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I first served this piece in Saturday Breakfast of November 7, 2020, over two months ago. With the events in Washington DC this week, I am compelled to suspend our tutorials on copyright and serve the piece again because there are monumental lessons to be learnt from the Donald Trump Tragedy. Please humour me by reading this piece to the end and leaving a comment…
I did not think that a man with the obvious character flaws of Donald J. Trump would ever be elected President of the United States of America. I thought that Americans are too smart to fall into such a hole. I was wrong.
Let me confess that the election of Donald Trump left me devastated. It made nonsense of everything I believed in. I was terribly confused. For weeks, after that crazy Tuesday in November 2016, I refused to watch any TV news and weaned my addiction to my once favourite website, politico.com. The idea of seeing Donald Trump addressed as President of the United States was too much for me to bear.
I am an event organizer and love big theatre. Which theatre in the world is bigger than the inauguration of the President of the United States of America? Which show has ever attracted a live audience that big? Which big sporting event attracts a worldwide TV viewership that massive? I did not watch the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States. For the first time, I was not interested in big theatre.
You are damn right if you say that I was acting like a jilted lover. True. Americans jilted me. I was going through that kind of pain and emptiness you feel when the one you love suddenly walks out on you. I love America. I am inspired by its ability to manage its diversity and use its coat of many colours to produce the most beautiful garment the world has ever known. I love the boldness of America that screams at you, “nothing is impossible!”. I am awed by the intricacy of the New York Subway, the audacity of the Lincoln Tunnel, the sheer dizziness of the Manhattan skyline.
I have been to Hollywood and marveled at the depth of thought that conceived the gargantuan Universal Studios and the almost indescribable Disneyland.
Today, I spend practically all my time promoting the Nigerian creative industry and daring it to be bold. That surprises a lot of my family and friends who know that I am a science guy with an ‘A’ in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Additional Mathematics. They do not understand how I ended up making music for a living. You think I understand it?
The truth is that despite all the metamorphosis in my life, I remain a great believer in empiricism. I am a plus this minus this equals this kind of guy. If you cannot explain it to me, I do not believe you. That is why I am convinced that ‘juju’, ‘jazz’, ‘ogun’, ‘otumokpo’ and all their brothers are all a big scam, a scam that has warped the thinking of Africans and left us bewildered as the rest of the world is splitting atoms, querying genes and probing Mars. In Africa, we still want to eat omelettes without breaking eggs.
You may then understand why I am shocked that people as smart as Americans could not see-through Donald Trump and understand that this guy is the king of 419. If thousands of miles away, I could see that this guy lies and lies, practically every time he speaks, why did Americans think that he would tell them the truth? If I could see that there had to be a sinister reason why this guy would not present his tax returns to his people, how come the brilliant Americans could not see it? If from Lagos Nigeria, I could see that this man-child who cannot keep his fingers off his smart phone, is a danger to everyone, how did the Americans come to the conclusion that they could trust him with their nuclear codes?
As Donald Trump turned the once proud White House into the set of a permanent reality show, even the Russians, the mortal enemies of America were openly laughing and openly mocking America. Vladimir Putin must have had a time of his life as he played Donald Trump like an acoustic guitar. Donald Trump has fought everybody around him, firing everyone who did not agree with him. This apprentice in the Whitehouse without the intellect to understand diplomacy, thought he was on TV.
I hope the world has learnt a critical lesson. The skills required to build a skyscraper are different from the skills required to lead a free people in a democracy. The profit motive is driven by extreme self-centeredness, the kind that the Donald has in abundance. To lead a free people, you need to have extreme selflessness, the kind that Nelson Mandela had in abundance and which Donald Trump cannot understand.
This week, Americans woke up from their four-year old nightmare. They fired Donald J. Trump. Tired of the commotion and endless tweets and the thousands of Americans dying from the coronavirus, Americans have voted for a different way of doing things.
Donald Trump in typical fashion is unlikely to walk away from the Whitehouse like a gentleman. He will throw tantrums. He will curse everyone. He will kick. He will manufacture every conspiracy theory imaginable. Oh! the election has been stolen from him even though he is President and controls all the levers of power! In every direction, he will cause trouble and destroy the institutions even though his opponent received about seven million more popular votes across the country and won far more electoral college votes than him.
I know many Nigerian Christians who think Donald Trump is one of them and think they have to support him. No!
The Donald Trump problem however is not just an American problem. It is a challenge to the entire humanity. How did this guy with absurd ego and obvious lack of self-control come to be in control of the world’s biggest arsenal of nuclear weapons? If it does not bother you, it bothers me.
The world is a better place without a Donald Trump at the Whitehouse. There is a lot of a work to be done to bring humanity together and all hands need to be on deck. The first part of the job has been done by Americans who have looked at the Donald in the face and said to him, “you are fired!”
See you next week.