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OP-ED: Elegy for the most powerful man

  • Published at 01:28 am January 16th, 2021
Donald Trump
Photo: REUTERS

The outgoing president of the most influential nation has struck the last nail in the coffin

The man. A businessman. A TV star. An actor. A politician. Finally, the president of the most influential nation-state on Earth, who is, of course, presumably, the most powerful person. He started his term by negating the values his predecessors have disseminated and at the same time, he started admonishing the media, terming the fourth estate as “fake.”

We didn’t mind. Sometimes the news is, well, indeed, fake.

But the world didn’t like him, the heads of all nation-states laughed about him, some pitied him. But he persisted. He continued as a president.

Why? Because he was the head of state of one of the most powerful democracies and one of the strongest economies of the world.

In the last year of his four-year term, he had the biggest opportunity to deal with the state of affairs of his own country as well as the globe.

The Covid crisis was his perfect opportunity. We in a “middle-class” nation-state felt he had a great opportunity to protect his countrymen, preventing them from being infected with the virus and dying of it. Covid came as a boon for many leaders across the world in many countries, and they utilized that opportunity quite prudently. Many have succeeded, and I’m sure they would be remembered in the histories of those countries for many, many years.

This crisis showed that all the heads of state had a score to achieve by serving their people. But this man didn’t want to do that. 

All he cared about and was obsessed about was his re-election as the president. 

We commoners believe that people who have tasted power will always want to remain in power. However, in a country like his, we thought it would be different.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t like that. The man lost in the polls and couldn’t accept that he lost. He, a sitting president, became the author of an insurrection. He commanded his supporters to stage an onslaught on their parliament building. 

The world was flabbergasted. The world also saw his family members dancing -- while they watched it on TV -- with joy when the attackers were invading that building.

Unless he had the intention to do permanent damage to the country’s history, he, in his right mind, would not have staged such an attack.

The country has already been in an image crisis for several decades. More acutely since 9/11. The outgoing president has struck the last nail in the coffin. 

His country may be one of the most influential economies of the world, but it has not behaved like one. So many agencies, think-tanks, and intelligent minds in that country couldn’t save it from the economic downturn.

The country may have been acting as a self-proclaimed global policeman and willing vanguard of international security, but the glaring internal security breaches have been pathetic. 

This is the country that has always criticized other countries for their state of human rights, keeping its own rights issues under the carpet. It has now lost its moral right to admonish other countries for what they were doing in their own lands.

Many may argue that the institutions of that country are very strong and this single incident would not damage the long practice of democracy in that country. 

True, their institutions are very strong and that’s why they have started taking action against the outgoing president.

We feel sorry for him, and the country that he has represented in the last four years. From all his speeches and tweety-statements, it was very difficult to fathom his objectives and strategies for a collective development and peace. In the past years, there were some systematic guidelines from the country’s presidents, but these last four years were a mess in terms of clarity.

We also didn’t imagine some people would be that crazy to stage an insurrection in the building where their laws are formulated. 

That craziness has led to dire political instability in that country. Perhaps the man wanted exactly this to happen. He perhaps wanted to change the country’s politics negatively for good and that perhaps is going to happen now. Politics will not be the same again for them.

We have seen many leaders who have failed in their countries, but we haven’t seen anything like this man -- ever. Pity for him.

Ekram Kabir is a yogi, a story-teller, and a communications professional. His other works can be found on ekramkabir.com.

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