By: Abdulai Mansaray
Donald Trump wants American voters to believe that he is a changed man, but the only thing that has changed is his campaign team. Since he declared his candidacy, his campaign team has undergone several by-pass surgeries.
It is logical and an open secret that things are not working as planned. If they were on the winning side, why would he change a winning team? There is no denying the fact that Trump is single handedly responsible for his current ratings in the polls.
They are all of his making. In tennis terms, they are unforced errors and there could be many reasons for this. When Trump started his journey towards the White House, he proclaimed that he was not a politician. This is true; he is a businessman.
Because he is not a politician, he said that he is not politically correct. He believes that political correctness was one of the banes of the American society. So Trump stated that he was going to stay true to himself and say it as it is.
With Trump, what you see is what you get. Let’s give him that to his credit. But he might just be finding to his cost, that political correctness is the gravy with which politics is eaten. As a golden rule in politics, you have to aspire to be everything to everyone every time. It’s difficult to be but try to be.
But what have we learnt from seeing and hearing from the real Donald Trump? For starters, he has successfully insulted many sectors of society; from women, the disabled, Golden Families, immigrants, African-Americans and right down to the press.
Trump’s endless controversial statements are fast becoming folklore to some sections of the American society. The campaign team called the recent shake up as an internal reorganisation. This has seen his campaign manager, Manafort make way for new faces.
Under Manafort’s direction, it was public knowledge that the team failed in keeping Trump tethered to script. As he embarked on pressing the self-destruct button with blatant Pinocchio’s, delusions and conspiracy theories, it became evident that the direction needed to change.
And so for the past week, we have witnessed the re-birth of Donald Trump. His first attempt was to engage in an act of contrition. He regretted saying things “in the heat of the moment”. He regretted saying things …… There are a lot of people in the Republican Party who would rightly be breathing a sigh of relief.
The irony is that by admitting to such shortcomings, has he unconsciously presented the American voter with an idiot’s guide on How not to be the President of America? Has he subconsciously confirmed what his critics have said all along; that he does not have the temperament to occupy the highest office in the land?.
It is also interesting to note the sombre and more calculated nature of his speeches this week. You can tell from his speeches that this is not the Real Donald Trump speaking. The coincidence between his approach and the change in his campaign team is too blatant for all to see. The question is, are we seeing the real Donald Trump? No.
We are now seeing a reprocessed and repackaged Donald Trump. What is been sold to the American public is a low fat, non-saturated Donald Trump with no added sugar. This may feel like a good diet for those who prefer political slimming pills or may be suffering from political diabetes.
Donald Trump paid a recent visit to Barton Rouge on Friday, a place that has become one of the flash points and symbols of the Black Lives Matter movement. In his maiden speech to the African American community, he asks them to trust him because; “what have you got to lose”? Donald trump knows that the answer is obvious.
During the height of the protests in these areas, instead of taking an INCLUSIVE approach on the issue, he appeared to side with the police by giving a tacit and an adulterated support for them. No qualms with that, but by not acknowledging the legitimate concerns of the black community, Trump was actually taking sides.
This would be seen by many as divisive and not what is expected of a President for all the people. Together with former New York mayor Giuliani, some may interpret it as a defence of police brutality by association. There is nothing wrong with lending support to the police officers; especially following the senseless killing of the guys in blue by a lone gun man.
Nevertheless, Trump should have appealed to a broader church instead of making such an emotive decision. It is not politically correct, but again, Trump is not a scholar for political correctness. He told you before.
Trump’s latest tactical change of lanes on the political highway is fraught with risks that can go either way. Although this would be seen by many in his party as a political aphrodisiac, there is a potential that it could also be a political laxative. For starters, how many people would trust and be fooled by this sudden change?
Trump had already played his hand and was in a hurry to show the world the type of president he would be if elected. Why would people believe that all of a sudden, he is now the all smiling, all caring and all inclusive package?
Is this not the same Trump that described black people as lazy and you know what? So where is this new love coming from? Is it a question of when the music changes, so does the dance? Trump needs to remember” grass does not grow faster if you pull on it.” If Trump wants “to move mountains tomorrow, he should have started lifting stones yesterday”.
When Dylan Roof shot church members in a racially motivated crime spree, Donald Trump was asked in a press conference, what he would do about the protests and the issue of racially-motivated violence, Trump simply stated: “there’s no such thing as racism anymore. We’ve had a black president so it’s not a question anymore. Are they saying black lives should matter more than white lives or Asian lives? If black lives matter, then go back to Africa? We’ll see how much they matter there.”
Donald Trump has been trying his best to court the African –American vote recently. But being the Trump that we know, he cannot even bring himself to properly beg for the votes. In front of 6000 people in Michigan, a state that he has visited twice in less than two weeks, Trump appealed to the Black community in the most offensive way. “You live in poverty,” he said. “Your schools are no good. You have no job. What the hell do you have to lose? Yes there is a lot to lose Mr Trump. What Trump said was an unpleasant truth, but a pleasant falsehood.
Even when he tries to not be himself, he fails woefully.. “The GOP is the Party of Lincoln, and I want our party to be the home of the African-American vote once again. I want an inclusive country, and I want an inclusive party,” Trump has to know that he cannot climb a baobab tree with shoes on his feet.
So as the campaign gathers more moss along the Trump political railroad, what can we expect? Now that he has tried to make peace with his once far removed black cousins, are we going to see Trump pay a visit to his disabled neighbours?
When are we going to see him pay the political dowry to his female in laws? Are his Mexican immigrant employees going to have some vacation from the laborious task of building the Great Wall of America? Will he be celebrating Eid Ul Adha with his Muslim Ummaa next month?
The Democrats would be hoping that this new found dose of perestroika will discourage Santa’s little Russian hackers from sharing the Christmas goodies.
Many Republicans would be hoping against hope; that Trump will remain teleprompter friendly, and be concordant with his daily dose of contrition. As we all know, there is a lot of mileage to walk back on the road to the Blanch Maison.
So what happens if Trump fails to shift the polls with his new look? Are we in for another reshuffle? Sounds like a test drive for what is to come if he gets to be the next tenant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington DC20500. Or should we see this as an extended version of “The Apprentice?” You are fired.
There is a saying that “no matter how many times a snake sheds its skin, it’s still a snake. Many African American voters may remember that “no matter how well you swim beside a crocodile, he is still not your brother”.
Don’t forget to turn the lights off when you leave the room.