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Friday, May 29, 2020
Aug 1 2016 - The world is in serious trouble for superpower America has just fallen down a manhole and is in deep sewage.
For today this nation that boasts freedom of choice as her testament of faith and offers her people a thousand different branded potato chips to choose from plus another two thousand different tomato sauces to dip it in as evidence of the miracles her creed has wrought, has nothing to offer her electorate as her next president but a woeful choice between something akin to what the cat brought home and something which it had left half eaten on the sidewalk.
When the American two-party system finally decided on their respective candidates to do battle for the country’s and thus the world’s top most job, it was clear to all that America, once so brave and great, had fallen embarrassingly short of being able to make good on quality when it came to delivering presidential material.
This Tuesday when the Republican Party decided on its candidate with the Democrats having decided theirs a month ago, there was nothing to write home about but bad news and predict the descent of gloom to cast the world in darkness.
The pathetic choice the people have before them in this great democracy is between a flamboyant egoist Trump who seems to be on probation from a mental sanatorium trying to brand the country as Trump America and return her to apartheid; and a dowdy drab prim proper nanny Hillary – labeled by Brexit Britain’s Boris Johnston as ‘a woman with the sadistic nose of a hospital matron’ — who has emerged from a cuckolded nest and is trying to put the world right according to the pedestrian beliefs she carries in her handbag.
Come November 4th when the American people are called upon to elect their new president, they will find themselves caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. The fact that for the first time in the short history of the United States of America a woman is contesting the presidency has hardly caused a ripple of interest. It has been deluged by the terror waves that have struck the land from coast to coast over the now distinct possibility – even near certainty – that the next President of America may be the devil in disguise with his tail in the Oval Office and his trigger happy finger on the nuke button.
If the founding fathers of this once great land of the free and brave had thought it fit to appeal to the heavens in their national song by the invocation to God to save America, now is the time not only for its own inhabitants but for all mankind to start saying their prayers.
Thirteen months ago when multimillionaire Donald Trump, cheque book in hand and wads of dollars stuffed in his pockets, first broke loose from his executive TV office where he had been hosting The Apprentice’ and wooing his viewers with his catch phrase ‘You’re fired’, to announce his bizarre intention to contest the American Presidential election, he was greeted with jeers and laughter; and his impertinence to aspire to the zenith of the American political pole and play God to all humanity, was brushed aside with derision as the action of a rich crank, out to massage his already full blown ego with the balm of public attention.
But if its money that drives Americans, it’s also money that drives a presidential campaign. And Trump had loads of it to splash. Announcing he will finance his own campaign from his own kitty of 500 million dollars so that he is beholden to none, he turned the tables on Republican Party leaders by courting the rank and file Republican membership direct to vote for him in the primaries.
Though he sought the Republican ticket, the Republican leadership never embraced him, never encouraged him, never wanted him. Some even went to the extent of public disowning him. He was considered the rank outsider who had gate crashed the Republican garden party. But when he began clinching the states one after another and clinching them big, for instance, in New York, Pennsylvania and California to mention a few, it was time even for the staid Speaker of the House, Republican heavy, Paul Ryan to take cognizance of Trump’s existence and face the growing possibility that Trump will scoop the lot to become the unchallengeable candidate at July’s deciding Republican convention.
Even as the British public had disregarded their political leaders’ appeals to vote to remain in the European Union and had instead overwhelmingly opted to exist the EU, so did many republican party members choose to ignore the advice of their own party leaders to vote for the party ordained nominees.
Instead they voted for the party outcast who had gained entry to the race by throwing his dollars to purchase a ticket to run. Many who were expected to scoff the outsider surprisingly stayed to pray at the Trump built tower to Mammon.
He had stormed the Republican gates and it had fallen before his onslaught like a pack of cards. The unthinkable had happened and it still is. His slam dunks were becoming more regular and were becoming crowd pullers. As the embattled Republican knights watched aghast at the unfolding spectacle of their chosen white knights fall before the lusty charge of the dark horseman; and closed ranks to prevent the errant imposter to the Republican crown from gaining higher ground; it seemed there was no immovable obstacle they could erect to stop his unstoppable march to the Republican Convention and from there to the White House.
It seemed some inexplicable sinister power was inexorably drawing him to keep his rendezvous with destiny. And this Tuesday, Donald Trump trumped the Republican stakes to be named, against all odds, as the party’s official candidate for the United States presidency; and showed that the race was not to the swift Republican blessed steed nor the battle to the Republican ordained strong but time and chance happens to them all – especially if fed with the nourishing milk of the goat Amalthea through her broken though effective Horn of Plenty.
If God moves in mysterious ways, it can be now safely assumed, so does the devil.
Even as the ‘end of the world is nigh’ prophets of doom, who lined the streets in December 1999 to warn the world that Doomsday would dawn at midnight January 1st 2000 AD, are today busy rummaging through their garage boxes to find and resurrect their old placards and paint anew their slogan ‘we only got it wrong by 17 years’, so has the guardians of America’s Holy Grail of Christian purity ever under assault by the dark forces, risen en masse to equate the meteoric rise of Donald Trump with the prophesied advent of the Anti Christ and drawn the conclusion that both are one and the same.
The fact that Donald Trump has come so far is itself a miracle: if not wrought by God then by the fallen Archangel. Take a peep at his meteoric rise to be but a step away from the Presidency and to rule the world.
He has been married thrice: and if he becomes president he would be the first to hold the dubious honour. Only three other presidents in US history had been married twice. Ronald Reagan, Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. He has also been declared a bankrupt thrice. The last three US Presidents have all been relatively young when they were first elected presidents. Bill Clinton was 47 when he became America’s 42nd president. He is now 70. George W. Bush was 55 when he became America’s 43rd president in 2001. He is now 70. Barrack Obama was 46 when he became America’s 44th President. He is now 54.
As the potential 45th President of America Donald Trump will be 70 years old and may even find it difficult to stride up the steps of the White House without a puff and a pant with the same ease his predecessors jogged the stairs. He is also the only one who will not have had any experience in holding elected office. Inherited wealth has been his impeccable credentials and his tower of strength has been the foundation his father laid for him to build his dreams upon.
But not his marriages, not his bankruptcies, not his age and not his lack of experience in holding public office have been a bar to his phenomenal rise. Not the animosity of his own party leadership, not even the hostile press he has so far received has been able to put a damper on his upward climb? The more he puts his foot in the sinking sand of public opprobrium, the more he seems to rise.
So what makes him tick? Has he, even unbeknown to himself, the secret backing of Ole Nick?
Have the planets aligned in a malefic formation to set the Doomsday scene? Is he the chosen one, the Devil’s own, to push the troubled world, tottering on the brink of destruction, over the precipice?
What we are witnessing is a dramatic seismic shift in the world order.
The old order is changing and Trump, should he win the presidency, will be the catalyst of change. America has thrown off its ‘Mr. Nice Guy, Policeman of the World’ mask and is set to reveal its ugly face which it had for long concealed. It has ripped its white tuxedo and is intent on baring its tattooed chest. It has shuffled off its coil of decency, fairness, justice and equality and shown the core to be a satanic grotto filled to the brim with hate, bigotry, arrogance and intolerance.
It has dropped the pretence of polite speech but not lowered but raised its voice to blare out loud from Trump’s megaphonic mouth the megalomania of a neurotic nation stricken with the jitters. And it doesn’t care who’s listening. Should Trump make it to the White House, America is to go for the kill. And doesn’t care who – or how many – gets hurt.
The first speaker at the Republican Convention on Monday began his speech saying “Americans love their own country like no other people on earth”. In American eyes that may well be so and if it gives the American ego a kick to think their country is best and all agree it should be loved most, let them have that satisfaction.
The problem for the rest of the world, however, is that Americans not only love their own country most and confine their adoration to the limits of its own vast frontiers but also extend their ambits of unnatural ardour to love other countries in the world too: love them enough, however far flung they may be, to invade them, to place their jackboots on them, to install their puppet regimes to rule their beloved lands by proxy, to promise them protection from their natural enemies and millions of dollars in American aid to build their infrastructure destroyed by American brewed regional enmity, even shed precious American blood in return for the black gold and other untold resources America desperately needs to make herself so great and beautiful that her own citizens cannot but help love her the most.
But jealousy and possessiveness are part and parcel of love and often leads to war; and when the rich American suitor covets the sheik’s entire harem, it’s enough to make even the lowly Arab on his camel draw his dagger in despair and vow vengeance.
With the fall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union on Boxing Day in 1991, the United States of America has been the dominant sole superpower. For forty five year since the end of World War Two the equilibrium of power had been maintained with the existence of these two superpowers, each armed with the nuclear deterrent. Both had power to destroy the world. But both had, as responsible civilized nations, the concomitant responsibility to safeguard it. But a power vacuum is always filled.
America’s embroilment in the Middle East may not have been possible had the Soviet Union been in existence. Thus though American troops marched into many Middle Eastern states and toppled obnoxious regimes with relative ease, continued occupation of those territories have become an American nightmare. The rise of al Qaeda which brought the terror home to American soil and its fall which has led to the mysterious emergence of ISIS are instances which demonstrate that the iron clad natural law always dictates a power vacuum – rightly or wrongly, for better or for worse – has always to be filled. And today it’s ISIS against the rest of the world. The only hitch is that ISIS, having no state to defend or borders to protect wields, like the nomad of the desert and the harlot in the whorehouse, power without responsibility.
With the western world gripped in fear and America struck with horror at the impotency of its matchless military arsenal to combat ISIS attacks and protect its citizens on home ground, Donald Trump has emerged to give amplified echo to the inaudible trembling voice of shivering America.
The gloves are off. With Trump on the rise and on the war path, ‘political incorrect’ speeches though still viewed with distaste, maybe in vogue the day after he is elected.
Trump’s answer is to meet terror with terror, hate with hate. He also plans to practise discrimination against the Muslims of the world indiscriminately. Anyone who is a Muslim will be banned from coming to America; and the Muslims already there will face ‘mass deportation’ if they do not have the necessary documents. What those necessary documents are, is yet to be defined.
And what of the Muslims who are citizens and have been so for years. Will they not become the victims of taunt and hate in a nation under Trump rule, condemned to the ghettos of prejudice on the basis of ethnicity and religion even as the blacks have been for centuries on the basis of their colour? And that is in spite of having America’s last black president currently in the White House?
Funnily enough, Trump, the man who may be the next president of America, is saying what successive Lankan presidents who faced Tiger terrorism had been saying all along. That Tigers were terrorists and had to be quashed. But then to the bleeding western hearts the LTTE cadres were freedom fighters, rebels with a cause, pussy cats to be pampered in cotton wool till they purred. But, for the purposes of record, it must be stated that no Lankan president, to his or her credit, has ever decreed that ‘All Tamils are terrorists’ in the manner that Trump has branded all Muslims as terrorists and announced his intention to ban their entry into the United States should he be elected President.
In less than four months, on November 5th the day after America goes to the polls, the world will know America’s decision? Trump, in his acceptance speech at the Republican convention yesterday said “Who would have believed that when we started this journey on June 16, last year, we would have received almost 14 million votes, the most in the history of the Republican Party?
But there are 146 million Americans eligible and registered to cast their votes on 4th November. And up their sleeve, they have the last trump card to play. Given the poor choice of burnt offerings on the table, it will be the hope and prayer of the world they will use it wisely.
Even if it is only to save America from Trumps’ fire to Hillary’s frying pan.
This story was originally published by The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka
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