America’s heart of darkness

Syed Badrul Ahsan trumpthumbsup

The pundits have had their wisdom come to naught. The pollsters have been proved badly wrong. Political commentators have gone red in the face. America has shocked the world. Or at least its broad base of conservatism just did. It has elected Donald J. Trump as its forty-fifth President. It did not matter that the man represented the very antithesis of all that is conventional and decent and good about humanity. It has mattered little that he has never held political office, anywhere from the low to the high category. America has brushed aside the truth that it was putting an ill-prepared man in the White House. It did not occur to those who voted for Trump that after eight years of a purposeful Obama presidency, after a long and bitter campaign that looked promising for an experienced and thoroughly prepared Hillary Clinton, they have just opened the doors to the White House for a man who does not respect people, whom people do not look upon with kindness. On Tuesday, America revealed its heart of darkness, so long tucked away in some deep, dusty corner somewhere in its Midwest, in its rural regions. Donald Trump tapped into those dark feelings in a way no presidential nominee has ever done before. He barged into the scene promising to build a wall to keep out Mexicans trying to make it to America illegally. He was mocked for his attitude. Now his supporters have enthusiastically agreed with him. He has been caught on tape speaking disparagingly of women, of grabbing them by their whatever. He has made lewd comments on Hillary Clinton’s trips to the bathroom. For him, the respectable John McCain is no war hero because he got captured. For him a woman journalist asking him tough questions is just a female who oozes blood through her periods. A young American beauty queen has been, for him, Miss Piggy. He has seen little reason not to wage war with the family of a decorated Muslim American soldier. America’s President-elect promised, at the start of his eerie run for the presidency, to take measures that would shut the country’s frontiers to Muslims. He has had no qualms in excoriating NATO. He has promised to do away with NAFTA. He has lobbed vitriol at the Chinese for taking away American jobs and flooding American markets with their goods. He has loved President Putin and has encouraged Russian hacking of Democratic Party e-mails. And this is the man Americans have now chosen to be their next leader. The heart of darkness beats in full fury. Donald Trump has never, in these many months of an increasingly ugly campaign, demonstrated the slightest of respect for the politicians arrayed against him. There was Lyin’ Ted, there was Little Rubio, there was Crooked Hillary. He had his supporters chant, at every rally of his, pernicious slogans. ‘Lock her up’ became a refrain in his campaign. At the debates with Clinton, he hissed that she was a nasty woman, that she would have been in jail if he had been President. He offered an apology through what was not an apology when asked about his lascivious attitude to women and then followed it up by bringing to the hall three women linked to Bill Clinton in the latter’s sordid past. And yet Trump has defied expectations, has rammed through the blue wall built by the Democrats, has smashed Hillary Clinton’s defences and has emerged as America’s new President. He has promised to be a leader for all Americans. That statement beggars belief. After months of vilifying his fellow Republicans in Congress, after all those Republican Senators and Congressmen have repudiated him over his incendiary comments on men and issues, he expects to work with them and restore American greatness. He will deprive twenty million Americans of the healthcare benefits that have come to them by way of Obamacare. He will stack the Supreme Court with justices whose severe conservatism can only stultify America’s legal system for generations. America’s heart of darkness says it all. Donald Trump, in the weeks and months of the campaign, tapped into the reservoirs of unreasonable fears and emotions of those who have now lifted him beyond the 270 electoral votes necessary to claim the presidency. It was fear he first instilled through the birther issue, through trying to humiliate Barack Obama on the matter of his American-ness. He instigated anger in white Americans toward other Americans through directing his ire and his fire at Obama. Now those angry whites, those who turned out to be his supporters on Election Day, have made it known that they have punished the old America which had the gall to elect the first African-American to the White House eight years ago. The Trump presidency will be no cause for satisfaction. It will worry America’s traditional allies abroad. It will cause fears to rise among Americans who have been the target of Trump’s verbal assaults over the months. It will be a presidency that will be rendered vulnerable in Trump’s hands, owing to his manifest inexperience and his clear inability to demonstrate rational behaviour. But, of course, America has often made mistakes in its modern history. It rejected the experienced Richard M. Nixon in favour of an ill-prepared John F. Kennedy in 1960. It elected Ronald Reagan in 1980 and then saw eight years of a presidency plodding through pointlessness. Its Supreme Court deprived Al Gore of the White House in 2000 through stepping in to put a stop to vote counting in Florida. A deeply divided, intensely conservative America pushed goodness and intellect and basic human decency to the sidelines on Tuesday. The future does not look promising for America or for the world beyond its frontiers. A heart of darkness, if you must know, does not promise light. Source: bdnews24


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