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Nov 15, 2016

The Lesson of Donald Trump for Belizean Politics

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is set to take office in January as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America. He surprised the world with an unexpectedly comprehensive victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, one week ago tonight. The billionaire businessman from New York City won with an appeal to white and lower-to-middle class voters seeking change after eight years under African-American President Barack Obama, though occasionally with distasteful rhetoric. But the victory put all politics as usual under a microscope, and in Belize, says P.U.P. leader John Briceño, a similar down-to-earth message is needed to reach the disinterested masses.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“He had the right message – a message of hope, a message to the hopelessness especially of Middle America, poor Americans that felt that they are being left on the side because of globalization and the changes in technology and he came with the right message. Now if it is a message that he would be able to deliver on, that is another matter. But he had the right message to the people that needed help most, or needed hope the best. But now after the elections, all of those people who were giving the wrong prognostications are coming to you and telling you ‘This is why he won’ – now they have all the answers. But I think that you must admire Mister Trump; I never for a moment thought that he would have had any chances to win, with his boorish behaviour, his misogynistic behaviour toward women – all the rules, he was just tearing up the book and throwing it away, and here he won. But he won simply because there were these marginalized people that felt that they had been forgotten for so long. And the same thing has to apply in Belize; that now we are having more and more people that feel marginalized, that feel that they have been forgotten, that feel that they have been abandoned. And we as a P.U.P., we also have to take a closer look at the lessons of the American election, and to make sure that the policies that we want to put forward, the messaging that we want to put forward, will be able to be inclusive of everyone, especially the poor people.”

 

The Electoral College meets on December nineteenth to formally count the vote. Though Trump is well ahead and has been picking out his Cabinet, forces opposed to him hope to persuade some voters to change their vote to Clinton, who leads in the popular vote.

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