The Trump Presidency (5)


Johan Galtung - from Washington DC, 13 Nov 2016 - TRANSCEND Media Service

Donald Trump passed the CBS 60 Minutes TV test on Sunday evening 13 Nov in Washington.  So did the very well prepared journalist. What came through was a relaxed Trump, in command not only of voice and body language and short crisp answers, almost always straight to the points, but also of an amazing array of facts.  A quick learner; but also considerably better educated (Wharton) than his competitors.

Watch out: the 45th president may end up among the top 10. Or 5?

He was confronted with his many negative comments on groups in US society and campaign promises; and his answers were all as predicted in the four preceding mini-columns on The Trump Presidency. The journalist would have done us a favor had she focused less on campaign statements and more on the new Prescient Elect Trump not only handling relations to the Clintons and Obama gracefully, but full of new ideas.

But she was right in drawing attention to massive anti-Trump demonstrations in nine major cities around the USA.  Trump has a point about “professional demonstrators”, but the anti-Trump sentiment is genuine and totally understandable given the former Candidate Trump.

However, the demonstrators should consider that winning the election gives him a strong position in a democracy; well understood by the Clintons and Obama. The demonstrators say: we know better than that (stupid) majority! Challenge his presidency, not the election.

Moreover, any demonstrator who voted for Clinton voted for war; preferring a possible nuclear war with Russia to controversial Trump.  Do people with that political profile merit being taken seriously?

Trump owes many groups inside and outside the USA an apology. He should meet them publicly for dialogues that may or may not end with conciliation, depending on both sides.  In the meantime, his “Stop It!” to the racism of some of his own people was appropriate and useful.

And this is the last Trump mini-column. Next on this theme: TMS Editorial, 23 Jan 2017.


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.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: The Trump Presidency (5), is included. Thank you.

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11 Responses to “The Trump Presidency (5)”

  1. Leejah Singh says:

    Dear Mr Galtung

    I may have missed some important details here, but in what way is Trump “also considerably better educated (Wharton) than his competitors”?

    If look up Trump’s credentials they do indeed include a BS from Wharton, but compared to some of his competitors this is somwehat unimpressive. Within the Republican ranks Ted Cruz has a significantly more impressive list of degrees, and was even running the Harvard Law Review during his tenure there, Fiorina got at BA from Stanford, MBA from Maryland and a MSc from MIT. Among the Democrats Hillary Clinton got her JD and later did post graduate work at Yale. Jill Stein of The Green Party has degrees from Harvard including a medical degree from HMS.

    Am I missing anything in Trump’s resumé?

    • Lavie Maisha says:

      I agree with Leejah Singh.
      Trump was actually one of the most less educated in comparison to the Republican competitors including Dr.Ben Carson ( a well known pediatric Neurosurgeon-USA), Dr.Rand Paul ( specialized in ophthalmology, and many more who had PhDs and even Clinton with JD ( Doctorate).
      And stating that “voting for Hilary Clinton was voting for war” is a little bit bias and political aspect indeed. I am not a fan of Hilary but this statement is more misleading and partisan as well. I understand that she voted war on Iraq, but Trump promised to “Bond the sh***t out of them”, and he was for war on Iraq until he flip-flopped recently. So, Johan Galtung needs to get informed in this matter.
      Peace for all .

      • Per-Stian says:

        Think that line by Galtung was about quality rather than quantity, and not just about schooling in the literal sense. But that was simply my interpretation.

        Then one can discuss whether it’s a fair judgement or not. Whatever their education, it seems to me they all turned into lousy human beings.

    • Reply from Prof. Galtung:

      Sorry for being late in answering, was in New York at a hotel with e-mail problems.

      Here is how I was thinking, but I expressed it badly; your comment is absolutely in order.

      As President-Elect Trump is revising the program of Candidate Trump (an ongoing process as we know). JOBS came out on top of the list. Wharton School is a business school and my thinking was that that prepared him better; fully aware of the impressive curricula of Cruz and Clinton. Both could be excellent professors with those credentials, but that is not the same thing for jobs.

      — Johan Galtung

  2. Bernt Jonsson says:

    One small objection as to the analysis:
    Clinton got more votes but due to the strange electoral system fewer representatives, who are the real decision makers. In a similar way the senate doesn’t fairly mirror the opinions of the American population, as each state has two senators independent of its size. In a different way the option of gerrymandering the election to the house of representatives is undermining the representativity of the Congress members. Finally, obviously there is no common agreement about the importance to make it as easy as possible to vote in order to get as many a people as poss!ible to vote. Very strange in a country which claims to be a model democracy

  3. Werner T. Meyer says:

    If you are living in a NATO or NATO-partnership-for-war country, this link may give you some alternative perspectives on the US election:
    (But be warned: some articles may be influenced by Qatar’s role in the aggressor alliance in the Syrian war.)

    Werner T. Meyer

  4. Alejandro Bendaña says:

    Johan states and asks”Any demonstrator who voted for Clinton voted for war; preferring a possible nuclear war with Russia to controversial Trump. Do people with that political profile merit being taken seriously?”

    Of course they merit being taken seriously, because the issue today and in the future is NOT who they voted for or whether they voted at all or why, but rather that they are demonstrating on the streets (and not for Hillary) but protesting against Trumpism, for their (and our) future) They deserve our respect and support.

  5. Per-Stian says:

    For several months I had a suspicion that Galtung sort-of rooted for Trump precisely because he is likely to be a catastrophe, further alienate the US from the rest of the world, because there is a certain prediction that was uttered many moons ago about the US Empire declining by 2020.

    It’s obviously too early to tell how the Trump presidency will impact any of this, or if he’ll be as “mad” as he was on the campaign trail, but I’m certainly not calmed by many of the names likely to occupy key positions in his administration.

    It would be fantastic if the US got a president whose first reaction to anything wasn’t “bomb the shit out of them”, but I find it hard to believe Trump is that man. However, even a negative peace or do-no-harm approach would be a great leap in the right direction compared to the current situation of perpetual war. Again, though, I’m not the least bit convinced that Trump is that man.

    Time will tell. I just worry that we are in for some very bleak years.

  6. Leejah Singh says:

    Dear Per-Stian

    What “quality” is Trump’s puny BS from Wharton compared to the MS, JD, MBAs etc his competitors has from reknown institutions??

    • Per-Stian says:

      The comment was just my interpretation of Galtung’s sentence, I’m not necessarily in agreement with it. As for the “quality” of it, that’s pretty much what I said, the quality of the education itself, instead of the name of the institution/university.

      That said, if Wikipedia is to be believed, Wharton offered one of the few real estate studies departments at the time, and is ranked #1 in the relevant field even today.

      Perhaps more importantly than the degree of institution where he graduated, is the ability to think outside the box, to be creative. Trump seems to do rather well here, even if often for selfish reasons (avoid tax, etc). And perhaps talk to Putin, instead of surrounding Russia with yet more military bases, and forcing NATO troops on their borders?

      I can only hope that this creative outside-the-box thinking can result in more sensible politics than Obama, and most of the other presidential candidates. As mentioned previously in other comments, I’m not particulary hopeful about that, particularly given all the lunatics likely to have direct access to his ear. Right now, however, maybe it’s good to cling on to this glimmer of hope – even if it’s not a very realistic prospect.