By MA Iliasu
In November 2020 when it came to light that Senator Biden has defeated president Trump after winning the highest number of votes for any fresher in American history, Donald Trump has also lost after winning the highest number of votes won by any incumbent in the history of United States. Among others, that inform the understanding that America is another house divided, and an established political environment that’s slowly balancing in aggressive division.
And when such aggressive division combines with a rare encounter with a popular loser who refuses to concede defeat not because he doesn’t believe he was defeated but because he believes he should retain his office even after defeat, then an uncalled carnage like the laughable event at the US capitol yesternight will certainly follow. For on one hand a large section of an aggrieved voters who voted for Trump were given a reason to believe they could still have their man at the helm despite being outweighed by a far bigger section of a jubilating majority of voters who put their trust in their democratic rights. And on the other hand they were given a platform to showcase their anger for being a defeated minority despite being astronomical in number, which they respond by employing carnage.
The case of Donald Trump as a politician and US president will remain as intriguing during his campaign as it’ll be on 20th January when Senator Biden gets sworn in. Every single aspect of the very existence of Trump as a politician represents an exceptional deflection from both the practical and theoretical expectation. And that raises a massive concern. For when abnormality takes place abnormality happens.
Firstly he was a contestant whom nobody among the ruling class trusts who went on to win the election. Then as expected, he went on to defy the wishes of the ruling class as a payback to their disloyalty, which as Yanis Varoufakis would say, helped in fixing a significant part of the damaged social welfare of an average American factory worker. And that scored him economic accomplishments and confirmed his claim as a successful businessman. His discontent towards rule of law which almost get him impeached was as clear as sun. But then the emerging savage political actions Trump is displaying is something that can never be defined by either sane politics or constitutional democracy. And it’ll raise questions that are warranted to be answered by as little as speculation – which is his own very weapon of mass destruction.
Has Trump really ever been a champion of social welfare and economic development, like Ronald Reagan, which is his biggest and overflogged accomplishment, or is he just a rare case of a policymaker whose focused hatred towards the ruling class coincides with economic move that coincidentally boost the US Economy? Has Donald Trump ever been an honest mass alternative to politicians that are loyal only to the system and not the people or is he just a rare member of the ruling class who has always been looking to besiege and bring the whole institution down which’ll always side with its antagonist and now get enough reason to do so after losing the election?
In any way, the actions of Donald Trump signify among the others the peak of a political society that emerged from the grass of colonialism and civil war to the grace of democracy and republicanism as determined by solidarity and patriotic consciousness. From the disaster of economic crash to the debtor of the entire economic world as determined by military might and intercepting the chance in the aftermath of the Second World War. From a political and military colleague to a mediator as determined by technical know-how and visionary policymakers. From just an another affected member of collective tragedy to the major determinant and solver by the virtue of strong democratic institution and powerful foreign policy. Who, however, is now peaking by subconsciously allowing people like Trump the power to give people the platform to complete the Abdulrahman Ibn Khaldoun’s circle of Assabiyah.
Assabiyah is like a fuel that’s lurking in every political society, which needs just a little spark to start a raging fire. Trump, the biggest surprise of the millennium, represents a big surprise of the spark emanating from a ruling class member. His presence in the political environment incubated a historic disaster to the coexistence of American harmony. And his success was a massive mistake – at least from the angle of socio-institutional harmony.
Finally the actions of Donald Trump may not justify such prediction. But I think there’s something that matters more. Political Scientists have delivered a prolific bush-fire dimension which never fails to explain the compounding correlation political events in one country have on another. Especially now that the world is more one than two courtesy of the universal unification and globalisation of internet and social media. The watchers of the democratic tragedy in America from the sidelines should take note. The institutional power of United States of America could bail its way out of this even on a short term. But even as such it’ll only do so as a rare case of a modern political society capable of defying the odds. Certainly, if the compounding effects of American platform of mass disobedience gets out of the US borders, other countries may not endure. And carnage, civil unrest, institutional siege, etc, will become a norm as determined by the solidarity and patriotic consciousness to complete the circle of Assabiyah. Countries like Nigeria can testify when a carbon copy of Black Lives Matter protest as a response to George Floyd’s murder was given birth to bearing the EndSars veil in Lagos.
MA Iliasu is an economist who writes from Kano. He can be reached through his email: Muhada102@gmail.com