Trump's leadership modus operandi runs parallel to the business models employed by entities in the fossil fuel industry, which he is in hock to, and which he must continue to appease to ensure financial support in his bid for reelection. Their operations fall into three broad categories namely: exploration, production and marketing. Damage to the common good of humanity resulting from rapacious activities is a non-factor.
This methodology is on a par with Trump's deplorable exploitation of racial divides, which he drills, lubricates and pipelines to his support base. It is redundant to expand on this sorry state of affairs, as there is an abundance of empirical evidence in the public sphere. In this connection, as a Christian and humanitarian, I would be remiss if I failed to highlight Trump's abominable signature immigration policy, dealing with lawful asylum seekers at the US Southern border, commonly referred to as "kids in cages." Specifically brown nursing infants and children; whose tragic plight is presently unknown, but which has no doubt worsened as a result of Covid 19.
Trump has always prided himself as a masterful branding guru, slapping his name on anything with a surface. He launched his political career and staked his political fortunes on his overtly racist and false claims about President Obama's birthplace, known as the "birther" conspiracy theory. The Machiavellian ploy yielded the desired effect, as it appealed to certain segments of the population, which coalesced to form his base. With his ground game solid and secure, he was unharnessed and off to the races and has never looked back.
His political brand is synonymous with racism, which has become an integral facet of his leadership style, monikered 'Trumpism.' Trump has endeared himself to disparate elements within the white supremacy orbit, whether they are card carrying adherents, sympathizers or cynics willing to turn a blind eye for selfish, myopic ends. This hodgepodge of fellow travelers includes high-octane political enablers, captains of industry, rank and file devotees of the white nationalism persuasion, a broad spectrum of the Christian right and simple-minded pawns.
The US economy is in dire straits, due to Trump's grossly negligent mismanagement of the Covid 19 pandemic; a situation he compounds on a daily basis by his wholehearted embrace of magical thinking and obdurate rejection of clear science. It is strongly believed he will return to the trough to gin-up racial tensions, in order to whip his bottom-feeders into a frenzy of resentment and sow more seeds of white racial grievance. That any of his apologists would venture to attempt to advance insincere, feeble or pathetic protestations to the contrary, is futile, as myriad exhibits of Trumps aberrant and disgraceful behaviour are etched in stone. Ergo, we do not have to exercise our mental faculties too rigorously to convince ourselves of the existence of this sick, ugly pattern. His latest puerile "Obamagate" gobbledygook springs to mind. His reckless race-baiting is randomly interspersed with unsubtle, public rants about second amendment rights.
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It is against this backdrop that the gory details of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery; a young unarmed black man on a leisurely Sunday jog in Georgia, have come to light. Ahmaud, who posed no threat to anyone, was murdered by a white father and son duo. A third white individual has also been charged as a participant in the crime. The fact that initial charges were brought only after a video of his killing went viral, is inherently problematic, and speaks to the value of black lives. Ahmaud's mother, Wanda Jones told CBS News that her son ''was not committing a crime. He was out for his daily jog and he was hunted down like an animal and killed.'' She is absolutely right.
Not too long ago, I made an unforgettable trip to South Africa, where I visited a wild life sanctuary. Before leaving the safety and security of the edifices and staffed grounds, our tour group was issued a severe warning. To wit, if we were to endanger ourselves, our tour guide would not be able to help or rescue anyone. Our first wild life encounter was with several ostriches, seemingly benign and clumsy. The latter impression was bolstered by the fact that they are flightless birds; we were soon disabused of the former notion, as we were informed that ostriches are very aggressive and possess tremendous kicking power which can rip open the chest and stomach of a human with one blow.
Our next encounter was with a pack of wild dogs, having nothing in common with their domesticated cousins, otherwise known as "man's best friend's.'' The undisputed high point of the foray into the wilderness was the visit to lion territory, where we witnessed the unvarnished spectacle of a pride of lions, ripping and devouring the bloodied, quivering raw flesh of their unlucky prey. To my astonishment, our guide opined, that he would much rather fall prey to lions than to a pack of wild dogs. The fact of the matter is that lions will kill their prey before consuming its flesh, whereas, wild dogs will rip the flesh off their living prey and death would be agonizingly slow and painful. The summary of the foregoing account, is that the law of the jungle is characterized by ferocity, carnage and a lack of mercy. In the animal kingdom this creates equilibrium and ensures the survival of all animal species, however, the same law would cause unmitigated catastrophe, pain and suffering in human society.
The truth is that Ahmaud was killed and rent asunder, by his assailants, who employed the full panoply of cunning tactics and skills of wild animals, on a predatory expedition. Albeit, in defense of these generally fine, noble creatures, they lack the "mens rea" mental capacity humans possess, and kill for survival purposes. Ahmaud was hunted down by a pack of human predators. They must have literally smelled his fear and sensed his utter confusion and panic. This would have led to their heightened excitement, causing them to bask in their raw power, sense of purpose and impending accomplishment. Their victim was tracked, stalked, chased, ambushed, cornered and killed. His life-force was consumed, along with all his hopes and dreams. Their 'victory' was captured, celebrated and memorialized in a taped video of 'the hunt.'
The alarming topic we should now be addressing with Trumpism in ''full flower,'' is how far Trump will go in summoning the evil, destructive forces of racism-run-amok, to take center stage, and have full expression. Trump's undeclared, open war on racial tolerance and harmony, was unequivocally confirmed by his public reference to African nations, as s***hole countries. More recently, his twisted fascination with eugenics reared its vile head during his trip to a Ford auto plant in Michigan, which is now manufacturing ventilators to assist in the Covid 19 pandemic response, where he veered off-topic to wax lyrical on good ''blood lines.'' His working philosophy concerning race is still very much in the ether. Ahmaud Arbery was African American. Trump may not have been a member of the hunting party, but he willfully created a conducive environment for the hunters to feel empowered and invincible.
Trump's quick march to installing himself as a tin pot dictator, has been aided by his drunk-on-power; hail fellow-well-met; Republican Party lawmakers, who shield him from accountability and removal from office, despite his egregious corrupt dealings. These include open bribery and extortion of a foreign leader. They are shameless oath breakers, who have no qualms in joining him on his chosen route to creeping, clawing and scratching his way to absolute power. This familiar road is paved with gold, in terms of political rewards. His descent on the golden escalator to officially launch his 2016 presidential candidacy, demonizing Mexicans as rapists and murderers, yet clinching his Party's nomination, would be positive proof to him to stay on track.
A society denigrating and denying the humanity of a racial group, based on the colour of their skin and/ or other extraneous factors, and depriving them of a modicum of humanness and civility, is a society toying with barbarity and looming implosion. Martin Niemoller (1892 - 1984) was a prominent Lutheran pastor and outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler, resulting in his seven year incarceration in a Nazi German concentration camp. His iconic words were full of self-recrimination and regret. Niemoller lamented his role as a bystander, whilst Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party carried out wholesale acts of barbarity, violence and lawlessness against innocent populations. He stated the following; "First they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Finally, they came for me and there was no one left to speak out."