Donald Trump rode on the smooth language of populism to the White House.
And he did that on the strength of democracy!
Democracy does not exist in fact. Trump and those who truly wield the levers of power in the American body politic, an exceedingly influential minority of rich industrialists, real estate tycoons, corporate executives, owners of banks and pharmaceutical concerns, etc., are the real shapers, influencers, and movers of public opinion in the matter of democratic language and expression, and of course not the masses, the people.
The people, the masses, are merely used as expendable planks to achieve that end, an uninterrupted perpetuation of elite financial, institutional, and political power and influence.
The elective franchise, a means to that end, of democracy, is implicitly owned by and function at the mercy of elite psychological manipulation. The highest bidder, the all-powerful elite of infinite wealth, knows how best to manipulate and turn statistics and opinion polls into a lopsided win where, following the popular exercise of the franchise, the greedy members of the elite exclusively appropriate the utile spoils of the state for themselves even as they consign the slumberous masses to stale crumbs of hypocritical accolades and cesspools of moral inactuation.
Of the latter, the status quo therefore remains unchallenged.
It’s all about coercive persuasion, relatively speaking. Democracy then resolves into a question of who actually wields the most political clout and money in any body politic and how this person (s) advantageously uses this clout to influence the three branches of government in the specific arenas of public policy and foreign policy. It is not as if corruption makes democracy, for democracy is corruption itself, for corruption is indeed the stem-cell paterfamilias of democracy. In this regard the collective mind of popular sovereignty, a property of the elite, therefore rightfully belongs in the deep pocket of the corrupt elite, so to speak.
Is it not funny that the celebrity-industrial complex alone can decidedly sway a ballot toward a particular candidate? One wonders if the celebrity status of Trump was also his trump card against his rival―Hillary Clinton. This assessment is worth considering because it is difficult to understand why anyone should vote for Trump. Perhaps this constitutes one of the most egregiously, notoriously, scandalously, or outrageously patent shortcomings of the democratic process. “They call it democracy,” a friend once wryly told me.
“Democracy?” The look on my face took my friend by surprise. Yet that look had less to do with my understanding of the intrinsic shadiness of democracy but more to do with the engrossing impracticality of his democracy.
“Of course democracy is a choice,” he added with absolute pride, “a choice the masses make to elect people for public office.” The awkward look on his face, however, threatened an angry storm.
I softened the contorted texture of my look. “A choice?”
“Yes.” He then released tumbling waves of laughter from the gluttonous depths of his beer belly.
“A choice people make to elect their officials?”
“Yes,” he said simply. “Democracy is not only about the question of choice. It is also about the imperatives of the national conscience.”
“Then the people are complicit in the character of national corruption.”
He did not catch my drift. I feigned ignorance of his perceived misunderstanding of my last statement, for if the people are responsible for corrupting the national conscience, then, the elective franchise or popular sovereignty constitutes an elite instrument of social control.
Of social engineering.
Among other instruments of social engineering available to the powers that be, members of the elite use prisons, the military and navy, body of laws, the media, the deep state, intelligence outfits, political action committees, institutions of learning, textbook publishing, and different rewarding systems from outright bribing of politicians, otherwise called lobbying, to paying the hoi-polloi whom they create jobs for and eventually employ to underwrite their institutional and political perpetuation.
Not only in America!
It happens anywhere democracy is the norm, where democracy is practiced.
My position is that America presents with the best example of the symptomatological corruptibility of democracy. Not even free association, individual privacy, and free speech are an absolute given in this most celebrated charisma of human inventiveness, democracy. Whistleblower and former CIA employee Edward Snowden, now reportedly living in Russia, has a lot to say about this.
For if the highfalutin language of democracy was not a sham, a disappointing and dehumanizing sham, how could a rabble-rouser such as Trump have benefited so loudly from it?
Or better still, what if any African country had elected Trump as its leader? What if Trump were Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, WEB Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, or Patrice Lumumba?
Where did we wrong?
How did we go from progress to decay, to retrogression, from the progressive Barack Obama to the blimpish Donald Trump, from civilization to the hellhole of emotional clownishness?
Trump’s demagoguery is a brand of democracy that feeds on a tyranny of the minority. Democracy is indeed a deceptive language, a divisive language, a dangerous language. Yet American democracy made it possible for an unpopular minority to go for Trump, a narcissistic talkative and diarrheic braggadocio, rather than the sovereign verdict of a popular majority exercising that bold decision. Trumpian democracy therefore makes absolute nonsense of the principle of majoritarian sovereignty, correctly and appropriately expressed as a direct, uninfluenced exercise and projection of the elective franchise in the American body politic.
Thus, truth be known, any pretensions of Trumpian autocracy are forcefully constrained by the liberalism of the US Constitution.
See how the unpopular minority and the popular majority are pitted against each other in the interest of destroying the umbilical cord of national cohesion. Trumpian demagoguery, confabulation, and undisguised lies have put a wide asunder between the unpopular minority and the popular majority, just like in Ghana where the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the National Patriotic Party (NPP) have created a deep bifurcation among the hoi polloi at the expense of national cohesion, collective loyalty, and development. The useful idiots we call politicians are the primary cause of this poisonous bifurcation.
Polarization is the ideological hallmark of these two political parties. Western-style democracy has made it possible for Africans to hate each other, to go after each other’s throat, as the ideologically opposed neocolonial leaderships of the political parties to which they belong, scramble for foreign political theories of governance as virtual stand-ins for their erstwhile colonial overlords. We have become self-appointed agents of self-cannibalism, consuming the blood and flesh of the national consciences of our future, development and growth, and collective survival on others' terms as well as on own terms. What is more, the xenophobic attacks against other Africans in the universal body of the African brotherhood and sisterhood are unfortunate episodes in the contemporary history of Pan-African solidarity.
As the political Luddite Trump is busy at work in the Oval Office undoing the progressive legacy of Obama, the NDC and the NPP are undoing each other’s legacies at the expense of the national interest. For instance, the NPP leaves office with a smattering of uncompleted projects in strategic parts of the country but the NDC which assumes political office following the former’s departure completely shuns these projects, never completing them as new additions to grace the decaying facial landscape of our pre-existing national architecture. The primary motivation for this shameful, unpardonable neglect of national projects stems from the undignified fear of the non-initiator of the projects completing them while the initiator gets all the credits, so these expensive projects are left to rot. “Call it schadenfreude politics if you like,” says a good friend of mine.
This goes for NPP as well.
It really does not matter that those uncompleted projects were the products of acquired loan facilities from China or the West.
The radical usurpation of progressive traditional African values of governance, with the blind support of these two political parties, clueless in everything political and economic, in favor of imported Eurocentric ideas and political Islam―both of which are inimical to the spirit of Africa’s development and growth―is a sad chapter in the material and spiritual progression of Africa from her precolonial past to the present.
Western democracy has completely cannibalized any semblance of a true precolonial homegrown system of democracy. And neocolonial African leaders and technocrats still wonder why the so-called Beijing Consensus, a homegrown political philosophy, rather the Washington Consensus works so well for the Chinese. The African conscience is seriously conflicted as a result of these intrusions. As one writer puts it (Abdou, 2014):
“One attends to a hesitant democracy with the step of a chameleon. People do not know what they want; or rather the African leaders develop and knowingly maintain a policy which enables them to remain the longest in power. They do not care about the interests of their people or their country. Sometimes they have neither experience nor knowledge of the fundamental principles of governance…”
Trump’s rather democratic rhetoric of xenophobia, racism, isolationism, and exclusive or ethnic nationalism is a perfect political biogenesis of the apartheid of South Africa. If an anti-intellectual of the Trumpian variety can transfer limited resources meant for scientific research, say, such as looking into how we can effectively address problems of the environment, from global warming to the melting of polar ice sheets, to fund programs of a much less priority on the basis of political and ideological expedience alone, then, as I see it, the future of science, of the health of our environment and of rationality is indeed bleak as climate science means nothing to him.
Trump’s brand of militant denialism makes him a staunch enemy of the environment, the same way the neocolonial leaderships of the NPP and the NDC looked on patronizingly as Ghanaians and their foreign accomplices destroyed forests and polluted large bodies of water via galampsey. We have blindly taken after the ideological and impulsive likeness of Trump in the way we view the environment without taking into consideration the health of the environment and how this directly relates to our own collective health and survival as a species.
A man known for his characteristic schadenfreude persona, Trump has no stomach for fremdscham or vicarious embarrassment except when a crisis of social and political emergency threatens his ill-conceived policies and diehard support base―his minoritarian base of Nazi, Aryan and white supremacy supporters, praise-singers. It was under the aegis of this Trumpian typology of democracy that the dictatorships of the USSR and Nazism acquired their material and spiritual forms. Altogether, The rich writings of Antony C. Sutton from the three-volume tome Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development (1917-1930, 1930-1945, 1945-1965), to Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, to Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, to National Suicide: Military Aid to the Soviet Union make a powerful statement on the hypocrisy of American democracy.
Trump does not care in the least that weaponizing his rhetoric of xenophobia, ethnic nationalism and racism has negative implications for relations. An industrious, well-spoken, law-abiding classmate of mine, a US citizen of Mexican nationality, recently texted me about his morbid fear of being attacked by a wolf pack of Trump supporters who catches him speaking Spanish, being Spanish, or looking Spanish in public. It did not take long for a fungating Trump supporter to strike at the heart of a gathering of Latinos in El Paso, Texas, slaughtering more than twenty.
The Trumpian assassin left behind a Trumpian Book of the Dead for the divided national conscience to deal with, a racist manifesto. These events have heightened my own state of existential fear, threatening to undermine the virtual space of my safety at every given opportunity in a land where I, like my Mexican friend, have contributed in our own little ways to make this country what it is today. I have had to successfully manage to keep my cool the many times I experienced firsthand dramatic experiences during chance and planned encounters with the likes of Trump, be they co-employees, supervisors, professors, etc.
I am seeing the indelible imprints of the missionary in the likes of Trump, an enemy of progress―the PT Barnum of modern American politics―those missionaries who, together with their military and political colonists, destroyed the family system, the chieftaincy system, the religious system, the institution of marriage, inter-ethnic black relations, and indigenous economies of colonial Africa.
The missionary was a spy, a warmonger, a colonist, a proselyter, a usurper of chieftaincy authority and leadership, a demagogue, a political destabilizer, a politician, and a gloating, self-righteous hypocrite...all in one big imported Bible. The high degree of corruptibility of Trump’s political gospel and ideological machinery are as provocatively dangerous as the scheming shenanigans and forced cordiality of the colonizing missionary. The colonizing missionary, after all, rammed the Bible held in one hand and the bottle of alcohol held in the other hand down the throats of the colonized at gun point, supposedly under the authority regime of the Decalogue, the so-called Ten Commandments, with the latter taken from the 42 Confessions of ancient black Egypt. Trump the Missionary, unlike the support base of his soldiers, is just enough to destroy the civilization of America’s race relations. As Nosipho Majeke noted in his book The Role of the Missionary in Conquest:
"The man of the gospel is after all a worldly fellow…more full of dragooning our new subjects than a hundred soldiers."
Abdou, L. B. (2015). Democracy In Africa: A “One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward” Policy. International Journal of English and Literature, 6(2), 45-50. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7463/9f00b2d24ce184747750129c413ce94ab5e0.pdf