As Trump Defiles American Democracy
Since he assumed office as the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has, no doubt, shown that he is capable of promoting absurdity to an unconceivable height. But then, not even his most ardent critics anticipated the maverick leader could orchestrate the disgraceful Capitol Hill episode that has now turned the ‘Almighty’ America into a global laughing stock.
The world watched in astonishment as Trump urged his supporters to invade the very institution that represents the core of American democracy. In a bizarre moment of madness, Trump supporters forced their way into the Capitol Hill, thus desecrating the very symbol of American democracy.
No American leader in history has defiled the country as did Trump. It is like he was on a mission to destroy the very fabric of his country’s democracy. He refused to accept the result of the last presidential election, alleging his main opponent and eventual winner, Joe Biden, ‘stole’ victory. After challenging the election’s outcome across Courts in the country, it was obvious Trump’s allegation of a ‘stolen’ victory was only a figment of his imagination. However, in-spite of a string of judicial losses, Trump still refused to accept the outcome of the election.
Characteristically, he did every despicable thing to thwart Joe Biden’s victory. Of course, the last card was the Capitol Hill’s insurrection, which many have described as a manifestation of ‘local terrorism’. Ironically, according to his campaign slogan, Trump claimed he was on a mission to make America great again. But then, since he got elected into the White House, he hasn’t demonstrated sufficient proof of his capacity to make his country great.
Great leaders are often unapologetic patriots who think deeply before they talk. They weigh and measure every word, profoundly considering the likely consequences of such before speaking it out. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump is like a parrot. He talks first and thinks later. He talks without restraint from both sides of the mouth. And he is not just talking, he is actually singing like a Red-eyed Vireo bird which sings more than 20,000 songs a day. This moment he says the earth is oval, the next moment he claims it is perpendicular! More often than not, his talk makes little sense. One wonders how a man, whose speech is spiced with dubious logic, could make his nation great.
Presently, America remains the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, no thanks to Trump's usual loquacious inclination. At the beginning of the virus outbreak, he was allegedly warned by his advisers about the deadly nature of the pandemic. But he routinely waived it aside, saying it is a mere Chinese disease. Hopefully, he now knows better as his mishandling of the pandemic was partly responsible for his recent electoral loss. The unrepentant villain that he is, even when he tested positive to the virus, he still referred to it as a big hoax.
For a lot of people, Trump would be remembered more as a man who uses his mouth more than his head. In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, which has been termed as the deadliest mass shooting in American history and the worst terrorist attack since 9/11, while the whole world rose to condemn the act, Trump tweeted that he was right about radical Islamic terrorism, warning "it's only going to get worse". Recall that Trump has earlier recommended a ban on Muslims to the United States as a way of combating the threat of terrorism!
The loquacious character that he is, Trump once called former President Barrack Obama and Mrs. Hillary Clinton the "co-founders" of Islamic State, claiming that they are responsible for the rise of the militant group. In a most reckless outburst Mr. Trump said: "In fact, I think we’ll give Hillary Clinton ... most valuable player. ISIS will hand her the most valuable player award. Her only competition is President Barack Obama."
In his characteristic ridiculous taunts, Trump once dubbed Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shitholes " countries” whose citizens were not the kind of immigrants the United States wanted.
Concerning his war against the media, Trump, without a doubt, cuts the image of one who is against free press. Never in the history of the country has a leader exhibited such overt disdain for the media.
Trump was also on a retributive mission against the American media. Unlike the conventional political leader who will openly court the media but surreptitiously ‘kill’ them behind the scene, Trump explicitly mouthed his disgust for the media, and at every given opportunity.
A few days before his inauguration, the eccentric billionaire turned politician openly refused to allow questions from reporters of certain media platforms, which he referred to as ‘fake media’. It was so awful that one would think it was a tyrant back in the ancient days that was holding court.
Throughout his presidency, it is so glaring that Trump was metaphorically poised for war on many fronts. He was at war with the American political establishment. He was at war with a ‘fraudulent voting’ order in his country. He was at war with immigrants whom he believes are the major problems of his country. Outside America, the European Union doesn’t seem to catch his fancy; same for NATO and the World Health Organisation, WHO. He had issues with Germany, Russia, Mexico and China just to mention a few!
Her former challenger, Hillary Clinton once claimed thatTrump is someone who is "temperamentally and ethically unfit" to serve as Commander in Chief with "dangerously incoherent" ideas and policies. The veracity of this claim is, of course, left for history and posterity to judge.
What is, however, certain is that in the last presidential election, American voters clearly ‘shine’ (as we say in this part of the world) their eyes and voted for a patriot rather than a parrot. Now that Americans have spoken through their votes, they have carefully wriggled themselves out of the ‘one chance bus’ (local parlance for costly error) they misguidedly boarded over four years ago.
Ogunbiyi is Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Information & Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja.