By Isaac Asabor
If there an African proverb that best describes the unsportsmanlike conducts of the incumbent President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, since he was defeated by President-elect Joe Biden, it is unarguably the one that says “A performing masquerade that tries to extend his allotted time while trying to impress his audience may expose his anus.” The phrase “…expose his anus” in this proverb simply means being put to shame, reproach and trouble.
Many leaders, particularly in African countries, were at different times in the past put to shame, reproach and trouble while fighting to stay longer in power. But alas! Like the proverbial masquerade mentioned in this piece, many a leader had had his anus exposed for the world political watchers to see.
It would be recalled in this context that leaders that refused to relinquish power until they were either disgraced or killed include Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Syrian autocrat Bashar al-Assad, Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, ailing Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and you name them.
Permit me to ask, why would a masquerade be wiggling his costume-bedecked body before an uninterested, wearied and yawning audience, and would still be asking for an elongated tenure or another term? Contextually put, why would a non-performing president be asking for elongation or extension of tenure when the people are silently praying that he should exhaust his tenure and relinquish power to a better president? In this case, why is President Donald Trump’s body language suggesting that he is not interested to quit the White House for the President-elect, Joe Biden?
It is only in Africa that a country’s president would be asking for tenure elongation even when he knows he is not performing, and may likely not improve on his performance when he is magnanimously allowed by the people to go for another term. Not in the USA. Paradoxically, Trump seems to have added USA to the list notwithstanding the fact that it used to be seen by the rest of the world as the beacon of democracy. Without doubt, his action finds expression in Will Rogers’ quote that says, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide”. On the other hand, his action negates the philosophy behind Abraham Lincoln’s quote that says, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution”.
As earlier pointed out, when a performing masquerade is not thrilling the audience, the audience would become weary, uninterested and begin to doze away. They would rather be praying silently for the masquerade to pave way for a more theatrical or rather acrobatic masquerade.
In the same vein, if the citizens are dissatisfied with the performance of their president, and decided to vote for the candidate they felt is better, it would be preposterous for the president they voted against to be exhibiting body movements that suggest he is scheming for another term in office from the backdoor. Personally, I believe what a president cannot achieve during his first term in office may not be achieved during his second term in office. An African proverb says the smell of a fart goes a long way in determining how the faeces would smell. Therefore, I believe any president that failed to perform creditably well should honorably relinquish power at the expiration of his tenure for a more patriotic and capable president rather than scheming for another term of probable non-performance in office.
The book of Proverbs chapter 4 verse 7 says “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding”.
It would be germane at this juncture to advise Trump that the world is looking up to him and America, and he should in that light perish the thought of holding on to power contrary to the people’s verdict. Trump as a Christian should allowed the foregoing scripture be his guiding light in his remaining days in office as the rest of the world cannot afford to see America face another major crisis in 2021 despite the fact that she is yet to recover fully from the devastation meted to her in 2020 by Covid-19 pandemic. He should at every point of taking decision that borders on the issue of tenure elongation or another term of office have the foregoing scripture at the back of his mind. The reason for the quest for peace in America in this context cannot be farfetched as to the rest of the world, “When America sneezes, the world catches cold.”
We have had cases in some African countries where obstinate and despotic leaders literarily tried to swim against the tide of the people’s wishes over tenure elongation, and they no doubt in their various countries exposed their anus to world political watchers. Those that can be cited at this juncture are Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, who can be said to have floundered through the conflagration that almost obliterated Senegal’s name from the world map, the late Samuel Doe of Liberia, and the late Muammar Gaddafi of Libya amongst others.
Even if Trump is wont to derogatorily describe African leaders as those from “Shit-hole” countries, it is expedient to remind him that African leaders that are better than him had emerged from African continent. Worthy of mention in this context, and who I can urge Trump to emulate was Dr. Nelson Mandela. Like the true entertaining masquerade, he literarily thrilled the South Africans, and theatrically wiggled himself into all African countries through his enviable and yet to be matched style of leadership that today those who know what true leadership is are wont to cite him at political symposia and fora as an ideal leader worthy of emulation. I think Trump should emulate him. “Don’t you think so?!”
Personally, this writer would be a happier if the President-elect, Joe Biden adopts the leadership template from Africa called Mandelaism.
Given the leadership standard which Dr. Nelson Mandela has set, it would be expedient and ideal for the next American president to take after him. If not for anything, to prove to Trump that African continent is not a “Shit hole”. No doubt, Mandela created a fountain of ideal leadership which I would advise leaders from any part of the world to be drawing from each time they are bereft of ideas or become myopic.
It is very disappointing to realize that despite the political conflagration and sanguinary violence that swept across some Arab countries between 2010 and 2011, a leader such as Trump could be making attempt to swim against the tide of public opinion and seek to undemocratically extend his tenure. If he succeeds in forcing his way to another term, God forbids, I hope he will not be exposed like the non performing masquerade that requested for an extra time to perform well before his wearied audience only to end up exposing his anus.
I know you may have been wondering why I used a masquerade to express this metaphorical piece. One of the reasons that compelled me to use it is that like a power-hungry or power-drunk president, typical masquerades in some cultures are wont to foment trouble. There are reported cases of communities that fought ethnic wars due to the foolhardiness of competing masquerades.
Some masquerades are not usually punctilious enough in carrying out their cultural responsibilities so much so that they tend to display their skills outside their cultural purview to the detriment of the peaceful co-existence of communities. In the same vein, African leaders are wont to do things unconstitutionally, particularly when they are misguided and try to adopt the unpopular principle of “Sit-Tightism”. Concerning Trump, he seems to have forgotten that America is the beacon of Democracy.
I once saw a masquerade that was drunk to the extent that he could no longer play his cultural responsibilities but was busy lashing anyone on sight with his whip. In the same token, most African presidents or heads of states are so power-drunk that they no more perform their political responsibilities but only administer what I may in this context call the whip of hardships on the people. Like the masquerades, one can literarily say that their costumes have covered their eyes to the extent that they hardly see the people suffering. “Donald Trump, “Donald Trump”, “Donald Trump”, “How many times did I call you?” Don’t tell me you have an African blood running in your veins.
I am therefore calling on Trump to stop behaving like the proverbial masquerade that is in the habit of exposing his anus and unnecessarily administering whips on people that are supposed to cheer him up. To me, he should perish the thought of sitting tight in the White House by relinquishing power to the President-elect, Joe Biden. Period!