Trumpocracy, Trumpology & Trumpism: A New Year, New America & a New World
by Ik Muo, PhD.
About 10% 2017 has gone but it is still a new year. Though I am an optimist, I have looked through my crystal ball and the emerging body language dynamics, and I am afraid this year may end up being more of the same or at best, same of the same. This is despite the rising global oil prices and the instrumentalist rapprochement between the Present and Senate President. The debate on the 2017 budget has started despite the push-push over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) but the historical contradiction between President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) (the budget would solve all our problems) and his Vice President (VP) (the budget cannot avail much), is unsettling. Banks are advertising the US dollar at N305 while it goes for N500+ in the people’s market while the VP had joined PMB in openly revolting against Naira floatation.
The Nigerian president has become a clearing agent; clearing Lawal, clearing Magu and using deodorant on executive sinners and pesticides on others. Somebody who advises his followers to defend themselves from murderous “foreign” Fulani brigands is harangued while those who have killed thousands go free and are actually being paid to kill no more. Of course, the herdsmen are still killing and the decimated Boko Haram (BH) is still springing surprises. We are currently assailed with incoherent stories of PMB’s ill-health and clueless explanations from his media team, an indication that we learnt nothing from history, which repeats itself, first as a tragedy and second, as a farce (Marx). If we had learnt from the past, this Yaraduarisation of PMB would not have been necessary.
I have also just met a woman who comes all the way from Lagos on a regular basis, to sell ‘okpa’ (an Igbo delicacy) at Ijebu-Ode; an indication of how tough things are and the extent to which Nigerians are ready to go to escape the pangs of Buharecession. Anyway, as an ordinary citizen I wish Nigerians well in 2017 but PMB and his team cannot just wish Nigerians well; they MUST do Nigerians well.
I was not among Nigerians who wept more than the bereaved over US presidential election. But I was peripherally interested because of the interconnectedness of the global environment, and the weight of US in the global superstructure. Yet, the fact that a Trump won the nomination was bad enough, and that he went on to win despite his queer USP is shocking and indicates that the America that we knew – in terms of culture, values and dispositions – was actually fake. However, our people say that the type of firewood available in a town should suffice for their cooking needs. So, that is what Americans wanted and that is what they have; a new America.
However, I noticed the extent to which we have exported our (Nigerian) political practices to the US. It was a replication of “Ekiti 2014” in which Goliath (Fayemi), with his performance, charisma, urbanity, suavity, grace, civility and good education was routed by David (Fayose), with a lot of question marks, ongoing trial for corruption, rejection by Ekiti elites, disrespect for elders and lack of Omoluabi ethos. (Ik Muo: Still on Ekiti Elections: Cooked Rice, Raw Rice and the Trouble with Nigeria: BusinessDay, 29/7/14).
In the US, Clinton, with deep commitment to uplift women, children, and other minorities; a most distinguished career in public service; and compelling experience was defeated by Trump who had a legendary penchant for self-love that hovers on the borders of narcissism and an overall phenomenon that is at best a critique of democracy, and especially the US electoral college system, which ensured that a candidate who lost by three million popular votes won an election (Femi Mimiko, Guardian, 22/1/17). Trump had described the electoral-college contraption as a “disaster for democracy” when Obama defeated Romney in 2012. Other exported practices include accusation of rigging before the election, demonstrations after the results were announced, recounting of votes, boycotting of the inauguration by the opposition, gutter language campaign, and below-the-belt arguments.
There was also nostalgic comparison between the new and the old: Obama, a conscientious and intelligent leader who espoused humane values, inspired millions of Americans and successfully fulfilled some of his most significant promises (Times Editorial, 17/1/17), with impeccable manners, intelligence, wonderful family values, (Guardian Life, 15/1/17, pL3) being succeeded by Trump, with an unusual combination of ego, arrant lack of critical experience, a particularly inappropriate temperament, and embarrassing ignorance of the nuances of global diplomacy. As for the first ladies, it is between class (Michelle, Doctor of law from Harvard and Dean, Princeton University) and trash (Melania: a nudist model!).
Americans have also shown how they feel about this ‘profoundly un-American president’. Within 8 days, majority of Americans disapproved of his presidency by a margin of 45% to 48%. His inauguration was attended by only 900000 (Obama, 2m+) and marked by violent protests; his post inauguration rating was just 40% (Obama had 78%) while Americans regret that their values are at odds with a president who ‘lies promiscuously, destabilizes the government with impulsive, discriminatory, and inhumane policies backed up with jarring firings, and cannot allow his White House to apologize or admit error under any circumstances’. He has also departed from American traditions in that while Lincoln proclaimed ‘charity for all and with malice toward none’, Trump offers ‘charity for none and malice toward all except Russia’.(Jonathan Alter, The Daily Beast, 1/2/17) The ‘demagogic’ campaigner who executed a ‘hostile takeover’ had delivered the ‘most dreadful inaugural address’ at the most ‘ominous inauguration day’ in US history and is ‘leading America away from the world’ and marks the ‘end of the American century’.
Like Nigerian politicians, he is bent on rubbishing Obama’s policies, and is strangely probing the election which he ‘won’. He has appointed his in-law into his government, decided to retain his massive business empire and had acted in such strange ways that 3 professors of Psychiatry requested President Obama to conduct ‘a full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation’ on his mental health because they believe he is suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Trump runs an ‘Abnormal Presidency’ and his ‘America only’ declaration led to tumbling of stocks and Dollars. Unlike Nigerian politicians however, he is delivering the queer change he promised. It is indeed, a new America.
We also have a new world in which America, the cornerstone global world and free trade is now, doing everything to destroy and destabilize the world. As at now, nobody is sure of anything under a president who deliberately disrupts the world (Robbin Wright, New Yorker Magazine, 17/1/17), works with aids who openly disagree with him on Iran, NATO, Russia and Japan, and probably enjoys the palpable nervousness in European capitals. He has gone ahead with the Mexico wall and even wants Mexico to contribute; he has shut out most of the Muslim world though he is accused of excluding countries where he has interest. He is at war with NATO, UN, EU the media and in particular, CNN, fellow republicans, immediate past president, and market forces and is also facing revolt from corporate America as exemplified by FORD. He is driven by a transactional mentality to US foreign policy and many of his ideas disparage the principles, institutions, and alliances central to U.S. foreign policy.
Whenever the drum is beaten violently, the dancers also respond in kind. There is now a bill proposing that US pulls out of UN and sends UN parking from US; there were protests at JFK, and over 1.5m Britons have signed a petition against Trumps visit to the UK for a state dinner with the Queen. Californians have also started a campaign to secede from US (Calexit)! Will trump also be the last president of a United America?
Well, this is 2017, a new year. It is the year of Trumpocracy, Trumpology and Trumpism which have within a few days created a new America and a new, unstable, uncertain world. Not many expected this turn of event but ‘It is when people are saying how quiet and peaceful it is, that sudden destruction falls on them as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman, and there is no escape. (1 Thessalonians, 5:3) Trump has hatred for others and appeared to have followed Human’s advice to King Ahasuerus to do away with certain ill-disposed people unique in kind, who behave in such a way as to obstruct the form of government that leads to general good, hostile to our interests, commit most heinous of crimes, endangering the stability of our realm (Esther, 3:13 Jerusalem Bible). He is preaching and practicing a change, away from empathy, humanity and justice, to an age of hate, disrespect, fear and even impunity! However, there are some people who are at peace with his pro-life pronouncements.
Yes, he is delivering on his campaign promises; promises that prodigiously show MALICE TOWARD ALL. This is what the Americans asked for (is it?) and so they have to live with it. Unfortunately, however, the troubler of America is also troubling the world. Instead of an inclusive, peaceful, healed, unified and transformed world, Trump is working furiously towards a traumatized, divided, piece-full and hate-full world that is in pieces. The bull is on rampage and everyone is running for cover. Even the Trumpeters are. Who or what can stop him? How prepared is the US constitution and the Judiciary for this strange phenomenon; a President who would openly speak of a so-called judge and describe the views of Appeal Court judges as disgraceful? Can Trump serve out his term? Is he the last president of a united America? Are we headed for World War III (WW3)? I am afraid, both for US and for the world!
Meanwhile, I insist that Trump be pressurized to undergo that full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation as advised by US psychiatrists. It will be good to see what the outcome will be. Meanwhile, I note that Trump is not even a White man; he is red and thus belongs to the minority!
Happy New Year!
These are the new additions to global political dictionary:
Trumpocracy: government of Trump by Trump for Trumpeteers
Trumpology: the political ideology of Trump
Trumpism: the ascent and triumph of Trumpocracy and Trumpology.
Dr. Ik Muo teaches in Department of Business Administration, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state, Nigeria