Ik Muo, PhD.
The recent arrest and mug-shotting of ‘Trumpu’ says it all. That was his fourth arrest over criminal matters ( The first POTUS with such records) in the last 6 months but it was his first police booking photo,( and released under a $200000 bond) the first US former president to be held in prison. The investigation which Fanni Willis, the Georgia prosecutor launched in early 2021 against the red-faced and aggressively looking, and acting, POTUS-45 and his acolytes yielded 41 charges housed in a 98-page document. His co-conspirators include some of his associates who were already ensnarled in several other criminal investigations and or convictions. Trump and Co were charged of knowingly and willfully conspiring to change the electoral outcome in his favour, conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, forgery in the first degree and making, writing and filing false statements and documents, with the most serious being violation of the RICO act, punishable by up to 20 years under the bar. When all these are decoded, they boil down to the attack on the Capitol on 6/1/21, unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy, fueled by lies targeted at obstructing the bedrock function of the US government… and in effect, engaging in a criminal effort to block the peaceful transfer of Presidential power. Trumpu on the whole faces a record 91 criminal charges all around falsifying business records, illegal retention of classified documents (which violates the espionage act), sexual assault and defamation, and fraud in his family business.
While Trump arrogantly and brashly waves away all these iron-webs of criminality and scandals, it is noteworthy that almost all his close associates are either behind bars, have been behind bars, or a facing multiple charges and investigations, some of them happening while Trump was on the throne. These include Chris Collins, his primary endorser (26 months in jail for security fraud, conspiracy, and false statements); Paul Manafort, Campaign Chairman (80 months in prison for financial misdeeds); Rick Gates( Deputy Campaign Chair: 36 months probation, 45 days in jail financial misdeeds); Lt- Gen M Flynn,(First National Security Adviser- lying to FBI); Rudy Guiliana( Legal adviser- investigation for election finance issues) Duncan Hunter( second endorser- misuse of $250000 campaign fund); Sam Patten, (lobbyist, 3 years jail on probation, $5000 fine and 500 hours of community service for illegally funneling foreign moneys into Trump’s inaugural committee); Bob Kraft( personal friend, donated $1m to inaugural committee: misdemeanor charge in Florida, soliciting of prostitution) George Nader( confidant;: child sex trafficking and child pornography); Imaaz Zuberi who donated $900k to Trump’s inaugural committee( illegal foreign straw donation, violating foreign lobbying laws, tax evasion and obstruction of Justice), Michael Cohen, personal attorney, (3 years in prison for false statement to congress); Roger Stone( false statement to congress, obstruction of justice, witness tampering), George Papadopoulos, Trump’s campaign foreign policy adviser; two weeks jail term for lying to investigators,) Lev Parnas & Igor Fruman(circumventing electoral laws). The elementary school adage says that when show me your friends and I will tell you the kind of person you are and that birds of the same feather flock together. However, ‘St. Trump’ declares his innocence at the rooftops , saying that all these are political witch-hunting and continues with his campaigns for the next election.
Paul Manfort, Erique tarrio: Took the bullets for Trumpu!
Just the other day (Tuesday, 5/9/23) Erique Tarrio, a former Proud-Boys leader was jailed for 22 years for his part in attack on Capitol, which was the major aspect of the plot to elongate the tenure of Trump. But Trump keeps saying it wasn’t me! Funny enough I know another fellow, who has probably more damaging baggage than ‘St Trump’. But while Trump keeps on dismissing his own with a wave of hand and unparalleled braggadocio the other fellow just pretends as if nothing is happening!
Our people say that whatever type of firewood that exists in a community should suffice for its cooking needs, just as it is said that as you make your bed so you shall enjoy it. But this mindset should not hold with the position of Us in the global ecosystem and the effects of what Trump did or failed to do across the world. So how did US end up with St Donald nwa Trumpu? Was it that they did not see all these shenanigans encapsulating him or that they wanted to have a real-man instead of a lily-livered Kenyan (Obama), or that Trump bought over key individuals and institutions- as they have been doing in Nigeria and just did on an industrial scale recently?
How could Americans not see Trump and all he stood( and still stands) for when the son of man in far Ago-Iwoye saw it even without looking at my mystical Pot? On 19/2/17, when he was still fresh in office, I gave my verdict on Trump( Ik Muo: Trumpocracy: A new year, a new America and a new world , Guardian. 19/2/17) and here are some excerpts:
‘The fact that a Trump won the nomination was bad enough, and that he even went on to win despite his queer USP is shocking and indicates that the America that we knew- in terms of culture, values and dispositions- was actually fake. So that is what Americans wanted and that is what they have. But, it is a new America. However, my attention took a quantum leap when I noticed the extent to which we have exported our political practices to the U.S. In the first instance, it was a replication of ‘Ekiti 2014’ in which Goliath (Fayemi), with his performance, charisma, urbanity, suavity, grace, civility and good education was roundly defeated by David ( Fayose), with a lot of question marks, ongoing trial for corruption, rejection by Ekiti elites, disrespect for elders and lack of Omoluabi ethos.( Ik Muo: Still on Ekiti Elections: Cooked Rice, Raw Rice and the Trouble with Nigeria: BusinessDay, 29/7/14).
In the U.S., Clinton with a most distinguished career in public service; an unprecedented level of preparation for the job and compelling experience was defeated by Trump who had a legendary penchant for self-love that hovers on the borders of narcissism and an overall phenomenon that is at best a critique of democracy, and especially the U.S. electoral college system, which ensured that a candidate who lost by three million popular votes won an election (Femi Mimiko, Guardian, 22/1/17). Trump won through the Electoral College contraption which he had described as a ‘disaster for democracy” following Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney in 2012. Other practices they imported from us include accusation of rigging before the election, demonstrations after the results were announced, recounting of votes, boycotting of the inauguration by the opposition, gutter language campaign, and arguments targeted at the person (argumentum ad hominine).
There was also nostalgic comparison between the new and the old: Obama, a conscientious and intelligent leader who espoused humane values, inspired millions of Americans and successfully fulfilled some of his most significant promises.(Times Editorial, 17/1/17), with impeccable manners, intelligence, wonderful family values he stood for, (Guardian Life, 15/1/17, pL3) being succeeded by Trump, with an unusual combination of ego, arrant lack of critical experience, a particularly inappropriate temperament, and embarrassing ignorance of the nuances of global diplomacy.
As for the First Ladies, it has been class (Michelle, Doctor of law from Harvard and Dean, Princeton University) and trash (Melania: a nudist model!). Americans have also shown how they feel about this ‘profoundly un-American president’, as indicated by the fact that within eight days, majority of Americans disapproved of his presidency by a margin of 45% to 48% (Obama only lost majority approval after 936 days). His inauguration was attended by only 900000 ( Obama, 2m+) and marked by violent protests; his post inauguration rating was just 40% (Obama had 78) while Americans regret that their values are at odds with a president who ‘lies promiscuously, destabilizes the government with impulsive, discriminatory, and inhumane policies backed up with jarring firings, and cannot allow his White House to apologise or admit error under any circumstances’.
He has also departed from American traditions in that while Lincoln proclaimed ‘charity for all and with malice toward none’, Trump offers ‘charity for none and malice toward all except Russia’ (Jonathan Alter, The Daily Beast, 1/2/17). The ‘demagogic’ campaigner who executed a ‘hostile takeover’ of White house had delivered the ‘most dreadful inaugural address’ at the most ‘ominous inauguration day’ in U.S. history that is ‘leading America away from the world’ and marks the ‘end of the American century’. Like Nigerian politicians, he is bent on rubbishing Obama’s policies, starting with Obamacare and strangely he is probing the election which he ‘won’. He has appointed his fellow billionaires and his in-law into his government, decided to retain his massive business empire and had acted in such strange ways that three professors of psychiatry requested President Obama to conduct ‘a full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation’ on Donald Trump’s mental health because they believe he is suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Trump runs an ‘Abnormal Presidency’ and his America only’ declaration has led to tumbling of stocks and Dollars.
His difference from Nigerian politicians is that he is delivering the queer change he promised. We also have a new world in which America, the cornerstone global world and free trade is now under Trump, doing everything to destroy and destabilize the world. As at now, nobody is sure of anything under a president who deliberately disrupts the world (Robbin Wright, New Yorker Magazine, 17/1/17), works with aids who openly disagree with him on Iran, NATO, Russia and Japan, and probably enjoys the palpable nervousness in European capitals. He has gone ahead with the Mexico wall and even wants Mexico to contribute; he has shut out most of the Muslim world though he is accused of excluding countries where he has interest. He is at war with NATO, UN, EU the media and in particular, CNN, fellow republicans, immediate past president, and market forces and is also facing revolt from corporate America as exemplified by FORD. He is driven by a transactional mentality to U.S. foreign policy and many of his ideas disparage the principles, institutions, and alliances central to U.S. foreign policy.
Not many expected this turn of event but ‘It is when people are saying how quiet and peaceful it is, that sudden destruction falls on them as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman, and there is no escape. (1 Thessalonians,5:3) Trump has hatred for others and appeared to have read Haman letter advising King Ahasuerus to do away with certain ill-disposed people unique in kind, who behave in such a way as to obstruct the form of government that leads to general good, hostile to our interests, commit most heinous of crimes, endangering the stability of our realm (Esther, 3:13 Jerusalem Bible). He is preaching and practising a change, away from empathy, humanity and justice, to an age of hate, disrespect, fear and even impunity!
Yes; he is delivering on his campaign promises; promises that freely show MALICE TOWARD ALL. This is what the Americans asked for (is it?) and so they have to live with it. Unfortunately however, the troubler of America is also troubling the world. Instead of an inclusive, peaceful, healed, unified and transformed world, Trump is working furiously towards a traumatised, divided, and hate-full world that is in pieces. The bull is on rampage and everyone is running for cover. Even the Trumpeteers are terrified. Who or what can stop him? How prepared is the U.S. constitution and the Judiciary for this strange phenomenon? I am afraid, both for the U.S. and for the world! Meanwhile, I insist that Trump be pressurized to undergo that full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation as advised by U.S. psychiatrists. It will be good to see what the outcome will be’( the end).
Trump organized a successful state-capture in America in that he inundated the White House with people like himself and attempted to turn the system upside down. But the US constitution and institutions have come in to fight for America. Our people say that a person whose name is ‘High scent’ should not be smelling like refuse dump’; that a person whose name is ROOFus should not be leaving in a hose with a leaky roof! It is also said that when the Headmaster breaks the chalk-board, then the students will go berserk. If America, the author, finisher and wholesale distributor of democracy, (including Nigerian democracy) turns all democratic processes and rule of law upside down, then democracy is endangered. America is trying to recover from the years of Trumpocracy (government of Trump by Trump for Trumpeters), Trumpology (The political Ideology of Trump) and Trumpism (the ascent and triumph of Trumpocracy and Trumpology) through the efforts of its sturdy institutions. But my question still remains: why did they not foresee this scenario, despite their personal, societal and institutional sophistications? Why and how did America descend so low?
Thuli and Fani: The former knocked out Zuma ; the later Nailed St Trumpu!
By the way, have you noticed the similarity between those who dealt with Trump and Zuma? Zuma was dealt with by Thuli Madonsela, a 60 year old public prosecutor while Trumpu was nailed by Fani Willis, a 52 year old Fulton County District Attorney! What women cannot do does not exist!
- By the way, it appears that I am still practicing Afghanistanism: Writing about Trumpu and America while Nigeria is literally on FIRE. Well, that is as the spirit directs!
Ik Muo, PhD. FCIB. Department of Business Administration, OOU, Ago-Iwoye. 08033026624