Donald Trump, the President of the United States, is an interesting personality that is pleasing to the eyes; controversial, unpredictable with his many gaffes. He has become the unending stock of troupes for television hosts like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and Ellen DeGeneres. It feels good for many liberal Africans to see America bungle so many things like democratic upstarts who are grappling with corruption, nepotism and all the normative that has bedevilled Africa. Africa had always borne the gaze of the West as men and women who do not know their right from their left. Now, a lot of educated Nigerians, and Africans are amused by the untrammelled and uncouth dispositions of the most powerful man in the world.
Apart from his brilliance in show business, the President of the United States thinks and performs his duty on twitter, loves to bowdlerise and insult journalists, yet courts the limelight of the camera by desiring to trend and win favours from the masses through his assertions. Trump reminds many Africans of Idi-Amin, an Abacha without the full dictatorial powers bestowed on coup plotters who abolish the constitution. What has saved the USA from Trump are the strong institutions and the people who desire to leave a legacy in this trying times. Otherwise, any country already on the precipice of failing as a political state, must not wish to have at its helms such an imperious personage as Trump.
While liberals talk about the woolly-haired iconoclast at conferences, bars and events, a lot of people fail to realise that Trump is loved by the Evangelicals even when, indeed, his disposition to God is clearly lip-service. In Nigeria, many people have incredible love for Donald Trump. The predisposition of the liberals meets a wall when they meet people who say that Trump is not a politician; that he is not given to lies, and that he is the ‘messiah’ that the world needs at this time to help keep the same-sex loving, abortion champions at bay so that morality and decency can prevail in the world. Donald Trump is simply a model caricature of stiff-necked troublemakers who do not believe in freedom and unity, but assert themselves under the guide of ‘shaking tables’ and shaping the world. President Donald Trump plays the divide-and-rule kind of politics. Our depressing realities in Africa have been a product of that style of rhetoric from colonial times.
The United States of America had become badly hit by the Coronavirus which our ‘good friend’ calls ‘the China virus’. He calls it the China Virus because he knows that his republican friends can spin the narrative that China is not in a cold war with America, but with an economic war with the United States. There is nothing wrong with the United States protecting its own interest but there is everything wrong with bullying, sullying the common patrimony of nations by withdrawing from the agencies that have kept global peace and helped combat global epidemics.
Trump is, no doubt, taking the US to the folded ears of history where it may be ignored for another decade. For a President who thrives on heresays instead of expert advice, America stalled on closing its border, perhaps expecting a miracle from Dr. Fauci. For a President who clamps down on global investments in order to promote American economy –that sounds to many Africans like the early verve of nationalism that threw African countries into a situation where there were a few thriving government contractors in a space where everyone was bowdlerised into poverty. Africans are familiar with Donald Trump’s style of politics because they are acculturated with a leader who does not obey the rule of law, who ignores the protestations of racial injustice with a tweet, and joins in a social media bric-a-brac with Hollywood celebrities. We are familiar with this kind of leadership because we have lived with them all our lives. We only hope that this opens the broadens their empathy to African nations while they engage Africans activists and leaders on how to subvert this awkward US presidency.
The fate of the USA is not sealed because of the fundamental governance structures that dislodge tyranny from the grasp of the president. The US Assembly and the US Judiciary, both entrusted to protect the interest of its citizens have lived above board irrespective of racial and ideological divides to make sure this paranoia for power, fame and control is guarded.
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Nevertheless, it is difficult to overrule a President all the time in a Presidential system. The liberation of the USA which may help the return to normalcy in governance is the forthcoming Presidential election. It is clear that the President is interested in extending his lounge in the White House under the guise that COVID-19 has taken several American lives. This empowered logic reminds a lot of Africans of the logic of Ibrahim Babangida’s extended rule, the raison ‘detre of Olusegun Obasanjo’s Third Term Agenda, and the assertive enactment of a Ghaddafi regime. It must be subverted by the American electoral structures and the American Peoples through the existing voting by postage and electronic voting system, which in many ways, will whittle down physical contact and disrupt the subtle the cancerous growth of tyranny. Civil Societies have been seen in most recent times to maintain a tenor that is highly and overtly conscious of systemic balance and ensuring the institutions live up to their statutory expectations. But, if America must be rescued indeed, all political and institutional sections within the Union must play their rightful roles in all genuine candour, not only in a nationalist spirit of the traditional ‘God Bless America’ slogan, but the political fairness that must unravel before the world’s own very eye.