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Op-Ed: The power of voting alerts the world

Kurdish legal consultant, writer and journalist Chiman Salih explains why she believes that Donald Trump won the 2016 US presidential election: “The Americans didn’t elect Trump because he is going to solve their problems or has a better plan than the others. The Brexit supporters didn't vote because the exit would make a better situation for them. They only voted this way in order to show that they have the power of voting and say: ‘Hey, stop lying!’”
US President-elect Donald Trump Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

As I mentioned in a previous op-ed, the international organizations have proven ineffective in sorting out world problems. However, I don't view Donald Trump’s victory as the indication of a newer order for the world. I believe it’s only a wake-up call coming from the people who seek to inform politicians that they hold the power of their votes.

I believe that the current world order is still functioning with very dysfunctional international institutions. Dysfunctional global institutions, dysfunctional administration and ignorant politicians neglecting the public led to others like President-elect Trump and voting results such as Brexit.

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In the last couple of decades, as many of the international human rights organizations emerged and developed, most of the administrations, including those of Western countries, retreated in taking care of people's demands and lives.

The governments proved ineffective and not creative enough in having master plans suitable for humanity. For example, when some governments and politicians reacted to violent acts and their perpetrators, they chose racism instead of emphasizing that the rule of law be implemented equally for everyone.

The Western governments should ask themselves whether implementing a racist policy to avoid ISIS atrocities can really stop the interior growth of violence, which is a result of racism and fascism trends.

Take France for example. The French are worried about the procedures that should be taken against ISIS terrorists. However, they are also worried about remaining a token of liberty. I believe that the terrorists should be punished as the terrorist criminals they are, just like most people in the Middle East believe. There should be no hesitation regarding their punishment. However, it is important to not let their punishment affect how Westerners view people from the region who are not associated with ISIS. It’s unfair that people from the Middle East are deprived of traveling to some places because of the murderous terrorist organization’s attacks and acts.

It is axiomatic that violence begets violence, so how can Europe, the center of respecting diversity and the cradle of freedom and humanitarian laws, include violence in solutions. It would be catastrophic if the US did that because of all the US-led coalitions that protect people in different places in the world.

Why are people now frustrated? In the various election campaigns around the world, the politicians don’t really care about the number of promises they make to their voters. They will forget everything right after Election Day.

The Americans didn’t elect Trump because he is going to solve their problems or has a better plan than the others. The Brexit supporters didn't vote because the exit would make a better situation for them. They only voted this way in order to show that they have the power of voting and say: “Hey, stop lying!” They said that they have the right to vote. The new world order institutions after the world wars were basically established in order to make a better life for people by protecting them and defending their rights. But now many politicians only exploit these rights while mentioning that we can still upend things by our votes.

If the politicians throughout the world continue to act like this, it shouldn’t be a surprise that people took the power in their hands by voting and showing their resentment for the establishments. The West should begin to protect its values by constructing new policies that highlight those values that are so important to humanity.


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