November 19, 2016

The Trump story: The tale of two Americans

America is a die-hard hippie. America is also a conservative right-wing idealist.

America is at odds with itself since the Trump train crashed on its parade.

Like many of you this year, I paid close attention to this election cycle, well, sort of. If you were like me, you probably started paying very keen attention after the primaries, i.e for the entertainment value of Donald Trump. I mean, seriously, like many out there, this guy wasn't for real, right?

I have had no real interest in politics, until now. I've never been more intrigued by the USA's last two candidates, not even when the first black man ran for office in 2008 and 2012. This last election cycle was like a train wreck and you knew it but it was hard to look away. Where do I begin? The inflammatory rhetoric, the sometimes delusional surrogates on both sides, the scandals, the list goes on.


How did we get here? I'm still reeling from the reality of it all. How did "The Donald" do it? What does it all mean now to have a new President Trump (mind you, those words do not exactly roll easily off my lips). One thing is sure, America deeply underestimated him. While America joked, laughed and mocked him, America remained glued to his antics, couldn't get enough of him. You've gotta give  the guy some credit. While America thought they had him all figured out, America was merely a game piece. Mainstream media became interesting once again. What better reality show was on compared to "The Donald" show? It is estimated that he racked up billions in free advertising, while the politicians spent a comparable amount. There's something about him that we admired and wanted more. America was listening and paying close attention. America put him in the White House.

What did America see that America didn't?

In Trump, America saw a non-politician, a vehicle of radical change. A person not left wing or right wing, not-easily influenced, didn't read off a script. To America Trump was real, tangible, so when he said we are going to build a wall and protect our borders, that's exactly what he was going to do. When he said we are going to bring our jobs back, that's exactly what he was going to do. When he said "Let's make America great again!" he'd do it, only there's a problem. He echoed the voices of the majority of American people. He gave a voice to factions of America that have been long suppressed. They came out of the woodwork in droves and come-what-may, they stuck by him. Even I thought there was no way his supporters could be in the majority—so called "deplorables." I thought, when he looses they could just form a cumbaya village somewhere in remote America where they can be allowed to roam free. It turns out America wanted a person of Trump to help expel long suppressed convictions of anti-semitism, bigotry and intolerance. It also turns out America is tired of the establishment and wants change, they no longer believed it, it reflects in the diversity of people that voted for him.

In Trump, America was uncomfortable. Oh no! He didn't! "There was no way this man will have access to the keys to America's nuclear weapons—this unhinged individual with very thin skin and access to 140 characters that goes nuclear every time that he drops them."  "There was no way this guy is getting to the White house—the non-tax paying, pussy grabbing intolerant racist bigot whose namesake university is a sham, what example are we setting for our kids?!!!" (the kids! the kids!! Poor kids.) Let's not forget the women! ooh shucks! Trump could not exactly walk back his "locker room" statements even if it occurred 11 years ago. His opponent clearly won the election as it reflected in the polls and the popular vote.

Trump has shaken our belief systems and what it means to be American. To Trump. America was the untrained dog that has finally learned to heel. America is the one walking back on its standards, for those whose reputation could not be tainted by Trump are now all rallied behind him. For those with daughters, wives, mothers, sisters who have some explaining to do, please don't. It's okay to admit that you're now living in the 21st century and not in the era of our founding fathers.

Trump is now the 45th president of the United States (did that sink in yet?)


Trump's victory is nothing short of a Cinderella story. If Donald J. Trump can be president then:

Truly anything is possible

You've got to fake it until you make it

Have a ridiculous, unwavering belief in yourself

That's all it takes folks.

August 22, 2016

Clinton versus Trump, who's better for Africa?



If you've been paying attention lately in the media, it's laced with political rhetoric coming from Democrats and Republicans of the U.S. Spotlight stealer though I have to give to Donald Trump. He's a true Gemini: a master at exaggerations, an attention seeker, big talker, a controversy magnet with very short attention span, a charming, egotistical narcissist, with no filter and plays by no one's rules. He's on a mission to "make America great again" by his own definition and by any means necessary, even if it alienates his own political party. He's spent most of his campaign lately doing damage control (or should I say his surrogates are) than discussing important issues about exactly how he plans to make America great.

Like previously mentioned, the business mogul and now presidential candidate plays by no one's rules. That could be a good or a bad thing. He states what's on his mind and doesn't sugar coat it, somewhat a refreshing change from the usual political rhetoric of scripted speeches, maybe that's really what gravitated many of his supporters to him. Now it seems that will unravel him. Now everything he says is taken with a grain of salt and leads any reasonable thinking human being to do the due diligence and fact check. He's made assertions that while in the past might have been endearing now leads one to give him the side eye. It's kind of hard to take him seriously when statements he makes with deadpan assurance he cannot uphold when they are questioned, but instead deflates them by changing the subject, injecting further controversy or reducing them to a mere joke or sarcasm or passing blame. By all indications he has the majority of Americans scared and running for cover and other nations by the edge of their seats. Many think he's dangerous and bad for America, especially his own political party. He makes factual statements that he can't back up most of the time. In Donald Trump's true nature, he is unapologetic, incapable of conceding, even when now we can see through his propaganda. To understand "The Donald" would be to understand the undertones of his speeches and decipher through them, they are meant for controversy which he craves like a camel to water, he loves the attention. He claimed to be unscathed by all the media criticisms but could recite quotes from most of them and then lashes out at them on his social media or in his next public speech. You have to wonder how this candidate will perform when he is Commander-in-Chief and leader of the free world, when he lacks the common decorum essential for the job. I've never met another 70 year-old with the mastery of 140 characters. True to his nature, he lights the match but can't stand the heat.

Maybe that's just it, he's in there for the long haul just for the entertainment value, with his unpredictability, no one will ever know. So far until now, we have our ears to the ground waiting to hear how he'd make America great again. From an August 8th economic policy breakdown, he's managed to recite what his opponent have termed "trickle down economics"— same old rhetoric of the Republicans that puts more money in the pockets of wealthy Americans and leaves the poor even poorer. A three-tier breakdown of the tax code looks good on paper, it doesn't seem like a bad idea especially for the middle class, but is it practical? Can it be implemented realistically? How does he plan to implement it? He has instructed us to visit his website for updates. Basically for once, he followed a scripted speech and didn't really have the answers. His website listed some changes (now updated) that would be STAT upon taking office such as immigration reform, tax reform, taking care of veterans, getting rid of Obamacare, safeguarding the Second amendment for American citizens and most importantly, that pesky wall that must be built to keep the "Mexicans" away. A lot of what's listed really sounds good on paper but think as you read this article how much of it affects the African immigrant.

It is of the opinion that he would get along well with African political leaders as they share common appetite for lavish things, he would fit right in at their parties.

"US business magnate Donald Trump has expressed his deep disgust for Africans by referring to them as lazy fools only good at eating, lovemaking and thuggery."

Think about his planned immigration reform. First on his agenda in the White House will be cleaning house—of all illegal immigrants and that will not just be Mexicans. It also means Madam Koi koi in an estate on Banana Island, Lagos, Nigeria can kiss her potential children's American dream goodbye. "The Donald" will do away with automatic citizenship by birth. As if the strict immigration laws were not strict enough. It also means if you borrowed all that money, sold your father's property, shut down your business and jumped at the idea of escaping to the land of opportunity without proper documentation just to be stuck in a rut for the last ten years assuming another person's alias working that security job, you're in for a rude awakening. If you're illegal alien in America, better keep your bags packed and one foot out the door because "The Donald" and Uncle Sam will be sending you back home! He believes African immigrants at best are case studies for bad examples of how illegal immigrants are ruining America and to make America great again, he must get rid of them. But perhaps in his true flighty nature, we may not be discussing this topic by November.


What about Hillary?


On the other hand you have Hillary Clinton, a WOMAN. She has made history already for that reason alone. I for one would like to see a woman Commander-in-chief in my lifetime in America. While I do recognize the bias in that statement, it would be worth a try for a nation that have perpetuated a forward movement in many aspects of governance but are still backwards in the fundamental issues of human rights.

Trump has asserted that Hillary Clinton does not have the temperament to handle important issues because she's a woman, accused her of playing the "woman card," in turn, she clapped back stating "deal me in!" Of course understanding "The Donald" now would be to count that notion as laughable, recognizing the former First Lady and Secretary of State's long resume in American politics. You have to wonder in the year 2016, why a supposedly forward moving and a world leading nation such as America still continues on a discussion on whether a job would be done better based on a person's gender while other less powerful nations have embraced female leadership. Women have long worked twice as hard to refute that theory. Voting her in will be a finite move to shutting that notion down as many African woman are looking forward to it as their beacon of hope.

This is not at all to say that Hillary Clinton is the perfect person for the job, as that has never been the opinion of many by any stretch of the means (you can ask Bernie Sanders' supporters), but faced to choose between the two candidates, who would be the lesser evil? That is the question.

For one, the Clintons have the reputation of upholding the ideals of political juggernauts that have been detrimental to the minorities and especially the poor, making it especially hard for any African immigrant to attain the American dream within a reasonable amount of time. Many worry that a vote for Hillary would be recycling the wheel of Bill Clinton's presidency which saw disproportionate numbers of poor minorities and racial inequality rise and continue to plague America till this day. It is also worthy to note that of the many trips made by Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State to Africa seemed to benefit the rich American interest than it actually did for poor Africans.


In conclusion


Trump takes no prisoners when it comes to speaking his mind, which means he is more likely to stick to what he says by choice and not by influence, that could be a good thing in the long run especially now that he's campaigning more for the minority vote, promising an overhaul of the the burdens they have faced for many years under an unchanging regime. Clinton has a long record of advocating for women and children, accomplishments dear to her heart. Chances are she would continue to advocate for women and children, working to fix the gender disparities in wages and income and opportunities afforded to women. This by and large, would inspire many women, especially African women leaders to do the same.
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