Whew! Finally, the charade is over. Donald Trump is now the President of the United States of America. What does that mean? It means that Simpsons prediction came true: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2146815/the-simpsons-correctly-predicted-a-donald-trump-presidency-16-years-ago-in-episode-set-in-the-near-future/
So now you know who to refer to for accurate predictions about the future. Goodbye Tarot cards, et al. In 1995 I recall reading a survey which concluded that America was not likely to be ready for a woman president for the next twenty years. Twenty-one years later, it looks like that prediction was true. Given that women in America to this day are paid 80% of what men are paid, it is not surprising that Americans find it tough to visualize a woman in the White House in any place other than the President’s bed.
So, what does Trump mean for America, for American Muslims, for Muslims worldwide, for non-whites in America and globally? I am asking this rhetorical question as I see all kinds of doomsday predictions flying around. I apologize for taking a different view. I see the Trump presidency as an opportunity for those who believe in the opposite of everything that Donald Trump promoted in his campaign to put their actions where their mouths are and show that they are as willing to stand up for what they believe in as he was.
What does Trump mean for America? I hope he will be the best thing that happened to America ever. I hope that he can truly make ‘America Great Again’. I say that because though I am not American (should I say, ‘Thank God?’), I am one who believes that a truly ‘Great America’, can make this world great. The world truly needs to change. We need someone to lead the way to make the world compassionate, caring, fighting against injustice, corruption and poverty; disease and ignorance. Which nation is better suited to lead that fight? America has the resources, the intelligence, the education and the leadership ability which I hope it chooses to exercise. Trump won on the anti-establishment platform. I support that fully. The establishment has shown that what it can do is to fail spectacularly. The economy crashed and Obama rewarded those who crashed it. People were and are homeless when there are empty homes on foreclosed loans enough for every American to have two homes, not only one. Yet they are on the streets. I hope Trump can put Americans back in their own homes.
Bush father and son, started never ending wars. Obama continued them adding his own flavor to it of drone strikes – using technology to create bug splats (the arrogance is incredible) – thereby escalating the global threat level that comes from driving people to desperation. Obama’s dabbling (what else to call it?) in Middle Eastern politics resulted in continuing the misery for people of Afghanistan and Iraq and new misery for people of Syria and by inference for the rest of the world. And to top it all ISIS came into being because of all of the above. The credit can be shared by all of them. So, Trump standing against the establishment means that he is against all of this. I sincerely hope so.
All the jingoism that he rode on will get tempered when it comes to facing reality. It is easy to talk about kicking out the Mexicans and so on. But the day he does that, reality will dawn on him and his cohorts like it did on those who voted Pro-Brexit; that the rich need the poor to survive while the poor don’t need the rich. When nice white Americans get to pay $3 per potato, they will realize the value of cheap labor. Meanwhile some contractor will get the contract to build the Wall, which he will do from the Mexican side, no doubt as otherwise his margin will not make it worthwhile. So also, the wonderful idea to outlaw the H-1 visa. I don’t think it will take very long for Trump and his gang to realize that there is a reason there are blond jokes. And that Indians are not blond. Go figure that.
The good news is that Trump made public what was private – racism, misogyny in a country that never stops ‘trumpeting’ about women’s equality, support for genocide, wars and weapons sales, the evils of unbridled capitalism, locker-room conversations which indicate attitudes – have all come out of the closet and locker-room. Now it is up to those who like to say that they believe in the opposite of all these things, to get off their backsides and bring about change. They can no longer live the lives of pretense and lies that they had become used to, saying, ‘It is not happening here.’ Trump proved that it is happening and has trumpeted it from the top of Trump tower. Sorry for so much bad punning in one breath. But there you go.
As for Muslims and Trump, believe me Trump is far better than what Muslims have seen in the past. He is far better than what we have today. Take Sisi, the Oily royals who are personal friends of every weapons dealer, the Paki leadership and I can think of several more and Trump begins to look like a choir boy. What will he do that is not already happening? Frankly I don’t know and don’t care to speculate because the prime movers behind Muslim affairs and how they are, are Muslims themselves. Our leadership or more correctly its spectacular failure. Ordinary citizens pay the price, but what’s new about that? The fact remains that until we sort that out and do something about taking charge of our destiny, we must remain satisfied with others writing the script we are compelled to live by. Play endings depend on the script, not on the players.
India is a classic example where a so-called minority of 200 million is kicked around like a football and used at will by every mercenary politician for his own ends. But Indian Muslims seem to be satisfied with that, so who is anyone else to complain. If you disagree and tell me that they are not satisfied, then I must ask you what it is that prevents them from doing what is glaringly obvious; get their act together, change their leaders and write their own script. 200 million is not a minority. It is a nation. But only if it chooses to be. Same story for Muslims globally. No point in blaming Trump or looking up to him to find solutions. It is our problem and we must solve it, so let us start doing that.
Two other points: what about wars, global warming and such issues? Well, when you have a nation that lives on perpetual warfare and is supported in that by all the other major industrial nations who either manufacture and sell weapons or buy them, how can you pin it all on Trump? If weapons are made and sold, there will be wars. Wars will happen if they continue to make profits for those who run them. That people die is incidental. Those at the top who laugh all the way to the bank, don’t. Those that do, don’t count. They are ‘collateral’, who are necessary to prove the efficacy of the weapons that were used to vaporize them. If it wasn’t for the bugs who splatted, how would you assess the drones or their operators? The fact that the bugs were innocent or that they had families and so on; well, bugs are bugs. And that’s all that there is to it.
Global warming? America decided on that when it chose Bush instead of Al Gore. For a minute I thought that was because they got confused because his name is Al Gore like Al Ghurair. But then I realized that it was because he had a terminal problem; he had a brain. See his famous movie, An Inconvenient Truth, and you will see what I mean. https://www.algore.com/library/an-inconvenient-truth-dvd If you do nothing else, buy this and see it. At least you will know why you died. Since you chose that, especially Americans, I believe it is only fair that you understand what you did. With Trump, that came out in the open, so get used to summer all year long. You won’t need to go to the French Riviera for a tan. You can get it at home. That is not inconvenient.
Add to this the effect ofunending wars, refugee movement, changing cultures, security nightmares coming true, widening gap between the rich and the poor, global poverty and hunger, preventable disease which is not prevented because there’s no profit in it – when I think about all this and Trump’s election, Nero comes to mind. Renewing our link with tradition. Let us dance to the tune. What’s the use of fiddling otherwise?
Final question that everyone is asking, ‘How safe is it to have someone like Trump with his finger on the nuclear button?’
My answer is, ‘The one who actually pressed that button was as different from Trump as could be. Yet he did it.’ Let me leave you to figure out the rest.
Meanwhile it is midnight where I live, far away from Trump and America and time to go to bed. Truly it is said that there is solace in sleep. So, good night, world. Sleep well. As long as you stay asleep you can escape responsibility.
Mirza Yawar Baig is based in Hyderabad, India and is the founder and President of Yawar Baig & Associates; an international leadership consulting organization. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org