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Maybe America deserves Trump: Raffique Shah muses over US presidential campaign

So what if Donald Trump wins the race for presidency of the United States next November?

He won’t be the first fool to occupy the highest office in the most powerful country on earth. Nor will he be the stupidest president ever.

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Copyright Gawker)
Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
(Copyright Gawker)

Bear in mind that if he does make it to the White House, and there is a high probability of this happening, it would be with the support of some 50-to-60 million American voters.

They will be mostly white, spread across the income-divide, many poor-ass trailer dwellers whose living conditions are worse than those of the refugees who have been flooding Europe, and who swear that America’s real problem is immigration, legal and illegal.

They will also include millions of middle-income Americans who believe that they are worse off than their West European counterparts who enjoy superior standards of living and retirement benefits, for which they blame not their wild consumerism and aversion to saving for their twilight years, but—who else?—immigrants.

And you’d better believe that among Trump’s scapegoat-immigrants and other minorities, there are fools who believe that by deporting or down-pressing their own or those who aspire to live the American dream, they will secure their own existence, however miserable that may be.

Looking from afar at democracy at work in the superpower-nation that imposes it on others, often by brute force, we might want to believe that American voters are at least discerning—if not sophisticated—and that every four years they will elect the most intelligent candidate who has a vision to take the country to higher heights.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago sport icon Brian Lara gives cricket tips to United States president and sport enthusiast Barack Obama. (Courtesy cricketrediff.com)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago sport icon Brian Lara gives cricket tips to United States president and sport enthusiast Barack Obama.
(Courtesy cricketrediff.com)

If anyone suggests, as many had when Trump announced his candidacy, that a lying, ignorant, bigoted buffoon could become a contender for president, we’d laugh at them.

But it has happened before and it will happen again, only that we choose to forget history.

Ronald Reagan, who won twice (1980/1984) by landslide majorities, among other displays of gross ignorance, could not find “Granada” (Grenada) on a map even as he ordered a massive invasion of the tiny Caribbean isle, which he described as “a fine piece of real estate” back in 1983.

Trump could hardly be worse than George Bush the father (1984-1988) and George W. Bush the son (two terms, 2000-2008), who between them plunged America into two trillion-dollar wars in “Eye-raq” and Afghanistan based on outright lies.

Remember Saddam Hussain’s weapons of mass destruction? Or the Taliban’s pivotal role in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon? No mention then of America’s close relations with Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden clan.

Photo: Then White House Chief of Staff Andy Card (left) tells US president George W Bush, in a Florida classroom, that terrorists have struck in New York City. (Copyright Slate.com)
Photo: Then White House Chief of Staff Andy Card (left) tells US president George W Bush, in a Florida classroom, that terrorists have struck in New York City.
(Copyright Slate.com)

The Bush father and son duo dragged America into several wars-without-end, spawned more Islamist terrorists than we could count, and rendered countries across the world, from the Far-East to Africa to Europe, fair game for mindless jihadists.

Their lies fuelled the trillion-dollar “fear industry” in America most of all, whereby the techno-military-industrial-complex has and continues to make fortunes off threats of terrorism, with just about anyone who can afford it buying and installing an enormous range of protective devices, from CCTV cameras to personal drones.

Meanwhile America’s gross national debt stands at approximately 100 percent of GDP, just over $20 trillion. The income gap, which had narrowed for several decades after the second world war, has widened considerably since the year 2000. And while the economy remains fairly resilient, the prosperity that so many Americans once enjoyed is now both an illusion and elusive.

So why is Trump attractive to so many, such that he has sealed his candidacy even as Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders slug it out?

Well, for one, he personifies The Ugly American, the uncouth bully who says he will ride roughshod over all perceived obstacles to the country’s progress, its unimpeded domination of the world.

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (left) greets supporters at a political rally. (Copyright Business Insider)
Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (left) greets supporters at a political rally.
(Copyright Business Insider)

Many Americans like that image.

Such “enemies” seen through Trump’s Don Quixote lens include, first and foremost, Mexico, where he vows to build a wall along its border with the USA, which, he insists, he will have the Mexicans pay for.

Former Mexican president Vincente Fox aptly responded, live on television: “We’re not paying for that f*%$#g wall!”

In other words, it’s not going to happen, however much Trump’s stupid supporters may fantasise otherwise.

His other targets in international relations include the European Union, the strongest ally of the US, from both the military and economic standpoints.

Madness: America needs the EU more than the other way round.

He says he will compel all US manufacturing companies that have shifted their operations abroad to remain competitive to “return to base”.

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Copyright Business Insider)
Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
(Copyright Business Insider)

Wishful thinking: they will sooner switch citizenship than sacrifice profits.

I have not touched his other outrageous utterances—on dating his daughter Ivanka or “you can never be too greedy”…

Still, 60 million Americans will likely vote this clown as President.

Should he win, I’d say they deserve him.

AboutRaffique Shah

Raffique Shah
Raffique Shah is a columnist for over three decades, founder of the T&T International Marathon, co-founder of the ULF with Basdeo Panday and George Weekes, a former sugar cane farmers union leader and an ex-Siparia MP. He trained at the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was arrested, court-martialled, sentenced and eventually freed on appeal after leading 300 troops in a mutiny at Teteron Barracks during the Black Power revolution of 1970.

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45 comments

  1. Spot on insightful
    Great read

  2. My prayer is that the people of the United States and all who would like to see trump in the White House would stop and reflect on President Lincoln’s speech at Gettysberg and ask themselves if trump as president may the start of something that id diametrically oppose to Lincoln’s goals.
    Black people read Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream’ better yet buy a copy for trump
    Mr Shah freedom fighter,black man,People’s servant thank you

  3. Raffique shah should keep his old ass quiet

  4. Maybe? ??????? Didn’t think there was any doubt…..immigration issues or not.

  5. Great perspective on the current US political scene……one can judge a leader by his following……Trump’s are bigotted rednecks….he is a rich redneck who thinks that all.blacks are Uncle Toms and immigrants should be their servants.

  6. And as fate would have it he will probably be facing one of the weakest opponent in Hillary. God bless America

  7. Shah mentions the senseless death and destruction caused by previous incompetent US presidents, yet he still cavalierly talks about the possibility of Trump being president. Shameful.

  8. As of now there is not a “high probability” of Trump getting elected. Thank goodness. The betting markets have his chances around 25%

  9. If Trump gets elected it will have negative ramifications for the whole world, including T&T.

  10. I want him to win…is time them Yankee wipe dey own ass and clean after dey self….

  11. Keith, to summarize, there aren’t enough white men to vote for him.

  12. . ..Raf nails it again. But Trump will fail. He cannot aquire enough youth, minority and female votes to win. What he HAS DONE AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO is to stir the fires of bigotry and prejudice. And THAT is horrible enough..

  13. ‘Proposals’ are your positions on policy. Your ‘proposals’ tell how you are going to govern, what you want from Congress. He cannot ‘hide’ behind Congress now. People are voting for him on HIS words. He can’t successfully move away from that now. He can try, but those days are over.

  14. Trump hasn’t stated any clear policy positions.
    Watched a whole interview with him on MSNBC on Sunday…
    Everything is a proposal because it has to be approved by congress. Lol. So what he says… That’s just his starting point but he knows it’s a negotiation. So nothing any candidate says will actually be the reality. Everything is just s proposal. Banning Muslims? That’s just a proposal.
    I know republicans who were like “anybody but Trump” (even though I don’t think he was necessarily the worst of the lot)… I guarantee those same republicans are not voting for the democratic nominee come November.
    Mitt Romney’s problem was that he was governor of MA and approved legislation that was just slaps in the face to Republican ideals. Plus his opponent was Obama. You can’t beat Obama…lol.

  15. Chabeth, that ‘move to the center’ strategy is one that’s overrated. It used to work yrs ago when there was no Internet/social media. These days you can’t ‘erase’ what you said. Mitt Romney attempted to do it and we saw how that worked out. Nowadays what you say in the primaries sticks with you.

  16. I’ve tried explaining that Trump’s appeal is born out of the natural fear a people who traditionally represented the privileged majoriy feel due to the realization that both their privileged and majority statuses are under threat by a fast growing underprivileged minority.

  17. He has no clear policies and plans which makes it easier for him to move to the centre for the general election and play smart with his words as he has already started to do…

  18. Trump is actually an advocate of nothing, he has no ideology, no policies, no plans, he’s just a populist who spouts outrageous rhetoric because that’s what his devotees like hearing.

  19. Pout Mouth is an advocate of hatred, racism and segregation, coupled with that, he is wealthy. What he has done in this campaign for the American Presidency is to expose the illiterate from the intelligent in the American society, of which there are few of the latter and many of the former. If we are to look closely at the Obama Administration’s achievements and the concerted efforts by the Republicans to obstruct and deny the passing of bills, we will see what the Republicans represent and further, their agenda, which was to create a perception that a black President was not worthy of being President of the United States of America. That has failed, the alternative being Donald Trump who reached out to a certain faction of the population that relishes that agenda and which created two opposing ideology within the Republican Party, Trump or No? The Party is now fragmented..guess what, the Democrats are more united, though some up and downs exist, but comes the Presidential Elections…the Democrats will prevail. Donald Trump’s aspirations to be President will be history.

  20. Miss reading Shah’s articles.
    Always enjoyed his forthrightness .
    Great journalist.

    Thanks Raf .

  21. Wonder if old soldier muses over SSA bill

  22. The Republican party’s problem is very similar to the UNC’s in that in having no legitimate platform to run on it decided to go with a platform of hatred (in their case against Barack Obama)……..all that did was to consolidate the party’s once invisible extreme right bigoted contingent. Once the politics of hate took over hateful politicians began to thrive.

    • I said the same from day one! Now they want to play they roping him in…oh please he is their audible voice, he was just not their first choice. Dem good yes

    • Obama has been so spot on with his policies that the Republicans really had few legitimate criticisms of him…….and even the few legitimate criticisms of him they had they couldn’t argue because they had no alternatives to. That left them with the only option of attacking him and his family personally which soon grew to tacit and explicit racism……now the Republican establishment has lost control of their once progressive party to the bigots and hate mongers of the far right.

  23. Am praying Trump gets elected…The US deserve that man.

  24. The author seems to lack an in depth knowledge of the nuance that is American society and politics Anti-immigrant sentiments are a factor in some sectors of the Trump supporters, but not necessarily so for the middle class. There’s a large part who are just fed up of business as usual whilst many jobs, particularly manufacturing, are boarded up and shipped overseas. Unemployment is down, but higher in particular segments of the economy. People are discouraged that the knowledge economy is passing them by. Importantly, support for Trump, does not necessarily mean, support of all his ideals and stances. One can support his economic plans and oppose his anti-immigrant rhetoric, and feel he is a beter choice than the Democratic candidate. In my opinion, there is a naïveté regarding the shock election of a Trump, in that, many feel it may spur the country into economic and military rejuvenation. This inspite of the gridlock in the U.S. Congress we all have observed over the last decade or more. Every democratic country runs the risk of a shock election season, however, there are many reasons for the US electoral happenings beyond the anti-immigration backlash cited mostly in this opinion piece..

    • Totally agree with Shah. If Trump is the best America has to offer than i say bully for you. SMDH!!

    • It is also an ignorant article. Trump received 11 million votes in a Republican primary. Then he creates a straw man saying IF he wins, it will be with 50-60 million votes. Well that hasn’t happened yet but he rages on as if it did. Shah also has little understanding of how American government works and the important role and power of the U.S. congress who has to either shape or pass his legislation. Right now with opposition from the senior members of his own party in Congress, Trump couldn’t pass a traffic light on green. Compare that with the idiots we have had as prime ministers in a parliamentary system of collective responsibility. They have taken turns screwing our economy and stealing our patrimony. In America these clowns would have been serving time.

  25. Donald Trump the presidential candidate is going to be much more tempered than the republican primary candidate.

  26. Raf…If Trump wins..Americans would be selling ice to the Eskimos..
    ..the question is: how did America, more so white America, move from centrist to extreme..??..in four years..??
    Somebody on FB remarked that ‘Obama’ is the cause..
    ..yet it was majority white America that voted for twice for a ‘black’ president..
    ..in reality Barack Obama is mixed..since his mother was white..

    • In America, Obama is black. Let’s not play. Lol.

    • What everyone fails to realize, is that Donald Trump’s target group, is the white, lower income (trailer trash), uneducated/little education, bigoted, misogynist, with a lot of angst. Most of that angst directed to blacks, and Mexicans. You also have to realize, corporate America, middle class America, and the 1% of America, do NOT support Donald Trump, for the simple reason that he is an idiot. The “big wigs” which appear to endorse him, like Ben Carson, are people who were previously BOUGHT by Donald Trump, and now he’s cashed in those favours he’s lavishly, thrown their way. Donald’s MO is, “EVERYONE HAS A PRICE!!!” Once he finds it, he exploits it. It is for that very reason he hates Obama. Obama could not be bought. Also, these are the primaries, NOT a General whereby Donald can “buy” his target group. When it’s time to go up against Hilary, who is the obvious Democrat nominee, as there is no way Beenie can win, and it’s time for Donald to talk about real issues, and policies, his fan base would not appear so large. Also, if he’s the nominee, a lot of Republicans would cast their vote for the Democrats, and the Independent candidate, whomever that is.

    • Can’t help laughing at these American bigots. From Trump go down all of them are immigrants so who he thinks he’s fooling. For their arseness they deserve Trump. Steups!!

    • Can’t help laughing at these American bigots. From Trump go down all of them are immigrants so who he thinks he’s fooling. For their arseness they deserve Trump. Steups!!

    • Chabeth Haynes Is there a ‘mixed’ category? Whose reality?

    • Chabeth Haynes Thank you Chabeth Haynes. By now everyone should know about the ‘one drop’ theory.

    • Susan Thomas , when none of the dominant races is white I guess you get to be mixed in America.

  27. I wonder if Mr Shah would like to elaborate on the lies George H Bush told about Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait? I am sincerely seeking clarification.