By Labaran Yusuf
It’s been a year since the Twitter-obsessed president of the United States, Donald Trump takes residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, with him is a group of right-wing-advisors-turned-sycophants (the Bannons and the Jarvankas: Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law).
Within days in office, the president turned the White House operations room for attacking the media and for unraveling international agreements and treaties. Scandals and controversies begin to shroud the Oval just as adhocracy and lies became the trademark of Trump’s presidency.
From a pointless border wall styled on hateful votes to a racist and discriminative Muslim ban barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia) from entering the US; to berating traditional US allies; and dropping of the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB), the most powerful non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan; the impulsive US president had no clue how to go about translating his slogans into policy, because he never actually believed he would become president.
The Trump administration lacks a cohesive foreign policy right from the start. Not long after his inauguration, he withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and later from the Paris climate deal and UNESCO, which the US helped found in the shadow of World War II. The most bizarre of all came on September of last year, when the president chose a diplomatic forum of the UN – the 72nd session UNGA to threaten North Korea with total destruction in front of other world leaders.
Many people are scrambling to know the exact mental status of the president as he continues to astonish the world. There are two schools of thought regarding the inner workings of president Trump. One according to meticulous reports and books like: The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, written by 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts; and the recent Michael Wolff’s best-seller, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House; the president is a demented, narcissistic, unstable, erratic and ego-megalomaniac, whose actions have no rhyme or reason and no schedule.
According to Wolff, Trump is more like an attention-seeking child, who neither read nor listens; and he’s much of a person that likes to be flattered and is obsessed with cable news. And therefore, he is unfit for office and poses a great danger to the world.
The second school of thought supported by the president, some Republicans and his right-wing voters is that Trump is a ‘stable genius’ that not only uses Twitter in a calculated manipulative way to break news and keep people in a suspense, but also in a diversionary fashion to deflect attention away from bad news of his administration.
Anytime he fires 280 characters or less using simple syntax, inflammatory rhetoric, dramatic punctuation points and repetition like rap colored with adjectives like great! Tremendous! – Sometimes with caps to highlight the important part of his tweets; he creates Twitter-borne controversies in Washington. But his supporters say “he says what he thinks” without having to be filtered by the liberal media.
With over 40-million followers on Twitter, Trump tweets an average of 9 tweets per day always early in the morning – usually to attack the media, berate critics, and sometimes to break news or keep people in a suspense and to deflect attention from his failures or the Russia meddling investigation.
The fact remains that, president Trump is an opportunist, a master manipulator, a serial fabricator that is averaging 3 false claims per day and a salesman that does the unexpected and feels he is too big to be fact-checked. He spent a lot of time in the deep swamps of conspiracy theories (Breitbart and Fox News); supports US neo-Nazis and retweets British neo-Fascists. And also someone that harbors racism, misogyny and Xenophobia, such that his recent Africa and the Caribbean are “shitholes” comment vindicates the world of his erratic behavior of not being able to control even his tongue.
If being presidential means calm, Trump is never going to be presidential, because, his comfort zone is chaos. Despite being unpopular, he still claims to have done things never done by other American presidents ever. Maybe he means isolationist policies like the Jerusalem declaration or intimidations at the UN. And now he can’t visit London fearing millions of protesters will swarm him.
As the Trump administration continues to mock international agreements and treaties, media and other world organizations; 2018 will yet be another year of unpredictable turnarounds masterminded by a new-comer to the world of politics – you guessed him – the narcissistic ego-megalomaniac in the name of Trump; who wants money, power and cheeseburgers – tweeting out of the West Wing of the White House.
Labaran Yusuf, freelance writer and researcher based in Jos, Plateau State