A Tanzanian Asked Me How Americans Feel About Trump. Will You Answer Him?

​”Brandon, may you write something about how people of America perceive the ideas of the newly elected president?”  This is the question I recently received from a former colleague in Tanzania. Kalistus Chonya and I worked together at a school in this East African country in 2014. We’ve stayed in touch ever since.


Like a lot of people around the world, Kalistus had watched from afar as an outspoken, unpredictable businessman and reality TV star did the impossible and became the US president. Now Kalistus wants to know: How have the Americans received Trump and his ideas?

That’s not an easy question to answer–particularly for one person. So I didn’t answer Kalistus’s question. Several others did. I offered the question to my weekly email recipients and Facebook friends, who offered their responses below.

Now I’m asking for your opinion.

How do you think the “people of America perceive the ideas of the newly elected president?” Speak an as individual, or try to speak for America as a whole if you like. In any case, keep it fair and level-headed. As evident below, The Periphery represents a variety of perspectives, which helps us best see and understand situations from all angles.

Add your angle in the comments below to help our observer in East Africa.

Mark Fox
His brashness is a negotiating tactic. While he is surely more “America first” than the most recent guys, that doesn’t make him “anti” anybody. At the root, his ideas are neither original nor extreme. 

Renee Jones
I was very surprised he was elected & it has changed my opinion for the worse of America, the country I share with so many others. In a way, it is good that I was made aware what the silent wanted & it has provided moments of deeper communication among friends and family. We cannot learn if we never become vulnerable enough to make a visible mistake. I’m constantly disappointed by President Trump. I disagree with many of his decisions, most especially the travel ban. I don’t feel hopeless, though. This time will pass and hopefully in 4 years America can provide a different kind of president.

John Schulte
The best thing to happen to politics in many years. The majority of the state’s support him.

Maggie Lane
The majority of us disapprove. Personally, I’m deeply concerned and saddened by almost everything he says and does especially his limited vision of an “Only America first” world.

Tango Laos
Dear Kalistus, For many years previous Presidents have focused too much on other countries. They donate millions in money, military, and resources to other countries and yet the American people are left with the bill. Our cities are rattled with crime, cities without good infrastructure and water, our jobs are being sent overseas, and our education isn’t the best in the world. President Donald Trump is right in this regard. Even though I may not always agree with his policies or he may not portray himself conventionally, he is still right. Many other people agree as well and so he is our president.

Okay. Now your turn. Help a Tanzanian understand the American attitude toward Trump. As I did with the above responses, I’ll share yours in my weekly email this Sunday, which Kalistus reads. If you would like to join my email list (which includes a message for the week and other material from readers), indicate this in your comment or email me at brandon@theperiphery.com. You can also like The Periphery’s Facebook page.


If you have a question you’d like to ask–about the US, about the various other countries represented in The Periphery community, about our articles, about whatever–email me at brandon@theperiphery.com. We’d love to know what you’re curious about.

4 Responses

  1. Maggie Lane is incorrect and speaks like most fake news reporters do: out of the side of her mouth and lieing. America is made up of two political parties and one mostly approves and the other mostly disapproves. The one that disapproves is childish, cannot accept the fact that their candidate (Hillary Clinton) lost and that party is prone to tantrums and unprofessional behavior, such as destroying public and private buildings, etc. It’s one thing to have an emotion and its purely another to act on it,like so many of them do! Our country is being pushed towards civil war because of people in the bitter, childish group, because they want everything free, including for illegal immigrants.

    1. It is a fact: 54% of the voters DID NOT vote for Trump. He won the map, but he is not president through the will of the voters as measured by a direct democracy.

      (If this were a baseball game, the team that won the most innings and not who scored the most runs would be the winner.)

      Trump should at least pretend to consider the voice of the majority when he makes decisions. Trump supporters need to get passed the idea that the majority’s voice should be silent until the next election…

      and they need get stop shrieking “fake news” if reality does not conform to their confirmation bias.

      If HRC had won the election without a majority and with a plurality as Trump did, insufferable conservatives would be reminding her every day (and if she was as close to oligarchs in Russia as Trump is, there would be congressional hearing after congressional hearing)

  2. Dear Kalistus,
    I echo what John Schulte said, but for a much different reason. Our country has been complacent for far too long, willing to accept whatever leader was elected because, frankly, nothing much got done anyway. Trump won because some of his base embrace racism and sexism, and some of his followers were willing to believe that he didn’t really mean what he said (he did). Now the good people of America are rising up in resistance; engaging in the political system sometimes for the first time in their life. Our values of democratic freedom for all will ensure that Trump hears our voices. Although just today, several media outlets were barred from the daily white house briefing. Suppressing the media is the first step to a dictatorship. The good people of America are stepping up to make sure that doesn’t happen.

  3. Kalistus says thank you to all those who responded to his question. He wrote the following:

    Thank you very much to you Brandon and to all readers of your emails for giving me your views about the newly elected President of America. I appreciate the answers from Mark Fox, Renee Jones, John Schulte, Maggie Lane and Tango Laos. On my views, President Trump is good but he is changing things drastically, that is why most of people disagree with his approach. I think I can’t be mistaken if I compere him with our President here in Tanzania whom after being elected, he also banned many things which were done before by the previous presidents. One among the things is prohibiting government leaders especially the ministers to travel outside the country in order to avoid the unnecessary expenditure of money. In the beginning it was a very big problem to the ministers but now it is a normal thing. Therefore what I think, after sometime Americans will understand Trump.

    We’ll find out in time, Kalistus. Thank you for your question.

What say you?