I WANT to thank you, Alisyn Camerota, broadcast journalist and CNN anchor for the autographed copy of your book Amanda Wakes Up. The story of Amanda’s struggles are those that represent the same for most, if not all of us and hits home in the most profound way. I enjoyed following Amanda’s journey. Well done!

As you are aware, there is a Trinbagonian diaspora in the US; some are getting by, others well enough and some are doing great, for example, our own Abby Phillip, CNN correspondent who was praised for her coverage of the US presidential elections. Her mother June C Phillip is friend and colleague of my chief operations officer.

Aliysn, please permit me to share my concerns and thoughts regarding the storming of the US Capitol and President Trump’s role in it. It is clear Mr Trump incited his supporters using incendiary language: “Our country has had enough.” “We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about…we will stop the steal.” “We’re going to fight like hell, I’ll tell you right now.” “We’re going to take it back!”

His supporters were motivated to act by his words, and they desecrated the highest office of the USA.

On January 6, 2021 history was created when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol while Congress debated electoral college votes. This was a total disrespect for law and order. All recounts were completed and certified, yet President Trump kept informing his supporters with the baseless claims that the election was stolen from him. However, all these claims were dismissed by the courts.

The inability of the US Capitol Police to contain the protesters implied that they were not prepared to deal with a crisis. For the first time, the people of the US experienced total disrespect for law and order. In the past, there was always a smooth transition of Government after elections.

As a senior citizen with many years of experience in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry and other diversified businesses in my country, and considering the large Trinbagonian diaspora in the US, we feel the pain and the hurt just as the peoples of the US. The US influences the behaviour of other nations. I am sure you are aware that many countries around the world are “copycats of America”.

With the foregoing in mind, I have penned this short brief to suggest a way out for the President to restore sanity, keep the tenets of democracy intact, redeem the Republican party, provide a way out for himself, and bring peace for all.

President Trump’s track record and erratic behaviour may contribute to something worse than that which occurred on January 6, 2021. With the inauguration a few days away, I am humbly suggesting a solution:

1. The president should accept the decision of the American people and the courts and acknowledge that president-elect Joe Biden did in fact win the election.

2. The president should apologise to the nation, and openly state his support for the President-elect Biden.

3. He should reconsider his decision and attend the inauguration;

4. He should resign before the inauguration and allow the acting President Mike Pence to write an amnesty so that Trump can have some leeway regarding any mistakes made both personal and otherwise during his term in office;

5. Financial mistakes (e.g unpaid taxes) and others can be addressed via the amnesty by the Acting President.

May I remind you that “revenge breeds revenge”.

We should take note of president-elect, Biden’s statement “Now is a tense time for the American people. What we need is a time for healing. Many people are dying from the pandemic and we need to focus on vaccine distribution. The economy needs to be reinvented and revamped. Finally, peace and unity must be given priority, in order to regain our position of respect as one of the strongest world powers and the land of opportunity within the global community.”

God bless America and Trinidad and Tobago.

Balliram Maharaj

via e-mail

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