Donald Trump believes he is the best thing to happen to the United States of America. His Republican Party supporters believe this atrocious claim too. Fifty-one million of them wanted him to continue in office for a second four-year term. That to me, is the real shock of the November 3 presidential election for several reasons, the most important being that the man who undermined democracy, the rule of law and the cherished American political culture and tradition of decency and honesty, was not thrown to the rubbish bin of political history in a landslide victory for Joe Biden. Trump is a liar, a cheat and a shameless bully, a man who should not be found in decent company, let alone the Oval Office. New York City erected a 50-foot wall and listed 20,000 of Trump’s barefaced lies. There could not be a more befitting monument to a man who almost succeeded in making lying a new American social and political creed.
Trump should not have been president. Nothing qualified him for the highest political office in God’s own country. In his four years as president, he weakened or destroyed the institutions of democracy; elevated systemic racism to a new height; polarised the country, imposed hostile immigration policies to keep out other immigrants from a country of immigrants, built by immigrants; attempted to isolate his country by withdrawing it from international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation, and reduced the United States almost to irrelevance in the comity of nations.
He showed absolute contempt for the constitution and chose to rule by his own rules and through his ill thought out policies and decisions, delivered through twitter, he turned himself into a narcissistic dictator and dominated his party with fear, the fear of Donald Trump. His current bluffing and bluster in not conceding defeat is intended to undermine the integrity of the electoral process and wreck the system as the last act of a vengeful man throwing tantrums like a child denied his toy. Now, the poor man is stewing, living in the luxury of a mind-numbing nightmare that the impossible could still happen and the loser would become the winner. Sorry, Mr President.
I have a lot of sympathy for president-elect Joe Biden. Destiny has called him to clean up the mind-boggling mess left by Donald Trump. I am sure this decent man has no illusions about the enormity of the responsibilities thrust upon him. He has to heal the suppurating wounds in the body politic; he has to build bridges towards unifying the people and above all, he has to get his country back to its global leadership position envied by all nations but imitated by all nations.
Donald Trump once dismissed African countries as shitholes. It is a gratuitous insult that will haunt him for the rest of his miserable life. It seems to me, however, that he is secretly fascinated by the African Big Man. Paul Biya of Cameroun is an authentic African Big Man. He is in his 38th year as president of his country. Biya became president in 1982; just about the time the charismatic former Hollywood actor, Ronald Reagan, took office as U.S. president. He is electorally impregnable. Six American presidents, including Trump, have come and gone since Biya began his long rule in his country. Trump, like Biya, promotes himself as a popular man loved by his people and thought that he has the power to declare himself elected even when the votes were still coming in. When it mattered most, those who love him so dearly chose to desert him. This has never happened to Biya; proof that there is something for a man leading a shithole country.
The Americans saw the chaotic Trump presidency and knew that he would end up this way. He would not be a hero but a much detested villain. He would not be a great president but merely a footnote in American politics. When he took office in 2017, 27 American psychiatrists and mental health experts worried about the state of his mental health, came together to assess his mental and emotional fitness for that high office. They published their professional assessments in a book with this frightening title: The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, edited by Bandy Lee. In his foreword to the book, Robert Jay Lifton, noted “Trump’s dangerous individual psychological patterns: his creation of his own reality and his inability to manage the inevitable crises that face an American president. He has also, in various ways, violated our American institutional requirements and threatened the viability of American democracy.”
Is there anyone who can honestly doubt that Trump has virtually destroyed the viability of American democracy and now assaults the integrity of the electoral system and process that have served the country for more than three hundred years? He has violated a respected American political tradition of the loser conceding his defeat and congratulating the winner to pave way for a smooth and orderly transfer of power from the outgoing president to the in-coming president because the very thought of the great Donald Trump losing to sleepy Joe is simply beyond a nightmare. As always, he wants his supporters to accept that his allegation of unfounded voter fraud must be true because it was made by Donald Trump. But his time is up. His lies have carried him this far and cannot go beyond this point. The Daily Mirror of London, in reporting his defeat on its front page, summed it up with this banner headline: “A Liar and cheat to the bitter end.” His going would be a relief but the mess he leaves behind would take years to clean up. No problem. The new presidential team led by Joe Biden would be equal to the task.
To be fair, Donald Trump has had a grip on his country. The problem is that he mistakes his vilification for his popularity. He is, going by the number of books written on him, the most scrutinised American president in history. The down side is that none of the books written about him as a person and as a president is flattering to him. Here is a sampler: Donald Trump’s Book of Lies by Samuel Allen; Fear and Rage by Bob Woodward; Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault Newman; Tower of Lies by Barbara A. Res; A Warning by Anonymous; Too Much and Never Enough: How my family created the world’s most dangerous man, by Mary L. Trump and Disloyal by his former lawyer and legal bouncer, Michael Cohen. In his testimony before Congress, Cohen described Trump as “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, predator, a con man.”
The American electorate chose this monstrous and evil man over a decent, capable and experienced woman, Mrs Hillary Clinton, in 2016. I thought it was a mistake they have good enough reasons to regret. I thought they would step back from it in this year’s presidential election and put a new, decent and competent man in the Oval Office and begin the delicate and challenging process of recovering their country from the disaster that they brought on it in their ill-advised choice four years ago. Instead, 51 millions of them flocked to the man to repeat that mistake that would haunt their country for a long time to come. Instead, Republican leaders choose to side with the lies of the departing president to heat up the system and further damage their democracy and their system of government. Are these hangers-on for a decent America with a decent government or the wrecking ball called Donald Trump?
Someday, sooner than later, these men strutting the stage and dancing to the musical lies composed by Trump, would wake up from their dreams, pinch themselves and according to Walter Shapiro of Yale University, accept “…that the Trump presidency was always destined to end badly. How could Trump see the light when he believes is the light? So instead he headed for the darkness of defeat still pretending that it was 2016 and Hillary Clinton was on the ballot.”