Pres­i­dent Trump: WTF?

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - Ron­ald Ma­son Ron­ald Ma­son is an at­tor­ney-at-law and Supreme Court me­di­a­tor. Email feed­back to col­umns@glean­erjm.com and na­tion­sagenda@gmail.com.

ON NOVEM­BER 8, 2016, the cit­i­zens of the United States of Amer­ica had an elec­tion. The re­sults of the elec­tion have been un­equiv­o­cal and sig­nif­i­cant in ways we are go­ing to be­come aware of over the next two years.

The Repub­li­can Party now con­trols 238 seats in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, 52 seats in the Sen­ate, and the ma­jor­ity of the gov­er­nor­ships in states and also in state houses and state se­nates. The re­sults are over­whelm­ing.

What is strik­ing is how racism, big­otry, xeno­pho­bia and the ‘usver­sus-them’ siege men­tal­ity have come to the fore­front. The impact of the white trailer park con­stituency and its in­stant as­ser­tion of power bring back a phrase that used to be heard fre­quently years ago: ‘if you are white, you are all right; if you are brown, stick around; and if you are black, turn back.’

The per­son elected to lead the ca­bal is one Don­ald John Trump – rich, crass, crude, un­in­formed, in­ex­pe­ri­enced in the ways of gov­er­nance and very mer­cu­rial. Wel­come to USA 2017, where race and class di­vi­sions are back with a vengeance.

HEAVY BAG­GAGE

Then again, his chal­lenger, Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton, came with heavy, heavy bag­gage. She was chal­lenged, not only by the political op­po­si­tion, but also by her own past. The stench of en­ti­tle­ment that ac­com­pa­nied her was just too much to over­come. The result is that Amer­ica will now bid farewell to all things re­lated to the House of the Clin­tons. She will never be in­dicted, as the political lead­er­ship will re­mem­ber the old adage, ‘But for the grace of God, there go I.”

This is a call to a di­vided na­tion, where each per­son needs to for­mu­late his own ac­tion plan for sur­vival and any per­sonal ad­vance­ment. Again, the old phrases come rush­ing back, be­cause the old di­vi­sions and chal­lenges have also resur­faced. Any­one for Malcolm X, ‘by any means nec­es­sary’.

The world will re­act in their best in­ter­est to this Amer­ica which can­not lay claim to be­ing the leader of the free world. Mex­ico has al­ready said it will not rene­go­ti­ate the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment. Angela Merkel of Ger­many has dis­played a lack of en­thu­si­asm and is very con­cerned.

Trump has told Ja­pan and South Korea to get its own nuclear weapons. The mutual defence pact with NATO is sub­ject to the re­view of each coun­try’s ac­count. If you are paid up, we may an­swer. The Ira­nian nuclear deal is a mul­ti­party, ne­go­ti­ated deal, in­clu­sive of China. The world will seek new lead­er­ship. Which coun­try is pre­pared to be led by a big­oted buf­foon who thinks he knows more than his gen­er­als?

The impact on Ja­maica must start with a ramp­ing up of se­cu­rity mea­sures for our tourism prod­uct. What if the anti-Amer­i­can in­ter­na­tion­als were to tar­get Amer­i­can tourists in Ja­maica? Will the buf­foon ex­tract com­mit­ments from us to pro­vide lock­step sup­port for his po­si­tion in the ar­eas of trade, diplomacy and his cul­tural ex­ports?

Strange, he may pro­vide us with respite from the cur­rent im­po­si­tion of the Amer­i­can gay-rights po­si­tion. The impact on Ja­maica, as far as the un­doc­u­mented im­mi­gra­tion is­sue, is con­cerned could have sig­nif­i­cant detri­men­tal con­se­quences. We have hun­dreds of thou­sands of un­doc­u­mented Ja­maican cit­i­zens liv­ing in the USA. Re­mit­tances from the Ja­maican di­as­pora run within the re­gion of US$2.4 bil­lion. Our sin­gle largest trad­ing part­ner for goods and ser­vices is the USA. The BPOs that we cur­rently push for job cre­ation are geared to sat­isfy Amer­ica’s de­mand.

We can­not feed our­selves or even our an­i­mals with­out Amer­ica. We worry when they re­strict the ex­port of firearms to Ja­maica. The Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment is­sues re­ports on our hu­man traf­fick­ing, drug en­force­ments, bor­der se­cu­rity and the dol­lar­i­sa­tion of our econ­omy. All of this gets worse with the elec­tion of the buf­foon, Don­ald J. Trump.

SUS­TAIN­ABLE DE­VEL­OP­MENT

If ever there was the need to forge sus­tain­able self-de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes it is now. ‘Grow what you eat, eat what you grow’ is now a ma­jor ne­ces­sity. Archer Daniels Mid­lands should not con­trol a large sec­tion of our diet. De­vel­op­ment of new mar­kets is an im­per­a­tive in the new scheme of things. Amer­ica is a 330 mil­lion­pop­u­la­tion mar­ket – af­flu­ent, but still only 330 mil­lion. In­dia’s is 1.1 bil­lion, China’s 1.3 bil­lion, and the con­ti­nent of Africa has 58 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. Canada is a sane, friendly com­pe­tent coun­try. Don­ald J. Trump does not need a place of promi­nence in our af­fairs.

Un­for­tu­nately, the USA has a dark side to its history that has stretched over many decades. When the Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion be­comes suf­fi­ciently in­censed, they re­sort to ex­treme meth­ods. Amer­ica as­sas­si­nates political lead­ers. The mod­ern era saw the re­moval of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, un­suc­cess­ful at­tempts on Ger­ald Ford and Ron­ald Rea­gan. We need to ac­knowl­edge that Amer­ica has used this method as a cor­rec­tive tool.

This elec­tion is a call for vig­i­lance in Ja­maica. We could have new and more dif­fi­cult chal­lenges. The squab­ble over in­con­se­quen­tial mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions must be put in con­text. Get ready; we may just have to start to take mat­ters se­ri­ously, for a change.

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