“This is a nightmare. I still can’t believe that this is happening to us.” – With a trembling voice and teary eyes, John Yao laments his faith outside the improvised refugee camp in Deleware. It is here where Yao has found refuge after being forced by the Republican militia to leave their homes. Together with several hundred other Chinese and black minority families, they wait to see what would be their nest destination. Back home or further away? It seems an eternity, but it was just two months ago that the rebellion escalated into a civil war that thorn apart what once was a great nation. Just days after the election results gave a narrow victory to the Democrat Party candidate, the opponent’s, Donald J. Trump’s call to rebel against what he called a fraud pushed the country into a turmoil that continues to leave behind images of terror, violence, and despair. Thousands have lost their lives in the clashes between the militia and the federal forces. Many thousands more have fled the flames of once-thriving neighborhoods. Mexico and Canada, whose borders have remained open since the beggining, urge the international community to speed up humanitarian aid delivery for the growing refugee camps that are on the verge of collapse. How long will this last? How will it end? It’s still too early to tell. As the civil war rages, many remain wondering what ‘Make America great again’ really meant.
This fictitious scenario is simply a product of my imagination. But so it was the idea of Donald Trump becoming the US President. Prior to his nomination to the 2016 elections, this idea was simply a narrative material used by talk shows and the Simpsons to entertain their audience. And then it stopped being funny. The imagination turned real. And here we are today before the historic US elections. Its outcome will not simply define the next four years of American history. It will determine the international relations and , anong other, our joint answer to the most defining question of our times: How are we going to manage the response to climate change.
After Trump’s victory in 2016, I’ve responded by saying that his election “is a disease to which we have contributed by neglect”. I have also added that “I wish they would let us all vote in the United States elections, after all, it is a country that has its own particular interests all over the world.” Sadly, both statements still stand reflecting this defining process that will culminate on the 3rd of November.
After the messianic mise-en-scène of Trump landing at the White House, ripping off the mask, and ending in the military salute, the gloomy scenario that opened these lines became one step closer to becoming a reality. This was the defining moment of Trump’s presidency. There was no Mexican president delivering the check for the wall. There was no Hillary in handcuffs. There was no Chinese surrender in the trade war. America is today far less great than it was when he took on the office. But in the eyes of his followers, none of this matters.
Trump gives fuel to their anger. He defines the meaning of their existence. This was the defining moment of his presidency. He had walked the desert and came back (pumped up with steroids) with the list of commands delivered to him directly by God. While standing proud and defying the ‘Chinese virus’ from the White House’s green lawn, he delivered His latest command: ‘Don’t Be Afraid of Covid’.
This irresponsibility is just another in the long list of sociopathic traits of Trump’s personality. It adds to the repertoire of pathologic lying, low self-control, lack of attention focus, and no empathy, as traits that were widely manifested in these past four years. But sociopaths are often charismatic leaders too. Like their Machiavellian personality ‘cousins’, as Daniel Goleman would describe it, sociopaths often develop the ability to read other people’s feelings and emotions.
The ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ command is part of this reading. Trump has a remarkable ability to sense the momentum. While poles are showing no favorable ods to his advantage, he is staging a more favorable scenario. His entire presidency was a calculated process of priming of his voters to take actions that will favor his plans. No matter the damage being done and danger to come, he will push his agenda to the final consequence.
The Molotov cocktail of racial tension is ready. With the Proud Boys being called to ‘stand back and stand by’ and gun and ammunition sales surging all it takes is the final spark to ignite it. By suggesting that he may not accept the election results and allow peaceful transition, he prepares his primed followers to follow his lead. What will happen afterward is not very clear, but one thing is sure. If the developments follow his lead, the news and images coming from the USA will be similar to those we are used to seeing coming from countries whose names end with –stan. However, we should keep in mind that for a sociopath being a president of Usastan is still a ‘great deal’.