxy wars via terrorist groups rather than cooperate with its historical allies in the region, confusing policies and red lines drawn with disappearing ink had caused fatigue within the Turkish society toward its strategic ally.
The Washington establishment's ignorance of the world outside its narrow interests, failure to heed allies' advice caused many allies to turn their back on it. Tuesday's election results in the U.S. showed that the D.C. establishment's domestic policies were not much better than its foreign ones and the public conclusively rejected it as a whole. Trump's election is just the domestic reflection of the bankruptcy of the American elite.
American voters are sick and tired of policies that theoretically seem to secure their interests but eventually hurt them in practice.
The rise of the far-right nationalism across the world is just the latest indication that electorates are weary of the constantly deceitful leaders. That is exactly why Americans choose to vote for Trump who pledged to build walls, rather than Hillary Clinton, a symbol of the establishment who promised to build bridges.
The system as it stands speaks of rights and freedoms, multiculturalism, globalization but in actuality preserved the unjust established order that benefits the privileged. Americans chose a bigot, because it hungered for honesty and saw honesty in Trump no matter how despicable his remarks were.
The American public knows that Obama's eloquence was just for show and hid the welfare of the well-known interest groups.
Unfortunately for Clinton, she could not free herself from the perception that her administration would be nothing more than a third term for Obama. Her emails proved that she and her family were a key log in the established order.
U.S. media, on the other hand, failed as a whole to see what was coming. Rather than continually attacking Turkey, the American press, especially The New York Times, needs to let go of its patronizing stance and investigate how it could get such a political earthquake and its own public so wrong.
Trump, who was among the first world leaders to condemn the bloody coup attempt on July 15, should take action against the leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and extradite him to Turkey as soon as possible. It would have been too much to ask Clinton to do the same thing if elected, considering that she was one of the main recipients of FETÖ's political donations in the U.S.
We, as Daily Sabah, hope that Trump's election will mean a shift in U.S. policy toward cooperation with allies instead of with terrorist groups. We also share the concern of American Muslims over rising Islamophobia in the U.S., which Trump's election will do little to address. We can only hope that Trump's divisive rhetoric was said only in the heat of the campaign and will not reflect his administration's policies in the next four years.
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