Only few hours remain before the Americans go to the ballot to elect their next President in what has been described as the most divisive election campaign in US history. Without being perceived to be exceedingly anti-Trump, I totally agree judging by what has been said by many political analysts that the Trump Presidency will be disastrous not only for America but Africa and the world at large.
Donald Trump has based his controversial campaign on racial divisions in America. He has openly called Mexicans ‘rapists’ and vowed to build a wall to keep immigrants off the US. President Obama has tremendously accused Trump of bigotry and cynicism. Even when a tape surfaced with Trump making derogatory remarks about women, he simply brushed it aside instead accusing former president Bill Clinton for abusing women. This among other crude comments makes Trump uniquely unqualified to occupy the Oval office whose policies affect Africa on daily basis.
America has historically been revered by other emerging democracies especially in Africa as a pillar of mature democracy devoid of divisive politics. This year’s elections has however cast doubt on this long-held assumption as the Trump campaign perpetually punched holes on the US electoral body to deliver credible results. Trump has asserted that he may not accept the outcome should he lose to Hillary Clinton.
This election has also brought to the fore the hollow semblance of US elections which is predominantly money driven. The billionaires from both sides of the political divide and Wall Street have poured millions of dollars into the campaign. It’s evident that whichever candidate wins the White House; these forces will expect to be cushioned from exorbitant taxation. Even Donald Trump, arguably has not remitted his taxes in almost eighteen years according to US media report.
Donald Trump Presidency will likely set a negative precedent in Africa as corrupt African leaders and dictators adopt his vile political tactics to grab power or blatantly disregard the provisions of their constitutions thereby plunging the continent into unending anarchy. Trump has openly stated that he will imprison Hillary Clinton if he wins. This would be good news for African dictators who may in-turn to legitimize their acts of injustice and oppression on the opposition in their quest to stay on power indefinitely at the expense of the governed. This may just be the beginning of whittling down the powers of independent institutions in Africa.
Furthermore, Trump’s baseless allegation that the US election is rigged will empower African opposition groups seeking to topple legitimate governments. This is because many African countries lack advanced electoral systems that would ensure credible results. Many African opposition leaders have constantly cried foul after the elections and the Trump presidency will certainly energize their claims. Trump’s obnoxious belief that elections are rigged is likely to result in increased post-election violence in Africa as opposition groups unnecessarily challenge the outcome of elections even though they might have been defeated squarely by the incumbent regimes.
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