Abdulai Mansaray: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 July 2019:
One of the best known confessions in the history of mankind was made by Martin Niemöller, and this could be found in the United States Holocaust Museum:
“First they came for the Communists – and I did not speak out, because I was not a Communist; Then they came for the Socialists – and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists – and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews – and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
When Donald Trump made the golden escalator ride on 16 June, 2015, to announce his candidacy for the American Presidential ride, it was a very surreal experience for many. But on that glorious day, little did many know that he was wearing a mask, and now his face is growing to fit it. This was the man who professed among many things that he was going to drain the swamp in Washington.
He promised to build a wall where others built bridges. From the first whistle, he attacked the Obamacare, discredited and scrapped the climate change charter, and tore up the Iran Nuclear deal.
The only common denominator among these is the fact that these were Obama’s legacy. We have since learnt from diplomatic cables that one of Trump’s life purposes was to undo everything that Obama achieved and stood for.
The drive to undo Obama’s legacy has come to pass as Trump’s fundamental yardstick to his presidency. His disdain for Obama is a symbolic manifestation of his general angst, not only for Obama the person, but people of his similar ilk and colour. This disdain reached its nadir as he assumed the highest office in the land, and this was deeply rooted in Obama’s audacity to occupy the highest seat in the land; not once but twice.
After hopelessly failing to discredit Obama’s birth right to the throne, Trump saw his tenancy to the White House as his golden opportunity to wreak his hatred at any price.
It will be a waste of time to try and catalogue Trump’s past transgressions. Suffice it to say that women, the disabled, the under privileged, people of colour and immigrants etc. have become the punch bags and anvils of his discriminatory tendencies and behaviour.
As the world wakes up everyday to his tweets, what is surprisingly interesting is how the world never ceases to be amazed by his antics. It is an open secret that in spite of his self professed success as a business man, his life and career has always been dogged among others, by accusations of racism and discrimination.
Trump has always staunchly denied this, stating that there isn’t “a Racist bone in my body,” Trump has throughout his life faced and fought off these accusations. He has been on first names terms with judges and attorneys who have had to deal with these cases, ranging from his days as a landlord and right down to being one of the biggest employers.
There is no doubt that he has made strenuous efforts to disguise and suppress his discriminatory tendencies. Sadly, his ascendancy to the highest office in the land seems to have given Trump the carte blanche to perfect his previously hidden tendencies; a time to take off his mask and allow his face to grow and fit the mask. Attaining the seat of power has since become an aphrodisiac for his “deplorables”.
If Trump needed any excuse to espouse his racist tendencies and all that he stands for, there can be no better candidates than the quartet of law makers, who are fondly known as the “squad”. The “Squad” fits the bill for everything that every bone in his body despises.
They are women, women of colour (melanin overload), children of immigrants and some with a religious difference. Trump’s misogynistic behaviour is no secret. So when Trump called for the four Democratic Congresswomen to “go back” to their countries because they have too much melanin in their system, the irony was not lost on a few people; his wife is a women and she is called Melania.
Unlike the other three women, Melania was not born in the USA. But like one of them, she came to the USA in 1996 and acquired her citizenship. Technically, she doesn’t have a single American DNA, if we should go by Trump’s standards. Is the wife of the president, the president of all wives?
So why is Trump doing what he is doing? It is not surprising that Trump’s recent remarks have come in for worldwide criticism. World leaders have rallied to condemn his rhetoric in no small measure. Sadly, his remarks have been met with a deafening silence from his part, the Republican Party.
So is Trump really echoing what the Republican Party stands for? Or is he trumpeting in public what the Republican Party stands for in private? Is the Republican Party organically a racist party, or just the plain folks reaching their hearts desire at last?
It defied belief that even when the House of Representatives saw it fit to debate on the condemnation of his remarks, ONLY 4 Republicans, Susan Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan joined every Democrat in the House in supporting the measure to condemn Trump.
The majority of Republicans has done its damn best to sanitise, sweet coat and spin his comment; and literally refused to put their heads above the parapet. Some have gone as far as pleading that Trump’s remarks were a political strategy; to distract. No it is not. If anything, he is not only trying to divide America along racial lines, but also trying to weaponise the race card. Trump is not using this for any political reason other than politicising his innermost thoughts.
Trump’s remarks have not only drawn criticism but also garnered support from his base. The world witnessed how his supporters chanted “send her back” throughout his rally in North Carolina; in reference to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Trump has since tried to double down on this, “I was not happy” with “send her back chants”. Who does he think he is kidding? “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
What is sad about this all is the sight of Republicans falling over themselves to sweet coat Trump’s racist remarks. They have exhausted the lexicon in finding nice and politically correct synonyms to describe it. It will be disingenuous to describe Trump as evil, but “for evil to triumph, it takes the good to do nothing”. Why are Republicans pleading the 5th Amendment in this hour of need?
Republicans have not only enabled Trump, but have also done so at the expense of the American Dream. Sadly, most people’s idea of the American Dream is a five minute conversation on Wall Street, or dinner with George Soros. It is about freedoms. It is about the possibilities and opportunities to fulfil ones dreams and capability.
The American Dream is not confined to Wall Street. The American Dream is not based on colour, creed or otherwise. Sadly, Republicans are now presiding over a period where this dream is at stake. Republicans are all too ready to overlook Trump’s attempts to ride roughshod over the American Constitution, and by default the American Dream. The irony is that on the website of “House Republicans”, the logo reads “FREEDOM AND OPPORTUNITY FOR EVERYONE”. If ever you needed hypocrisy personified, look no further.
If Trump had his way, he would like to author a revised edition of the American constitution. The Republican Party with its eyes wide shut, is overseeing and entertaining Trump’s idiosyncrasies. They fail to realise that there was an America before Trump, and there will be an America after Trump. At best, he won’t last more than 8 years in his position.
Is that worth undoing century old ideologies, upon which the country was founded? Is that worth tearing the entrails on which America was founded? What legacy does the Republican Party wants to hand to the millennials? What will people like Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Cheney tell their grandchildren around the log fire?; that they had the chance to stop this malaise but did nothing? Men make history, not the other way round.
Sometimes, history can be an early warning system. “Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Are the Republicans ready to sacrifice the sanctity of what makes America, America on the partisan political alter? Judging by Trump’s behaviour, does he have any reason to criticise or condemn the likes of Robert Mugabe? The last time I checked, some of his tendencies were the monopoly of African Dictators. Is Donald Trump the embodiment of the inner soul of the people (Republicans), who have reached their heart’s desire at last?
What is getting under the skin of Trump is the fact that these four Democratic Congresswomen are nothing but upstarts to Trump. Their audacity to be his fiercest critics is unthinkable to Trump. For God sake, they are women and they are not white. That is the inner workings of Trump’s mind; which the Republicans have conveniently described as frustration, rather than racism. If Trump wants people who were not born in America to leave, charity starts at home. Sorry, she is white.
When Obama occupied the White House in 2008, many saw this epoch making event as “democracy perfected”. But as the American journalist H. L. Menchen once said, “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.”
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter (M.L. King).
Don’t forget to turn the lights off when you leave the room.