The calls for “Making America Great” are never going to stop. The swamp will never have been “drained” enough. The Mexicans will always pose a “threat.”
Why? Because none of those things were supposed to come to fruition anyway.
Allow me to let you in on a little secret — certain crises are artificially constructed, others perpetually maintained — all so that you still have a reason to vote.
Let me show you what I mean. My country was ruled by democratic dictators for 30 years. And every single campaign was nothing more than promises of how they’d end corruption and poverty. But none of it happened. It wasn’t supposed to. You see, corruption directly affected the average citizen and they wanted it to be put to an end. But when the people making the promises were the ones doing it, how was it going to stop? Or take the other example, poverty. I truly believe it was systematically maintained nationwide. Why? For the simple fact that there would be no reason left for people to vote for them if that was taken care of.
Trump did the same. “No oil, no guns and no God.” That’s what he said would happen if he lost. But had he won, religion, the oil industry and the rights of Americans to bear arms would still have been “under threat.” You see, dictators need to make you feel like the things you hold most sacred are under attack. Why? Because it diverts your attention from their own evils. Because it drives you to the polling booths.
That’s how dictators win. They toy with your emotions. In their game, the people are pawns that they move around as and when they please.
And why do they do this in the first place? Greed, ambition, and an unmatched lust for power. When those are the only things driving politicians, they’re not going to come to you with policy initiatives. They’re going to come to you with grand statements, unrealistic promises and lies.
How do they do that? It ranges from telling you your democracy is under attack, the establishment is out to get you and everything in between. These tactics are tried and tested. I’ve seen dictators do this time and again and Trump is no different — he’s a case in point.
He may have told you he was going to “Make America Great.” But that was a lie. He may have told you the election was rigged. That too was a lie. Or that he was out there, every day, fighting for you — the people. Yup, lie.
Because when push came to shove, he chose himself over the preserving the very system through which you gave him power. This is what dictators do. When everything is rosy, they can seem like they’re the best friends you have in this world. But lay a hand on their power and they’ll show you who they’re really working for.
And for those who think this is something that you’d only see in countries that are uneducated or rife with poverty, that statement might have been true at one point. But not anymore. Because Trump has proved that even the most powerful country in the world is vulnerable.
But will Republicans understand that? Or will they keep on believing that their man in the White House really is their man?
Let me frame this another way. I’ve seen both dictators and an honest leader. All of them claimed they were men and women of the people. How do you know the difference? The one who really cares doesn’t lie even when it costs him politically.
Why? Because his aim isn’t power or authority. To him, that’s merely a means to an end — a goal of a nation more prosperous and unified than ever. And if people like that have to give up their office to achieve that, you can count on them to do so.
But Trump? Let’s take the lies first. How many? Uncountable. The deliberate misinformation? Enough for Twitter to place a big warning sign under the tweets of a sitting president of the United States. And if that wasn't enough, the platform now prompts you after you press ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ on his election result tweets, asking you if you're sure you want to like or retweet disputed information. And as for giving up office? Funny, he nearly compromised American democracy forever trying to stay in power.
Why am I saying all this? Because there will come a time when you’ll see all this for yourself. But at that point, it’ll be too late. You’ll realise you were played and your country had to pay a price in the process. No leader, if they really put country before themselves, will ever be willing to destroy their country’s most important institution just to stay in power. And that’s not a partisan statement by the way. That’s decency.
It’s something Trump doesn’t have. And he will likely never have. Someone who stands on a podium and proclaims he cares for all Americans, and means it, will never mock those of his citizens who have special needs or vilify those who are women. By definition, they too are American.
Who Trump was a president for was mainly White, gun-bearing, Christian American men who’d chase the opposition out of State on his behalf. Why? Because those were the only Americans who were of any use to him. Their numbers, intimidation and willingness to become violent was what Trump would have needed to stay in power had things gone south. The day he realises he can’t be president again, it’ll be as if they never existed.
And it’s partly their fault too. They enabled him. Instead of doing their job as the electorate and holding Trump to account, many turned to what you could call “politician worship.” They forgot Trump was supposed to work for them and not the other way around. You see, if a politician raises their hands and says, “I will Make America Great Again,” you need to come back with “how?”
I know it sounds simple, but it’s a question many Republicans never asked. And that has a ripple effect. It breeds unquestionable loyalty — loyalty which is going to be put to the test now that Biden has been voted in by the electors. Will there be more protests? More misinformation? More violence?
This is where a lot of Republicans will need to do some soul searching and ask themselves the simple question of “why?” Why are they still going to wave Trump flags? Why are they still going to organise caravans? All for a man who’s going to forget them until he needs something from them again?
Make no mistake — like most dictators, Trump will eventually fall in their eyes too. But will it be too late? Will the damage already have been done? That remains to be seen. But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that if Republicans are to do what’s best for American democracy, then they need to let Trump take the fall — himself. Because I’ve seen enough dictators to know that they all eventually fall — the only question is whether Republicans are willing to let their country suffer in the process.