Endu**ng lessons from the Trump presidency

Thursday, January 21st, 2021 00:00 | By
Former US President Donald Trump. Photo/COURTESY

Donald Trump yesterday left the White House after four tumultuous years with a mixed legacy that will be the subject of debate for years. His exit was as dramatic as his victory for America’s highest seat.

Trump, a political rookie, defeated the more experienced Hillary Clinton in a foul-mouthed fight amidst strong reservations about his integrity, temperament and suitability for the most powerful job in the world.

Trump, who boycotted yesterday’s inauguration of his successor, Joe Biden, leaves office as the only American President impeached twice.

Contrary to established tradition in which incumbents witness the peaceful hand-over of power and attend the inauguration of their successor, Trump opted to leave Washington rather than face the reality that he lost re-election to Biden.

His reign has been characterised by monumental peddling of lies, a resurgence of acidic racism, hatred, an unprecedented assault on media freedom and contempt for science.

Trump not only shocked the world with his falsehoods that he won the November 3 election but also inspired an insurrection at the US Capitol, the heart of American democracy, in a bid to overturn Biden’s victory.  

The attack that shocked by Americans and the world remains a stain on his legacy that is certain to overshadow any gains that he would have made as president.

As expected, Trump left the White House a bitter man but highly deluded in usual self-aggrandisement and sense of entitlement.

For millions of Americans, Trump’s exit was a moment of relief and reflection on Biden’s Herculean task of re-building bridges that Trump had destroyed, fighting effects of a pandemic aggravated by his reckless attitude, uniting a highly polarised country because of the President’s hate politics and restoring America’s place as a world leader.

Indeed, his reign raises questions on the link between success in business and challenges of political leadership.

There is no doubt that Trump is a highly successful businessman. But there is a demonstration that he did not reflect the same success in his political career that ended in disgrace.

His speeches, temperament, judgement and dealings with other countries have consistently raised debate that he was out of depth and not sufficiently talented for the powerful job. 

That a sitting American President would incite a mob to attack the US Capitol was unthinkable.

His decision to boycott an event that unites the country he has been leading was also unwise. 

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