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Going down the river road to D for drown

By Kole Omotoso
13 December 2020   |   3:44 am
Four years ago, the United States of America voted, deliberately used their voices to carry a virtual illiterate racist into the White House. He stayed there for four years and wanted another four years, which is within his rights as sitting president. But something was not right with him.

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Four years ago, the United States of America voted, deliberately used their voices to carry a virtual illiterate racist into the White House. He stayed there for four years and wanted another four years, which is within his rights as sitting president. But something was not right with him.

During his four years, he visited various heads of states around the world, those of western democracies and those of eastern democracies like Russia and North Korea. He was particularly warm to the eastern potentates expressing admiration for their disrespect for democracies including the frequent voting that western democracies are prone to. He told a crowd that wore no masks and kept no social distance that when he got voted for a second term it should be assumed that he was being voted to president for life. The United States of America knew better. He was voted out without any doubts involved.

How did it happen that a boorish non-reading autocrat was voted into the highest, most powerful office in the world? Some have said President Barack Obama caused it. President Trump confessed that but for President Obama he would never have offered himself for the highest office in the land. I have not read anywhere where President Obama deigned to respond to these claims. And since the rantings of Trump have no logic to them, we cannot speak of there being an argument here.

The financial argument beginning in 2008 is, of necessity, long and tedious and difficult to reduce to quick journalistic quo-tables. Or quote-ables. Whatever the presidency of Barrack Obama has done to the American presidency, American intellectuals must confront it squarely. There is a racist narrative somewhere in there and Americans must tell the rest of us how President Obama liberated the American presidency that even an idiot like Donald Trump counted himself a possible candidate for high office.

A decade ago, some hack from somewhere in the woods of the Third World suggested that Americans should not be the only ones who should vote the American President. After all he is the most powerful man on our Earth. If some strange Alien arrived tomorrow and asked one of us to take me to the most powerful man on earth, will he head to Buthelezi’s Kraal? He would head to the nearest embassy of the United States of America. That embassy will arrange transport to get Mr. (whatever his/her honorific might be) Alien to Washington D.C. as fast as possible.

To go back to the river road to ruin. There are many many publications documenting the malfeasance of the 45th president of the United States of America. They can be divided into three broad categories: 1. Family sagas with the niece’s book top of that pile; 2. Officials working with the president with John Warren’s in the room it happened, and 3. General readers with Woodward’s at the top of his pile. No wrong-doings of any American president has been so detailed. He survived an impeachment because the members of the GOP took leave of their moral reasonings. He survived 26 sexual-misconduct accusations. He survived thousands of law suits, all because the Republican Party indulged their crazy party leader. In spite of such detailing, Trump does not stand in any court of law to be found guilty of any of these offenses, legal infringements and abuses of his mighty office.

That’s internally. Trump cut off American funding to the world health organization in the middle of the pandemic. He cut off his links with NATO under his foreign policy agenda of American alone. He embraced Kim Un of North Korea and gave Putin a bear hug and praised their system for doing away with frequent elections.

These are some of the moral injuries of the last four years. In addition must be added the injuries against American democracy internally and externally. External American democracy is the gold standard of democracies. Under Trump, the gold was cheapened and became what Nigerians call “anda,” mere gold rust, nothing of value for other country’s to hanker after.

Internally, one of the most agonising moments in the Trump administration was to see a mother separated from her months-old baby in the name of America Alone. No wonder, during the campaign, the Vice President Elect Senator Kamala Harris said: “This is not what we are in America. Which brings to mind the Statue of Liberty. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

There is so much work to do to restore the image of America pre-Trump overseas. But the work will begin at home. Some of it had started where state courts had challenged federal laws that stationed such Un-American behavior. Court cases have been won which restored the distress and the dignity of the separated mothers from their babies. We still have to wait until 20th January to achieve the commencement of new Presidency.

Will there be a return away from drowning in the river? Or, perhaps, we have learnt to swim in the meantime and we are no longer scared of the river. Yet, the new arrivals must join the old wretched ignored to seek to breathe free. Otherwise, there would be no freedom for the old and the new, the old and the young.

There will be no room for racist protesters displaying firearms in the streets of America. There would no place for peaceful protests like ‘Lives Matter in America.’ The African-American, longest strugglers to breathe free must join with the Brown-Americans in a match forward to breathe free.

Nothing showed the disadvantage the new arrivals confront on arrival who hoped to arrive breathing free than the recent pandemic. They died most in harness protecting other lives. This must never be.