Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Mark Wignall | Trump urgently needs parenting

Published:Thursday | February 2, 2017 | 12:15 AM

For nations across the globe, even those immersed in civil wars and mass human displacement, Donald Trump is both a distraction and annoyance and proof that all that they initially suspected of his inabilities was spot on.

Had it been purely the antics of a schoolyard bully pushed to daily belligerence because he lost his marbles or he is in a fight for the possession of more marbles, it would have been only comical, laughable and highly entertaining. But, of course, this is the actions of a man into whose head there is no space for an acceptance that occupying the Oval Office is a tad bit more than shouting orders at underlings inside Trump Tower.

With a large population of Jamaicans living and working in the US, some there illegally, domestic concerns are a natural response to his ban on travel from mainly Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The unpredictable Trump may, like the Magic Robot of the 1960s, spin and find his pointer focused on the Caribbean. What then?

In the first week of his presidency, Trump has picked a fight with one of America's closest neighbours, Mexico, refused to let go of the trivia of the election campaign, ramped up his anti-Muslim sentiment to policy level, fired, threatened, demoted, appointed and all the while scaring those around him into submission, silence and endorsement.

Under the guise of protection of the borders of the US from terrorist attack, among the countries is Iraq where about 5,000 American soldiers are 'on the ground' with their Iraqi counterparts fighting a very dangerous battle in the pushback against ISIS.


Cause for concern


If Trump can label the people from a country who are fighting alongside American soldiers as temporary persona non grata and up the ante on his anti-brown people stance, many of our people in Jamaica should be extremely wary of the possibilities of Caribbean nationals being caught in his net fishing.

In Trump Tower, 'the Donald', as the world of celebrity made him to be, was the lord of his domain where his temper tantrums would be contained in a relatively narrow space. There would be no one to rein him in and render a spanking to his excesses. To make it all worse, in the White House in his inner circle no one dares to tell him that he has been promoted to adolescence and need not play with the shiny balls anymore.

Here in Jamaica, it is a time of trepidation, not just because many households rely on regular remittances from the US, but many of us are fully aware of Trump's ability to upset whatever order is left on the global stage which may place struggling economies like ours in a place we did not plan to be.

Those who were hoping that the new president would be open to a crash course in Oval Office mentoring have had their hopes dashed. In Reince Priebus he has a willing poodle, in Conway a spinmeister to the media, and with the white nationalist Stephen Bannon as the Rasputin occupying Trump's brain, a weakening of American influence on the world stage is taking place before our eyes.

It is more than instructive that where Trump has hurled invective in just about every global and domestic direction, absent from his poison pen tweets are white nationalist leaders and his buddy in the Kremlin.

Tie in the anti-UN and anti-NATO tweets and statements from Trump and it appears that one of the main objectives of the new president is the delivery of the United States into the orbit of influence of the Kremlin.

Subject to the quality of local governance, the theory may hold true that when America does well so do we in the Caribbean. With the present local bullishness in business in Jamaica, the last thing that is needed at this time is a spoiled brat holding the highest office in the world and ushering in an age of regional and global economic instability.

Donald Trump will discover in the next few weeks that he should never have taken his toys to the White House. Unfortunately for now, he has no one around him to grab him and his marbles and send him to his room without supper.