OPINIONS: Greetings from the 'shithole', Donald

Brandon Faber

These days it takes a village to raise me from a self-imposed cynical slumber.

Mostly because I’ve been observing the world at home and abroad with bleary-eyed apathy, high from a near-lethal dose of melancholy as I grapple with the increasing sense that those chosen to lead have not the foggiest clue of the responsibility, or respect, for their position and the people who put them there to make a difference.

Like a parched Western Cape dam suffocating in the summer heat I’ve gazed with wistful disdain upon those in power who continue to operate with impunity in a dusty haze of broken trust and promises – drinking merrily from the trough of excess while the masses line up for duty as campaign cannon-fodder.

It used to be easy to point and laugh at the absurdity of it all, to write and in big, neon, letters lay bare the madness of a naked emperor armada, strutting forth in blind confidence.

It used to be funny when narcissistic rage was the exception.

Enter stage left

These days it takes a village to raise me from a self-imposed cynical slumber… or a Donald Trump.

I’m not going to comment much about the man’s mental aptitude for the position of president of the United States. As a follow up act to Barack Obama “The Don” plays in the same aimless space as the Boswell Wilkie Circus – mildly entertaining at first until you realise the product is deeply flawed and struggling for relevance in a world that is no longer amused by the whipping of animals.

And this is where “The Don” finds himself today.

Dressed in glitter and gold, centre stage, grappling with fading attendance and dwindling interest as he stands on a lone island of madness: a lion tamer without an audience, a ring master without his hat… a performer without any real point or purpose.

Hello from the other side

In his latest, desperate attempt to appease a right-wing-base of supporters our Donald issued a blanket statement bemoaning immigrants from "shithole countries" such as Haiti and Africa, wishing for more imports from places like Norway.

Now, I know what he means... somewhere in the pickled onion of his idea languishes a desire for more skilled labour that would decrease the likelihood of needing state support to survive.

I get it, Don, but then refugees from a place such as Haiti, utterly destroyed by nature and then forgotten by the world (top job, UN) is not exactly the same issue as immigration.

To then lump the entire content of Africa in your long-drop of contempt is a little harsh and does little to help your nation’s bargaining power as it seeks to limit Chinese influence on this mineral rich continent… ne?

“Political leadership” excluded, there are plenty of positive things to say for African countries but, keeping it local, I’d like to remind you, Mr Trump, that some of your most influential citizens come from shithole places like South Africa.

People who, through ingenuity, drive, imagination and inspiration are shaping our future worlds, both here on earth and in the skies above.

People who are rapidly building multi-billion dollar businesses worth ten, twenty and thirty times more than you managed in a lifetime – without the shared benefit of silver spoons.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear

For a man that is all about image I encourage the sitting American president to take stock of the role he, and his country, are playing in the rapid decline of international collaborations for the greater good of a sustainable planet.

Actions such as quitting the Paris Agreement on climate change and acerbic rhetoric towards anyone not willing to bend the knee to Uncle Sam (threatening to cut aid if lines are not toed) all help to fuel a tsunami of negative sentiment that will help accelerate the divisions on this planet… and we only have this one at this point in time, Don.

Until Elon Musk (or another shithole export) helps us colonise Mars this third rock from the sun will have to do – and you, as a superpower country – have a responsibility to help make this a better, safer, world.

Or not, in which case I encourage you to build your walls and exit the (world) stage – to the right… pursued by a bear.

- Faber is a News24 reader and contributes to MyNews24.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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