US Election 2020: The fierce battle for the soul of America

By Joseph Okpaku, Sr

On Tuesday, the American people, in their time-honoured four-yearly ritual, will be going to the polls to choose a new president or extend their employment contract with the incumbent president for another term.

A record number of them, more than half of all registered voters, have already cast their ballots either by early voting or by mail-in ballots. By any and all standards and recollection, this election is extraordinary and virtually unprecedented.

It will be a contest between those who believe that their victory in 2016 was an act of God that must be sustained and those who, whomever they voted for in 2016 feel, in their hearts and in their bones, that the last four years have been a nightmare, a disaster, a tragedy of misplaced trust and unvisited hope, a calumny of untold proportions, a profound error of choice that must now be rectified at all cost in a matter of a couple of days.

Americans are deeply divided, and so is the world at large. Left to an overwhelming proportion of people around the world, President Donald Trump should be hauled out of the White House, clothed with only whatever he may have round his waist at the moment the results are announced, possibly with a little less. A 97-year-old very dear friend of mine has very graphic ideas of Trump’s exit from the White House. Notwithstanding what appears to be this global consensus, in the United States there is a not insignificant number of people who, despite the gruesome cacophony of the past four years, would extend Trump’s rule for at least another four years at all cost. Some of them have armed themselves to the teeth, ready to fight to keep him in office if he loses.

Trump himself has instigated, aided and abetted this threat of violent revolt against America’s democracy in order to keep him in power at all cost by various statements   made in recent times, most important of which has been his statement repeated countess times that if he loses the elections, it can only be the result of the elections being rigged. Translated into common parlance, this would mean either him or nobody else, a common refrain that the United States government has so often claimed to be unacceptable when proffered by leaders of other countries, especially in the developing world, and in response to which it has engineered the overthrow of such governments.

Trumps effort in Venezuela even where the incumbent president has made no such claim, but instead insisted that he fairly and constitutionally won the elections, is a ready case in point and has raised the thought that if Donald Trump was the Head of State of any country other than the United States, he would be overthrown by now by the CIA for the very suggestion

Despite many calls by responsible leaders in and outside the United States that he withdraw this threat, renounce all violent reaction to such an outcome and pledge himself to a smooth transition should he lose the elections, Donald Trump has refused to do so or even to call on the violent vigilante groups that support him to stand down at the risk of being arrested and prosecuted.   As a result, many extreme rightwing groups have formed themselves into vigilantes determined to keep him in power no matter what. They have appeared heavily armed in public in Democratic   states where the right to openly carry weapons in public is legal.

In plain or barely camouflaged coded messages, Trump has directed them to obstruct legitimate authority such as when he called on them to “liberate” states with rival Democratic Party governors. This led, for example, to armed militia invading the Michigan State Government House in Lansing.

Perhaps not surprisingly, a fortnight ago, the FBI announced the arrest of six or seven people and charged them with conspiracy to kidnap the governor of the State of Michigan and her family, with the possibility of executing them after their interrogation.

They are accused of having actually commenced to execute their plans, including the purchase of explosives and carrying out practice sessions in preparation for their assault. In response to this shocking revelation that put fear in the minds of Americans throughout the country, the President not only did not vigorously condemn the threat of violence to innocent people carrying out their political duties, but instead unleashed a virulent attack on the Governor so threatened, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The Republican Party leadership barely uttered a word of criticism or condemnation. Such has been the remarkably unusual circumstances of America’s political leadership over the past four years. FBI and other national intelligence officials have formally warned the President of the dangers posed by domestic rightwing extremist groups as being the foremost national security threats. Trump has simply dismissed these reports.

In the general polity, many maneuvers have been made to prevent or disrupt   the ability of people deemed to be pro-Democratic Party such as Blacks and other minorities from either being able to vote or to have their votes counted. In the State of Georgia, the Republican Governor reduced the number of ballot collection boxes made available to the voting public to facilitate the collection of their ballots to one per county resulting   in one of the largest counties in Georgia and in the U.S. as a whole, requiring voters, including the elderly, to travel almost 30 miles to go drop off their ballots. In other states, such as in California, fake ballot collection boxes have been placed in public places and marked “Official”.   Plans and efforts at voter intimidation abound.

All of this is in the United States of America, a nation that has served as the self-styled “police of the world”, passing judgements on the fairness and legitimacy of elections held around the world, especially in the developing world. The result has been a lead up to an American election so mired in intrigue, including the use of the courts to disenfranchise mainly minority citizens, a scenario that has been obscene and hard to watch. After all, this is America, the gold standard in the execution of, and adherence to the fundamental principles of Western Democracy. This has been distressful to people around the world, including Americans, even to those who normally complain about the United States reaching beyond its borders to illegally and illegitimately interfere in the political affairs of other nations.

In response to this unmitigated audacity of the President and the White House, Americans, including many who have traditionally simply kept their peace, believing in the periodic (perhaps cyclical) rise and fall of   elected authority, have risen up to confront the   political threat and affront with uncharacteristic concerted political activism. These are people who, having unshakeable faith and confidence in the honesty, authenticity and sanctity of the American electoral process, would ordinarily simply wait until election day, line up at the voting centres to cast their votes and go back home ready to stay fixed to their television sets all evening as the ballots are counted and the results posted on the screen. This time around, the very foundation of what America is and stands for, and what the nation means to the people, has become of vital importance to most citizens.

The reason and provocation for this rare popular stridency lies in the anger and disillusion unleashed by the turbulent record of America’s governance and leadership in the last four years since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America on Friday 20 January 2017, following his surprise election on 8 November 2016. Trump’s governance and leadership of America has been little short of an unmitigated disaster, in virtually every   area and denominator possible, that is, everyone except perhaps the rise in value of stocks on the United States stock market which has made the richest individuals in America even more rich, perhaps exponentially, while the lot of the common man has been nothing to write home about. In the throes of the devastating Coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns and resulting drop in business activities and in trade, the fortunes of the latter have plummeted, leaving a large number of America’s middleclass, the bulwark of America’s economic powerhouse, unemployed, impoverished, scared and unnerved, many waiting online in their cars   for long hours to   collect food to feed   their families, many with their heads bowed in quiet shame.

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While it is true that a brilliant, enlightened and persuasive leader can transform a nation and the fortunes of its people , it is also true that a reckless, unenlightened, myopic and misguided leader can destroy a nation and its hard-earned prestige and legacy in what in history is barely a twinkle of an eye. For Donald Trump, he has taken less than four years to destroy most of what America took three centuries to build. And to add insult to injury, he has done so with neither understanding nor remorse.

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The public and popular response to all of the shenanigans of Donald Trump and his administration   came to a head when on 25 May this year, an unarmed Black man who was not resisting arrest died in the hands of a white policeman on the outskirts of Minneapolis who held him in a choke hold for eight and a half minutes while the George Floyd pleaded for his life, repeated many times that he could not breathe, and even cried out to his late mother to save his life. Recorded on a cellphone by a bystander as others pleaded with the policeman and his three partners to release the chokehold on Mr. George Floyd, the incident, the video which went global created revulsion around the world, leading to protests everywhere.

President Donald Trump’s incredible failure to condemn this cruelty and unjustifiable act of police brutality a history of which had caused the   earlier formation of the Black Lives Matter Movement across the country and now even worldwide, was itself the last straw.

The revulsion Americans felt about this horrendous, unparalleled and unacceptable inhumanity and brutality not only brought public attention to an issue that Blacks in America have been fighting for the longest time, namely police brutality and not infrequent shooting and killing of innocent Black people, led to an unprecedented united movement of Americans black and white, young and not quite so young and from across the United States and around the world, to eliminate this and the institutional racism that has undermined   so many other aspects of American society.

By his patently unnatural (perhaps even inhuman) display of a total lack of empathy and emotion to this horrible event, especially as the President of the country, Trump unleashed an anger amongst most Americans, one that may have spelt his political doom in Tuesday’s elections. Several incidents of police killing more Black people despite this national outcry have consolidated this public revolt, one that has seen mothers (Black and White) out on the streets of Portland, Oregon and other cities, demonstrating against police brutality.

Calling these demonstrations acts of hooliganism by what he calls “leftwing anarchists” whom he has tried unconvincingly to associate with Joe Biden, and encouraging his own supporters to confront these mostly peaceful demonstrators, has not served Donald Trump well in his bid for re-election. But he does not seem to care about the violence and its consequences or what the American people feel about it all.

But if anything has confounded the American people and may seal Trump’s fate in the next couple of days, it has been his unimaginable failure to confront the epidemic of the lethal Coronavirus that has devastated America for the last nine months, and that has resulted in over 230 deaths to date, and over 9 million infections and counting. Declaring the   Coronavirus epidemic as a hoax created by the Democratic Party, Donald Trump, President of the United States, has forcefully   denied the reality of the Coronavirus even when he himself, First Lady Melania and their 14-year son, Barron.

In what has proved incomprehensible to most Americans and to people around the world, Trumps denial of the devastating menace the Coronavirus has unleashed on Americans and denial and refusal to take responsibility as President to put together a comprehensive nationwide programme to   confront the virus has left many Americans who   might once   have sought some justification for supporting his re-election unable to look away.

His denial of the enormity of the over 230,000 Americans dead from the virus and up to a total of 400,000 projected by the end of January 2021, but especially his adamant refusal to   follow the advise and entreaties of the expert on the White House Task Force and their counterpart experts around the country and globally, have left millions of average Americans eager to throw him out of office. His relentless opposition to his own hand-picked epidemiologists, his assault against science and the knowledge and expertise behind it, remains inexplicable to most Americans. As if to add insult to injury, Donald Trump has taken, in the final days of the election campaign, to insulting his own scientists and epidemiology experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the world-renowned head of the ???, whose knowledge and wisdom have guided governments and people around the world.

After all is said and done, five things have become clear that will have a decisive impact on the outcome of this election:

 

  1.         Donald Trump’s outsized ego and his deep-seated narcissism that has created in him an almost unnatural desire to get all the attention in the world, in fact, the only one to get any attention. Anger at anyone on his team getting any public acclaim. Donald Trump needs to learn that accolades for a job well down is a mathematical infinity. Divide it by a million, everyone still gets infinity a piece—-an important lesson for all political (an even corporate, government and indeed all team leaders.
  2.         His single minded focus on being re-elected at all cost, which, curiously appears to be why he has neglected all his responsibility and leadership role in response to the Coronavirus, thus reneging on his sworn undertaking to protect t=America and the lives of its people
  3.         His inability to feel passion or show emotion on things that are affecting his citizens and where his leadership would clearly have made all the difference
  4.         His jealous need to possess all the attention and all prospects of praise and credit for any positive accomplishment, a disposition that makes his resentful of any attention that   might be paid to those who serve him, leading him to immediately seek to   dismiss and humiliate them. Perhaps the height of this which might aunt him for years to come is his calling Dr, Fauci an “idiot” in response to the latter expressing opposition to the false use of a quotation by him as part of the advertising for Trump; reelection campaign.
  5.         Trump’s overall penchant for rudeness, abuse, insult of practically anyone, at will and at any time. Trump’s automatic denial of courtesy, respect and decency in any political dialogue in which anyone holds an opinion other than his, so much so as to endanger the lives of those who do not agree with him.

To be sure, Donald Trump is by no means unintelligent. But he is what I prefer to call, “unsmart”, a term I reserve for people who are too intelligent to do dumb things. For all his shenanigans, he

has built a business empire that is nothing to sneer at. He has had the courage and guts to cry to do the impossible and no matter how imperfect, flawed or embattled some of the outcomes, he has accomplished a lot. I recall the beauty and elegance of the Trump Tower in Manhattan when it was commissioned, The Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino (now owned by Hard Rock International) built by Donald Trump at the cost of US$1 billion, quickly became the centerpiece of the gambling resort of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Trump Airline that provided guaranteed hourly shuttle flights between New York City and Washington D.C. competing with the then Eastern Airlines, was an impressive achievement especially for the young man he was then. All businesses experience ups and downs. These are accolades that we cannot and must not deny him of, if only he would keep quiet long enough to allow others sing the praise songs rather than pre-empt everyone from doing so by howling his own praise at every opportunity.

These were all praise-worthy of the young businessman, that is until he over-reached himself, incessantly made claims of successes and accomplishments that either stretched or stresses veracity or were outright untrue. unverifiable or outright false.

Not only do Black Lives Matter, Good Leadership Matters. Good, responsible, responsive, intelligent, empathetic, fair, honest, transparent, inspired and inspiring leadership matters. In their absence, so much can go wrong. America today is the best illustration of such a debilitating swords case scenario. Trump’s America is a shadow of what America has been for decades and centuries.

The only legacy he can bequeath the American people Is a dysfunctional, decided and disoriented nation, and to the world, global uncertainty, anxiety and an irreversible scramble for a new international dispensation and structure, one that is less fragile, one that is no longer dependent on an America that has become unreliable, erratic and unreliable. A victorious President Joe Biden, if that proves to be the outcome of Tuesday’s elections, will have a hard task trying to restore America’s prestige and hard-earned pride of place in the world. He could succeed, as he had the intellectual, moral, human qualities and political goodwill and experience to do so.

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But the world after Trump is a different world, a sober, skeptical and, ironically, more ambitious and more daring world. Joe Biden will not only have to carefully study and understand this new world, compelled more by the lessons from the Coronavirus pandemic than by Trump but aided and abetted by him, but he has to find the courage, wherewithal and wisdom to understand that the world has changed.

That in this new dispensation, not only will America no longer be “the greatest power in the world”, the “leader of the free world “ and the American   president no longer “the most powerful man in the world” but such titles will have become obsolete and meaningless/ Rather, America will become simply an important, critical and differential member of a new world in which all are equal and can and should get and contribute as much as each one can to make the entire world a better place for all humanity. Such a new world as I envisage is a superior and eminently better world. America, like all other nations, will be better off in this new world. Americans are not likely to quickly accept this New World as they have become so used to seeing themselves and being called and seen by others as superior to everyone else, a super nation and the land of superior human beings. But these are empty and meaningless distinctions and accolades as the shared pain of the nightmare of the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us. Americans are smart people, and for all their loudness and bluster, they are also a humble and modest people. They will come to understand the value and inevitability of this New World and eventually come to embrace it. In so doing they will come to recognize and appreciate the value, the peace and equanimity of giving up trying to dominate the world. America and Americans will become more relaxed, which will make them happier and in turn make it easier for the people of the world to love and embrace them rather than be distrustful, wary and fearful of them.

Donald Trump’s Chance for Re-election

The irony of all times is that the one chance that president Donald Trump had to win reelection is if he had taken seriously his responsibility to fight the Coronavirus at home and globally (the latter based on the fact that response to a pandemic requires a total global coordination), In fact, this would not have required any exertion by him, intellectually or emotionally.

All he needed to do was get out of the way of his highly competent and mostly globally recognised experts to do what they know how to do. He could then sit back and take credit for their accomplishments. But his fear of anyone taking any credit for anything around him, his ego, stood in the way.

In the process, America not only lost thousands of lives, but he earned the anger and resentment of most of the American people. Many accused him of focusing on his reelection rather than on fighting the Coronavirus. The truth is that doing the latter was his surest way of accomplishing the former. There are, of course, millions of Americans who do not want Trump re-elected at any cost. But even they would have had trouble ignoring the importance of the credit he would have received by simply getting himself and his ego out of the way.

All of this notwithstanding, at the end, Trump could still win this election. After all, the outcome will depend entirely on the sole right and responsibility of the American people to freely elect their president. In such an unholy eventuality, one can only wish America and the world that then must learn to live with Trump’s role in the global environment the best of luck.

What happens if Trump loses his reelection? Unfortunately, Donald Trump has several months ago mooted the idea of resistance by his supporters. Consequently, many people expect armed conflict in such an eventuality. As a result, many citizens have resorted to arm themselves in self-defense. Walmart had shut down its weapons department as a precaution but is said to have reopened it in the last couple of days. In Chicago, store owners have begun to shutter their windows as a precaution. Such is the madness that Trump has unleashed over a people he took an oath to protect.

The World and the Election 

Why does or should the outcome of this election matter to people outside? It matters a lot because America is a major force in the world. Also, in a fully integrated world events in one small part of the world can have repercussions around the world. That is one lesson of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Furthermore, in the best and worst of times, America and the Americans have made immense sacrifices and contributions to the stability and well-being of the world. So, it is only fair, fit and natural that the world should care when she is undergoing an internal upheaval that threatens to unhinge it from its moorings.

The US Post Donald Trump 

The world post Trump, which is a part of the world post the Coronavirus pandemic, is a new world, not the reincarnation of yesterday. In this regard, for example with regard to global power and domination, and global wealth uber alles, certain notions and assumptions that the world has hitherto accepted out of deference   to the United States, will now disappear or taken a difference meaning and relevance.

For example, the notion of power and   accolades like “the greatest power in the world”, “the leader of the free world” that American leaders and politicians have clung to and fling at the world for years, will begin to become obsolete and empty. In response, Americans must begin to recognize the fact that they have neither meaning nor value. It is a sober world that we live in, and efforts at nations distinguishing themselves for the purpose of world dominance have become passé and perhaps not too intelligent, meaningful or valuable.

The Reckoning

As for the ascendancy of Donald Trump to the esteemed position of US president four years ago in the first place, given the disastrous impact of his tutelage on the quality and wellbeing of the American people and on America’s respect and prestige around the world,   the American people must take responsibility for this. They must examine themselves and find out how the Republican party made him their candidate in the first place and how and why the American people chose him as president over Hillary Clinton, the latter’s superior political qualifications, experience and expertise. Sometimes when it comes to matters of public interest, we must learn to subjugate our biases and prejudices in the interest of the common good.

However, in fairness to the American people, in a very carefully crafted counteracting process, the leaders of the society have mounted a systematic and comprehensive effort to ensure Trump’s removal from office for having jeopardised the wellbeing of the people and the nation’s geopolitical advantage in the world. They consider Trump’s relentlessly abusive language and unmitigatedly unconscionable behaviour as a desecration of the dignity of the office of the US Presidency and of the hallowed halls of the White House.

The reckoning also goes for the leaders of the Republican Party, especially those in the US Senate. So much has gone wrong in their watch that they cannot justify having woefully reneged on their responsibility to rein-in Donald Trump. While saving him from being removed from office by conniving to rubbish the outcome of his impeachment, they could at least have scolded him and cautioned him to pipe down.

As for the leaders Wall Street and others who control the American economy, condoning what is patently wrong, unfair and unjust is not good business. Their wealth depends on the strength of the American and global sociology-economy. Ignoring or dismissing acts of discrimination, neglect and abuse is, on the long run, self-defeating. I have always said that enterprise in the 21st Century must have a heart and a soul. No society whose morality, ethics and principles are based on money and profit above all else can survive the test of time.

The post-Coronavirus world will be more competitive and will require that America craft a new understanding of the world and her ideal place in it. In striving to adjust to this new reality, America will be temporarily handicapped by the disruption that Trump has created as a burdensome legacy to his successor. It will require more patience and more circumspection. It will also require more candor as everyone has become more wide awake and hopefully a bit wiser. Furthermore, in the new dispensation, everyone will strive to being the best. No people or group of people will willingly acquiesce to being second best. So those who have occupied the top must begin to make provision for others to join them.

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As for the reckoning for Donald Trump, should he lose, he can count on a huge pile of lawsuits awaiting the end of his immunity. Some people have casually suggested that after he leaves office, he should be sued for reckless endangerment over the loss of over 230,000 lives to the Coronavirus, a large proportion of whose lives would have been saved if only President Trump had imposed a coordinated comprehensive national policy on the basic preventive interventions for stemming the spread of the virus, namely the wearing of face masks, social distancing, basic hygiene of washing hands and extensive testing and tracing of people exposed to infected persons. Instead, right down to the last day of the campaign, Trump has stubbornly held large rallies with people not wearing masks and with virtually no social distancing, notwithstanding the fact   that there   is clear evidence that such rallies have caused further spread of the infection in what has come to be called “super spreader” gatherings. Trump’s determination not to take any responsibility for stopping the spread of this virus and having no part in supporting the lifesaving recommendations of his scientists, including the informed advise of the FDA and CDC, have led him in the dying days of this campaign to even mocking his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, for wearing a mask.

To some extent, some have compared Trump leading his supporters to attend these rallies without proper precautions to   the story of Jim Jones, the sick but charismatic leader of the Peoples Temple cult in California who took his followers to Guyana where he created a farm named Jonestown after himself. On 18 November 1978 Jim Jones led his followers to drink cyanide in a mass murder-suicide that stunned the world.

Trump versus Trump 

If Donald Trump had been simply a benignly negligent president, distracted and troublesome, he would have been bad enough. But as a restless disruptive President he not only failed to deal with pressing issues of state and governance, but actually and vehemently stood in the way of those, including his own appointees, who sought to carry out their responsibilities and obligations to the people they serve. This sums up the story of Donald Trump and the tragedy of the American experience of the. Coronavirus Pandemic.

Joe Biden

What of Joe Biden, Trump’s rival and the candidate of the Democratic Party?   Joe Biden is a seasoned politician with over forty years in congress and who served eight years at the White House as Vice President to President Barack Obama. The little space given to Biden in this article is not accidental but speaks directly to the nature of this election and the basis of his nomination as the candidate of the Democratic Party. Although Biden is a known quantity, the choice of him by the party was predicated very heavily on the determination of the Democratic Party and a large number of the American people to get rid of Donald Trump at all cost.

The criterion, therefore, became who was most likely to defeat Trump. The Democratic Party needed a consensus candidate, someone who was the opposite of all they did not like about Trump, which was just about everything. Early frontrunners like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren hold strong views that, even though extremely popular with their supporters, might only hold on to their followers but not attract independents and undecided voters. The party needed every single voter they could attract including even traditional Republicans, especially a good number at the top.

The strategy has worked remarkably, with top Republicans openly endorsing Biden and forming anti-Trump Republicans for Biden group. Most prominent of these is the Lincoln Project, a group of top Republicans and ex-Republicans who came together and raised huge sums of money for the sole purpose of defeating Donald Trump.

In addition, over 200 former military Generals and other top brass, former Secretaries of State, former U.S. Attorneys Generals appointed by Republican Presidents have also endorsed Biden, A good number of Trump’s senior staff who left the White House have also publicly endorsed Biden. So, the very gentleness of Joe Biden has been not just his strength but the hope of success of the Democratic Party. Looked at from a different angle, Tuesday’s election is to a not insignificant level, also a competition of votes for Trump versus votes against Trump.   In this regard, votes against Trump is quite sizeable. Time may have proven to be his worst political enemy.

Biden is very experienced, sober, remarkably human, warm, kind, considerate, sensitive, knowledgeable, very likeable, and highly respected at home and abroad, Above all, he is a consensus builder highly skilled at bringing people of different opinions and persuasions together. In one sense, one might even risk saying that what the Democratic party needed, what they felt the American people needed, was a president who will heal the wounds of the people, unite Americans and help overcome the conflicts, fights, institutional racism and other phobia, rage, acrimony, divisiveness, confusion, conflicts, rudeness and abuse that Donald Trump had unleased on the American people and friends of America abroad in his four years in   office. Trump had disrupted America’s major alliances around the world, embraced those considered to be enemies of America, especially Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un of North Korea. He has also alienated America’s most important strategic partners, NATO, and undermined global strategic security and environmental accomplishment by pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Accord, thus undermining America’s global leadership and strategic influence. Americans believe that Joe Biden will be able to reverse some of these losses although some, or some aspects of some, might prove irreversible as Trump’s excesses have triggered moves by other   nations to begin to develop new alliances to project themselves from any future American disruptive move or blackmail.

With respect to Africa, Joe Biden, besides his vast foreign policy experience and expertise, has a keen interest in Africa and its development. Trump had no Africa Policy worth noting. I had the opportunity to discuss this with Biden in a one-on-one exchange at the end of a session of the World Economic Forum that was moved from Davos, Switzerland to New York City in the first week of February 2002 in solidarity with the tragedy of the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001, otherwise known as 9/11. Amongst other thing, then Senator Biden expressed deep belief in the future of Africa and, in particular, in Nigeria achieving her immense promise. Compared with Donald Trump’s calling African nations “shitholes”, something totally unacceptable and which he is yet to apologise for. Joe Biden might just provide the context, atmosphere and opportunity for seriously engaging with Africa to craft a new, respectable, fair and equitable and mutually beneficial relationship with Africa, one based   on mutual respect and the understanding and acceptance of Africa’s goal of becoming globally competitive and an equal partner in the world, in the shortest time possible.

What does all of this mean for Nigeria and Africa, and for that matter for the rest of the world? All one has said here is not in any way to provide comfort or respite for Africa. Rather, it is meant to serve as a wake-up call for us to rise up to meet the challenges of our own development, the responsibility to drive an extraordinary effort to meet the dreams and needs of our people once and for all with tireless, relentless and inspired vigor.

There are so many lessons to learn from these past four years of Trump’s tenure as American President and his negative impact on the peace and equanimity of the world. Good, responsible and responsive leadership matters.

We owe it to ourselves and our people not only not to replicate Trauma on Americans on our own people but to rise up to the responsibility and opportunity to create better nations as part of building a much better world.

If any future American president or head of state of any country in the world dares to call our nations “shitholes” without fear of righteous indignation from us, underpinned by the extent to which we shall have crafted a new, robust and common dream for our people, taken care of their needs and empowered them to be able to pursue their own dreams, and above all restored peace, order, unity and enthusiastic faith, passion and confidence in our people to join hands to build the nations of our highest dreams with full expectation of getting their legitimate rewards, it will be partly our own fault. May the better candidate win on Tuesday.

Dr. Joseph Okpaku, Sr. the New York-based Nigerian Publisher, Author and Scholar is the Chairman of Third Press Publishers

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