Orville Taylor | Trump’s triple
Harvey just left and his effect is as lasting as jackfruit odour on the fingers of a hapless spouse. Irma, Jose and Katia, three active hurricanes in the Atlantic for the first time in a decade, give no chance to the global warming/climate naysayers that it is fake news or alternative truths.
When it comes to the southern USA, whenever I see the letter 'K', I get nervous. Worse, with hurricanes Katrina and Katia, I can't help but getting incontinent in anticipating the next letter in the acronym as Irma rips through Florida as you read this column, threatening to lynch all and sundry. Once a Category Five hurricane, the most powerful in recent times, Irma will blow all the balls off American President Donald Trump's golf courses, and at that speed could easily take down North Korean President Kim if turned in his direction.
Of course, in his own self-effacing style, I wouldn't be surprised if Trump remarks that no one has ever taken a more powerful hit than his country under his regime, and he would be speaking the truth. And indirectly, the American industrialists who support his leaving the Paris Accord can take some credit for the record-breaking stormy weather.
Yet, these three hurricanes are symbolic of the triple threat that President Trump faces as he struggles to show how much he is in control of his country.
Believe it or not, facing the rain and wind blowing is the easiest of his jobs right now. He is facing growing discontent among a minority of Americans over his decision to remove the 2012 executive order, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Of course, it is a cruel and unthinkable decision. The thought of deporting 800,000 people, socialised as Americans and who have no knowledge or recollection of their countries of birth, is inhumane. It is sending a person into exile.
Yet, what could one honestly expect from Trump? He was elected by voters from at least 10 states who wanted DACA repealed. To do anything less would make him a traitor to his constituents.
Rightfully, it has been kicked up to Congress for the 535 elected members to pass a binding law. However, the naked truth is that America is really not as open as one thinks. True, it is the only one of two metropolitan countries where a person born in its territories or on nationally registered vessels automatically become citizens by right. However, it is one of a minority of countries where only 'natural-born' citizens can become the politically elected head of government/state. There is some debate in the USA regarding what this phrase means. Interestingly, some segments think it includes being born of American parents. This has been the defence of former Republican presidential aspirant Senator Ted Cruz, who was born of an American mother, in Canada, the other 'birth right' First-World country.
Still, this important issue of being born in the USA is a flashpoint. It is significant to note that protecting its borders and rights to citizenship is a core American value. Most countries do not automatically accord birth rights to the children of foreigners, even if the parents are legal residents. This list of more than 160 countries includes the Bahamas, Singapore, China, South Africa and even Haiti.
Perhaps no one 'took sleep and marked death', but when in 2016 the Dominican Republic began the inhumane process of deporting thousands of children of Haitians who were born there, the Obama administration did nothing to punish this despicable act. Doubtless, it is because it was an initiative not alien to core American values. This is a reality check.
Trump is right in sending DACA to Congress because the legislature will tell the world exactly what the dominant and core American values regarding immigration and citizenship are. And for the record, if you are born of foreign parents in Japan or the Korean peninsula, even if your name is Kim, you are no kin.
And this brings us to Trump's third challenge. He has to answer three questions. Why shouldn't North Korea have nuclear weapons? How much fear can he put in President Kim Jung-un? And, does he really believe that Kim will ever give up his weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The next question is whether or not Kim would ever give up his WMDs. Yes he will, on February 31, 2018, after he drinks his tea using chopsticks. If he didn't have WMDs, he would be vulnerable to insurgence from South Korea with American backing and internal support. He would lose power faster than a sport car with a suddenly clogged injector.
Trump understands this type of leader but he must also know that 'death before dishonour' suicide is deeply entrenched in their culture. If only a small minority of anti-West Muslim extremists actually are suicidal, what do you think will happen when someone raised in the suicide capital of the world has WMDs that he doesn't intend to give up?
Trump might seem erratic, but he is no fool. Kim is like the hurricane and he can't be stopped. But as he did with the Democrats last week, watch the deal master make a deal. It might be a deal with the devil, but Kim is the third K.
- Dr Orville Taylor is senior lecturer in sociology at the UWI, a radio talk-show host, and author of ' Broken Promises, Hearts and Pockets'. Email feedback to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.