Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Mark Wignall | Trump, a creature of hate digs in

Published:Sunday | November 15, 2020 | 12:06 AM
In this November 5, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington. Although only a few of America’s CEOs have made public statements about President Trump’s refusal to accept his election loss, many are worried about it in private.

It was must-watch television in the 1960s to early 1970s. Hogan’s Heroes was an extremely comedic spoof on the antics inside a German prisoner of war camp. In one scene, a sullen-faced SS officer says to the camp commandant, “The SS has no friends.”

The bumbling and extremely funny camp commandant replies with controlled laughter: “Yes, sir. I think you’ve got a good idea on that. After all, when you add up what you spend on dinner parties, luncheons, gifts, I mean, aha, who needs the expense of friendship when a little hatred doesn’t cost you a cent.”

I can remember a time in my life in the 1980s when my wife, who I loved but I didn’t know how best to secure the love, left me for five years. Inside me I was steaming mad and secretly wished that all other couples could feel the pain that was wracking my system day in day out and in every hour of the endless nights.

Eventually I gave up feeling sorry for myself and rediscovered the liberating power of love. Hate was much too expensive. And then my love returned to me.

Is it quite obvious that United States President Donald Trump has had a close and personal relationship with hate to the extent that the man is in love with hate, and he has never travelled on that road to redeem himself.

He has lost the presidential race, and as expected, he has brought all of the insecurities of his crippled upbringing (or very lack of it) to the nation and needs company to cheerlead the idiocy of his madness.

Many news sites reported on the tearing apart of children from their parents and caging of families seeking asylum in the US at the borders under his watch, his constant lowering of women, his in-your-face promotion of white supremacy, and his open and unapologetic promotion of racist paramilitary militias.

His grown children have, true to form, not grown far from the hate instilled in them, and it shocks no one that they are his clones, loudly so. They fully subscribe to his using the presidency to enrich the family, and fully over 70 million Americans have embraced this sort of behaviour.

America and the rest of the global community are in the grips of an economically crippling pandemic where too many lives have been lost. Because of Trump’s failure in responding to the crisis and providing leadership to the world frantically seeking a way out of this nightmare, many countries are in turmoil. Health systems are at breaking point. Economies are on the brink of falling apart.

RISING TO THE TOP

If we should be fair to Donald Trump, the best that could be said about him would be that many presidents before him had their two terms free of any serious outbreaks of major diseases and certainly earth-shattering pandemics.

But here is the thing: the great opportunity. Before 9/11, very few thought that President Bush was an enlightened man or even near to an exceptional president. But, love him or hate him, he eventually rose to the moment and claimed back what many never thought he had in him.

When the pandemic struck, Trump had a wonderful opportunity to rise to the top and to prove to the ‘eastern elites’ and the ‘crazy progressives’ that he could seize the moment and leave them all out of the loop until 2024.

But, basically, he was a confirmed as a man who thrived on cruelty. Where a horror of a pandemic faced him and most normal presidents would have seized an opportunity to unite the country around wearing masks and abiding by the main WHO protocols and taking cues from domestic medical experts while still making political judgments, he shunned it all.

He could not even see the simple political equation that would have propelled him to greatness. Hate and cruelty were all he knew and do all of that would have been too much out of character for him. In his mind, a little hatred doesn’t cost you a cent.

America is in crisis now. The great republic. The democracy buoyed by racism and hate. The place where Jamaicans have always dreamed of running away to and never coming back until ‘the papers are in place’ and we can afford to come back home and prove to our brothers and sisters that we have discovered ‘wisdom.’ And the greenbacks in our pockets make the rest of them paupers.

Come the days leading up to the January Senate run-offs in Georgia, America will be on the knife edge of its own pretence to democracy. Too much will be at stake for there to be a full guarantee of peace, perfect peace.

The best that Donald Trump ever rose to was being a carnival barker selling his snake oil. But we must give him some credit. As he barked and lied and barked his audience into cultic idiocy, he saw the hate on the faces of those who followed him, and he lucked into an equation.

Hate sells, and it costs little now. Later, it may all destroy the remaining democratic structures, but he has 70 million Americans lapping up his hate and energised to act. The times are dangerous.

ANDREW HOLNESS GAMBLING

COVID-19, a terrible tropical hurricane season, farmers wiped out, an economy constantly having dizzy spells, people out of steady employment, and gunmen reeling from economic fallout and growing more aggressive.

Listen to Jamaicans talking about buying a Cashpot number. At the time when that logic makes more sense than a planned government policy is the exact moment when the JLP administration begins its downward spiral.

Luckily for it, Mark Golding’s recent landslide trashing of who was once and probably still is an embattled Lisa Hanna has awakened new splits in a PNP hopefully on the way to seeking some form of redemption.

That redemption is not coming to us anytime soon. So Brogad has much more time to beat the Cashpot man.

- Mark Wignall is a political and public-affairs analyst. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and mawigsr@gmail.com.