The Trump Presidency (2)


Johan Galtung - from Washington DC, 10 Nov 2016 - TRANSCEND Media Service

Trump periphery populism was as unseen by US elites as Brexit periphery populism by UK elites.  90% in urban USA voted Clinton; 70-90% Trump in sub-urban and rural areas.  But after the unseen became reality things proceed smoothly in the way prescribed by US democracy.  The election was FAFE. fair and free, no Florida 2004, or Ohio 2008.

There are heavy demonstrations against Trump for good reasons, but no violence from his adherents, so far.  And President Obama just met President Elect Trump for 9 hours focused on the interests of something beyond both of them: USA, of course, the world. All normal.

But the media still live in the pre-election period, focused on how close Clinton was to winning this and that, making their forecasts come true. A Norwegian professor of media studies calls media people flock animals that decide the truth, hanging on in spite of evidence to the contrary.  Flock animals like lemmings may head for the sea and drown, collectively. A major reaction against US media, for meddling (“endorsing”) and incompetence will come.

Trump has used his business model for politics: you fight to conquer the market, painting competitors and self black and white.  He did that, and won the political market place–White House, Congress; some Supreme Court niches not yet.  His products, the policies, will flow domestically; he is in command.  But not in the world.

The focus turns to foreign policy, particularly China and Russia.  Allies, but very different. China is bilateral, negotiating deals for mutual and equal benefit and good at it (Vietnam); Trump should go for the same. Russia is multilateral, they want a European House from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with US understanding of Crimea and Ukraine, cooperating with everybody for mutual benefit, but not meddling.

Trump now has a unique chance to negotiate good deals with both; for the first time since the Russian and Chinese revolutions.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. Prof. Galtung has published 1670 articles and book chapters, over 450 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service, and 167 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 Nov 2016.

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3 Responses to “The Trump Presidency (2)”

  1. Werner T. Meyer says:

    A good biography of the Donald is David Cay Johnston The : Making of Donald Trump Kindle Edition.
    Werner T. Meyer

  2. Leejah Singh says:

    Dear Mr Galtung

    Brilliant 2-piece recap of a surprising election! But (still) disagree with your points on Russia/China. China-Vietnam agreements and relations may look good from Beijing, but fear bordering hatred in Hanoi re China is running high. Trump (and yourself) would be well advised to understand that conflict. Also with Russia. Trump may soothe Putin in his quest but Ukraine and other countries with significant Russian minorities will detest rewarding Putin for taking Crimea. Trump should insist on Russia returning Crimea to Ukraine in return for international guarantees for the Russian minority and for political and economical normalisation.

  3. Lavie Maisha says:

    There are so many reasons associated with Trump-Putin “bromance” ( for now):
    1. Trump’s personal business
    2.Trump-Melania vs. Russia-Slovenia vs. USA/Nato
    3.Trump’s pattern of appraising dictators such as Kim Jung UN, Khadafi, etc…., not to mention Adolf Hitler (
    4.Trump’s statement ” Let Russia deal with ISIS in Syria, then we will just take leftovers” made Putin feel more safer, thus he praised Trump. Another important point, Trump wants to “withdraw from NATO” and called it “Obsolete” and he doesn’t see any reason why USA should be allied with NATO, and this plays out so well into Putin’s ears, because the only thing that holds Putin from bullying other countries ( especially in Eastern Europe) is alliance between NATO-USA. Period!
    So, we have two bullies: USA-Russia, whatever they do, unfortunately affects many other countries in one way or another.
    To me, any peacebuilder, peacemaker, peace expert should be more impartial and more informed about the conflict overview, so that any statements generated out of the analysis should be based on the fact thus lead to constructive conclusions.
    I can’t agree more with you Leejah Singh.
    ( California)