THERE is always an end to any beginning, no matter how impactful or eventful the development was.
When former president of the United States of America (U.S.A.), Donald J. Trump mounted the saddle on January 20, 2016 as the 45th President of the country and waltzed confidently in his peculiar pitch with his far right populist message that beckoned on citizens of The United States (U.S.) to focus on only their country, it appeared an era of North America as the world’s lead-nation or at least a global flagship state, has ended.
Mr. Trump’s lines were clear, and he pushed his point from first comments as he made his debut speech upon taking his oath of office. He presented himself as representing the downtrodden Americans who their politicians in Washington D.C. have always exploited. He told the American middle class that their leaders, before him, have been extorting them over the years for the enrichment of other nations.
“We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people. Together we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come.”
He made his followers, mostly non-elite Americans, spot their enemies among the Washington D.C. mainstream politicians and told them that “from this day onward, it is going to be only ‘America, First’.”
Pushing the message further, he made America’s friends across the world understand that The US would ride with them or alone on its own terms – no longer as the benevolent ‘Uncle Sam’ and watchdog of the world.
“We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world — but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones — and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.”
Hence, the charismatic and audacious billionaire properties’ owner and reality show mogul who, thitherto, never held any public office kicked off his 45th President of the US which ended yesterday.
His reign was nothing less than an engaging buzz and flux of unending posers marked by one tension after another.
From making a storm about his desire to build a huge wall on America’s border with Mexico to pulling U.S.A. out of the highly regarded Paris Accord for climate change, to combustive brawls, groans, rants and tantrums on Twitter. Even punch-ups were not very far away from his White House.
Even when the 2019 coronavirus that emerged from Wahum, China overwhelmed the world in a pandemic that ravaged humanity, comprising his U.S.A. he was more concerned with throwing tirades and scuffles against China than settling to work on the matter. On the excuse of China being, uncomfortably close to the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.),
Trump withdrew the US’ funds for the body. Unconventionally, he flaunted health experts’ advice on the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), opted and encouraged his followers to deride global COVID-19 measures, including making mockery of people who wore facemasks.
Even when he and his wife contracted the deadly virus, he broke quarantine and medical rules, jumped convalescence restrictions and returned to his Oval House office in White House where he eventually, spread the disease to his staff and associates.
Trump was so unique in his style that he made the US presidency a no-holds-barred reality show. He had no restriction in his political games where hitting below the belt or hauling personal insults even on health and natural handicaps were normal. He fired his personnel, no matter how high or close at will and had unmatched capacity to square-up against anybody or institution irrespective of status.
Indeed, despite being a farther advancing septuagenarian, he was more bullish than youthful radicals in social media. In fact, in his tweets, particularly, he raged in more rabid charge than a hunting tiger. Nobody crossed his path there and escaped without deep hurt if not slaughter.
Without doubt, Trump was phenomenal. Like a deft boardroom operator with a business prospector’s instinct, he sensed and exploited opportunities in quick-to-seal deals for himself or his country. He knows how smart he can be. The only problem is that he appeared not to sense when the smartness veered towards the odious.
After a slew of bad press over his deals especially a New York Times report of his failing to pay taxes where he should have, he took to his favourite platform of public engagement. Trump wrote on Twitter. “I was able to make an appropriately great deal with the numerous lenders on a large and very beautiful tower. Doesn’t that make me a smart guy rather than a bad guy?”
His antics in power and penchant for brawn and punch-down politics, added to his very abrasive if haughty demeanour in power drowned many feats he achieved as America’s president especially, on the economic front. Giving himself a big ‘pass’ mark yesterday in the valedictory speech he delivered in Maryland, he said he was a success for the everyday American.
While justifying the 143 presidential pardons he granted to convicted persons in his last days in power, the former president cast himself as a misunderstood victor who worked in the midst of enemies.
Trump referred to his administration’s achievements, such as his efforts to ease frayed relations between nations in the Middle East; the development of coronavirus vaccinations and the creation of a new Space Force. But he justified his failure to work smoothly with colleagues in Washington D.C.
“As President, my top priority, my constant concern, has always been the best interests of American workers and American families,” he said. “I did not seek the easiest course; by far, it was actually the most difficult. I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism. I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do.”
Trump also made it clear that he has no plans of going quietly into the night, telling his supporters that, as he prepares “to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There’s never been anything like it.”
The jury is not yet out on Trump’s presidency but the factors that led to his getting impeached twice by the legislature, which had never happened in any US regime in White House may not be unconnected to his self-obsession or unguarded effort to play to the gallery to please his far-right followers who actually were expecting him to lead them in a more informed direction.
In the bid to placate the fundamental rightists and to see himself as the best American, the outgone president became more proud, self-obsessed and to a large extent, overboard. Hence, when in his ego-driven self-denial of his loss to the Democratic Party’s Joe R. Biden he forgot to recognise when he was going beyond his limits and rallied his heady supporters to the legislative chambers of The Capitol thusly: “we are gonna walk down to The Capitol.” He met his Achilles heel. And that may be the main development that will haunt him, all life notwithstanding his hint that he “will be back in some form,” someday, in the Maryland speech.
Trump was indeed a handful for US and himself. He was too full of issues that someone would be pushed to ask how he managed to get to the White House. But that is one of the peculiar traits of democracy. Anybody who dares may get there if the rest fail to do what they should.
One believes that the US will now breathe fresh air with the emergence of President Biden. The message of unification he gave yesterday, raises hope in America and the whole world. We pray Biden keeps his words. More so, Trump said Biden needs “luck” to succeed. Yes, the new US President needs a lot of it.