One distinction marks out the American: some kind of self-assurance against any kind of eventuality. It is a natural offshoot of the American set-up, which makes the country and the people exhude such supremacy in all endeavours, especially economy, the military and security. About 20 years ago, that seeming omnibus invincibility was shattered or, at least, shaken by the Saudi-born jihadist, Osama Bin Laden, who led his terrorist group to break through America’s security with a most unexpected air invasion, leaving over 3,000 dead
Bin Laden did not live for long to flaunt his bravado, as America spared no effort to hunt him and his collaborators down wherever they were hiding. Since then, America has restored its security far tighter than the one breached by Bin Laden and his co-terrorists. While completely secure against external invasion, the same United States seemed to drop its guard on the home-front, such that, on January 6, 2021, a week ago, supporters of out-going President Donald Trump violently invaded the country’s Congress (parliament), obviously with the intention of assassinating, among others, the two presiding officers in the House of Representatives (then in session), Vice-President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The session was to certify and ratify the results of last year’s presidential election won by opposition Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, while Donald Trump claimed the victory was stolen from him.
The invasion of American parliament followed the controversial address to his protesting supporters by out-going President Trump in which he directed them to march on the parliament and reclaim their country because, as he claimed, the election and his self-declared victory were stolen from him. Trump even offered to meet up with them on the march to Congress. It was immaterial whether he was correct in his claim to have been robbed of electoral victory or to join the protesters to the Congress. What shocked Americans was that security on the home front was so lax that the protesters not only invaded the Congress totally unchallenged but also rampaged for hours and overwhelmed the few policemen around, causing substantial physical damage to the building. Indeed, but for the whisking off of Vice-President Pence and Speaker Pelosi, as well as the disrupted Congressional members into dark areas of the building, Americans might have followed next week’s inauguration of President Biden with mourning of assassinated public office holders, what with the mobile gallows and noose recovered from the protesters inside the building.
These were the disturbing incidents only a fortnight before the inauguration of newly-elected President Biden. With the disturbing violence on the Congress, America has never been so apprehensive on security matters days towards an otherwise international political ceremony. Various alarming security reports have put the Yankees on edge. Tens of thousands of Trump’s supporters, suspected to be armed and in possession of explosives, are reportedly heading for Washington to renew their protests on inauguration day (less than a week away) against Trump’s defeat. According to intelligence reports, plans for similar violent protests by Trump’s supporters had been concluded for capitals of each of the country’s 50 states.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) specifically alarmed Americans that, from facts gathered so far, the country would be shocked at the scale of the violence planned by the anarchists. Scores of them have been arrested.
Still, such is the uncertainty to warrant the special deployment of up to 20,000 well-armed national guards to Washington to ensure security throughout the inauguration ceremonies, especially with the impeachment of out-going President Trump for the second time within a year by the House of Representatives two days ago. Noticeably, among those who voted for Trump’s impeachment were at least 10 members of his party, the Republicans.
This is a marked change from only a year ago when all members of his party in Congress, except one (Senator Mitt Romney) voted in defence of Trump in the attempt to remove him from office. With his impeachment by the House of Representatives two days ago and his pending trial by the Democrat-controlled Senate, it is speculated that more Republican members of that upper legislature would also vote against him.
Much of Trump’s political damage is self-inflicted. Four years ago, from political/electoral nowhere, Trump shocked his Republican party, the opposition Democrats and indeed the entire world with his miraculous victory to the White House, a feat for which nobody gave him a chance.
An immodest fellow, Trump lost his bearing as he clobbered everybody around him and anybody on his way. Trump is on record as the worst American President, with the highest turnover of appointees. It seemed he was deliberately appointing dignitaries from whatever sector to humiliate and disgrace them out of office, the economy, law, the military, diplomatic service, business, academia, the professions. Even when some resigned in disgust, Trump would claim to have fired them, an arrogance that destroyed him from his days of property development voodoo.
Within four years, he appointed not less than four press secretaries, about three chiefs of staff, two secretaries of state, three attorneys-general, three defence secretaries, at least two homeland security secretaries, three national security advisers, etc. He reportedly self-wrote his medical report describing himself as the fittest American President ever.
Clearly, Donald Trump’s emergence as America’s President must have been divine, the same purpose for which he was defeated in the November 2020 election. For each occasion there was a purpose. Everything commenced to ensure that purpose. First, there was the world-ravaging coronavirus, which Trump dismissed, or at best underestimated, at a time other world leaders were setting examples to relieve their people. Americans were dying at the highest rate, except in Brazil. In the process, American economy in the last one year under Trump collapsed, with the highest unemployment figure in history. Tied to Trump’s bully tactics, it was the end of the road for him.
All along, he was deluded that his re-election was in his pocket. Like the fake pastors in Nigeria, American evangelicals foresaw Trump’s “victory,” except in defeat. Confronted with reality, Trump became berserk and petulant, cursing, threatening and easily irritable like a man fighting over his father’s property. But, like all losers, he was deserted one by one by his erstwhile collaborators. Even international media and banking institutions commenced isolating him with all-round sanctions. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Messenger, and others, all through which Trump, for four years, easily and instantly reached out to the world as and when necessary, have closed his accounts because of fraudulent and violent language.
There should be little surprise that Repubican party members dealt Trump what might appear to be a bloody nose at the last minute by ensuring his impeachment and subsequent trial by the Senate. President Trump lost the party control of the Senate. He also ignored the offer for him to voluntarily resign while his lieutenants, especially Vice-President Pence also refused to sack him for alleged inability to continue in office. That was tempting. By the way, more than opposition Democrats, Trump’s Republican party members are more eager to get him out ot politics and retrieve their party. Trump, for the past four years, personalised the Republican party.
There may be a flashpoint on Wednesday between supporters of both Trump and Biden, as part of the political tension in the country. Trump is not attending. By the way, minutes after he was impeached by House of Representatives two days ago, Trump abandoned his aggressive politics and embraced peace. He must have been rattled not only by his impeachment but also by FBI alert on the coming shock over those involved in the invasion of Congress. What might also have disturbed Trump was the FBI alert on protesters coming to Washington on inauguration day or plotting violence in the capital cities of the country’s 50 states in the next few days and perhaps weeks.
Security measures to limit attendance at, or reduce movemenr around the inauguration of President Biden will create rival claims of bigger crowd. In 2016, that was Trump’s first claim over his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
The American political drama so far has produced the best and the worst. Protesters’ violent invasion of the country’s Congress shattered erstwhile myth of political civilisation as being alien to developing countries. America has, therefore, been rubbished to the same post-election level of banana republics, the contemptuous reference to developing nations. On the other hand, despite the struggle for supremacy between Trump and opposition Democratic party challengers, it was impressive that distinct American institutions worked throughout. Trump mostly employed judiciary to pursue his cause. On more than 30 occasions in different states, even controlled by Republicans, Trump, as incumbent president lost all the cases.
In United States, pre- and post-election matters are determined by states. But more noticeably, all the suits were swiftly determined, all against Trump. Federal Justice Department remained completely neutral, as applies under American Constitution. Both before and after the election, Trump unsuccessfully tried to influence the Department of Justice to investigate Hunter Biden, son of the newly-elected President Biden, over some company directorship in Ukraine. Trump was also rebuffed by attorney-general Bill Barr against his (Trump’s) allegation that the election was rigged. The attorney-general, himself appointed by Trump, said there was no evidence the election was rigged.
Who is that federal or state attorney-general in Nigeria to disobey his boss on such matters? American judges were also all upright in determining Trump’s election petitions and in good time too.