IMMIGRANTS HAPPY: DONALD TRUMP TAUGHT A LESSON IN IOWA

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IMMIGRANTS HAPPY: DONALD TRUMP TAUGHT A LESSON IN IOWA
IMMIGRANTS HAPPY: DONALD TRUMP TAUGHT A LESSON IN IOWA

On February 2, 2016, Donald Trump lost in the Iowa caucuses. He was beaten to the 2nd place. Ted Cruz

was 1st and Marco Rubio was 3rd. Since the early days of this campaign season, Donald Trump seemed

unbeatable. All polls in Iowa and nationally, showed he was likely to clinch the nomination as the

presidential candidate for the Republican party.

So confident was Mr. Trump that he let his tongue loose on several occasions. He said terrible things

about immigrants, especially Mexicans. He promised to build a longer wall between the U.S and Mexico

if elected president. He vowed to carry out mass deportations of immigrants back to their countries

irrespective of their current status. And while poll numbers showed Mr. Cruz getting ahead of him, Mr.

Trump remarked that Iowans were not so stupid not to vote for him.

Well, that’s exactly what voters in Iowa did. The shock results forced Mr. Trump to change tactics. In his

speech that night accepting the results, Mr. Trump was a subdued figure. He thanked his supporters and

campaign team and even congratulated his fellow contestants.

The 2nd place finish for Mr. Trump was significant in at least two aspects. First, it burst the bubble for

those who had placed bets on him being the inevitable candidate. Secondly, it showed that, although

American voters may not be the most informed about the outside world, they cannot be underrated

either.

Mr. Trump’s anti-immigrant digs sent shock waves in the immigrant community. Far away in Britain,

people were so infuriated with Mr. Trump that activists collected signatures in a petition to declare Mr.

Trump an unwelcome visitor to that country. There were also numerous social media reports of Mr.

Trump making unsavory comments about Kenyans which led to retaliatory attacks and alienation of

Kenyan-American voters.

Mr. Trump is essentially, a real-estate businessman. Some analysts expected him to look hard on his

balance sheet. They expected he would cut and run away from the presidential race after spending a

chunk of his fortune and recoup the losses in potential public speaking fees, deals on writing books or

even creating a new TV talk show.

Going into next Tuesday’s caucuses in New Hampshire, polls widely favor Mr. Trump to win. But the

Iowa effect has brought forth a kinder and more gentle persona of Trump that voters have not seen

before. Thanks to Iowa, Mr. Trump may, going forward, drop the tactic of saying things that cause

maximum anger and hope to tap into the existing right-wing anger for political gain.

Mr. Trump’s fate in Iowa is a good lesson for Kenyans contesting in the Malindi and Kericho by-elections.

Name-calling and ethnic profiling may have some entertainment value on the campaign trail, but will

certainly not add the extra votes needed to secure victory. The anti-Luo, anti-Kikuyu, anti-Kalenjin, anti-

this or that poisonous venom has no place in modern-day politics.

Voters in the two by-elections and in the general elections next year, want candidates to talk policies

that address their local Ugali na Sukumawiki issues, their security, health and education facilities. And

how county and national government development agendas intend to tap their ethnic diversity, culture,

tourism and natural resources to improve their lives.

By Leonard Njoroge, DM Media Contributor

 

IMMIGRANTS HAPPY: DONALD TRUMP TAUGHT A LESSON IN IOWA

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