Mark Wignall | The babbling baby at Mar-a-Lago
They may have been wishing and hoping, and planning and praying that it didn’t have to happen this way, but it’s on, and they will have to make the most of it. Come this weekend, Prime Minister Holness and a few other Caribbean leaders will be having a sit-down with the child-playing autocrat in the White House, President Donald Trump.
With the USA still the most powerful country that this globe has ever produced, leaders from the Caribbean will be seated with Trump while he is in his ackee; while he is soaking up leisure time; but trying his best to swat them away and get back to his golf game.
The Caribbean leaders will, individually, have practised well on their ‘sit, Rover’ expectation as they kowtow to a man who finds it difficult to remember the last high-level briefing he had, or which side of a tweet storm he woke up on. Never has the global community witnessed such a dangerous but real farce playing out for all to see.
I can hardly see what Prime Minister Holness will be asking of Trump. Will Holness dare to question him on his extremely hostile immigration policy, considering that the largest population of Jamaicans existing outside of ‘the rock’ live in the USA?
No, Holness will not do this because he knows that time will take care of Trump and, he hopes, the Republican Party will return to its conservative tenets before it made the move to hard-right white supremacy presently being skilfully marketed by Trump.
America has long had two faces. The first is its belief that it is the gold standard in pushing globally for the democratic ideal. One man, one vote, freedom of speech, the right to practise one’s religion, the empowerment of the poor towards attaining their best advancement via a market economy and, free and equitable trade.
The second face is its covert action in involving itself extensively in global affairs, which include regime changes in countries where the politics suits America at the particular time. It has ranged from launching wars and assassination of world leaders to surreptitiously fomenting social unrest in other countries when it suits America to do so.
Overall, it is the first face that America sells best to the world. But Donald Trump, a man who has openly demonstrated that his thought processes are purely binary, constantly needs to use hate to bury love, and he is firmly in the camp of those who believe that the uninformed voter is to be used as a loser, because that makes him a winner.
With Trump openly stoking class divisions and being the perfect impeller of white supremacist extremism, despots from all angles have been empowered. It is said that Trump, obviously a man stewing in low IQ territory, tends to be influenced by the last thing said to him in a meeting.
Want to go for it PM Holness? How best, PM Holness, do you put it to the baby boy with attention-span problems that the Chinese expansionism in Jamaica has made the US diplomatic and trade and assistance relationship secondary because, well, the imperial trajectory favours China, and Trump is likely to forget Holness and company when he returns to face the hostile and atonal music in Washington, DC by early next week.
Sure, Jamaica still needs American tourists, but what can these Caribbean leaders say to Trump that has the oomph to stick in his brains and still has some bearing come Monday?
When leaders of various countries sit down with each other and the power relationships are understood, trust is still important. With Trump, it’s one big gamble.
Eat a ‘hamberder,’ instead, PM.