The rise of Donald Trump, the Presidential candidate in the American General Elections - and to world attention - comes with a predictable slogan - “Make America Great Again.”
On the TV screens in our living rooms, in the printed media and conversation-wise, Mr. Trump’s politics is fodder for robust discussion among the people.
The election of the President of the United States attracts our interest for so many reasons; in our part of the world there is American Samoa 70 miles away from the coastline of Aleipata and America is a member of the Pacific family.
Mr. Trump is one of several candidates vying for the office of the President of the United States. It is a common-place to say that domestic politics and life in America are in the main affected by the ideology of capitalism and Christianity.
The Yahoo News, citing sources from RAND and the University of Pennsylvania recently ran a printed commentary on the basket of issues and topics drawing voters’ interests to the candidature of Mr. Trump.
Gender, age, attitudes against Muslim/Hispanics/illegal immigrants, race/ethnicity, household income, employment, education are the topics but there was an over-whelming (86.5 percent) feeling among Republicans to go for Trump because they feel “voiceless” in having a say in the business of their government. The not-well-educated white young men, the people in the rural areas, the factory workers all feel alienated from Big Uncle Sam.
This is reminiscent of the “Silent Majority”, a political slogan that was bandied around one time in this country’s General Elections. The richest/ poorest/ homeless human being on Earth lives in America; from the bluegrass music/lifestyles of the Hill-Billies to the easylistening/jazzy/rock n roll music of the urban people: the fast food, Gridiron, Basketball and the rest of the sporting community; the ladies and gentlemen of Hollywoood and the arty world; the wheeler- dealers at Wall Street, Industry Leaders, the Bankers and their pound of flesh; the hooligans, criminals, mafia, drug pushers, and the religious, scientific, academic groups- come the selective “voiceless” voters.
The international situation with the United States is a well-known question. For public consumption, the question then is: when was American greatness lost. Or is American greatness all that matters for nations, big or small.
Was “American Greatness” lost during the years of the Monroe Doctrine, when American foreign policy was restricted to the domination of the Americas? Or was “American Greatness” scored when its military dropped the Atomic bombs on the Japanese cities in WWII.
Was America’s finest hour clocked at the brink of Nuclear War against USSR over the missiles in Cuba? The American/ Vietnamese war, the Bay of pigs, the Civil Rights fight between the Black and the White people in America, the military interventions in regional conflicts make up the tentative list for an estimate of the American nation.
On balance, the World view is that American greatness lies in innovation/invention/discovery made by its citizens in Science, Technology, Education and Arts: the outcomes bring about tangible measures to cure the sick, feed the poor; maintain peaceful and spiritual developments; and foster socio- economic cooperation among nations.
The “American Character” rather than the “American Greatness” has a place in our imagination. The founding principles enshrined in the Constitution of this nation embrace Liberty; and that ideal has given rise to the racial melting pot and political pluralism making America a great country.
Different races - i.e. Caucasian, African, Samoan, Asian, Latinos etc. build this country to where it is today. They all have rich stories behind their American experiences, musically captured by the Superstar, Neil Diamond’s pop classics “They Come To America”. That is also the story of the migrants/ ancestors of Donald Trump - and the Presidential candidate - in the land of the indigenous Indian of America. The American Indian of course could not build walls at the borders. The lands of the native Indian were taken by the barrel of the gun.
Mr Trump is a money-man and he lives by the tradition of cash flowing to many projects at one time. That habit is seemingly transposed on his politics. Right, left and middle of the political spectrum- Mr Trump popped and weaved like a chameleon changing sides of the road; and telling his audience in America via public rallies and on TV what he will do as President of the United States. Trump’s political profile does not match the prodigious achievements of past candidates from the Right like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan who went on to win the contest. He does not have the oratorical skills of J F Kennedy whose political flair placed his trade on par with Plato’s Philosopher-King. If you form the view that Mr Trump will manage the American Government like the way he runs a Casino, place your bet! How will his Presidency invest in the fight against the evils of terrorism, drugs, fanatic-muslims etc. Political capital would help his cause but his efforts to mobilise support in a country full of skeptics and Democrats is an uphill struggle. The Republican politicians in Congress have not shown support to his cause. The extreme situation is unimaginable - Americans turn against Americans -but in this imperfect world we are living........
Trump’s star- attraction in the U.S. General Elections is two-fold: he speaks with messianic fervour rightly or wrongly on subjects of his choice and he drifts to things, unorthodox “not politically correct” in stating his case before the American voters. Take this one in that drift. At his disposal if he is the President of the United States is the Nuclear Weapons Arsenal while thousands of good brave men and women in uniform lost their lives fighting in regional wars to protect the locals who scorned their presence. The U.S. Military Establishment is supported by many classes of weaponery designed for conventional warfare. Yet, the citizens of the United States and many nations like France, Australia, Belgium, Russia are killed on the streets and in the skies by the new breed of armed people/terrorists using unconventional methods of warfare.
We are necessarily invited by the loud and “politically incorrect” stance of Donald Trump to study his response to these serious problems. Would his leveraged politics become the catalyst for a ground spring movement of the new breed of armed men in vigilante groups from America and Europe rising to kill the Muslim terrorists on the streets, in the deserts, from the skies in unconventional warfare? Would the nuclear weapon be used against ISIS? Or a factor in the new drift of unconventional armed conflict. There is an emerging mass following for the politics based on emotion to kill the muslim terrorists on the streets, in the deserts, from the skies using their own unconventional warfare.
On the other hand, there is a serious issue in the mix. Trump aside, the clash of civilisations in the making is a subject worth pondering over. Given the deep involvement of the Muslim religion in the ISIS, BOKO HARAM etc, the challenge to respond from Christian civilisations is a moot point.
That is why it is necessary to read the foregoing developments in the context of a dialectic inquiry. Not in a Marxist and Engel’s mode of presentation where a class struggle is at the centre of the conversation but a peep into the chemistry behind the emerging politics championed by Mr Donald Trump. Superiority mentality is the basis of Trump’s attitude to the subjects of race and money. Consider the strands of his political rise to the Russian and German experiences. History tells us that Adolf Hitler and his Nazi henchmen exploited Capitalism in their rise to power.
The economic depression in America, argued Hitler, was the cause of the major problems in the German economy. Making “Germany Great” was the underlying theme put out by the Nazi machine in its mass propaganda; and that progressively embraces racial hatred and the death of million Jews. The superiority mentality connects the Hitler’s experience to the deadly exploits of Lenin (and Stalin) in the Russian Revolution.
Lenin is responsible for the murder of the Romanovs; and he ushered in the spread of Communist governments and revolutions in the world. Hitler is responsible for the out break of World War II.
Mr. Donald Trump’s story to make his country great again has just begun; and whether or not it ends like thunder or whim - it’s the American way.