Did you listen to Trump’s speech to both houses of Congress on Tuesday February 28, 2017? He started off with one sentence about Black History Month then veered to talk about attacks on Jewish institutions etc and completely forgot or neglected to talk a little more about Black history and the experiences of Black people in America.
You could see that he has no clue about the history of a significant segment of the American population. You could also see that the speech was written by Steve Bannon, Trump’s National Security Advisor, veering towards Jewish issues and crime, law and order.
For his constituency and those who say give Trump a chance, it was a great speech indeed. And if you hadn’t known Trump’s extreme hostility to the alternative universe and decency, you could fall for him. Indeed the unwary have fallen for him in this speech.
And the Democrats have a lot of work to do because Trump is scoring points and if he is a quick Learner and becomes more populist, he could mesmerize the unschooled. Hitler did. All dictators have a knack for rhetorical and endearing florishes. Dictators can be loveable people.
After all politics is full of irrationality and illogicality. If one goes back to Trump’s old YouTube videos where Trump stated clearly that if he ran for the Presidency, he will go for the uneducated white -collar workers, the Archie Bunker-type who are neglected by elitist politics and won’t question him. He did just that with the help of the media, unwittingly.
There is an appeal also to white supremacy and crime, law and order, an ideological ensemble that never fails to win votes whether in Zambia, South Africa, Canada, the USA and everywhere. Trump has to be watched very closely because if the Democrats and the intelligent part of the global world go to sleep, Trump will win again in 2020. Chameleons are durable people.
Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa
Dean, School of Law at Zambian Open University