Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Ronald Mason | Donald Trump: Is he for real?

Published:Sunday | October 16, 2016 | 10:00 AM

Donald Trump was born 70 years ago into a New York City fortune. His father was a real-estate developer. As he grew up knowing only the trappings of wealth and a restrictive life, one would be permitted to wonder about the impact this had on his personality.

He is brash, self-assured and has never had to compromise. His life reflects, as he has put it, "the art of the deal". Racist. Exploitative to contractors. Reacting in the moment. This and more is trademark Trump.

The corporate interests he developed were in tandem with being a celebrity. The television persona coexisted with the extroverted dabbler - in politics and power. Why not be president of the USA? Finally, Barack Obama made him the butt of his comedy routine at a White House Correspondents' Dinner. This was in direct response to Trump's allegations of Obama not being born in America. He sat and listened and seethed, but could not respond. He then joined up with the Republican Party and entered the primary process, seeking the presidential nomination.

 

TAPPING INTO DISCONTENT

 

The primaries were a revaluation. He was self-funded; braggadocious enough to belittle the more than 18 other contestants, and bright enough to tap into the discontent of a segment of the population. The white, non-college-educated male - the deplorables.

It was a winning formula. Fourteen million votes from the deplorables landed him the nomination as the Republican presidential nominee. He would make America great again; make white males rule; and end trade deals. Globalisation and climate change be damned! Punish the companies that move manufacturing jobs overseas. Deport undocumented immigrants. Secure the southern border. Not the northern one with white Canada. America for the good old boys, not even for the white women.

Trump did well for a period as always from times past. The country did not perceive that he could actually win the presidency. Then the gods conspired to provide opposition by the Democrats in the form of Hillary Rodham-Clinton - a gift from heaven. Hillary was a flawed, disliked political gadfly who is obsessed with becoming president. The first woman ever to win the Democratic nomination.

The deplorables have risen up in anger and refused to even act in a rational manner. They threaten the very fabric of the country. Loose talk of revolution, the election being rigged if they do not win, and the assertion that Obama was not even born in the USA. Trump is the fuel to their fire.

Obama states that the Republicans have been "riding this tiger for years". The deplorables are unlikely to threaten the strength and endurance of the American democracy, but they can give it a black eye. They will fuel the discontent where it spills into the streets. The danger is, one is unsure what the method of retaliation will be if they lose the election by large margins.

The media are divided. Fox News versus everybody else. Ultra conservative Rush Limbaugh and others of his ilk versus the liberal talk shows. Law-enforcement agency members wear the Trump campaign cap - 'Make America Great Again'.

The black community only provides four per cent support for Trump. Stark racial divide. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel endorse Trump. These are federal employees.

The divisions are many. The Republican speaker of the House is in open hostility with Trump. The GOP and Congress are at war. The Republican National Committee is not supporting Trump with television advertisements, yet The Donald could really win.

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP A CONCERN

 

The prospect of a President Trump is of major concern the world over. The Establishment Republicans will be at war with the deplorables, also known as the Freedom Caucus of the House of Representatives. Paul Ryan may lose his post as speaker. The Democratic legislation would block approvals every step of the way and it certainly would be gridlock.

The quality of life would deteriorate considerably and we would have a more emboldened police force, which would foster retaliation from the black community. NATO is beginning to show signs of stress and unease with its main benefactor, the USA, because Trump has accused them of not being current with their payments. The prospect of four years of Trump creates untold nightmares. The world watches and waits.

It is difficult to determine what the impact would be on a country like Jamaica. He has said very little about foreign affairs; however, we need to be alert on many fronts. First, should Trump be elected president, immigration, as we know it, will change. USAID may be restricted to fund the deplorables in the USA, and a siege mentality will likely grip the nation.

November 8 is only 23 days away. Let us watch as it all unfolds.

- Ronald Mason is an immigration attorney-at-law and Supreme Court mediator. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and nationsagenda@gmail.com.