by Abdul Haqq ibn Omar (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 49, No. 10, Rabi' al-Thani, 1442)
Obnoxious cannot begin to describe Donald Trump’s conduct. Narcissist, bully, pathological liar, and an unabashed racist with no regard for others, he represents all the ugliness of America. Add to that sore loser although he refuses to admit he lost the election. Weeks after the election, he continued to maintain that his rival Joe Biden won because the election was rigged!
That nearly 74 million people—almost half the total votes cast (Biden secured some 80 million votes)— supported Trump shows how widespread American racism and ugliness truly is. Several media outlets including CNN and Washington Post have documented that Trump has told more than 22,000 lies during his time in the office. Inputmag, a web-based news portal, is even more scathing in its criticism of Trump saying he has told more than 25,000 lies since becoming president.
While all politicians lie—this is the norm in Western politics—Trump has been completely brazen and bald-faced in his lies. This, however, has had no effect on his supporters. Nor has the pandemic that he has mishandled so badly. Many of his supporters insist it is a conspiracy and refuse to wear masks. It may very well be but with 250,000 Americans dead, it cannot be dismissed so lightly.
By refusing to wear a mask, Trump and his supporters have contributed to the spread of the virus. America has the highest number of infections and deaths in the world. The numbers are staggering (12 million infections and 250,000 deaths) considering that its population is only 5% of the globe’s total.
What the November 3 elections have shown is the deep divide in American society. Former President Barack Obama admitted as much in an interview with CBS on November 15, as reported by CNN. “What it says is that we are still deeply divided. The power of that alternative worldview that’s presented in the media that those voters consume—it carries a lot of weight,” Obama told CBS News’ Gayle King in an interview that aired on “CBS Sunday Morning.”
Asked by King if that worries him, the former President responded, “Yes. It’s very hard for our democracy to function if we are operating on just completely different sets of facts.”
The kind of democracy Obama is referring to is not clear, but the world will have to deal with this reality that has finally removed the mask off America’s ugly face. Trump is not an aberration, admitted the Princeton University Professor Eddie Glaude. He represents and reflects the ugliness of America that the rest of the world has had to suffer for decades even if Americans were led to believe that their country was a force for good, a beacon of light unto other nations.
“We don’t do torture,” in the infamous words of former CIA Director, Robert Gates, when confronted with the torture chambers of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Donald Rumsfeld, another war criminal, even coined a fancy phrase for torture: ‘enhanced interrogation technique’. Does it make it less painful for the victims?
Much has been written about Trump’s misdemeanors—his nastiness, arrogance, ignorance, raw racism, the separation of families and caging of children, etc. He embodies America’s ugliness in its totality. All this and much more is known about him as well as his support base that still loves him and voted for him, in droves.
What we need to consider is why is Trump so reluctant to leave the White House. Surely, it is not merely the trappings of power, although that is one reason. He is a narcissist; he cannot imagine a world without being in the limelight. As a has-been, he will not get the kind of attention he craves. He can find a way around it by indulging in outlandish acts or making provocative statements to attract attention.
The real reason for his refusal to quit is that when his presidency ends so will his immunity. He will immediately face a raft of law suits. Trump is a certified crook and has indulged in many fraudulent activities including cheating on his taxes. It is the fear of such cases and potentially landing in prison that terrifies him.
By being so pigheaded, he may be hoping to strike a deal with the incoming Biden regime to pardon him in return for agreeing to cooperate in the transfer of power. It is quite possible that Biden may pardon some of his crimes. Didn’t Gerald Ford promptly pardon Richard Nixon after the latter was forced to resign in the face of the Watergate scandal in 1974? But there may be other cases at the state level, for instance, over which Biden would have no control or authority. Trump would be vulnerable on that score.
There are also rumors that Melania is planning to leave Trump once he is out of the White House. They haven’t lived together despite the photo-ops or when traveling abroad. There are many instances captured on camera when Melania brushed aside Trump’s hand when he tried to hold hers. The narcissist has used Melania as a decoration piece to boost his image.
He may be coming to the end of his life in the White House but regrettably Trump has conferred respectability on racism and white supremacy that will be difficult to control.