I begin with a confession. I was one of the few Nigerians or even black skinned folks who were in full support of Trump presidency during the US presidential campaign. And to be honest, I made no attempt to hide it. It was for this simple reason. If Trump was going to make it that little bit more difficult for foreigners to emigrate to the US, then maybe, just maybe, Nigerians will turn their sights on how to make their own country a better place to live. So, I do believe my rationale was a patriotic one. My thinking was, if uncle Trump follows through on his campaign promise of putting Americans first, then our kleptomaniac leaders may be compelled to improve the lot of their own nation. Even if the motivation is not a sudden desire to serve the people, like they swore an oath to do, selfish interest may inadvertently compel them to do right by us; purely because the destinations which usually welcome them and their ill-gotten loot with open arms would have reduced by one. And a very big one at that. Whether this has worked out quite as I hoped, your guess is as good as mine.
Suffice to say I’m as dumbfounded as the next person by some of uncle Trump’s verbal indiscretions since he came to office and the two fingers he seems to relish in sticking up at both the establishment and the traditional way of doing things. Presidential behaviour has assumed an entirely different meaning and as far as he’s concerned he owes no one any apologies. Not the nation’s long-time allies in Europe and neighbouring Canada, nor multilateral organizations as represented by NATO. Quite surprisingly, he doesn’t care much either for diplomatic niceties when dealing with a country whose global ambitions daily threatens the USA’s increasingly precarious position at the top of the economic hill. Just ask China. But I must say this; and if one day I’m tempted to put all decorum to one side, I would gladly shout it from the roof top, in many ways I wish we had a leader like Trump. I really do. For all his controversies, big, and I mean big mistakes, I admire him for one thing. He puts his country first. Especially when it comes to the economy. The world was shocked when he opted to apply the same principle in dealing with the USA’s traditional friends, allies and trading partners such as Britain, France, Germany, Canada and Mexico to name just a few as he does with its biggest rival, China. Except in a few cases he declined to offer anyone preferential treatment. His overriding goal is to do what’s best for his country and its people. Get her the best deals possible. Even if that means fraying some sensibilities, it’s a small price to pay.
Since Trump became president, the US economy has been booming. The stock market has hardly ever had it so good. Unprecedented number of jobs are being created monthly. Once comatose factories are coming back to life as goods hitherto produced outside of the US are now manufactured in God’s own country. Call it protectionism if you like but he’s doing exactly what he promised the electorate during his campaign. He’s putting America first. As nauseating and downright reprehensible some of his campaign promises admittedly were, this man has faithfully gone about implementing them. An apparent penchant for alternative facts aside, he has gone on to display an enviable level of integrity. His campaign promises did not die a natural death as they remained mere promises but surged to life through systematic implementation and because of this, his base trust him. Why? He didn’t abandon his covenant with them once he got what he wanted. Warts and all, he gives us no reason to search for further evidence he went there to serve. For the first time in world history, we’ve begun to hear of companies valued at over a trillion dollars. These behemoths can almost literally buy Nigeria and still have significant change left over. Oh boy! And it’s all happening during uncle Trump’s time. Love him or loathe him, that’s the fact.
Whether all this will ultimately result in making America great again is something we’re yet to see. The greatness of a nation cannot be measured solely by its economic distinctions. Many other factors must also come to play. I won’t even attempt to name them all here but one I will mention is, its contribution to our sense of humanity. At this point, the very current Khashoggi case comes to mind.