Okot Nyormoi, Editor and novelist

Okot Nyormoi imageIn his article, in this issue of Nile Journal, Jonathan Power laid out the measures of whether President Trump or President Putin is a dictator and left it up to readers to decide. He also guessed that a vast majority of the world wants Trump to be defeated on November 3rd.  Predicting elections is a hazardous exercise as lots of people were proven wrong in predicting a Trump loss four years ago. Nevertheless, I concur with Johnathan’s prediction here and I will tell you six main reasons why I think President Trump will not be re-elected.

First, there is a palpable Trump fatigue, globally, within the US as a whole and within the Republican party. Four years ago, Trump’s constant in-your-face brashness brand of politics was considered fresh by a substantial number of voters. However, after four years of the same, and more, has worn out its welcome. People want civility, decorum, respect, truthfulness, care for the livelihood of all citizens, etc. They want a president who can serve as a role model for their children and grandchildren. They want a president who brings honor to the country and not shame when he interacts with other nations. President Trump does not meet this test.

Second, the nature of Trump’s competitor this time is different. Four years ago, the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was simply a matter of selecting between the lesser of two evils. Both Hillary and Trump were both about equally unlikable. Enough people who did not like them either voted for third party candidates or did not vote at all. Despite his boorish political antics, many people wanted to give Trump a chance. They also assumed that the weight of the presidency would change him for the better. Besides, those who voted for Trump expected that nothing could go wrong if he were surrounded by the right people. They expected him to pivot into being presidential. Unfortunately, that did not happen. His supporters urged people to let Trump be Trump. He was and that has angered many voters. They have had enough. People are tired of the constant daily tirade of tweets.

This time, the opponent, Joe Biden, is not like Hillary Clinton. He is likable, has no scandal as Hillary had with the national security e-mail issue, and served for 8 years with an equally likable person, President Obama as his Vice President. In terms of like, having Joe Biden is the next best thing to having President Obama back to restore calmness, respect, integrity, thoughtfulness, and all the good behavior people want to see in a leader.

Furthermore, there are no serious third party or independent candidates to siphon off votes from the major Trump’s opponent as Hillary Clinton had in 2016. If anything, some unhappy Republicans are deserting Trump to vote for Biden.

Biden and TrumpThird, one of the biggest problems which was absent in 2016 is the COVID-19 pandemic which has now left over 8 million Americans infected and over 200,000 citizens dead. Yet, instead of showing empathy, President Trump has been anything but sympathetic. He has been defying the mitigation measures adopted by most countries of the world and recommended by the COVID-19 Task Force appointed by his own administration. He goes to the ridiculous extent of promoting unproven treatments against the wise counsel of members of the medical and scientific community. He even had the audacity to call Dr. Fauci, one of the most respected epidemiologists, stupid. Of course, his ill-advised behavior caught up with him when he turned an event at the White House into a COVID-19 super spreader. The president’s cavalier attitude towards the pandemic has turned off many of his 2016 supporters, old people who are in the vulnerable group of people.  Whereas in 2016, he won a plurality of older adult men, this time the poll numbers show him hemorrhaging among this demographic group.

Fourth, President Trump has a sense of entitlement. Given his wealthy family background and his experience in business, he acts as if he is above the law. He acts as if nothing is illegal or morally reprehensible. His moral or legal compass, if he has any, does not restrain him from acting on impulse. His default action is to obey his impulses and then figure out how to get away with it. For example, he appears to have no qualms about mixing his personal business with the public business of his office. He appears to break serious laws and gets away with it, whereas ordinary people would suffer serious consequences for committing far lesser crimes. He does not pay anywhere near the amount of taxes he should pay, whereas ordinary people would be jailed for failing to pay what they owe.

In 2016, Trump promised to release his tax returns as is customary for candidates for public offices. Four years out, he has not done so. It was through the arduous effort of some journalists that they discovered why Trump does not want to release his tax returns. For several years, he paid $750 for annual income tax which is far less than what an ordinary worker pays. There are also many suspicious illegal financial transactions which are under investigation. Although in the past some of Trump’s supporters lauded him as being smart for not paying taxes, now many law abiding citizens and dutiful tax payers are asking why they should elect a president who does not pay taxes and seems to think that he is above the law. No! Fair is fair.

President Trump has also hinted that he may not leave office if he is defeated. This will be something that no other president had done before. Again, he seems to think that he is entitled to be president regardless of what the people say. The Americans rejected the monarchy form of government 244 years ago. They are not about to accept one now.

Fifth, to be irreverent is President Trump’s modus operandi. The most respected citizens are those who either volunteer or are forced to put their lives in harm’s way on behalf of the country when they go to war. The worst thing anybody can do to fallen and captured US service members is to call them “losers” and “suckers”. That was exactly what President Trump was reported to have done. It is even much less expected of the commander-in-chief to call them such a name. Yet, there are literally millions of active soldiers and military veterans who will vote. In addition, they have family members and friends who are also voters. Do they want to elect as their commander-in-chief, a person who has such low esteem of them? Most likely not.

Sixth, President Trump has also alienated a whole bunch of groups. Women have not forgotten his crude remarks about grabbing women by their genitals and his threat to end legal abortion rights. Members of the LGBT community are definitely not fond of him since he banned them from serving in the military. His failure to explicitly condemn systemic racism following many incidents of police brutality against black Americans has alienated not just black people but also other minorities as well as many young people who will be voting for the first time.

President Trump himself and some of his supporters are not sounding sure of victory come November 3rd. There are also people who swear that they will leave the country if Trump wins. Furthermore, national polls have consistently shown Trump to trail Biden by about 7-10%. Given all these considerations, I am convinced that baring some unforeseen major events, President Trump will not be re-elected. Only time will tell.