THE FALLACY OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

In the fourty six years I have lived in these United States I never thought I would see what we are seeing today. Richard Nixon is beginning to look like a saint (he was not), and his sins are beginning to pale in light of what we have seen in the last two weeks.

A racist, bigot, homophobe is occupying the People’s House – the White House, purely because during the most contentious campaign in history that we saw in 2016, Donald Trump lied and told alternative facts, and people swallowed it.

It is too soon to put everything in context, but a few issues come to mind.

Hilary Clinton was a very weak candidate, and most of the electorate did not trust her, especially women and the youths. She did not seem to have a clear message, other than the fact that she wanted to be the first woman president in America. Well, that was not enough.

Second, after a black President, think what you want, Americans were not going to elect a woman. On top of that, not Obama’s former Secretary of State whom they were convinced would preserve Obama’s legacy.

Racism is alive and well in America, and Trump appealed to the worst human instincts, and he did so openly, and won.

I watched the election returns in Kigali, and all my friends could not believe what we had just done. How could I in good conscience defend it, other than to say, the people had spoken and Trump’s win is the risk you take with democracy.

But is this really democracy? What happened to One Man, One Vote? Clinton got 2.86 million votes more than Trump, but she lost the election. Much for the Electoral College.

After this sham, can America really go around the world preaching to other countries about democratic ideals?

In the words of Mit Romney, Trump is a “fraud” and a “phony”. We are in for an interesting and tumultuous four years. I hate to think it could be eight, but I have temporarily lost faith in this Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

One thing is true, however, as parents here always tell their children: Even you, can be president. Look who is occupying the White House. Why not Mickey Mouse?

Trump is not going to make America great again. It already is. Those are code words to revive white extremism, bigotry and take us back 50 years.

Trump’s latest ban on immigrants is baffling, racist and does not make America safe. Even more pazzling coming from a man whose wives have mostly been immigrants. And his ban did not include Saudi Arabia, home to 16 of the 19 terrorists on 9/11. Could this be an attempt to protect his vast business interests in Saudi Arabia? I smell a rat.

That Donald Trump has his finger on our nuclear arsenal is worrying. It is going to be a rocky, dizzying and dangerous ride. Tighten your seat belts.

About Willis Shalita

I am a writer who is very impassioned about Rwanda and its remarkable journey from the barbaric carnage of Genocide against Tutsi. I am an avid photographer. I believe the African story should be told through African lenses. Our time has come. If not now, when?
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