raffique shah----USE

Donald Trump seems prepared to plunge the United States of America into civil war if that becomes his only option as he clings to the office of president, refusing to acknowledge that he lost the presidential election to Joseph Biden. The world looks on with much foreboding as this real-life tragi-comedy plays before an audience of billions of people.

Trump refuses to recognise the official counting of votes that is presided over by state governors and their staff, many of whom belong to his Republican party. In so doing, he is showing contempt for the state institutions that he, as president, oversees. And he ignores the political and social mores of Washington that hinge on the loser graciously bowing out of office to allow for a smooth transition of power.

But this is Trump we are dealing with, the consequential if not quintessential American macho man, the embodiment of the values that define the successful American, albeit a mutated version, the ultimate ugly American. In an environment where money equals power, and might is always right, he rode roughshod into the highest office in the country in 2016, trampling all opposition, preying on the base instincts of his core supporters who are not exactly intelligent people, hence ripe for the picking by a latter-day, swashbuckling buccaneer.

Give Trump his trumpet: where American politicians saw citizens of one of the most populous democracies as fodder for their respective party agendas, which hardly differed, certainly between the Democrats and Republicans, Trump the pirate saw pawns and bishops and knights on a vast chessboard, waiting to be exploited, manipulated, if only he could find their lowest common denominator.

That was not difficult. Among the 300-plus millions of Americans who populate the nation, the most aggrieved were those who, in the face of a multi-ethnic melting pot that allowed the newly-arrived the same rights and similar entitlements, saw themselves as descendants of the founding fathers, the inheritors of the realm. Mattered not that many of them had squandered their inheritance, ignored opportunities to pursue the American dream: they were the first, and not among equals. They were armed and ready to stake their claim for supremacy in the land of the brave and the free.

That was Trump’s constituency, his “blue-bloods” who he would harness and saddle, on whose backs he would continue to ride roughshod over his subjects—the hell with elections, constitution, norms, mores and such tripe.

It was not by accident that some 70 million of Trump’s fellow Americans, as Barack Obama and the validating elites in Washington would formally address them, went beyond the call to duty by ensuring they register their choice for leading the country by participating in the quadrennial exercise that constitutionally empowers them to so do. That mass, which can hardly be associated with the herd mentality, consisted of a curious mix of white supremacists who are armed and ready for the Second Civil War, non-white nationalists of the neo-Nazi sense of that term, who seem to be confused in the absence of a Hitler, but would settle for a Trump, and interestingly, radicals from what’s left of the revolutionary left, who consciously squeezed their noses to staunch the stench, and voted Trump.

That’s why the abominable Donald all but welcomed a latter-day plague in the form of Covid-19. It gave him the opportunity to let the virus run its course, cleanse America of blacks and Hispanics who were more prone to falling victim to the virus. It is not accidental that the US, the richest and most powerful country on earth, suffered the greatest number of deaths and infections. And in this, the current second wave, he has cast the fate of the country to the wind, with thousands dying daily and millions infected weekly. That is all part of Donald’s plan.

He had hoped to win the election and allow Covid-19 to take its course. He was surprised when 78 million, and counting, Americans who see their country differently voted against him more than they voted for Biden. Luckily for the country, there are still such persons who are prepared to stand up, even bury their differences, to rescue America from a fate worse than The Black Plague. Such patriots used the vehicle that is the Democratic Party to halt Trump in his tracks. America must be thankful to them. But Trumpism will be far from defeated or dealt a fatal blow by preventing Donald from continuing in The White House.

Clearly, theirs is a greater plan for dominance and control certainly in the hemisphere. It is not accidental that Trump-like leaders are turning up in the Americas. In one instance, a government is removed from power (Ecuador) and in another crippling sanctions are imposed (Venezuela) and in yet another a Trump-like president is wreaking havoc (Brazil). Dump Trump. Beware Trumpism.

—Martin Daly

returns next week.


The history of the trade union movement in Trinidad and Tobago would be totally incomplete and unfinished if the life and times of Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler are not the DNA of such a history. Butler was accredited as being the “Chief Servant of the Lord”. He believed that man’s purpose in life was the fulfilment of God’s purpose and as such, he owed no obligation to anybody or anything but to God..

THE negative responses from residents who are expecting to be dislocated by the Government’s East Port of Spain development plan suggest the need for meaningful dialogue and consultation with affected communities and the wider national community.

The fact that such consultation appears not to have been built into the plan is a worrying indicator. In this day and age, community engagement is a critical and standard aspect of public planning, especially for heritage areas, such as Piccadilly, and others, like Sea Lots in this case, where residents developed entire communities out of waste land.

I think more than enough time has passed for us to discuss national issues based on appreciating the facts, rather than just promoting divisiveness and ignorance.

IT always escapes my logic, both from a practical sense and a political sense as to why the Opposition chooses to adopt as its strategy, the non-support of anti-crime bills.

I would think it’s just good politics to be hard on crime.

Please allow me to comment on three things, perhaps insignificant, but nevertheless, three things that caught my eye over the last few days. But first, a preamble.

In this Covid-19 period, there is very little for elderly people like myself to do, so we wait eagerly for the news, through the dailies, and of course, on TV.

To be honest, today’s reports can be rather depressing, except of course, the good news about a 94.5 per cent success rate of a vaccine against his dreaded virus.

To be honest, it’s the 5.5 per cent balance that troubles me. You know, it’s like those liquids that kill 99 per cent of household germs; who measures the 1 per cent? Anyway, better than nothing.

I CRY SHAME on the United National Congress (UNC) for causing the defeat of the Anti-Gang Bill in the House of Representatives. The UNC leadership will pay a heavy political price with the non-aligned voters for withholding their support for the UNC.