The Trump Tragedy
The eternal beauty (perhaps plague) of democracy is the rights of the electorate to periodically choose theirs leaders and live with such choice. In 2016, the Americans made the choice of Donald John Trump as their leader and the man turned out to be the most divisive president in the annals of American history. Trump defeated Hilary Clinton because of two main factors. The Americans were tired of dynastic political families’ a la the Kennedy, the Bush and Bill Clinton as the spouse of Hilary Clinton. Secondly, the Americans despite their so called civilization and pride as the melting pot of the world were not really ready for a woman president. Today, however, with the election of Kamala Harris as the vice president elect, the Yankees are getting a step very close to a woman president.
Trump showed disdain for American democracy and the high office by constantly calling the results fake and that democrats were trying to steal the votes without evidence. His disdain for American democracy was further demonstrated by going to play golf on Saturday when the nation was in the ticket of calling results of the votes. His twitter page became an avenue for rubbishing American democracy and went to the extent of calling on the electoral bodies to stop the count. His tweets of `stop the count` was like blowing the winds, no effect. The truth of the matter is that in America, there is no central electoral body and that in lines with the fines grains of federalism, the states control the electoral system and each state has its own laws on how elections should be conducted. If Trump were a Nigerian president, he could have ordered the central electoral body to stop the count and declare the election in his favour. This is where the opponents of devolution of power in Nigeria must draw inspiration from and do the right thing.
The election of Joe Biden in the November election with 279 electoral votes to Trump 214 (at the time of writing this piece) will correct the Trump tragedy. As the folks would say in Delta State. Trump is a man `full of bad mouth`, loosely translated means that of crude and undiplomatic language. He has no respect for his office and those who opposed his views. His system of campaign was to go personal and attacked Joe Biden and his family. It is on record that Trump wanted to stop the presidential ambition of Joe Biden by digging into the allegation of dirty deals with Ukraine. That led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives accused him of using his power to undermine the political gains of an opponent, who today is the president-elect.
People, political scientists and journalists are interested in who becomes the occupant of the Oval Office of the White House because of American strategic security and economic importance. The United States of America has massive nuclear weapons and is capable of destroying the whole world many times over. America is a strategic member of NATO. The only competitor of the United States is Russia with equally awesome power to destroy the world. Secondly, America has the best economy with only China as a rival. The American dollar is the unofficial currency of the world and these are the reasons politicians and leaders take more than a casual interest in who becomes the president and eventually in charge of the nuclear buttons.
The Trump presidency exposed the warts of the American system. He stoked the embers of racial inequality and police brutality targeted at the blacks. The election of Barack Obama could not wipe away these ingrained injustices. Trump destroyed the moral authority of America round the world. The death of George Floyd ,consequent demonstration of `Black Lives Matter` and restrictions of black American voters are issues that Joe Biden must deal with in his campaign pledge of healing the country.
The victory speech of Joe Biden was highly presidential and set the tone for his presidency for a man ready to clean the Augean stable left by Trump. Read part of that historic speech: `I pledge to be a president, who seeks not to divide but to unify, who doesn`t see red and blue states only see the United States. It is time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies. It is time to heal`. It is only hoped that Trump and the Republican Party will accept the olive branch extended by Biden. On a lighter note, Joe Biden is the second catholic to become president after the era of John F. Kennedy.
We must not be carried away by the victory of Biden to expect radical changes in American foreign policy. American strategic interests remain – control of the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, (NATO),the World Trade Organization and the flow of trade. For us in Nigeria, the next president will never describe Nigeria in uncomplimentary terms and have disdain for our leaders. We must accept the beauty of democracy and that the name `Federal Republic of Nigeria` should be implemented in deed and in truth. State Government powers should be well defined and opponents of devolution of power should have a changed mindset and that the conduct of election should not be seen as war. In the November 3 presidential election, there were no police men and military men guarding the polling booths, no snatching of ballot papers. Election is a civic duty that should be done in peaceful atmosphere. Perhaps, the only thing Trump copied from our politicians is not to accept the verdict of the electorate and use the judiciary to change the electoral mandate of the people.
Trump can continue with his many legal challenges and he will meet defeat. The American people have spoken and as from January 20, 2021, he will have enough time to play golf and continue as the Twitter-in-chief of the United States of America.
Julius Oweh, a journalist, Asaba, Delta State. 08037768392