By Owei Lakemfa
PRESIDENT Donald Trump, the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces is quite strategic in his wars. He is an exceptionally likeable president who undoubtedly has changed the way many of us perceive world leaders. He is more audacious than President Richard Nixon, but adds charisma to his audacity and gets away with anything.
When polls showed he was lagging behind the leading Democratic Party aspirants in key states, he disbelieved it and got his own pollsters to carry out a survey in 17 states. The problem was that the results were similar to the poll results he had rejected; he trailed the Democrats in key states like Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump reacted on June 14 labelling his own polls a fake: “It’s incorrect polling. Yes, it’s incorrect.”
To show his anger, charismatic Trump fired three of his pollsters: Michael Baselice, president of Baselice & Associates Inc; Adam Geller and Brett Lloyd, president of The Polling Company. Their purge could be for allegedly leaking the poll results. But it could also be because of the outcome. I do not put it past Trump to deny reality and wish his true reflection away simply by smashing the mirror.
Two days later, during an interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos on the annoying poll results and his refusal to release his tax papers, his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney coughed. An angry Trump responded: “Let’s do that over, he’s coughing in the middle of my answer. I don’t like that, you know, I don’t like that …If you’re going to cough, please leave the room. You just can’t, you just can’t cough. Boy oh boy.”
I am sure Trump knows that a cough can be involuntary, but he might not be sure if Mulvaney coughed as a cynical response to the yarn his boss was weaving.
During the interview, Trump defended his powers to fire top American officials, and when it was pointed out that he might have no such powers, he hinted that the American president is so powerful that he can do whatever he wants. Trump, God bless him for presiding over God’s Own Country, implies that even if what an American president does is against the law, that becomes the law.
This Tuesday in the morning of his June 18 re-election campaign launch, he shot up the adrenaline of his countrymen and millions across the world by tweeting that he would start expelling “millions” of illegal migrants next week. With his followers so primed, at the rally in Orlando, Florida, he launched missile attacks against his opponents and perceived enemies.
Not forgetting Hillary Clinton had in 2016 defeated him by 2,864,974 votes in the popular ballot and that he became president only through the Electoral College, Trump expended a lot of energy demonising her. Calling her “crooked”, he mentioned her eight times in his 80-minute speech.
On leading democrats like Joe Bidden whom he called “Sleepy Joe” and Bernie Sanders, whom he called “crazy” both of who are leading him in opinion polls, he told Americans: “Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice, and rage and want to destroy you, and they want to destroy our country as we know it.
“They would shut down your free speech and use the power of the law to punish their opponents. They would strip Americans of their constitutional rights while flooding the country with illegal immigrants.” Then he turned to the media section, throwing a jab: “By the way, that is a lot of fake news back there.”
Trump is a phenomenon. He came into politics with a lot of baggage, including controversial business deals, launching charity while refusing to pay many who laboured for him, and tax dogging. He was quite loud on his programmes such as building a wall across the Mexico border and making the latter pay for it. He has not done so, but is bullying Mexico to use its troops against Latin American migrants headed for the US. He had to retreat from a controversial travel ban on moslems coming from major Islamic countries.
While his foreign policy engagements with North Korea hangs in the balance and he is embroiled in a bruising trade war with China, the Great Trump has thrown spanner in the climate change works and virtually wrecked the international nuclear deal with Iran. He has interfered in British politics by backing Boris Johnson to be prime minister while sustaining incomprehensible attacks on London Mayor Sadiq Aman Khan. He called Africa “shit hole”.
It is impossible for a man as great as Trump not to have copycat leaders across the world. One of his sheepish followers is Brazilian President Jair Bolsario who in fact thinks himself as Trump’s political son. But the trophy for the most faithful disciple of Trump must go to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Like his mentor, he is infallible. One great Trump attitude Netanyahu has, is audacity. Being indicted for corruption and his wife, Sara convicted for the lesser crime of fraudulently using state funds, has not dampened his enthusiasm.
While the world was still trying to work out a solution to the crisis in Palestine by suggesting a two-state solution in which Israel and Palestine can live in peace within secured borders, Netanyahu tears the plan down by simply designating Jerusalem, including the Palestinians indigenous East Jerusalem, as Israel’s new capital. He did it with the full backing and imperial power of President Trump.
This week, Netanyahu who has been leading the continuous theft of indigenous Palestinian lands for illegal Jewish sentiments, unveiled a sign in Syria’s Golan Heights revealing that he had named part of the stolen Syrian territory, ‘Trump Heights’. As a Christian who should not be associated with stolen property, many expected Trump to decline the offer. But not Trump; he tweeted that it was a “great honour!”
I am sure Trump might be dreaming about the type of profitable property development that can be built in the Golan Heights. He might also eye a post-retirement golf course. As we say in Nigeria, ‘Trump no send’; propriety, morality, sense of fairness are not his strong points. Like Netanyahu, he has implicit and abiding trust in chariots and violence. For them, morality does not exist; the word, peace, has been ripped out of their dictionary. Might is right; it is everyman for himself, and God for us all.
I want Trump re-elected so he can continue his great job of turning the world upside down. But what is he doing with Michael Pompeo, a Secretary of State who is incapable of telling decent lies against Iran on oil tanker attacks in the Gulf? We, lovers of Trump, hereby demand: Pompeo Must Go!