Tuesday Column By VICTORIA NGOZI IKEANO
Some five weeks after the US general elections, President Donald Trump has continued to rail and rage against the results which he claims are patently fraudulent and the officials in especially swing states that he lost labelled corrupt. In the first two weeks after the elections Trump remained literally holed up in the White House ostensibly privately whining over his defeat or strategizing on how to overturn it in his favour. Then he appeared to speak to the White House press corp (without entertaining any questions from them) to beat his chest about successful production of a vaccine for COVID-19, describing its emergence in just under one year after the pandemic broke as ‘’a record in the history of the world’’. He made another brief appearance to speak on the stock market which reached a trillion dollar mark, taking credit for it whilst describing it as ‘’the first in America’s history”. For a man that loves the klieg lights it was surprising that he spoke for less than two minutes on both occasions and continued to decline questions. It was a sign that the president was not in his elements.
One had thought that the electoral result distasteful as it may be would have humbled him to some inner retrospection of his life hitherto that would prick his conscience to spur him in the service of his country and humanity, to summoning the courage to overcome his weaknesses and act as a true leader, the leader of the USA, of the free world to which millions of people and many countries look unto for exemplary conduct worthy of emulation. Alas, the president would not listen to the still voice within him but instead sought furiously to becloud and muscle it out by suffusing himself in intellectual conceit, regaling himself in narcissistic self glorification that sees himself as a revered cult leader of sorts. The president once said that he is the most famous person on earth ‘after Jesus Christ’, an indication of his low values perhaps. Fame without character equals vanity. And so the 45th president of the US enmeshes himself in twitter storm, 24/7 literally, unleashing his venom on disloyal staff, treacherous party members who disagree with his ways, the ‘unreliable’, ‘communist’ democratic party and also still mocking president-elect Joseph Biden as for example, teasing him for having relatively fewer followers on Twitter, indirectly equating governance with showmanship somehow.
President Trump now rules by Twitter, hiring, firing, deploying staff through twitter as well as granting presidential pardons via it. Given all his ranting and ‘proof’ about the flawed elections on twitter, one would have thought that the president would have an easy ride in the law courts where it really matters. Alas, many of his suits have been dismissed for lack of evidence. And so he conjured the undemocratic idea of directing his Republican party governors not to certify the results in their states. That too fell by the wayside. But apparently determined to overturn the result by all means, the president has come up with a more undemocratic way, that is, asking the electors, members of the electoral college that are due to convene soon, not to elect Joseph Biden. This is a routine exercise that formally puts the seal on the November 3 elections. But with President Trump fiercely disputing the election results and clearly making his stand to deny the president-elect victory by any means, December 8 date for appointing presidential electors and December 20 for the electors to vote may just be as tense as November 3.
By continuing to make specious allegations about the 2020 election Trump seeks to delegitimize Biden’s win and unintentionally perhaps, cast doubt on America’s democratic system which has stood the test of time for about 200 years. This is a disservice to both America and the world as many are now wondering whether democracy is still the best form of governance, believing as they do that it is subject to mass fraud as per Trump. So many people, not least a large chunk of the over 70 million persons that voted for him swallow his twitter messages hook, line and sinker. Indeed many have heeded his call to donate money to enable him ‘successfully’ fight and retrieve his ‘stolen’ mandate and he has raked in millions of dollars in that regard.
What is more this election has thrown into the mix so much hatred and Trump should take the responsibility of being the chief monger of this as the leader that sets the tone for others to follow. Words like idiot, fools, senile are now so common. More alarming is the call by one of Trump’s allies for the beheading of disloyal staff, specifically the infectious disease expert that is a member of the administration’s corona virus committee, Dr. Anthony Fauci and the FBI director. By not condemning such horrifying demand the president indirectly appear to approve of it. It is another low for America under Trump’s watch. Dr. Fauci takes this unbecoming call serious enough to go about with secret service agents and restrict his movements. There is so much fouling, poisoning of the ethereal environment and Trump as leader can diffuse this by moderating his combative rhetoric to one of peace and love. He can and should do it in the interest of peaceful, harmonious co-existence