What Donald Trump's victory as the Republican standard bearer in the US presidential election means, given that the country's political establishment put all its weight behind his rival from the Democratic Party, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is that democracy is alive and well in the US, which is poised to remain the bedrock of democracy.
A number of objective factors made Donald Trump's victory possible.
First, voters who cast their ballots for Trump mostly believe him to be a real man and true American capable of making America great again. This is the main reason he won a majority of America's white middle class represented by people from rural areas (62 percent) and conservatives (81 percent). These people made up the core of Trump's support. For a full picture it has to be added that he was supported by 58 percent of white voters, 53 percent of men, 53 percent of voters over 45 years old, and 92 percent of Republicans.
With universalization (globalization) gaining momentum and the continuing erosion of American moral and cultural values, Trump's call to make America great again seems to have been the cornerstone of the presidential campaign. In situations like this one, the all-powerful political establishment usually takes center stage in US politics. It plays by its own rules and made political correctness one of the defining features of US politics, placing decorum above all else.
This caused such a state of affairs, when personal achievements and success that are highly-prized by the Americans, became possible due to the institution of personal connections, but not at the expense of the hard work. And this led to a generalized rejection by blue collar Americans of the political establishment that lives in its own little world.
In addition, the US remains one of the few developed countries where a majority claims to be religious, for whom religion plays "a very important role" in their lives. The fact that most Protestants (58 percent) and Catholics (52 percent) voted for Trump is not a coincidence. However, the once magical country of jazz and legendary movies that promised any American the opportunity to live his or her dream has become submerged in the globalization process, transforming people into machines. This is what the US voters could not tolerate. It is for this reason that the idea that modern Americans could successfully challenge anything, even God, is unlikely to operate the way it once did.
All this brought about the Trump phenomenon as a challenge to the liberal global order that, like so many things in the world, has reached its limits.
Second, the outcome of the US presidential election and Brexit are two links in a single chain of events. The outcome in both cases is basically attributable to the conservative part of the electorate challenging the political establishment, its rules and mostly liberal bias, and conservatives tend to be a majority.
Third, the growth of far right sentiment across the world has pushed the pendulum to the left, after which, following the formal rules of logic, it swung back to the right, as reflected in the US presidential election and Brexit referendum.
Fourth, it seems that Trump, as a financial giant and owner of a major business empire, will focus in his policy choices on shielding the US from economic risks and searching for mutually beneficial deals just as in a well-run company.
It is for this reason that in his first interview after the election with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said that he intends to address "healthcare, create jobs through infrastructure projects and improve international trade deals, border control, tax reform."
In his victory speech, the US president-elect talked about dealing fairly with everyone willing to work with the US. This approach paves the way to building a new kind of relationship between the US and Russia from the ground up, and promoting constructive dialogue between the two countries.
For his part, President of Russia Vladimir Putin congratulated Donald Trump on his victory. In his message, Putin expressed hope that the two countries will "work together to lift Russian-US relations out of the current crisis, resolve current issues on the international agenda, and search for effective responses to global security challenges." What this means is that Russia will inevitably cease to be regarded as the main threat to the US, giving Russia a chance to become Washington's partner, at the very least, and lay the groundwork for a mutually beneficial relationship based on common interests. The two countries should focus on promoting their national interests whenever global issues are not part of the equation.
All in all, the US is expected to gradually retreat from its role as the eternal messiah of liberal values that have become ultra-liberal lately, while the country will remain a model democracy that is constantly reinventing itself. Policy will refocus on protecting US interests, which means that domestic policy will become a priority. For these reasons, Donald Trump's election as president of the United States should not be viewed as a one-time protest vote but rather the emergence of a new trend reflecting the longing of the electorate to restore the country's past greatness and its readiness to sacrifice US global interests in order to make life better within its borders. What will come of it? Only time will tell.
Nana Gegelashvili is Head of Regional Problems Center (ISKRAN)