by Arley Gill
Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the United States elections! Hehehehe! Maybe it would not be so funny if the United States was not arguably the most powerful country in the world. Indisputably, a country with the strongest military, with a nuclear stockpile second to none.
The US, as a country, has an economy that is the most connected with every aspect of global finances, affecting rich and poor nations; a country, for all its inherent weaknesses, affords the children of immigrants — regardless of which part of the world they are from — an opportunity to better their lives. Today, the United States is grappling with the reality of having one Donald Trump as a serious contender in the next presidential elections.
Now, first of all, Mr Trump is an American and he has all right to run for the presidency. Moreover, he is a hugely successful businessman who made millions, primarily in real estate business. He has done some highly successful television programs and has invested significantly in fashion. Regardless of what, he could not possibly be a fool to be so successful.
The reality is, however, that it made for interesting viewing — and at times a bit of comedy — listening to Mr Trump. The personal attacks on his competitors are what you will hear in Carlton junction or in Grand Anse valley, in a small “pocket meeting”, from a politician in Grenada. Certainly not — well, until now — from a USA presidential hopeful.
On domestic issues Mr Trump speaks tough on illegal immigration; promising to build a wall along the US/Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants. Further, he claims — using a few incidences where illegal immigrants committed offences — that these undocumented immigrants are murderers, rapists and criminals, who are “sent’’ to the US by the Mexican government. And, he pledges that he will make the Mexican government pay for building the border wall.
This past week, Mr Trump had economist experts — Republicans and Democrats alike — scratching their collective head about what he had to say about US fiscal policy. Concerns were raised after Mr Trump, who called himself the “king of debt,” said he would be open to renegotiating US public debt by treating the interaction like a business deal. Many interpreted his remarks to mean that he would want the US to default on its debt. Mr Trump has denied it, saying America would never face such a potential outcome because it can “print” money.
Mr Trump also has said some unsavory things about women, not least female journalists. Recently, he even recommended that women should be punished for having abortions. Despite, the racist undertones, gender-biased comments and discriminatory remarks about minorities, Mr Trump was able to soundly trump his Republican opponents. Is that not reflective of American society? To me, it is evident that Mr Trump’s message resonated with a significant part of the American voting population. He is giving a voice to what others are thinking. What else will explain the Trump phenomenon? Surely, his family members are not his only supporters. Indeed, his children were not even registered for the New York primary.
To say Mr Trump is weak on foreign affairs and world issues would be an understatement. He is ignorant!
The trouble is a large section of the Republican hierarchy is embarrassed that Mr Trump is their leader. They are considering ways to even get someone else on the ballot paper come this November, when American go to the polls to elect a new president to replace Barack Obama after his two-year term of eight years. Other Republicans have stated publicly that they are not voting for Mr Trump, and that they will not even go to their party’s convention.
Understanding the American political system I know, as a fact, that quite a few things that Mr Trump spoke about he will not be able to do if he’s elected the next president.
What is troubling though, is how the USA — “The Home of the Free and the Land of the Brave” — can produce that quality of political leadership in Donald Trump.