Donald Trump has won. At any rate the majority white male vote in crucial federal states. Among the losers are climate protection, political decency, Muslims and we the African continent. This is roughly the tenor of comments on the US elections in online media in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda.
A look at the election reporting and reader contributions outside of the wealthy North is well worth it. How are the media really reporting in developing and emerging countries, which are just as affected by US politics as we are?
In Bangladesh, numerous contributions reflect the widespread (and indeed warranted) fear that climate change could take a new turn for the worse. It is well known that Trump regards global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese propaganda machine. What does he care about the fact that rising sea levels are already impacting Bangladesh and that flooding is on the rise? Developing countries attending the latest climate conference in Marrakesh, nevertheless announced their wish to set themselves even more ambitious CO₂ reduction targets. It is thus all the more urgent for rich countries other than Trump's USA to now support them and provide the funds promised for that purpose. What is alarming is that in Switzerland, the Federal Council shelved the relevant proposals in 2011.
Back to Trump. Disquiet over Trump's plans to deport so-called illegal immigrants is being felt not only in Bangladesh but also in Mexico and elsewhere. What is to become of the tens of thousands of potential returnees? How to manage without the money remittances from family members? What will become of US development aid? And what of exports to the USA, which could again be facing sharp tariff increases?
In Kenya's Daily Nation, Daniel Kalinaki describes Trump's election as the most African in the history of the USA. Some readers disagree, pointing out that at least the losing party does acknowledge defeat without inciting a revolt.
The question posed by Owei Lakemfa in Nigeria's Premium Times is certainly justified: how are we supposed to emulate the democracy of a country that is so deeply divided and which is presenting the world with a misogynistic, xenophobic tax evader? The Dhaka Tribune shares the fear of many commentators in North and South that the Trump example could set a precedent and give a powerful political boost to the xenophobic and lying demagogues of this world.
It has been said countless times that the new administration should now take up office and that the direction of US policy will become clear thereafter. There are scant grounds for optimism. But one thing is certain: the degree of moral authority that the USA had garnered for itself eight years ago by electing its first Afro-American president has been squandered, giving way to very widespread disillusionment.