Let me begin this piece by making a solemn confession: ever since Donald Trump was declared the victor of the American presidential poll penultimate Wednesday (November 9) I have been in a mourning mood. No one died in my household, no sibling, or relative or friend but I found myself in a state of melancholy nonetheless. I could not put my thoughts together to write nor read. I complained to my wife about my situation of psychological breakdown following the trumping of Hillary but she dismissed it on the ground that I was neither an American nor living in the States for me to be so much concerned with or consumed by the presidential outcome in Uncle Sam.
As one of the African Hillarists I was grieving for yet another presidential death inflicted on Rodham the amazon! She was first killed, it would be recalled, presidentially by Obamania in 2008 and this year the Trump mad crowd had murdered her again politically at the national level! I wept literally for this mortal blow to history in the making.
Indeed, like millions of folks out there who received the stunning electoral verdict with trepidation, I found myself shocked, speechless. How could this have been possible against all expectations and predictions? How could this happen in the 21st century America? Or was the trumpeter of Armageddon right in his message of doom? Of hate and misogynism? How, on earth, could Americans have decided to elect a randy billionaire known for less edifying qualities found in statesmen to lead them? Or was the election rigged in favour of Trump given his declaration prior to the poll that he would only accept the verdict if it went his way; that is, if he won?
The truth is that America has changed with the Trumpman mounting the White House horse come January 20. Here is a man who came to power by his unorthodox politics and anti-establishment rhetorics. Here is a man who reportedly said that as a “superstar” he could do anything to any woman including “grabbing ’em by the pussy”! Here is a big money-man of little mind who rose to power by making wild promises and phony accusations. Here comes an inexperienced septuagenarian who was corrupted early in life by his family’s riches that he could afford to do anything.
Well, the President-elect thrives in controversies and seems to have developed a thick skin against all mounting odds. While Brexit shocked the world the Trump triumph mortified millions by its sheer unpredictability and oddness. But in politics the unexpected does happen here and there, now and then. That majority of Americans thought it wise casting their votes for a man of Trump’s reputation must have been a study in embracing the unkown! While their choice is supreme we must warn that whatever consequences the Trump presidency might bring must be borne without any complaint. Given the fact that the state institutions are strong enough and well-grounded they could very well become the game-changer in this journey towards an uncertain future.
Donald Trump won the American presidential poll because of three major reasons. (He cannot be said to be the best candidate from any stretch of imagination. Hillary Clinton was a better candidate from all indications). For one, Trump triumphed because many Americans were not yet ready for a woman to be the President and Commander-in-Chief. For another, Trump ran away with slim victory because he was seen as a fresh face, a benevolent billionaire who could stand up to Wall Street and Washington without any political baggage behind him. Again he won because he played the politics of independent-mindedness and anti-establishment casting himself and his programmes as what America needed now to be great again!
Hillary Clinton lost the election narrowly, much like Al Gore in the year 2000 against George W. Bush, due to the fact that majority of Americans wanted to experiment with something not necessarily better but audacious and new. She lost Ohio, North Carolina and Florida (hitherto Democratic strongholds) because the folks there were fed up with empty promises and failed dreams. Many blacks and Hispanics voted for Trump because they saw no radical changes in their lives for many years the Democrats were calling the shots in DC. She failed to win big because of her past misdeeds including the private email usage scandal as Secretary of State and other scandals bothering on unproven crimes and corruption.
Trump has made some controversial appointments into his future cabinet and he had met with some Republican opposition elements including the former presidential aspirant, Mitt Romney, who could become the Secretary of State if speculations manifested into reality. That kind of rapprochement could legitimise his power base. He had declared in the recent CBS interview that he would be forgoing his official salary preferring to just collect a dollar symbolically in order not to be seen to be breaking the supreme legislation. But Trump needs to do much more to calm the restive nerves across the global political lines.
The spontaneous anti-Trump demonstrations across the cities (and even beyond the American shores) were enough reminder of the abnormal times we live in. Rather than the majority rejoicing over the victory of their champion what we are witnessing are scenes of collective rage and frustration for a weird victory which history and posterity could find difficult to define. Whilst Trump remains the big winner there are other smaller winners lurking in the corner: the Putinists, the racists, the White supremacists, the misogynists, the lucre hunters, the hate mongers and war mongers, the xenophobic elements and what have you. But they could be losers in the end if America was transformed into a hate intolerable society where freedom of movement and association was jeopardised and compromised.
In that same interview he granted to the CBS recently Trump sounded more conciliatory towards those he had hurt one way or the other in the run-up to the polls. But he maintained his hard-line posture about illegal immigration. He insisted on his resolve to re-inforce the wall in the Mexican border to prevent the Mexican criminal human traffickers from continuing to make money on the expense of America by bringing into the US their poor and wretched compatriots who thrive in doing drugs, prostitution and other criminal activities. He declared menancingly that he intended to deport at least three million illegal immigrants in America in few weeks or months upon his assumption of duty as President!
The Obama 8-year presidency cannot be described in general as a failure but the stewardship is mitigated by many factors including his apparent obsession with homosexuality and the Affordable Care Act 2010 better known as Obamacare. For the average African in particular and blacks in the diaspora in general he performed below average in terms of improving the African socio-economic and political condition. However, he scored some big points and low points. His biggest point was recorded when he supervised the gruesome physical elimination by the special forces in Pakistan of the Al Qaeda terrorist leader, Osama Bin Laden.
But his lowest points included the fixed ‘red line’ in the Syrian civil war which the Assad dictatorship crossed by employing chemical weapons against the rebels with manifest impunity. If President Obama had led the way the Americans and their European allies could have prevented the bloodbath in Syria and stopped Assad and Putin from flexing their military muscles in Aleppo. Today Aleppo is a city enveloped in blood with daily count of dead bodies of innocent civilians — including women and children — helplessly pricking our collective conscience!
Besides, the abominable legalisation of gay marriage gave the charismatic son of the late Kenyan immigrant away as a homo sympathiser out to make name negatively for himself. He memorably came to Senegal and other African countries to preach the need for gay liberty but most leaders he met diplomatically mocked his demand. Homosexuality remains an aberration in Africa and those practising same still risk being lynched or stoned to death in some African countries like Zimbabwe, Uganda and Senegal. In Nigeria it remains outlawed like in some other African states.
The United States of America is a special country in many senses! A macho society, the result of the election simply demonstrated the reluctance of the majority to have a tested competent woman at the head of the federal affairs.
For the Clintonian political dynasty in America, therefore, it may not be the end! It may not even be the end of the beginning! It is perhaps the end of the beginning, a glorious beginning of another stint in the White House by a she-Clinton. We wish the presidential couple more conjugal happiness and sound health.