Sun, Mar 20, 2016
This is how the game has precipitated into a dirty no holds barred wrestling match between races.
It has been long since the world witnessed the rise of a politician who inspires as much controversy as Donald Trump. Who is “The Donald”, as he is commonly referred to? The Donald could be a molecule: two atoms of Hitler for every single atom of Lady Gaga’s attention seeking streak. Donald Trump’s character is a peculiar concoction of unadulterated hatred, unapologetic ignorance, blatant racism and a mouth best kept shut. However, no man is that one dimensional and true to the fact, Donald Trump also has respectable qualities he brings to the table. If he wins the Presidency, what might happen?
The deadliest terrorist group in Africa and in the world – Boko Haram is an affiliate of ISIS. The latter is domiciled in the Middle East and if Trump’s promises are anything to go by, he will knock the hell out of them. Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Trump said, “I would knock out the source of their wealth, the primary sources of their wealth, which is oil. And in order to do that, you have to put boots on the ground. I would knock the hell out of them, but I’d put a ring around it and I’d take the oil for our country.”I would knock the hell out of them, but I’d put a ring around it and I’d take the oil for our country.
He said this after confirming his support for the use of US ground troops to fight ISIS. If indeed Trump destroys ISIS, he will have weakened the allegiant (Boko Haram) which has resorted to using suicide bombs after the Nigerian army made inroads into its territory. Africa will be a beneficiary of The Donald’s firm hand. Though taking Middle East oil for his own country is not the noblest thing to do, Africa will be grateful if the parent terrorist organizations of African terror groups are eliminated. However, reports say Al Shabab used one of his anti-Muslim videos against him in a recruitment propaganda video. He could end up being a toxic addition to the fray
“His militaristic tendencies towards the Middle East and ban on all Muslim travel to the US would be a potent recruitment tool for jihadi groups,” says the Economist Intelligence Unit in their latest global risk assessment.
Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again”. Though not a man renowned for tact and robust policies, Donald Trump’s campaign has struck a chord with a relatively large portion of the Republican voters for his strongman language that will help America regain its big brother role the world over. Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” about who he talks to on issues of foreign policy, Trump responded, “I’m speaking with myself, number one because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” It is however not this foreign policy that should inspire Africa but the economic blueprint proposed by Trump.
“We have been too afraid to protect and advance American interests and to challenge China to live up to its obligations,” says Trump in his plan to reform the US-China trade relationship. Many African countries may want to borrow that simple principle from Trump’s campaign. Recently President Mugabe seized diamond mining operations in Zimbabwe and one of the companies affected, Anjin was of Chinese origin. Mugabe then said, “I told President Xi Jinping during his State visit here last year that Government was not happy with Anjin’s operations so I wanted it to go back.” This is the sort of behaviour needed if Africa is to get any dividend from its resources. China should be called to account. In addition to this, Africa could be even greater with a little more unity. Recently on CBS’s Face the Nation, Trump said, “I mean, I get along with people. I’m a unifier. I am very much a unifier and maybe people don’t see that but they will see that.” Africa does not need someone who claims to be a unifier, it needs delivery. A man in the mould of Mandela should rise and make Africa as great as it was before dictatorship corruption and civil wars ran it down.
Most illegal immigrants are by far Mexicans but that does not mean there are no African illegal immigrants among the 11.3 million Trump intends to deport. A 2015 study by American Action Forum (AAF) estimates it would take about 20 years to completely rid the United States of America of all illegal immigrants while costing the US anything between $420 and $620 billion. However, Mr Trump maintains this is achievable still. Speaking to Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Trump said, “You are going to have a deportation force, and you’re going to do it humanely.”You are going to have a deportation force, and you’re going to do it humanely.
This effectively means illegal immigrants from Africa may find themselves on their way home once Trump assumes power. He also intends to impose tighter legal immigration limits meaning moving to the United States might not be an option in the near future. “Before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers,” says Trump in his Immigration Reform plan.
“The current state of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is absolutely unacceptable. Over 300 000 veterans died waiting for care,” runs Trump’s opening statement in his Veterans Administration Reforms that will make America great again position. The plan’s guiding principle is “ensuring veterans have convenient access to the best quality care”. In February, Zimbabwean police fired teargas and water cannon to disperse hundreds of war veterans planning a march on the ruling party’s headquarters. Many of them fainted due to the effects of the teargas. While Trump is proposing better quality care, war veterans in Zimbabwe are getting better quality teargas. Since Trump aspires to the highest office of the free world, could his inspire better care of African war veterans who are more than just that, they are liberation struggle heroes. While Trump is proposing better quality care, war veterans in Zimbabwe are getting better quality teargas
Trump proposes increasing funding for post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and suicide prevention services to address veterans’ invisible wounds. Africa largely does not have any system that caters for “invisible wounds”. The Zimbabwean approach in particular has always been to throw money and land the liberation heroes’ way. In Angola in 2012, war veterans protested unpaid pensions and it was reported they had not been adequately integrated into society. In the 1990s, Namibia set up the Socio-Economic Integration Programme for ex-Combatants (SIPE) but only after riots. Can Africa learn to take better care of its veterans from The Donald? It should, as the current state of affairs is a threat to security. No one should anger a whole group of people with military training as they can resort to violent means to be heard.
The moment Donald Trump wins the US presidency, famous actor Samuel L Jackson and comedian Eddie Griffin claim they will move to Africa. Eddie Griffin told Vlad TV in no uncertain terms, “If Donald Trump wins I’m moving to Africa.” On comedy show Jimmy Kimmel Live, Samuel L. Jackson had also said if Trump becomes president he will move to South Africa. The Internet has had fun with the celebrity threats even going as far as creating a meme with the Entertainment industry’s big names in West African attire.
Even if Donald Trump does not win the Presidency, the world has felt the Trump effect. The USA’s political playground is now more polarized than ever and the recent violence is testament of this fact. Protesters have been disrupting Donald Trump’s rallies and at the Trump Cleveland rally, a white man yelled at a black protester, “If you call yourself an African-American, go back to Africa. If you’re an African first, go back to Africa.”Even if Donald Trump does not win the Presidency, the world has felt the Trump effect.
He got an answer for his pains, “Y’all brought us here!” Another protester felt it was not good enough and jumped in, “Go back to Europe.”
This is how the game has precipitated into a dirty no holds barred wrestling match between races. With his current form in the nomination race, it is likely The Donald will triumph in the Republicans corner but can he handle arguably the world’s toughest job?
Image Credit: Business Insider
Tatenda is an advocate of cultural identity and African development. Interact with him on http://africanaforum.blogspot.com/
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