Radical Donald Trump
Gabriel C Banda
WHEN did Donald Trump become radicalised? Around the time he was presidential candidate in the United States, there was often, in our mind, some question about the genesis of Donald Trump’s radical stances. When did Donald Trump become THE Donald Trump?
Not many times in humankind history, as some of us have known it, has there come onto the platform, as a ruler or even as a very private citizen, one so remarkable in the way of the Donald Trump spirit.
There have been some politicians and rulers in other times and in other parts of the world, including in Africa in very recent times, that have been very outside the widely practised range of human behaviour.
We thought that some recent president in Africa could rarely be surpassed by others in eccentric and rough behaviour but that one now measures low in comparison to the Donald Trump spirit.
In this world, there are not many visible persons that behave or perform like the Trump spirit. In many parts of the world, societies have evolved in such ways that a person in leadership and rule would almost definitely never turn out to behave like our American Big Man Donald Trump.
The appearance of remarkable persons has sometimes heralded wide changes, good and bad.
A radical is often considered to be a person that stands for, or works on, big changes and shifts in thought and organisation of society. Some persons strike a lot of controversy but may not be radicals. Radicals are more than just being unconventional. Radicals are involved in transformations that lead to extreme shifts in societies and times.
Some persons use the term “radical” to denote persons of particular political positions. For instance, some will easily name “leftist” guerrilla leader Che Guevara as radical.
Of course, I believe Che Guevara’s situation was significant for the ethics around combining his training as a doctor and his role as a military frontline commander. I would not be comfortable in Che Guevara’s situation.
But radicals are not confined to the left of politics. We would like to consider as radical someone, from whatever political or social action, who leads to dramatic and extreme transformation of society’s processes and systems.
There are some persons whose thoughts and actions greatly transform societies they are in. Their influence even goes beyond their societies and their times. That transformation can in some cases be almost irreversible, although things can follow on and develop in various ways over different periods and environments.
Now, candidate Trump said things that were considered uncomfortable to say. Some of the things he said were not truth. Some of the things were even anti-Truth.
The things he continued to say cannot be tolerated by many in many societies. And the things the big man was busy tweeting on Twitter were shaking many persons.
Donald Trump promoted the hatred propelling idea that President Barack Obama was by birth not American, portraying that Obama was from a descent that was less American than some – especially the Euro-American.
And almost to a crusade, he carried an obsession, a constant discomfort, against the policies, practices, and even presence and existence, of outgoing president Barack Obama.
Some of Trump’s words on some things were not acceptable by those persons, in America and elsewhere, in pursuit of improved relations of human beings of various backgrounds.
From Trump, swear words have been uttered, uncommon from rulers and officials in prominent public roles. Some of it inflammatory and divisive, some persons can label some of his as hate speech both in word and tone. Sometimes, like on his tax situation, he did some verbal gymnastics.
Trump breathed tough, or even rough, language. He has used harsh words towards groups and political opponents. He was sarcastic, sometimes appearing insulting, of others. He made some persons deeply uncomfortable.
Remember, as they debated on television, Trump hovered very near candidate Hillary Clinton in some intimidating manner. We wondered, at what point in his life did candidate Trump become so radicalised?
Some of candidate Trump’s remarks, in word and tone, seemed lifted straight from the devil’s workshop, with its fire and fury. Candidate Trump proudly talked of making institutions, laws, and barriers that would sieve humanity one from the other, lesser and greater.
Candidate Trump labelled Mexicans rapists and criminals. In many places in our modern times, persons, especially those in leadership, politics, and government, are not expected to express words that are prejudiced against members of social groups, amongst them ethnic, racial, and religious categories.
But on top of that, Donald Trump was openly saying he will keep away many Mexican migrants by actually building a physical wall. Many persons expect rulers and leaders in various fields to lead to building of bridges and bonds involving humans in various backgrounds.
Yet the Trump position was not hidden. Donald Trump’s prejudice, in open words, against Mexicans, Muslims, and persons of other human social classifications, was openly stated.
He was fiercely hostile to the entrant of the Mexican type and seemingly welcoming of the Mrs Ivana Zelnickova Trump type, hailing from Czechoslovakia, and Mrs Melania Knauss Trump type, born in Slovenia. And the type of his mother, born in Scotland, Mrs Mary Anne MacLeod Trump.
Current wife Melania Knauss Trump immigrated into USA, around age 26, in fairly recent times, in 1996. She and Donald Trump married in 2005.
Donald Trump arose from migrants, some of them recent, of some particular kinds, including Germany and Scotland. Yet Euro-Americans, persons of European descent, are only a part of a wholesome America where each member should be considered a legitimate human being and citizen.
Persons are not supposed to be victimed due to classifications like colour, culture, ethnicity, citizenship, religious and spiritual following, location, being female or male, and other factors.
Now, candidate Trump was talking about making America “great again.” America, in his view, had declined under some administrations, including, or perhaps key, outgoing Obama’s.
The implication, said and unsaid, was a USA that was not like the result of the recent efforts of predecessor Barack Obama.
In reverse to the spirit of Trump, Obama’s America had tried to create bridges among persons from various backgrounds in USA and the globe.
In comparison to some other administrations, Obama’s America had reduced inter-state belligerence and appeared less war-like towards those other administrations had labelled “axis of evil”.
Obama was moving away from an America some might consider a Goliath and bully. Obama promoted a unity of humanity.
Of course, the USA machinery made some essential mistakes in joining the invasion or regime change efforts in Syria and Libya, whose invasion was driven by the France war-lord Nicolas Sarkozy. On many accounts, many Obama pronouncements and actions were for reducing friction with other governments.
What “great again” of United States’ time Trump has been referring to is not openly stated yet its components are apparent. Which “great again” America?
America has had many experiences, pleasant experiences and experiences of trauma. There have been times of aggression and genocide by Euro-Americans against Native Americans.
There have been times of Trans-Atlantic slavery feeding America’s economy.
And at some point, from 1787, it was proposed, even when there existed the Constitution that should have proclaimed rights for all, that enslaved persons of African descent were to be counted as some three-fifths fraction of persons of European descent.
In past America, many persons of African descent did not vote. Even in recent times, in the mid- 20th Century, there was racial segregation of students in some learning institutions.
And there have been times when women of all colour were not allowed to vote. And Native Americans were not allowed to vote.
And there was some America of a violent “Wild West.”
And there have been times of some apartheid against non-Euro-Americans in as recent times as when Martin Luther King was campaigning for human rights in the 1960s. In “Apartheid” South Africa, racism was organised and racial law forcibly enforced in the land.
There have been times of America being in unpopular wars and invasions in other parts of the world.
And there is sometimes an America of killings, by uniformed or vigilante team persons, of innocent persons of some category, the Trayvon Martin human type.
America has also had social issues like huge amounts of persons that do not have access to secure basic health services.
Barack Obama’s administration made the radical effort, through the Affordable Care Act, to have many left out persons, in millions, to access health care, as is common in much of Europe, with their wide welfare programmes covering many basic needs.
In a radical assault on the Affordable Care Act, candidate Donald Trump openly wanted to have it disbanded. This would go to the position where individuals will by individual effort swim or sink rather than being supported by wide social humanity.
Yes, there have been many major challenges in America’s society. Which America “great again” was candidate Trump, and even President Trump, talking about? What face or appearance does the “great again” have?
Enemy of the Earth
Besides the radical walls to exclude some Mexicans and also plans banning entry of Muslims, candidate Trump had views that are against the health of the earth. Trump’s stances on weather, environment, and human union have made him appear like an Enemy of the Earth. Like an Enemy of Creation.
To the collective welfare of the earth and its environment, Trump has said, and acted, as in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, against the integrity of creation itself.
Insular America, Mental Walls
Candidate Trump pledged an isolated but thriving America or a prosperous but isolated America. It would be insular, insulated by walls of physical and mental kinds, against other nations. Of other nations, he charged: “They have taken our money…. They have taken our jobs!”
Trump’s America would no longer tolerate “trade abuses.” He threatened China, and other governments, for trade imbalances and threatened sanctions which may not be easy to apply but would also lead to some adverse effects on America’s people.
Trump’s America would be insular, yet aggressive. It would not consider the welfare of others but focus on its selfish self-interest. It did not seem to matter to candidate Trump and supporters that the principles of natural life do not for long allow for such a state of human isolation to exist.
The design of life, and very evident in the human part, is inter-dependence and cooperation. Isolation and insular living are bound to fail. Humanity is a whole. Life is a whole. Within Trump’s concept of an isolated but elite “America First,” are inbuilt seeds of decline and self-destruction.
Tooth for Tooth
Trump would not be like Jesus Christ. On BBC Television’s Hard Talk programme, Donald Trump had supported the Moses times’ revenge and retribution of “an eye for an eye” and a tooth for a tooth, something Jesus Christ’s message and practice moved away from. A tooth for a tooth is fundamentally unChristian.
Emperor of the United States
Candidate Trump seemed to go for becoming a de facto Emperor of the United States, his likes and dislikes to decree on. The Trump spirit would then move the USA and the whole world.
Of course, many extreme persons sometimes, if without discipline, overstretch themselves and fall. Donald Trump seemed oblivious of, or unconcerned by, possible negative effects upon himself that could arise from his tweeting enterprise as he operated it.
It is clear that Trump’s mission on this earth, and some of it openly stated and unhidden, could greatly affect the world and reverse some major things in the USA and the whole world.
The Trump spirit roams, shaking many in its path. But a question kept on coming into our mind: at what point in his life was candidate Donald Trump radicalised? For many persons, it is not easy to understand the Trump spirit’s covfefe.
Based in Lusaka, Zambia, the author is involved in writing, social development, and observes peace and conflict issues happening worldwide.
GCB, 2017. December 2017, LUSAKA.