Carlos Alberto Montaner’s genius intellect produced an essay underlining the futility of Donald Trump’s political platform — a platform that aims at returning the U.S. to the WASP society that it is not and the geopolitical play that no longer exists.
According to Montaner’s article “The Last Wasp,” Trump is attempting to restore “the United States as an expression of the English Protestant reformists who colonized the land and imprinted on it their civilizing strain. Those founders were not immigrants come to be part of an established world. They were the creators of a new society, partially different from the one they had left behind in Europe.”
But centuries of progress and of diverse waves of immigration turned the US into an “enormous country of 322 million people, so different from the one in 1620 when the Mayflower arrived, or from the one in 1776 with 4 million people when the Republican adventure began; blessed with an immense human variety, today resembles a rainbow shared by whites, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, believers and nonbelievers, a society that values more a tolerance toward minorities, regardless of their sexual preferences, than to the values and principles that made the Pilgrims uniform and constituted a real creed or catechism of “the Good American.”
Accordingly to pretend to lead the U.S. as if we were in the 19th century is not only futile, but dangerous as today’s threats are different in nature; delivery channels and solutions.
Something similar to Mr. Trump’s misinterpretation of history happened South of the Rio Grande where powers that be were late to realize that trade, migratory flows and development itself has an end to the feeding sources of corporatism and mercantilism.
Accordingly, countries in the region could only find their place in the world through wealth creation, as opposed to wealth extraction.
As trade-led change proceeded from the 1990s and onward, these nations gradually lost capacity to sustain a society through an extraction platform.
Those platforms had been created by colonial powers to deploy the native population into commodity extraction.
But trade had created production networks in many corners of the hemisphere that had turned into links of a worldwide production chain. Regulatory and economic practice strait jackets placed on the Latin American civic society became less and less effective.
Some countries like Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay managed to supplant them for market attuned and human rights infused rules of law thereby attaining progress and development.
These nations — while great contributors to intellectual development and freedom — lacked the weight to disseminate their achievements.
As rule of law takes hold in Brazil and in Argentina the sway for change will be deployed hemispheric wide.
Both nations, not only have the economic muscle through trade to influence political change in the rest of the hemisphere, but also the intellectual and cultural appeal to create following in this cybernetic age.
They further represent one of the best human capital stocks in the hemisphere.
With the ongoing repeal in Brazil of the remnants of the colonial institutional network and the rollback in Argentina of Peronism which was the 20th century edition of mercantilism, both nations will see their creative energies liberated and deployed into wealth creation and institutional refunding .
This will imply the ascent of a new leadership brand in the region that buries Mr. Lula’s and Mrs. Kirchner’s approaches to governance.
Because, contrary to what they preach and seem to believe, their leadership was not borne from a civic revolution but from the thirst for resources of a colonial power that used the Indigenous population as a extracting tools.
In that sense the two leaders were the last Tupi-Guaranis of the hemisphere.
Their demise and replacement by a brave new generation of market savvy millennials with global vision will change the rules of engagement in the hemisphere. They will likely impact Mr. Trump’s vision of the world with the virtue of moderation and perhaps convince him to stop playing the role of the Last WASP.