Contributing Author Dickson Igwe

A five (5) story series on the USA presidential election of November 2020 

Donald Trump’s years in the White House starting January 2017 have been momentous.

From the quiet stability of 2016 where the USA was the main superpower in a unilateral world that revolved around Washington DC, Trump has driven US decline and fostered hatred and racism in the Americas to an unprecedented level. Trump and his toxic and racist politics,  has driven race relations in the Americas back to the 1960s.

Now, Trump’s latest ‘’cock up’’ was the mishandling of the Covid-19 response that has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, and a world on the brink of economic depression.

Far from making America great again, Donald Trump has made the USA a laughing stock; albeit the world has been further placed in jeopardy by the rise of the political culture of the strongman.

There has been a receding of democratic values worldwide, and the ditching of multilateralism and wise and humble statesmanship, as the means of ensuring global peace and security. Today, fascist clowns are in charge of western society. And when you vote for a clown expect a great circus.

Donald Trump addresses supporters at a February rally in South Carolina. Photo courtesy SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES

  1. The election of a vastly wealthy hotelier, property mogul, and TV personality heralded the start of a new politics. Trump was the renegade in 2016. Trump was the unconventional candidate who would ‘’ drain the swamp.’’ Trump would turn the world of corrupt establishment DC politics upside down.

Today the USA is little more than a plutocracy. Far from ensuring the welfare of the ‘’little man’’ Trump has used his office to extend by trillions of dollars the wealth of the 1% and has entrenched inequality in the USA to levels that could be described as obscene.

However a bull stock market and the belief by many that Trump- a businessman – was good for the economy allowed the US President to get away with a host of excesses that would have seen any other politician booted from office. 

US politics cannot be ignored in the Caribbean. The US is the big North. When the US coughs the Caribbean catches pneumonia.

US investors in the Caribbean drive tourism. There is a symbiotic relationship. US tourists visit, flying in on US airlines. They stay in US owned hotels and resorts. They visit on US cruise ships. 

Caribbean nations benefit in the jobs this activity generates. The small businesses that hover around this USA driven tourism include taxis, tour guides, villas and guest houses, services to the marina and yachting industry, retail services, and so on and so forth. The currency that derives from this tourism provides a platform for internal market economies and fuels local consumer demand and economic growth. So, US politics cannot be ignored.

Caribbean nationals have social and cultural ties to the USA. Millions of Caribbean people are nationals of both their unique islands, and the USA.  Migration from the Caribbean to the USA is an age old affair. From Puerto Ricans, to Haitians, and Jamaicans, the USA for a hundred years has been El Dorado.

Notwithstanding the racism and segregation that is endemic in the USA, the call of the US Dollar has been the magnet that drives the Caribbean into the clutches of ‘’Uncle Sam.’’

For its part the US has exercised hegemony over the Americas.  It is the supreme global superpower in the region. Its military could invade and occupy most Caribbean islands in a moment if it so desired.

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