Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) from New York became the longest-serving American President when he served for 12 years from 1933 to 1945. FDR crafted the statement that “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” In other words, he was telling Americans to be strong and to never capitulate or give in to fear under any circumstance. America became the proverbial home of the brave we all talk about till tomorrow and rightly so as confirmed in America’s national anthem.
The advice not to fear was paradoxically given by a President who spent his last few years as President on a wheel chair but would not let his people know about his health condition. He kept performing his duties to the best of his ability backed by a strong First Lady in Eleanor Roosevelt and by putting the best face on his health condition as if nothing had actually happened to him. He was not a braggart like Donald Trump, an empty barrel that makes the loudest noise. A strong leader does not go around blowing his own trumpet like my learned Professor Ozodi Ozuji would tell you in his powerful psychoanalysis essays on Facebook.
Part of the unwritten duties and responsibilities of a President like we saw in George Washington, Abe Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and lately Barack Obama, to mention a few, is to keep the country focused and reassured that tomorrow would be better than today without a need to disparage or delegitimize their immediate and past predecessors as unmitigated disasters like Donald Trump has been doing as he gets ready to take the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States in less than a week from today.
If the Trump brand becomes the new normal in presidential politics in America, I am predicting without any equivocation that Americans and by extension the whole world should have every reason to be concerned about where this country is headed with Donald Trump as President.
Donald Trump gloats and tells anybody who will listen he is going to be the greatest President America has ever elected because he is going to make America so great and so formidable that no country on Earth would have the spine or the effrontery to challenge America.
He has boasted that he wants to be the first candidate who ever made a profit from running for President and he expects the rest of the world to roll out the drums for him for saying that. He actually said he could remain President and still run his Business Empire and that he is the only one on Earth who could do that.
He has broken all the rules of decency and decorum and civility in running for President by blackmailing 16 of his challengers in the Republican Primary. He has deployed pretty much the same strategy to intimidate and manipulate the media and his opponent, Hillary Clinton, by colluding with the Vladimir Putin and the FBI Director James Comey to float an October surprise of a make-believe indictment and investigation to irredeemably damage her chances in the general election.
Even though Hillary went on to win the popular vote by the widest margin of close to 3 million votes, the poor lady narrowly lost the Electoral College tally and the whole election thru subterfuge of the worst order that would now lead to the unexpected coronation of Donald Trump at the Rotunda of the Capitol on January 20 regardless of what any of the 65 million who rejected him at the polls may think. Only in America!
Donald Trump in his quest to make America great again is indirectly insinuating that America has sunk to the lowest ebb under the first black President who has been so successful that he currently has a 57 percent approval rating in opinion polls, which is one of the best any American President has had in the last 50 years.
Donald Trump, in his attempt to continue to delegitimize Obama, is now creating an impression that he is the only one who thinks big in America. His “think big or go home” agenda is, however, a far cry from the mindset of Abraham Lincoln when he signed the Emancipation Bill into law with most members of his party kicking and screaming.
It is a far cry from the mindset of FDR when he signed the Social Security legislation into law more than 75 years ago while leaving wide open the opportunities for Congress to correct any of its imperfections through future legislations, which is something Donald Trump is not open to do with his obnoxious decision to repeal Obamacare by Executive Order as his first order of business as President without anything to replace it. He could not care less what happens to the more than 30 million Americans who are going to lose their medical coverage just by the stroke of his pen.
His “think big or go home” streak is a far cry from the mindset of JFK when he challenged America to reach the moon in 10 years but the country performed the feat in 8 years of hard work that saw the Soviet Union scratching its head and playing a second fiddle in the Race to Space it had led by more than 5 years before JFK threw his challenge.
Donald Trump’s position is a far cry from the mindset of Lyndon Baines Johnson when he signed into law the Civil Rights Act and the Great Society legislations into law, even when he himself knew his decision could predictably cause his party to lose much of the South in future elections because of his decision. LBJ did it, nonetheless, because he knew it was the right thing to do.
It was the same mindset that saw Ronald Reagan finally winning the Cold War and forcing the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact without firing a single shot. It was the same mindset that saw Jimmy Carter sponsor and moderate the Camp David Accord that created peace between Israel and Egypt for close to 50 years now.
It was the same mindset that motivated George Bush to flush Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in Desert Storm but refusing to go back on his bona fide promise to not go for regime change in Iraq. It was the same mindset that saw Bill Clinton managed the break-up of former Yugoslavia and the creation of the new state of Bosnia-Herzegovina thru massive air power and without a need to send American foot soldiers into harm’s way in a volatile region.
It was the same mindset that motivated Barack Obama to capture and kill Osama Bin Laden in a nuclearized Pakistan under the cover of darkness and despite all the attendant risks and without shedding a drop of American blood.
It is not at all clear to me that Donald Trump has the wisdom, the temperament, the discipline and the diplomatic acumen to deliver on half of his promises without disrupting the old world order that could predictably lead to a third World War if care is not taken.
That is one of the reasons I am scared to death about what I call the new normal in American politics with Donald Trump as the new landlord in the White House.
Donald Trump as President dares not provoke or disappoint Vladimir Putin and the KGB because they have his balls in their hands as we speak. His short and long term survival as Presidents depends on their disinformation espionage to muddy the waters so the world would never get to see the smoking gun about how Donald Trump won the Electoral College due to the returns or turnout from the 5 swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and Ohio, two or three out of which Hillary was expected to win with effortless ease.
The KGB and the FBI Director James Comey working together either by design or by accident is what could explain that surprising outcome. Through a thorough investigation the dots of what happened are now gradually coming out but it only requires some great minds to connect the dots and the smoking gun of how Donald Trump narrowly won the Electoral College abracadabra but lost the popular vote by 3 million votes.
The way the American founding fathers had designed the system, it was never part of their calculation that a candidate who won the popular vote by such a wide margin could go on to lose in the Electoral College.
But the painful truth is that the founding fathers did not factor into their calculus any role that could have been played by an adversary interloper like Russia. They also did not expect that any head of the FBI like James Comey would be so disloyal and partisan to play the treasonable role which is now subject to investigation by the Congress and independent investigators to be drawn from both sides of the isle.
Sooner or later, as I have often predicted in all of my write-ups, the truth is going to come out leading to an apocalyptic eruption in the Trump Presidency which is going to unravel and implode like the Richard Nixon saga in the Watergate scandal.
It is a prediction I am able to make as a historian who has studied and followed American politics for upwards of 50 years and counting.
Donald Trump is going to lie himself into a “cul de sac” where he can lie no more and when some of the very people he has appointed into his cabinet would have no other choice than to turn against him and turn him in like what happened to 'Tricky Dick' Richard Nixon 42 years ago. You can count on mad dog Mattis and his nominee for head of the CIA to be among the first to turn against him, just like Nixon’s Attorney General turned against him because he claimed his ultimate loyalty was first and foremost to the country and not Richard Nixon.
Donald Trump is then going to be haunted by the statement he made saying that his Cabinet nominees are pretty much free to express their own opinions even when such opinions and views are diametrically different from his own. That is one promise the con artist cannot keep as he would be the first to tell them they are fired if the push comes to shove. I can tell you there are going to be sudden resignations from his Cabinet when the going gets tougher.
My greatest fear is how does America or the whole world trust a President who will say one thing behind closed doors and the exact opposite before television cameras if he finds his back turned against the wall.
Trump did it in Mexico with the Mexican President by his side in a press conference when he blatantly told the media the issue of who to pay for the wall he wanted to build did not come up at their meeting. The diminutive Mexican President to his embarrassment did not want to appear too petulant or rude to his foreign visitor. He took the bitter pill and kept quiet.
Donald Trump took undue advantage of him, thus putting the President in a very awkward position with his own people. That was vantage Donald Trump. He could not care less what happens to the Mexican President after his departure.
He is fine as long as he wins all the time, even if it means sinking the fortunes of his opponent or cutting his or her throat politically. While such gimmicks could work with weak Presidents like the Lilliputian Mexican President, such despicable gimmicks would never be tolerated or condoned by stronger and more articulate Presidents around the world.
I can tell you that such gimmicks would never have been tolerated by Presidents like Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May, arrogant and abrasive Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and razor blade sharp Presidents like Magifuli of Tanzania not to talk of Japanese Prime Minister and Chinese Presidents just to mention a few.
Donald Trump is wrong to see himself as the smartest man in the world and the greatest negotiator ever to be elected President of the United States. The Yorubas get it right when they say never you boast or gloat about how big in size your father’s farm is until you have had a chance to visit another man’s farm. The Yorubas were thinking of Donald Trump when they crafted that proverb.
Americans should thank God that Donald Trump was not the one who won the popular vote by 3 million votes but narrowly lost the Electoral College tally like Hillary did. I can bet my life that Trump would never have conceded victory. He would have claimed that the election was rigged and would have encouraged his more than 65 million voters and supporters to embark on civil disobedience and he could predictably have created a constitutional crisis like nobody has ever seen in America.
He gave notice in the debates he would not concede victory if he lost. He actually told Americans that he would consider the election rigged if he lost. I wonder why nobody is reminding him right now about everything he said during the debates. If he thinks we have all forgotten, he has to be living in fool’s paradise.
The new normal in politics that Donald Trump is promoting is just too scary, to tell you the truth. If that becomes the new yardstick in geopolitics, forget it. The whole world is off to a very shaky and troubling start with the Trump presidency starting from January 20.
I will be pleasantly surprised if Donald Trump does not self-destruct within a year or two of his scary Presidency.
He is today talking about fake news and how bad and dangerous it is when it is exactly the same fake news that he has effectively used to destroy Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson, the brain surgeon who was said to have attacked his mother with a hammer by the same Trump.
It is the same fake news Donald Trump has used in collusion with FBI Director James Comey and Russian President Vladimir Putin to demolish Hillary Clinton and to put himself in the White House as the investigations would ultimately show if pursued to their logical conclusions.
I rest my case.