President Trump’s appointment of Nikki Haley to the position of United Nations ambassador in his new administration proved to be another eyebrow-raiser among pundits across the nation. Yet it can be argued that this may be another Trumpian maneuver designed to provide a false sense of security to the country’s rivals and enemies. It may also serve to placate opposition forces at home as well as give Trump enormous leverage in taking preemptive action against subversives both foreign and domestic.
Nimrata Randhawa is the daughter of Indian Sikh immigrants, a graduate of Clemson University with a BA in accounting. Her marriage to Michael Haley complemented her Anglicized nickname in becoming Nikki Haley. She became one of six Asian governors in the United States upon her election in South Carolina. Though she was a vocal opponent of Donald Trump during the election, she is a pro-life advocate and a supporter of immigration reform.
Although South Carolina was a Confederate state, its antebellum demographics changed over two centuries. It is estimated to have a seventy percent white population, the majority being Southern Baptists. The remaining third of the state is largely comprised of blacks, most of whom belong to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The economic downturn of the 21st century had a major impact, and the state supreme court ruled that South Carolina was failing to provide minimally adequate education. It was also ranked as thirty-third out of the fifty states for quality of health care. It is also of interest to note that the Palmetto State was once considered a bastion of the Ku Klux Klan in the previous century.
Haley’s rise as a default political leader was facilitated by weak opposition from state Representative Larry Koon in 2004 and Governor Vincent Sheheen. She found support from Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, both of whom had collapsed before Barack Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012 respectively. There was also support from the estranged wife of the ex-governor, Jenny Sanford. Power vacuums are characteristic of sociological paradigms predicating weak leadership. One considers the admonitions of the apostle Paul, who considered outspoken women in the congregation as ‘shameful’. Scholars note that it is not based on misogyny; rather, the lack of male leadership prompting a female to rise to the occasion out of necessity.
Haley took a stand against Trump during the election, citing his seemingly extremist stance against immigration as well as his failure to denounce support from the KKK. Trump fired back with remarks about her weak position against illegal immigration. Yet it appeared as a sitzkrieg between Republicans divided by what was proving to be an internecine war of attrition. Trump’s extension of an olive branch was surprising but not as stunning as his overtures towards Mitt Romney after winning the election.
The immediate benefit to the fledgling administration is the inclusion of an Asian female to the ranks. Haley’s comely looks and Southern accent make this far less sensational than it may seem. It is also of note that Haley has characteristically downplayed her race and gender, focusing instead on her resolve and integrity. Breaking racial barriers has been a necessity along her journey through Southern politics. Only the race card may prove a vital asset along the next leg of her sojourn.
The geopolitical nature of international relations in the 21st century makes this an essential factor. Although Sikhs and Muslims are as different as Catholics and Protestants, they share common ground in the polemics against European Christianity. There has only been one white Christian holding the office of UN Secretary General since 1961. It reflects the changing of the guard in world politics, where Third World nations are growing more powerful and homogenous in their unity. Having someone like Haley representing Trump before these multinational emissaries will have obvious benefits.
The shock waves rippling across America has had a delayed effect on the global community. The military presence of the Obama regime around the world as well as its impact on international terrorism have left the nations in bewilderment. Many expected a black leftist Muslim president to have withdrawn from the Middle East and to have sought peace with ISIS and Al Qaeda. The increase in deportations of aliens from the USA proved to be even more perplexing.
Only now the ascendancy of Trump to the presidency has come with a sharp curtailing of his campaign rhetoric. He calls for unity among all Americans regardless of race, color or creed. The sloganeering of ‘making America great again’ comes as general relief to the world community. For everyone knows that the USA has provided artificial providence to most of the planet over two centuries. It gives financial support to its enemies, military protection to its allies and agricultural relief to countries on the other side of the Earth. This has ultimately resulted in a ten trillion dollar debt that threatens to collapse an already weakened Goliath. If this return to grassroots principles transforms America into an Antaeus, how can the world help but be a better place?
No competitor ever wants to stand against an omnipotent foe, and this is where Haley’s ‘weaknesses’ will become her assets. Despite the world community’s call for inclusivity and diversity, many Third World nations are decidedly chauvinistic in nature. A major Trump criticism of the Clinton Foundation was its acceptance of millions of dollars in contributions from Muslim nations where women are treated as second-class citizens at best. Delegates from such countries will be naturally inclined to think that Haley, as Trump’s advocate, is a subliminal indication of the magnate’s weakness. They would hardly suspect that the opposite may be true.
In an increasingly Muslim European Union, Haley’s appointment will be seen as a major concession. The influx of refugees from the Middle East is rapidly changing the constituency of the continent. The desperate need to assimilate is causing extreme reactions, from white nationalism to radical Muslim activism in every country. Many nations have elected female leaders and Muslim politicians in attempts to restore equilibrium. Seeing a mirror image in an American UN delegate will reassure the EU that things are the same all over, yet not as bad as they seem.
Alternately, the United Kingdom’s ‘brexit’ reflects accelerated effects beyond those seen on the Continent. In a desperate attempt to rediscover their national identity, they have isolated themselves though finding their ties with the US as a stabling influence. They will look past Haley in seeking assurance in Trump, just as the Moral Majority throughout America. They overlook what he is doing in expectation of what he promised to do. And so the Anglo-American alliance waits and prays.