TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – No one would have guessed Donald Trump’s decisive victory in US presidential election.
By Hossein Beheshti Shakib
The New York Times described the election results as “a decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters who felt that the promise of the United States had slipped their grasp amid decades of globalization and multiculturalism.”
It added that “in Mr Trump, a thrice-married Manhattanite who lives in a marble-wrapped three-story penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, they found an improbable champion.”
But did those who voted for Trump make the right choice? Only time will tell.
I could agree no less with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who described the US presidential elections this year as being a case of choosing the lesser of the two evils.
Whether Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was the less evil of the two is open to debate. Yet few, except those who voted for him, can describe Trump as someone worthy of the job, given his inflammatory style, racist remarks, full-blown Islamophobia, and outright disrespect for women, among other things.
According to one commentator, the “amount of racial, gender and class-based insults Trump has hurled throughout his time in the public spotlight is simply staggering.”
The fact that the American voters chose to send someone like Trump to the White House is yet another proof that democracy has serious flaws and pitfalls.
Thinkers and intellectuals have long criticized the efficiency of democracy, arguing, among other things, that voters are irrational or otherwise highly uninformed about many political issues, and US Election 2016 stands as proof of it. Not only its final result, but also what came out of the primaries.
Democracy puts more emphasis on quantity than quality. In a democracy majority wins and majority is more often than not uninformed about or inattentive to major issues that will matter for society. People may favor a candidate based on factors other than pure and required capability.
By any account, the final Republican and Democratic candidates for the White House were not the best the two parties could offer. But they were chosen by the majority nonetheless.
This election once again proved that the majority of people in every society are certainly not the best experts to determine the fate of a country.
This in no way means that democracy has no advantages but that its main flaw, namely the role of an unqualified majority in deciding the fate of society, needs to be somehow addressed.
Hossein Beheshti Shakib is a political commnetator with the Press Shia Agency News Agency.