Nigeria: Trump and the 'Africanisation' of American Politics

President Donald J. Trump (file photo).
28 April 2020

Under normal circumstances, the governance of any democratic country concerns only its electorate. Unless governments are breaching human rights, or involved in war crimes, their policies and actions shouldn't concern foreigners. However, when the country is the United States of America whose leadership affects the whole world, everyone should be concerned. In bygone days, American presidents had always stood on a higher moral and intellectual ground than African leaders.

With the emergence of Donald Trump however, those days are gone. He has brought all the negative characteristics of the worst African leaders to the White House. Clearly unsuitable for the job and plainly out of his depth, his presidency has been characterised by dishonesty and ill-advised policies. Thanks to the US electoral college system and his payments of "hush-money" to hide his sins. Trump became president despite not polling the majority of votes. Lacking in character and deep knowledge, he has subsequently revealed his unsuitability to be the president of any nation let alone America.

His inability to control his emotions and regular public attacks on people for their physical appearance is totally unbecoming of the leader of the free world. His narcissistic and self-delusional character is similar to that of African "democratic despots", and this has earned him legions of sycophantic supporters amongst America's racists, cranks and big businesses moguls. It's no surprise that caring, compassionate and intelligent people find him offensive.

He has successfully reduced the US Republican party to an unprincipled appendage of himself. He won support by espousing unconcealed racism and mobilising white nationalists, encouraging them to be more open in racial discrimination. To America's detriment he has "Africanised" their politics and turned leadership into vindictive empty posturing. Held in contempt by most world leaders, under Trump the US has abdicated world leadership to China, Germany, France and Russia. Paradoxically Nigerians who profess to love Trump seem oblivious of his evident racist inclinations. Ironically, he is their hero despite exhibiting traits they loathe in their own leaders.

He pampers only to his electoral base, appoints his relations into public offices for which they are patently unqualified, insults opposition leaders, engages in unethical practices and his appointees deceive the public with increasing frequency! Legendary Afro-American Professor, Cornell West, described Trump as a bona-fide gangster who will do anything to remain in power. This description is also apt for many African leaders who undercut their democracies. Unable to see through his insincerity, Trump's Christian supporters love him because he says he is fighting a "war against jihad".

The truth is he is doing no such a thing. Despite all his Christian posturing, Trump doesn't go to Church. He is simply a racist who attacks Muslims because they tend not to have white skins. His superficial "Make America Great Again (MAGA) slogan conceals a lack of well thought out policies and detailed plans. It's similar to the manner in which "maintaining territorial integrity of Nigeria" has become the catchphrase of clueless Nigerian governments.

What Trump really means is make America white again. His electoral base comprises those whites who "discovered" America, committed genocide against the native American owners of the land, and now feel that the place now belongs to them alone.

Psychiatrists say that there is no diagnostic blood test or brain test to scan for narcissistic personality disorder, but there are observable traits which Trump exhibits including continuous self-praise and zero tolerance of criticism. They also say that his repetitive, fragmented and disjointed ineloquent musings do not indicate high intellect.

His limited vocabulary and overuse of adjectives like tremendous, fantastic and incredible reflect what psychiatrists refer to as "pre-dementia". Trump's core beliefs in American isolationism, protectionism and nativism are long discredited philosophies and insiders claim that every day at the White house, it's a situation of trying to control his excesses.

There is an adage that mad men may speak intelligently for a short time; however, if allowed to speak for long enough, their madness will manifest itself. Trump's time was up last week when after days of self-aggrandising, misinformation and temper tantrums at his COVID-19 briefings, he astonishingly advised Americans to inject poisonous bleach into their bodies to cure coronavirus. It was such an outrageous and dangerous statement that even his die-hard supporters who say they love him because he always says what he means, were reduced to saying that he didn't mean what he said!

He is a man who has no qualms about exhibiting his lack of knowledge in public. He is reminiscent of the late General Idi Amin of Uganda who never realised that his buffoonish behaviour made intelligent people laugh at him, not with him. Trump's supporters believed him when he called the coronavirus a "hoax" which will go away. Now that over 50,000 Americans are dead, he refuses to take any responsibility whatsoever. Despite having been impeached in his first term, his main concern is re-election at all costs no matter the consequences.

Unfortunately for him, he isn't president of an African country with a long-winded meaningless constitution. The Constitution of the United States of America contains only 7,591 words which must be observed in full. It gives power to the people and outlines true federalism! Nigeria's constitution contains over 60,000 words, gives power to government and is mostly ignored!

He never expresses condolences to the families of the dead. He only refers to the death toll to praise himself and claim it would be worse if not for him. It's always all about him. The pandemic has shown how important it is for America to have a president with a sense of decency and humanity. American democracy used to be worthy of copying; now it's being "Africanised" and slowly destroyed by the whims of the foolish.

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