From Citizen Trump to President Trump to Convict Trump?

-By Virgil

(Lanka-e-News -04.April.2024, 10.20 PM) “For the most part people are not curious except about themselves.” ~John Steinbeck

Within a matter of eight years, Donald Trump who was once considered as a business tycoon beyond reproach, who never had to go before the courts of law to defend himself against real or made-up allegations (that is according to his own distorted interpretation) stood as the nominee from the Grand Old Party (GOP), the Republican Party. Donald Trump's flirtations with politics were limited to attending various events sponsored by both parties, Democratic and Republican. However, he was planning to make it to limelight by questioning Barack Obama's eligibility to be elected as US President. He questioned Obama's birth, not whether he was a real person but whether he was born in the United States of America. So was a new word added to the English dictionary- birtharism!   

Trump's disdain and discriminatory treatment of the people of color, whether Black, Brown or Yellow, has been well documented. His feelings for Obama went far beyond a disagreement with his economic policies or political principles. His contempt for Barack Obama assumed a deep sense of inferiority. He simply could not reconcile himself with a colored man's evident academic superiority and sociopolitical acceptance. Trump had to live with a profound sense of inferiority, an alarming sense of desperation as a white man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth had either to agree with a large segment of the masses or totally deny the prevailing truth about Obama's accomplishments; not only as President of the country which Trump called his America but also Obama's personal charm and his magical charisma that was glowing at the time.

But Trump had a team of  very clever and bright slogan creators and branding professionals. 'Make America great again' is a very powerful whistle to those who felt inferior to brighter men and women of a different complexion from the dominant whites. The code word is 'again'. Again implies that something that had existed sometime earlier. What prevailed earlier, earlier to the passage of the Civil Rights Laws in 1965? The whistle-blow is obvious; its call for those who had it easy and unchallenged prior to a certain time in the modern history of the USA takes one to those cozy times when the people of color could not use the same public toilets that were used by white men and women. Racial discrimination was part of the societal dynamic; and a clear departure from those privileged circumstances may not have appealed to the educated and balanced-minded white man, but certainly appealed to those who were struggling in their livelihoods whose work-ethic required much more determined commitment to their own cause of daily existence.

It was not only the 'make America great again' slogan that created a momentum among the Republican-oriented men and women in America. Failure on the part of the Hillary Clinton-campaign to recognize the criticality of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania as significant swing States that needed more than cursory attention and commitment also contributed to Trump's victory in those states. But long before the final results were announced, even in the midst of the campaign, Trump's campaign managed to float certain ideas and thoughts that continue to mesmerize the average American even today.

Trump went on an onslaught on John McCain, an American senator considered, despite his Republican standing, a hero of the American folklore as a valiant war-hero in the Vietnam conflict. Trump said that McCain is no hero. His condemnatory comments were not kind and yet the American public voted for him. Almost every mention of his adversaries was embedded with envy and insult; his reference to his fellow countrymen consisted in outright slang bordering on obscenity and vulgarism. Yet there was a sizable American electorate that voted him to office. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016 American voter voted Donald Trump as President of the United States of America.

President Trump was no better than citizen Trump. His vulgar references, his unfounded allegations and his disparaging remarks about his political rivals never stopped. On the contrary, they multiplied with no limit  imposed. However, hardly one and half years into his Presidency, reality checked in; Trump's capabilities as an astute manager was tested. When the whole world became a victim of the Covid 19 virus, Trump's priorities changed from those of the country's . With alarming increase in the positive cases found in America sending chills around every corner in the country, Trump came before the people and the Press and asked the medical fraternity to go slow on testing so that a less number of cases would be announced each day.

Trump's performance in managing a national crisis was judged  and he was judged very harshly both by the media, the international leaders and of course American voters. A pathetic narcissist's management-nudity was exposed and what was visible to the beholding world was not a good one! For Donald Trump, the Covid crisis was in no way or fashion could derail his Presidency. He decided to tread a particular political line so that he could draw a clear polarizing line, separating the medical fraternity and the rest of the population that was frightened with the onslaught of the Covid with each passing day.   With the rampant increase in the rate of infliction by the virus, Trump struggled to interpret this rapid development as one that could be contained in a few days, weeks and months. It was not to be. Trump collapsed totally in the face of terrifying data: 1.2 million deaths and 111 million total cases. Trump certainly achieved a contemptible first, or in this case the worst, in the world.

For Donald Trump the President, the gravity, the burden and the weight of office was too much to bear. His mind was not sophisticated to manage the multiple crises that a 'normal' President is summoned to handle. Yet he survived because the other institutions in the machinery of governance in America are finely geared and well founded to safeguard the office of Presidency, not the holder, the 'office', against unprecedented calamity.

For President Trump, the office was all about 'pomp and pageantry'. His children, by no means qualified to be in charge of any governmental work, crowded the narrow corridors of the West Wing of the White House. They became the voice and sound of official policy and implementation. A circus that would be called blatant nepotism in a third world country became a daily routine. During these dark days, in the context of nepotism, the United States of America was more akin to Sri Lanka than to a well developed Western European country.

Trump did not realize that a patient electorate was waiting and come November 2020, Joe Biden was elected President. If one thought that the Trump-circus was over, think again. The real Trump exposed himself in its total nakedness. Trump refused to leave office. He thought by way of a congressional coup d'etat, he could survive another four dreadful years as President. 'January 6', 2021 was born. Trump let loose his goons on the halls of Congress and they failed. Trump's Presidency was over.

At what cost the American electorate chose Donald Trump as its President, only history will tell us. But it won't be a fairy tale. Relating a national nightmare is not a palatable pastime for a grandpa to tell his grandchild. But what happened post-presidency is even more mind-boggling than one would imagine.  What awaits American electorate could be horrendous. If Trump is elected again to office, most pundits and legal experts say, that will be the end of American democracy as we see it today. In that post-presidency era, despite being alleged to have committed both blue-collar and white-collar crimes, Trump was able to build a cult of personality around himself, portraying himself as a messiah of sorts. Resorting to the lowest of the low, surrounded by the weakest of the weak congress of Republican minority, Donald Trump is now emerging as a very viable choice for American Presidency again.

Nevertheless, Trump's time, especially in 2024 is going to be consumed by the courts of America. A man who was never brought before courts when he was just another rich guy had to be made accountable after he attained the highest office America offers to any elected individual, Presidency. What an irony!

From a plain citizen to President to a convict, Trump has traversed a political journey on contours one would rather avoid; Yet he has arrived at his desired ends. Whether those ends do correspond with those of the people he claims to lead is another matter altogether. Trump may well be in jail when elections come. Or he may well have been exonerated of all alleged felonies he is accused to have committed. Yet, more than Trump himself, the conscience of America would be on test. Trump is another individual. Such individuals will come and they shall depart; but America as a nation shall survive as a respectable member of the human community. It's time that she showed the rest of the world that she has attained age.

-By Virgil

The writer can be contacted at [email protected]

Virgil's Collection

by     (2024-04-04 16:59:28)

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