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EMinS Asks: What Trump's America Holds to Us?


In light of the presidential elections in the USA and the somewhat intense reactions to their respective results, we have talked to Slobodan Elezović, a professor of Communication at the department of Anthropology of the University in Zagreb in order to better comprehend the future to be brought about by ‘Trump’s America’.

EMinS: The results of the presidential elections in the USA have caused diverse reactions, but mostly came about as a surprise. To begin with, what would you identify as the reasons of Trump’s victory even though the polls and expectations pointed towards Clinton?

prof. Elezovic: The results of the Presidential elections in the USA are quite coherent with the announcements and expectations of particularly strong analytical streams, which have, from the beginning, taken Trump seriously, particularly since he eliminated a number of other candidates in the Republican campaign. The analytics were in a position to gradually take into account the attitudes of all the defeated candidates and simultaneously discover the causes of their ‘forfeits’ or defeats by Trump, which encouraged Trump to upscale his surprising announcements of great changes in America.
Trump will, most definitely, dedicate himself to the inside of America with a strategy of re-structuring the social coordinates of America, as well as the life conditions within the class and wider social structure. It appears his strategic priority is to create new social possibilities which will, in turn, strengthen American society and the country’s entirety.
For now, Trump is not willing to keep America on the ‘defense point’ of the world, but to work on its recovery within to reach new respectable strengths which will guarantee its influence and reputation in the international community. This pragmatically means that the American example will motivate each country of the modern world to strengthen and systematically dedicate to itself and its forces, unlike only being a part of a world organization in the name of help and support, without an obligation of its engagement and progress. In that sense, new models within the US-EU relation will be offered and EU countries will have to separately work on themselves and on their strength and influence as a form of a new identity and in the name of a new authority of each of them in international relations. The same will go for military organizations such as the NATO.
NATO will also have to strengthen with the inputs of all EU member states, without the expectations of the American guarantee which was present until now. America is a traditional European ally and will remain so, but with new conditions and parameters of a greater contribution of each country, in order for them to be worthy of the newly established global order.

EMinS: As an expert in communication, how would you assess the rhetoric of both Presidential candidates during their campaign? Was Clinton perhaps too ‘soft’?

prof. Elezovic: Mr. Trump has released his temper and style, introducing new, unusual and unseen forms of addressing the widest public, firstly the American one and consequently the world’s, which caused a shift of focus completely towards him.
Mrs. Clinton has a great capital acquired throughout her past on the political scene and everyday political life of the highest levels. She was the First Lady of the USA during the presidential mandate of her husband, Bill Clinton, from 1993 to 2000. (And Clinton was the first Democrat to hold two Presidential mandates ever since F.D. Roosevelt). Furthermore, Mrs. Clinton was also the Senator of the state of New York and a presidential candidate along -side Barack Obama in 2008, and after Obama’s victory, she became the Secretary of State.
All of these factors accumulate to a great capital for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign as the first woman to run for the Oval Office, so she thought that the American people will recognize these values as well as her benefits and almost unanimously support her, especially due to the unusual behavior, with elements of incidents, of Mr. Trump. All of this made her more considerate, quieter, which in turn gave Trump more space for his ego expressed in his actions and speeches.

EMinS: Now that the USA has a new President, what will, in your opinion, be the greatest alterations to the status-quo and American politics?

prof. Elezovic: The USA currently have a President elect, Mr. Trump, who still does not hold the role of President until Friday, January 20th 2017 at noon, when he will pledge the oath after which he will become President. Then he will, from the ‘deck’, have broader horizons which will, undoubtedly, alter some of his radical announcements from the campaign, and there will surely be a step forward towards more traditionally expected positive elements.

EMinS: As we have seen in Trump’s campaign, one of the key elements of it was the plan to strengthen the USA-Russia relations. What does that mean for Europe in general and South-East European countries in particular?

prof. Elezovic: The USA-Russia relations need to be assessed gradually since Russia should hold elections in 2018, if not sooner, so the question of Mr. Putin as the Russian President will also be present. Therefore, the evaluation and assessment of these relations need to be done step by step.
However, it seems the Balkan region is still a challenging area for a new strategy arising from the USA-Russia relations after the Putin-Erdogan agreement in Moscow this year, according to which some Russian programs would be done in collaboration with Serbia and Montenegro while Turkey should collaborate with Bosnia and Herzegovina. But we should not rush with conclusions but rather systematically follow information and happenings on the way.
Anyhow, it is time for each Balkan country to primarily turn to its own interests, its fundamental strategies and possibilities for bettering life conditions and good tactics to do so.


Interview conducted by Ms. Franka de Syo, intern at EMinS.


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