Be careful what you wish for

On November 9th 2016, the day after the US Presidential elections was held, a broadcaster on CNN said that “The world has awoken to the stunning news that the American people have elected Donald Trump to be their next President”.

To me this pretty much sums it up. The word stunning. I am one of the many people worldwide who was bewildered by the results. I thought that Hillary Clinton would have won the contest.

I was schooled, played baseball, lived and worked in the US, and believed that America was a great nation. I also served a stint of three years in the US Army which included a tour of combat duty in the Vietnam war. So I know America. I had faith that the American people would do the right thing in this Presidential election. I was let down.

America has over the years become a flawed giant, that is sadly following in the footsteps of other great nations like the Roman empire, Greece, Macedonia, or the British Empire, for that matter.

All of these countries attained their apogee in the affairs of mankind, expanded, developed and did good things for humanity before becoming too self absorbed in their own mantras, and as a result, subsequently found themselves retrogressing into a state of general demise.

Reputable pollsters, media specialists, other supposed experts along with lay people like myself got it all wrong. I believe this was because we were missing the point. Most people thought that a man who had comported himself like a sociopath, a racist, a misogynist, as being unsavoury, reckless, shallow, narrow minded, who was a draft dodger, and someone who had scant respect for anyone or cared very little about others opinions, could never ever be rewarded with the highest office in America.

How could someone like Trump be given access to nuclear codes, or be depended upon by his country to rationally negotiate with various world leaders on matters of global interests? Is this some kind of joke?

Nothing much of what he promised his gullible fans on the campaign trail can be delivered, starting with the construction of a 2000 mile long “Pappyshow” wall along the US/Mexican border. We thought that any American elector who had completed kindergarten would see through the BS and laugh this joker off the stage. We were wrong!

Two things I have to admit about Trump. He is a shrewd con man who identified an exposed social nerve. He cleverly took advantage of, and successfully germinated a yearning by white America to return to the glory days of the pre-1964 civil rights act, when minorities in that country were voiceless and the nation’s power lay completely in the hands of the white population.

The other observation is, that he never pretended to be a nice man, and openly called things as he saw fit to. His timing was right, and he won. Therefore, WHEN and not if, the proverbial s..t hits the fan, no one can say we did not know or how could he do this or do that.

With the arrival of Trump, the be careful what you ask for – you may get it phenomenon has descended and landed squarely on America’s head. As the Caribbean saying goes… They go take!

When someone is on a roll they can do anything and get away with it. Trump, a coward who ran away from service in Vietnam, allegedly because he had a bad foot at the time, is now the Commander-in-Chief of his country’s armed forces. This arrangement allows him to send other people’s children into harms way. But don’t hold your breath waiting for his two sons Eric or Donald JR to put on a uniform to serve their country anytime soon!

Then, when it was announced that Trump had not paid taxes, one of his most pugnacious lackeys, the mouthpiece Rudi Guilliani, quickly jumped up and defended his actions by boasting that Trump avoided taxation because he is a brilliant man. But let a little man in small town USA miss a few dollars on his annual tax return? The IRS would be all over him in a flash threatening a jail sentence.

But life is life. Imagine that the person who lost the election, Hillary Clinton, won more popular votes 600,000 plus than the person who won – Donald Trump. But due to the American electoral college system, Trump the person less Americans actually voted for becomes president.

But the elections are over and the American people have chosen their president, as is their right to do so, and we should accept their decision and move on. But fate is the hunter, and sometimes things have to get much worse before they can get better.

Trump will bring down the country along with himself, and the times ahead would be hard. But getting to the bottom of the barrel, the country will find that there is only one way out, and that way is up. I sincerely wish them luck.

I want to close my letter by paying tribute and saying a fond farewell to Barack and Michelle Obama, who will depart the White House in January 2017. The Obamas have gained the respect of the world at large. They brought dignity, poise, honour and respect back to the office of the president.

The insipid Republican majority in the US Congress blocked Mr Obama’s bills, policies, and programs for 8 years at each and every opportunity afforded them. Never mind the cost to the country. They even shut down the system of government twice. So they made life for the sitting president as hard as they could. But Karma has already caught up with them. The Republican party has completely melted down, and languishes in a shameful state of disarray today.

When Mr Obama took office as president in 2009 he met a desperate country, a concussed nation that was down on its knees and struggling, due to the debilitating effects that was brought about by the incompetence of successive republican administrations. He brought the nation back to its feet. His approval rating is one of the highest ever for a departing President, over 50%.

As Mr Obama leaves the White House the economic fact sheets attest definitively to his success, and no amount of partisan spin will succeed in tarnishing these facts. In America today unemployment is down, the national deficit is down, the rate of real jobs realised and economic growth are up and rising on a monthly basis, new housing starts are recovering and confidence in the economy is at an unprecedented high.

Mr Obama has also secured an honourable legacy. He will be credited for his courageous act of accomplishing what many US presidents did not have the commitment (otherwise known as cojones) to rectify.

The re-establishing of relations with Cuba. God speed Barack and Michelle Obama, you have done your part.

Footnote: The last time the Republican party controlled the Congress, the Senate and the White house in the USA at the same time, as maintains today, was in 1929. The year of the Great depression.

Roger Byer

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