One did not have any difficulty as often happens, choosing a topic for this week. It has to be the trending issue of the 45th president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump; a man that is now quitting the grandeur of the White House from which pedestal he spinned off his theatrics, spurned ethical norms in the last four years.
To say that he confounded the world and held others in his spell is no exaggeration. But this is not the first time that our world is witnessing such a character and may not be the last… Thus, though I had no second thoughts about what to write on this week, one had some difficulty choosing a title for it. I first thought of this, ‘Trump: The modern-day Hitler’. But then I reminded myself that Hitler happened in this generation, there are victims of his weird policies that are still alive, albeit very few.
Although we experienced Hitler when our world was in analogue mode unlike today’s digital era, it is still relatively, a few years ago in the world’s reckoning. Moreover, I considered that Trump did not send thousands of people to gas chambers, to die in a horrifying way; still, the 45th president nursed no less weird ideas and appears as heartless, stone hearted and soulless as Adolf Hitler.
That is a common characteristic of these set of persons who spring up once in a blue moon, hither and thither to torment the world. Or, how do you explain that with nearly 400,000 Americans killed by the coronavirus pandemic and over 20 million others infected with this dreaded disease, President Trump did not for once send any word of condolence to bereaved families nor console those in hospitals with any words of empathy. I guess he considers doing so as a kind of weakness. What about his publicly shaming disabled persons, defiling the memory of the war dead or pouring insults, invectives on his opponents/enemies as well as churning out propaganda at will with his second companion that is, a handset logged to social media from where he tweets 24/7, lies that are innocently believed by millions of his supporters.
Propaganda was one of Hitler’s chief weapons that sustained him while he lasted. In the case of Trump, today’s more advanced technological tool of handsets with its concomitant democratization of communication via social media, amplified the speed and reach of his propaganda cum conspiracy theories/lies. A lie told many times may begin to sound like truth to even the ears of neutrals, etc., such that they start to fall for it. It is telling that in the last 12 days since his personal social media accounts were banned, thus preventing him from repeating or fabricating more lies via twitter President Trump has more or less become almost pliant, like a person who denied food for days, is now weak.
Like Hitler, the president with his own very mouth triggered a single act that brought him down, sending him falling in a free flow, tumbling over hundreds others in the process while inflicting painful injuries on them to wit. And the consequences of this one act reverberated throughout the world. In a piece written last year and titled, ‘Trump and allies’ foul darts cross dangerous line’, I noted that the 45th was “suffusing himself in intellectual conceit, regaling in narcissistic self glorification that sees himself as a revered cult leader”. I also opined that by not condemning one of his ally’s calls to behead staff that are disloyal to him, the president, Trump and his supporters were spewing foul darts that were overstepping bounds.
Then on January 6, 2021 President Trump and his allies not only crossed the dangerous line but jumped into unchartered territory as thousands of his supporters who had apparently listened to his rallying cry, swarmed unto Capitol Hill in an unprecedented breech, desecrating its chambers, the symbol of America’s over 200-year-old democracy. The world watched in amazement, wondering whether the chaotic scenes unfolding before their gaze in real time was truly happening in the US or some other backwater, failed African or Latin America underdeveloped country. Like a stone hurled into a market place, it backfired with unforeseen consequences for Trump, his family and allies.
For one, it dented his image and overshadowed whatever achievements he had recorded during his tenure. In truth President Trump performed creditably domestically during his first three years in office as the economy was soaring. Indeed, you would at that time be forgiven to think that he was God-sent. But his brashness, contempt for his fellow human beings that are creatures of the Almighty like himself, his penchant for being economical with the truth, etc., traits that are antithetical to anyone wishing to walk in the light of God was his albatross.
Enter Covid-19 and literally overnight, Trump’s gains over the past three years were wiped off. The pandemic became the main campaign issue… One had thought that Trump would be humbled upon catching the disease and being hospitalized for some three days. However, after being discharged, the president rather than thank the Lord for sparing his life, boasted that he conquered the disease, giving a macho pose. It led me to ask rhetorically, ‘what will humble Trump?’ Perhaps the dire consequences of this last prompted act of his for which he has been impeached a second time by the Congress and which is now variously described as an insurrection, failed coup, and domestic terrorism, would humble him because many organizations are now cutting ties with him, his family and institutions linked to him.
His name is being removed from some public buildings and parks, his children’s former places of abode are turning their backs on them leading to their relocating elsewhere as they leave Washington D.C., global organizers of his beloved sport, golf, have cancelled the hosting right for an international golf tournament at his golf course, his allies, staff and cabinet members that associated with him during the saga are being denied job by potential employers and identified supporters of his that partook in the Capitol Hill riot are being sacked from their jobs.
He even faces the prospect of prosecution for some criminal offenses as he loses his immunity. Things seem to be crumbling for him. Overall, Trump cuts a rather pitiful image right now. He is a case of missed opportunity, misused opportunity of being president of the most powerful country in the world in terms of military and economic power, the United States of America (USA).
Ikeano, a journalist, writes via [email protected] 08033077519