This is the third and concluding part of the piece which, yesterday, analysed the total lack of self-awareness of Trump and his fellow White supremacists
By Ogaga Ifowodo
BUT even if to the hard-to-persuade these do not constitute enough evidence of the fundamental threat that Trumpism posed to America and the world, then consider the collection of informed opinions published in 2017, at the very beginning of the menace, entitled The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. I confess that I bought this book in search of corroboration of the amateur observations and conclusions I had formed, to wit: that the president of the United States was not well, that he was mentally unstable, and so ill-suited to the most powerful political office in the world.
Trump chose a tried and tested means of achieving his goal of revolutionary transformation of American society: divide and rule. He pitched white against black America, the latter term comprising not just African-Americans but also all so-called coloured or brown persons. Tapping deep into the nervous anxiety caused by the sobering demographic of white Americans becoming a minority ethnic group in under fifty years, Trump stoked every fear known and unknown (including that but for him, suburban women would be menaced by crime and protesters of police killings and systemic racism would not be content with toppling statues of racist confederate generals and colonisers but also statues of Jesus).
While he vehemently denounced Black Lives Matter and Antifa, movements for social justice and democracy that the Federal Bureau of Investigation said were not domestic terrorist groups, he coddled and enabled white supremacist groups, such as the Proud Boys and the neo-Nazis that organised the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville. He hailed Kyle Rittenhouse, a seventeen-year-old lad who could not legally own a gun, as a hero of law and order after he had crossed state borders from Illinois to Wisconsin and shot two unarmed protesters dead. Yet he couldn’t ever bring himself to say that the black lives that were being felled like flies under his watch by bigoted police officers matter.
The clear and present danger posed by Trump’s Make America Great (White) Again revolution was already leading to fascist tendencies that bode ill for all: undercover agents taking away protesters in unmarked cars in Portland, Oregon; an extreme right militia, the Wolverine Watchmen, attempting to kidnap Michigan State governor Gretchen Whitmer, targeted no doubt due to Trump’s vitriolic attacks against her); armed MAGA zealots who invaded an election centre in Maricopa County, Arizona, to enforce Trump’s wish that ballot counting should stop and he be declared winner of the election.
Preceding all that was his constant demonisation of the mainstream press as peddlers of “fake news,” journalists as the enemies of the people, and his crusade for replacing responsible journalism with the fact-free swamp-world of conspiracy theories-driven social media chatrooms.
If nothing else, the fear and panic that gripped America on the eve of the election, causing businesses to board up front windows and doors in anticipation of Armageddon the night of November 3, demonstrates how far advanced was Trump’s goal of revolutionary transformation of American society in his image.
His definition of a free and fair election as only the one he wins was just one more means of his personal transformation into president-for-life, or at the very least, of becoming a strongman who wins every election in which he is a candidate, like his greatest idol Vladimir Putin and false Chinese enemy, Xi Jinping, whom he secretly admires. Should the world have had Trump blossom into a full-blown fascist like Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini or General Francisco Franco before the massive effort that stopped him could be deemed revolutionary?
It is a lovely irony, I think, that black Americans, the very citizens Trump cast as the primary “them” against his white American “us,” should have been the force that gave life to Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr’s third bid for the White House doomed at the time of the South Carolina primary to end just like his previous two attempts.
And an equally delicious irony that Senator Kamala Harris, whom Trump unsurprisingly described as “angry and nasty,” as a “monster,” should become the first black woman to be Vice President of the United States. And that she should have been chosen as running mate at the insistence of Representative Clyburn, the black man who saved a nice white man’s bid to be president of America.
It may have been third time is the charm for Mr Biden but for all of concerned humanity, joy and relief that the most powerful political office currently known to earth has been wrenched out of the hands of a lunatic. That is “an adequate revolution for me to espouse,” to borrow the words of Chinua Achebe meant for a different context!