Trump: Victory of the ‘real country’ over the ‘legal country’
SİNAN BAYKENTIn the 19th century, French royalist theorist Charles Maurras developed a political distinction between the concepts of “legal country” (pays légal) and “real country” (pays réel). According to Maurras, the legal country represented republican institutions, whereas the real country referred to ordinary people hailing from different regions, parishes and families. In fact, Maurras attempted to initiate a political theory opposing the French republican dominium and tried to foster politics of monarchist resistance instead. Nowadays and especially in French politics, this distinction is still used by nationalists in order to exalt the Vox Populi against the rule of traditional elites.
Donald Trump has been elected the new president of the United States of America. At the beginning, he was just an outsider. His opponents criticized his “populist” discourse and even described him as a “madman” and a “dangerous demagogue.” In reality, Trump’s strategy was to consolidate America’s bedrock, the WASP, ignored by his predecessors in Washington for so many years. To be completely honest, the rise of WASP-centered rhetoric arose long time before Trump, with the growing Tea Party phenomenon and especially with Sarah Palin, the running mate of John McCain in the 2008 elections. Many Republican leaders intentionally disregarded the ascent of WASP-orientated grassroots propulsions in the GOP. They chose to focus mainly on economic issues rather than cultural ones. The Americans have spoken, and despite all predictions, they have spoken in Trump’s favor.
Trump is neither crazy nor stupid. He skillfully managed to understand signals coming from the Republican electorate but also the ones coming from people who were frustrated at not being listened to by the governing leaders in Washington. Trump gave hope to the deprived, the needy and the poor. Given the fact that he’s a successful businessman who actually knows the market’s expectations also certainly played a great role in altering the negative perceptions cultivated against him.
With Trump’s election, the “politically correct” has taken a serious hit. Just as it is the case in Europe with the rise of populist-nationalist parties, American mainstream politics have reached an impasse. “Enough with politician politics” has become the new motto in Western countries. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s right-wing or left-wing outsiders who are on the rise; the important thing to acknowledge is the fact that they’re “outsiders.” Republicans were questioning Trump, saying that he wasn’t the ideal candidate to defeat Hillary. After all, maybe it was Hillary Clinton who didn’t seem to be the right candidate to beat Trump. Might Bernie Sanders have been a better choice? We’ll never know.
Peoples and nations are awakening across the world. Whether rightists or leftists, they are demanding change in respect to their economic conditions and cultural identities. Will the 21st century witness a revival of “real countries” in reaction to “legal countries?” Time will tell. Nevertheless, the wheels of history have turned and a new world order is shaping itself. Let’s hope it’s for a good cause.