It is fun to watch.
The meltdown of western liberals over what they are desperately calling ‘the end of democracy.’ The rise of right-wing nationalist politics in America, Europe and elsewhere has bamboozled liberals, and in the process exposed their hypocrisy. Donald Trump in the U.S, Boris Johnson in The UK, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orbán in Hungary; none of these men ascended to power through a coup d’etat. They were all duly elected by their citizens, which is what liberals have for centuries told us democracy is all about. So why are theses same liberals crying foul that ‘democracy in dying?’ Because it is only democracy when there is liberal victory?!
A few weeks ago, the British political elite in London was fighting tooth and nail to prevent the Prime Minister from organising an election! I thought they loved Elections! Here is a brief background. In June 2016, a clear majority of British citizens voted to leave the European Union, a result that shocked the political establishment and its elite allies in the media, academia and TV commentariat. There are many factors that led to this shocking result, but the overwhelming reason was the ordinary people getting tired of being lectured to by neoliberals; mass immigration, and the economic decline especially in countryside Britain. Like the way American ‘hillbillies’ would later power a reality TV clown to the U.S presidency, these old, angry, poor voters thought no one in London was listening to them anymore so they rioted at the ballot box.
What happened after that? In endless months of negotiations that felled two Prime Ministers, London elites sought to nullify this clear victory, by intentionally creating a spin palooza that portrayed the doom of Brexit, the ‘end of democracy’ as they knew it, and how know-nothing ‘deplorables’ were destroying ‘their’ democracy. This was followed by a useless bureaucratic jigsaw that was supposedly to negotiate a ‘deal’ of separation from the EU.
When the British Parliament refused to certify the Brexit vote and remove Britain from the EU, Boris Johnson, a loose cannon ally of the Leave campaign had another idea: If you really thought the Brexit result was a fluke, let’s go back to the same people and ask them again. No no no! cried the neo liberals. We can’t give those poor people the vote again!
The same thing happened when Trump Won. It was fun watching the liberal meltdown. It was as if armageddon had happened to America. They blamed Russia, racist deplorables, everything but Hillary Clinton who lost to ‘the most unqualified person’ to ever run for the U.S Presidency. They went to the streets and protested the result. Now they want to impeach him.
The election of Trump more than anything else in history exposed the hypocrisy of American and their Western allies in their endless lecturing of Africa. Trump’s brash, WWE persona, which he unabashedly brought into governing, has exposed this hypocrisy even more.
When he was first elected, liberals crowed, “This is not who we are. This is not us”. Except that this is exactly what American always was. Arrogant, vainglories, and imperialist. Trump has done nothing new that his more ‘responsible’ predecessors didn’t do. He called African Countries ‘shithole’, his neoliberal opponents in the media and academia have more ‘diplomatic’ words such as ‘Failed States’. He reportedly exploded to then U.S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when Tillerson told him that the U.S embassy in Nigerian had given visas to 40,000 Nigerians in a couple of months: “They won’t return to their huts after seeing the United States”, Trump reportedly fumed. Liberal senators and congressmen and the media were outraged. But what was new in Trump’s words? Isn’t this the reason many western governments deny Africans visas sometimes to the rate of 90% refusals? How different is Trump’s words from western governments asking for cash deposits, financial statements, and proof of ‘adequate social contacts’ before issuing an African a visa?
Contrary to what so called ‘Experts on Africa’ are saying, Trump might be the best thing that ever happened to Africa. His telling it like it is ( or rather like he thinks it is), his disdain for ‘dictators wasting American money’, his insistence on cutting aid by suffocating the USAID, African governments may at the long last realise that the hope for their nations’ future is internal not external.
The best gift Trump has given to the world is that he is incapable of being dishonest in stating American attitude to the rest of the world. He is incapable of hiding his racism, and by extension the racist and imperialist tinge of his country’s policies towards the rest of the world, Africa in particular. ‘The devil you know’ saying has never been more appropriate in our quest to deal with American, and Western attitudes towards Africa.
Western Liberals are miffed that Their world view is no longer universally accepted by everyone in the world. From Poland to Hungary, from Germany, to England and Brazil, Nationalist far right political parties have upended the political order of the hitherto liberal West.
Liberal snobbism and hypocrisy has a lot to do with this. When Obama takes $400,000 for a 1 hour speech in his presidential retirement, no body says anything to do with corruption and influence peddling he might have cultivated while still in power. When Joe Biden’s son is given a $50,000 a month job for no other reason as than who his daddy is, liberal media paints this as normal. When the Clintons, who never inherited any wealth become multimillionaires profiting from their political careers, none of this is seen as immoral. When corporations literally buy American elections by pouring millions into coffers of candidates, paying even more through ‘lobbying’, they don’t say this is immoral.
When the democratic party elites stole the democratic nomination in 2016 from Bernie Sanders and engineered the coronation of his establishment rival Hillary Clinton, no one in the liberal media had a problem with it.
If an African president or government did any of the above, the ‘Human Rights’ and Democracy promoting organisations would come guns blazing and calling for the removal or sanctioning of such an African leader. These double standards are the reason liberals are in disarray right now.
Trump is the inarticulate Uncle Sam. But he’s still their uncle. The world should be grateful that he came along, for he has laid bare the hypocrisy of the West and its vainglorious self-righteousness.
I don’t care for trump. Liberals may consider him a racist pig that can’t put together a coherent sentence, but I love him for what he has done for the world: remove the pretentious veil of American white supremacy and imperialism. He behaves like an early 20th century crime boss, a 19th century explorer who think natives are savages, which is exactly what America demonstrates in its foreign policy. He is incapable of hiding his white supremacy. He lacks Obama’s silver tongue, Clinton’s platitudes, and all those foxy liberals in the aid industry and diplomatic service who are always lecturing Africans. But the substance of both their attitudes is no different
Bernard Sabiti is a Ugandan researcher and public policy analyst.