I’m afraid, but both gentlemen (Max & Sey) got it wrong. I am surprised that Max has taken such a position against Mr Donald Trump, after showcasing Mr Trump’s campaign strategy, in an earlier exchange about PDOIS, as a successful strategy that parties like PDOIS should take note of. I agree with the sentiments Max expressed here about Mr Trump, but I am baffled that a person who has such a view about Mr Trump would point to his campaign strategy as worthy of emulation or has Max done a u-turn (just an observation).
What is unfolding before our own eyes on the American Political scene, is perhaps, one of those rare opportunities when the most acclaimed claim about America being the greatest democracy ever, can be tested to either authenticate it or dismiss it for what it is: propaganda.
Max is absolutely right that Mr Donald Trump, if he truly believes in what he is saying on his platform, has no place in a civilized society, nor has such rhetoric any place on the public platform ( if he does not believe in what he is saying), but I think Max is wrong to conclude that Mr Trump’s rhetoric does not reflect American Public opinion, because it very well does, and that is why he is brushing aside every opponent before him and the most likely Republican Party Presidential Candidate, if that choice depends on the popular vote.
I believe Trump’s rhetoric does not represent the VALUES upon which the United States of America was founded, nor does it represent the fundamental principles on which the United States existed for so long, which has given hope to many, served as an inspiration for many and catapulted it to the leadership of what was then called the civilised world. Unfortunately, public opinion in the USA, like the rest of the developed world, is changing and that change is reflected, not only in the popularity of bigots like Trump, but also others around the developed world, and even the most extremist of the lot, the Neo-Nazis, are now finding platforms on the public spaces in these countries, to pedal their hatred, disguised under different political guises.
The factors for the shift in public opinion are many but can be classified under two headings : Internal and External Factors. Internally, in the United States, as in many developed countries, the pressures of the Neo-liberal economic system on the masses of the population, which translate into job loses, declining household incomes, increased poverty, increased immigration levels and declining public services (to name a few), is making it harder and harder for people to live decent livelihoods, and where these happen, the natural reaction is to search for who to blame. The mainstream media, which is controlled by those reaping the benefits of the system, and from which the majority access information to form opinions, presents news in a way that blames everyone, except the real culprits, and often, it is the “other guys” that are singled out.
Foreign Policy is another (external) factor and it plays no small part in shaping public opinion, both within the US and abroad. The United States, which used to enjoy uncontested leadership on the world stage, is slowly and gradually losing that privilege due to its disastrously aggressive and militaristic foreign policy, which has caused unimaginable suffering on many peoples that live their lives under constant American missiles, and the angry reactions of these people, is again used by mainstream media to create a certain public mind-set, leading to a change in public opinion about those people. Donald Trump can get support when he makes sweeping comments against Muslims or Mexicans because a certain perception about Muslims and Mexicans has already been formed by the public, and so the public feels that he is speaking for them. Donald Trump, therefore, is reflecting public opinion on his platform and this should not be dismissed lightly. Adolf Hitler was able to do what he did because German public opinion was shaped, prepared and made ready for it. The United States is a very powerful country and it is dangerous that a person like Mr Trump is even finding support on the public platform, never mind leading the race to the White House.
I have read and re-read Hon. Sey’s comments and tried to contextualise them, but no matter what angle I looked at it, I just could not escape the conclusion that this contradicts what I know of the man called Hon. Essa Bokar Sey, from listening to him on Hello Gambia. The Hon. Sey I have conjured in my mind will not compromise his principles or values for anything and I believed he was against politics of hate and deception. For Hon. Sey to claim that Mr Donald Trump may not do what he is saying when he gets into the White House, is like condoning politics of deception because Mr Trump would have been guilty of deceiving the voters. I would expect the Hon.Sey I have conjured in my mind, to strongly condemn Mr Trump for using his platform to spread hate, or at the very least, express reservation about Mr trump and his reach for the presidency of perhaps, the most powerful state on earth.
Though Max has not made issue with Hon. Sey’s attempts to shift the blame of Islamophia on Muslims, I cannot believe that a man with such an Islamic background and knowledge would excuse such postures even if they come from his preferred Presidential candidate. I believe that Hon. Sey is wrong to shift the blame of Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric onto Muslims, and should instead, add his voice to those that condemn Mr Trump for using the actions of a few misguided so called Muslims, to brand the many Muslims as responsible for acts of terror and deserving to be banned from entering the United States.