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This time four years ago, very few people gave Donald J. Trump a beggar’s chance of getting anywhere near the White House. The pundits said that he was a joke. The media wrote him off. The polls said he was dreaming. No one who worked hard for his money would have bet a cent in any of Trump’s failed casinos across America that Donald Trump would become the 45th President of the United States of America. We were all wrong.
In November 2016, what looked like a joke became reality! Donald J. Trump was announced President-elect of the United States of America, the most powerful office in the world. Surprise! Surprise! The American people, deploying their fairy-tale electoral college system told the world that they had elected as their president the trash talking egomaniac who spews obscenities as much as he openly sprouts divisions and cultural wars. The distinguished former United States First Lady, former New York Senator and former U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton received about three million more votes from the American people but come and see ‘America wonder’, a guy who was that badly worsted at the polls, a guy who has run his companies five times into bankruptcy, pays little tax and has been married to three different women was announced winner of the election.
Imagine if that had happened in an African country, Donald Trump would have immediately picked up his smart phone and fired off a tweet to deride the country as a ‘shit hole country’ with no respect for the core tenet of democracy which is one man one vote.
Come to think of it, there are many people in Nigeria who are fans of Donald Trump. They see him as the “actor” in a movie. You know that “actors” never lose. There are many Nigerians who support Trump because he is supposed to be against gay marriage and abortion. We are talking about the same guy reputed to enjoy a night out with prostitutes. Donald Trump has no respect for women, especially if they are black women. That is why he cannot stand the idea of own Ngozi Okonjo Iweala being DG of the WTO.
With the problems in Nigeria, you may wonder why this columnist writes so much about America. I have always been fascinated by America. For much of my lifetime, America has been seen as the moral compass of the world promoting democracy, human rights and fighting autocratic regimes, evil, hunger and disease across the world. We all look up to America to show us the way. America used to be seen as the leader of the free world and much of the world went were America went.
I knew that some Americans can be “one kind” but I never thought there were such many crazy people in America who would see in Trump the leader of the land of the free. The amazing thing is that those who have propelled Donald Trump’s journey to the Whitehouse are the bible quoting Christian conservatives. How can this group consider this man whose behaviour is so unchristian to be one of them and accept him as promoting their values… this self-conceited man whose own niece, Mary Trump with a Doctorate in Psychology, refers to as the most dangerous man in the world?
Donald Trump shows you the power of Reality TV and the smart phone. In the world of Reality TV, there is no bad news. Bad news is good news. Donald Trump, the star of NBC’s Reality TV show, “the Apprentice” understands that in the crazy Reality TV world, all you need is to be in the news. And so, the Donald swears, curses, and wagers his fingers at everyone and if you are not discerning, you are captivated. He is the news all the time and white uneducated Americans clap and cheer. They may think they are watching Reality TV. What they may not understand is that this weird fella has changed the world in such ways that it will be hard reality for their children and grandchildren. Donald Trump has not made America great again. Indeed, America no longer leads the world.
In three days, Americans will go the polls again. I hope that the coronavirus conundrum in which America finds itself has revealed the limitations of Donald J. Trump’s “America First” swagger and shown that it is all talk and bluster. His soft under belly and lack of any long-term strategy have become clear. With about 9 million Americans struggling with the virus and about 230,000 American dead, this cannot be a reality show.
Before now, the USA would have led the world in finding a way to wipe out COVID 19. America has the brain power and resources. To the amazement of most people, a divided America has remained the epicenter of the virus with no end in sight. The disunity in the population created by Mr. Trump’s hyper culture wars and take-no-prisoner partisan divisions have robbed America of the aggregation of enduring energy and trust required by any nation to do historic things and so COVID 19 continues to ravage the USA. It is so strange the those who support Donald Trump refuse to wear face masks, the easiest way to beat the virus. At a time that Americans should be fighting the Covid 19, Americans are fighting themselves.
The American people are going to the polls again. Most of the pundits appear to think that former Vice President, Joe Biden will win this time and the world will no longer have to endure Donald Trump on our TV screens every day. The polls, especially in the battleground states, appear to support that view. But in 2016, almost all the polls said that Hilary Clinton would succeed Barack Obama.
Is this year different? Have Americans learnt any lesson? Have the Democrats learnt how to take on this man who has no sense of shame and can say anything and do anything to win? Can the world handle four more years of the trash talking egomaniac tendencies, the hyper culture wars and take-no-prisoner partisan divisions that Donald Trump spreads everywhere which is hurting America and hurting the world? Will Americans shock the world again? In three days, we will know.
See you next week.