By Stephen Wilson
Moscow, Russia -- The Trump victory came largely as a surprise . It was largely unanticipated.
However most Russians appear to welcome the Trump victory in the Presidential elections because of his confessed admiration for President Putin, a desire to improve Russian American relations and a past statement suggesting he would recognise the Crimea as part of Russia. They hope that the election of Trump will be pivotal in ending a new cold war , curbing if not cancelling sanctions and bringing real peace to Ukraine.
When I told one of my students that Trump had won the election , he expressed delight saying: " Did Trump win ? (disbelief) That is great news ! If I had the right to vote in the American Elections I'd vote for Trump. " Questioned as to
why he supports Putin he stated: " Trump wants to improve relations with Russia. He likes Putin."
Before I had visited my student I had dropped into a small corner shop and noticed them watching a news report of Trump winning . I asked the manager what he thought but he was not so optimistic. "I don't think it will make any difference. America always needs an enemy and Russia represents the ideal arch enemy. It is because Trump owes a lot of things to the industrialists who support them and they'll have their agenda."
Perhaps the Russians have been strongly alienated by implacable anti- Russian policies of the Obama Clinton government. Russians blame them for supporting the war in Ukraine, sanctions as well as being behind doping scandals. The idea that Russians helped Trump secure victory is regarded as an insult to not only Russians but the intelligence of Americans. The Russians are tired of what they see as hysterical warnings that the Russians intend to invade the Baltic states. The election of Trump is viewed as representing 'punishment for this stupidity. '
When I attended one of David Wansbrough's lectures two weeks ago, his comments on Clinton were warmly welcomed by the Russians in the audience. He stated that in the Arab world Hillary Clinton was known as 'Killary ' because of her involvement in the murder on Colonel Gaddafi.
The Russian film Director Stanislav Govorukhin stated : "I was against Clinton because she is so disgusting. I remember when the future Government of Islam killed Gaddafi , one person would look at this incidently with moral
superiority but most people expressed pity. Only she felt great joy. I'm very glad that Trump won".
Vladimir Spivakov, an actor claimed: "It seems to me , that the majority of Russians namely wanted this result. "
Yevgeni Yasin , a manager from the Higher school of Economics, stated:
"Clinton was supposed to be the next American president as most of the American press wrote. The victory of Trump was for me, unexpected.
"I can't say I'm satisfied because I don't understand this figure. If we will practise the policies , which we did with Obama, then finally Trump will say, "It is impossible to do any business with those fellows".
Not everyone welcomed the Trump victory in Russia. The Moscow Times published a front page article with the heading 'Grave New World". They go so far as to state that Trump's victory has stalled all attempts of reform in Russia. The article appears to grossly overestimate the influence of America on the internal affairs of Russia. The Editor in Chief Mikhail Fishman makes the ludicrous theatrical statement that, "The hope for change in Russia has been buried in the voting booths of Florida, Michigan, and North Carolina."
(Moscow Times , no. 5780, 10-16 November, Post Election Analysis , Mikhail Fishman)
Even more hysterical was a comment from a former American Ambassador which attributed Trump's victory to Russian covert intervention.
Neither the Russians, nor the Americans have such a huge influence on the internal affairs of each other. It is either hysteria or wishful thinking to suggest otherwise.
A much darker explanation as to why Trump is so popular in Russia lies with the fact that his authoritarian policies, racism , and hostility to migrants, refugees and Afro-Americans are shared with many Russians.
What we might be witnessing is a Brexit effect where the powerless and side-stepped working class whites are endorsing extreme right wing populist policies as a protest against an establishment politics which has long ignored
Nevertheless, Trump remains a dark horse. He is a notorious liar whose statements contradict each other and are highly inconsistent. Will he really build a wall between Mexico and America? Will he carry out his promise to deport 6.5 million illegal migrants and eventually 11 million?
Will he reverse the concessions Obama made to illegal immigrants where some of them could obtain more legal status and services? Will he actually improve relations with Russia or is it just bombastic banal rhetoric?
One thing is certain. The victory of Trump represents a severe blow against struggling migrants, refugees and the most disadvantaged sections of American society . The irony is that Clinton was the the fifth candidate in American history who while winning the most votes, still failed to secure
the presidency. Another Irony is that Trump previously condemned the electoral college system of presidential elections as 'unfair ' for the very reason that his opponent lost! So much for democracy!