America Deserves Trump
Most Americans voted for him to seek if a magician can save them and the country from structural mess.
By Mansoor Durrani
Although, I had planned to write this article about four months ago– right after the nomination of Trump as a Republican candidate, I managed to convince myself that this is only a “Republican verdict” and I should wait for the “American verdict”.
Americans have now given their verdict!
Let’s remember: American “greatness” stands on two pillars, 1-Military Might, and 2- Economic Prowess.
Global media and folks in power make us believe that the world is divided between bad guys (Muslims) and good guys (everybody else). I agree that the world is split into two camps, but I have a long held view that the two groups are: rich+powerful and poor+oppressed. And both categories are all-faith.
So, we have a small minority in the world that is rich and powerful (Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews etc.). They are one cohesive group and their only true religion is to acquire power and wealth at any cost. Whereas, a huge majority is poor and oppressed – consists of all faiths. It is at the mercy of the rich and powerful group. Always!
For instance, research shows that the socio-economic conditions of Blacks and Latinos (largely Christians) is worse than others in the US. Similarly, the socio-economic condition of Dalits and Tribals (mainly Hindus) in many parts of India is as bad as a vast majority of Indian Muslims.
According to the American Psychological Association, African-American children are three times more likely to live in poverty than White/Caucasian children. Poor and oppressed are more likely to receive high-cost mortgages: African- Americans (53%) and Latinos (43% in comparison to White/Caucasians (18%). Unemployment rates for African-Americans are typically double those of White/ Caucasian Americans.
African-American men working full time earn 72% of the average earnings of comparable Caucasian men and 85% of the earnings of White/Caucasian women. African-Americans and Latinos in low-poverty areas were more likely to be referred for commitment by a law enforcement official than any other racial group.
But let me step back to exactly a lunch-table conversation with the former CEO of my bank eight years ago. That was the day after first of the two Obama victories. For some strange reasons (or for no reason) oppressed communities across the world, among them black and Muslims, were elated with that outcome. They naively thought that under Obama, their lives will be more safe, secured and more dignified.
My reaction was: US Presidents are only “actors”! They are not directors or producers. The real movers and shakers sit at the Capitol Hill. Nothing has changed there and nothing will ever change there. So, absolutely no need to get overly optimistic by seeing the first black man in the White House!
History proved it right: Former US President George W. Bush started the drone attacks outside declared war zones. During his tenure, 58 drone strikes killed over 300 innocent men, women and children in a couple of Muslim countries.
Then came “our own” President Obama! Since assuming the most powerful office on the planet in 2009, he significantly extended the use of drones. After years of denial, on 1 July 2016, the US government finally admitted that it has conducted 473 “counter-terrorism” strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya from 2009 to 2015. Adding drone strikes in Afghanistan and Iraq takes this number to over 800, resulting in the deaths of over 5,000 Muslims. This figure alone is more than double the number of Americans killed in the 9/11 attacks!
This, obviously, excludes the deaths and permanent crippling of over one million people and unprecedented destruction resulting from America’s “declared wars” in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 15 years! Nor does it account for the half-hearted US interventions in Libya and strongly tacit support to Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad and Egypt’s General Sissi – which together have cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives!
After having fought (and literally lost) the longest war in US history in Afghanistan, the morale of its security establishment is at an all-time low – and so it should be. If a 900-pound gorilla fights with a 700, 800 or 900-pound opponent and loses, then it is OK. However, if he is not able to tame a minion even after struggling for 15 long years, then that is not fathomable by any stretch of imagination!
Consequently, about 20% of US army personnel who served in Iraq, are suffering from Post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This situation leads, very often, to suicides.
Race Relations are Bad
In a Leadership Program at Harvard Business School last month, I met an ex US Army officer who is now the founder and CEO of a New York-based NGO “Stop Soldiers Suicide”! Frequent conversations with him made me realize that when an organization run by an insider is exclusively dedicated to saving soldiers from committing suicides, nothing more needs to be said about the morale and future of the US military might!
Now, at the fag end of Obama Presidency, “pessimism about race relations in America is higher than it has been in nearly a generation, according to a new Washington Post-ABC Newspoll. In the aftermath of the mass shooting of police officers in Dallas and the high-profile police shooting deaths of two black men, in Baton Rouge and suburban St. Paul, Minn., more than 6 in 10 adults say race relations are generally bad, and a majority say they are getting worse” (Washington Post 16 July, 2016).
The man is entering the White House when the US economy is in deep structural mess. A part of the reason why Americans have voted him in is to see if a “magician” can save them from imminent disaster when “seasoned politicians” completely failed them over the past several decades. The passengers of sinking ships do not conduct extensive screening or interviews of a new captain. They simply put on the wheel whoever makes the loudest promises of saving them — regardless of his track record or qualifications!
(Extracted from caravandaily.com