By Gideon Goldmann
As an African, I have always felt insulted by the hue and cry of my American friends and colleagues (Democrats) about alleged Russian election meddling. Such arrant hypocrisy.
Do we want to start recalling the well documented and storied history of US election meddling and political assasinations around the globe since the 1940s and especially since the 1960s in sub-Saharan Africa, South America and the Far East?
There are over 80 instances of US election meddling etched in the annals of history including the removal of my country’s first President (Ghana’s first President Osagyefo Doctor Kwame Nkrumah with the connivance of the British MI6 and Nkrumah’s then buddy-buddy known as Komla Agbeli Gbedemah).
How would anyone think Trump was rigged in by Russia when the Mueller investigation (which lasted three years and cost we, the American tax-payers $35Million), found zero evidence of Russian Collusion?
Add the US Senate’s (not the Senate Intel Committee) inability to find any concrete evidence of Russian meddling as reported by even the Mainstream media (CNN, MSNBC etc)?
Here are a few reasons that accounted for Trump’s 2016 victory:
1. Hillary did not have a compelling electoral message; she was basically offering four (4 ) more years of Obama’s policies.
2. Hillary instead of focusing on what the American electorates call ‘kitchen table issues’, unwittingly focused her campaign on directly attacking Trump;
3. Infact for every $5 Hillary spent, Trump spent just $1. While Hillary spent $1 Billion in denigrating Trump up and down in the media, Trump spent his $200 Million on his campaign promises engineered by Data and Google Analytics and the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which enabled him run a more effective and targeted campaign (Trump perfected and took Obama’s 2008 IT and Social Media-driven campaign playbook to another level).
4. The power of Obama’s incumbency and the Clinton dynasty was poorly leveraged by Hillary and the DNC in 2016.
5. Some Americans were still disenchanted by Hillary’s Benghazi scandal nicknamed ‘fast and furious’ and also Hillary’s confessed destruction of 33,000 emails and wiping and sanitizing of her private server by bleachbit software.
6. Hillary and the DNC additionally became complacent from the constantly wrong 2016 polls by CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Monmouth University, Quinnipiac University and sometimes Gallup which all predicted a Hillary win with wrong predictions claiming and touting over 97% chance of winning (mind you a review of the methodologies of all these polls had an over 50% margin of error and supposedly educated people run with it. Little surprise that Trump won, proving how error-prone and unreliable majority of these 2016 Partisan Pollsters were.
7. Trump despite being a Political outsider and political neophyte, proved to be a more effective campaigner and although he had what is called ‘fewer boots on the ground’ compared to Hillary, Trump was very smart in strategically focusing his campaign efforts in certain states and counties where he was weakest, hence his ability to break through the famed ‘Democratic blue wall’.
8. While Hillary comparatively had more ‘boots on ground’ and the full complement of the DNC electoral war machine at her disposal, she is on record to have campaigned where she was strongest to the detriment of battleground states that needed her attention. What an asinine, pedestrian and puerile campaign blunder by such a battle-tested Political heroine and maverick. According to certain seasoned political analysts, Hillary and the DNC’s uncharacteristic 2016 electoral miscalculations were born out of overconfidence and (again) complacency.
9. Trump was said to be constantly speaking what was on the minds of (most) American electorates (his change mantra, national security, building the wall, immigration reform etc, and nationalism aka America first, renegotiation of lopsided trade deals etc. which the mainstream media dubbed racism and white supremacy and so on and so forth). Mind you, during Obama’s era, the Democrats wanted the wall built along the southern border. They changed tack immediately Trump touted the need to build the same wall and turned it into an Anti-Trump battering ram. Some of the electorate took note.
10. The constant pillorying of Trump by the media galvanized his Base and rallied the RNC around him (Remember the vitriolic ‘basket of deplorables’ classification by Hillary etc.)?
11. The electorate wanted change, which happened to be the core of Trump’s message. Furthermore, Trump’s plan to drain the swamp and make America great again had a certain ring to it in the ears of 63 Million-plus Americans. Add to it the fact that as a self-funded Political outsider, he would be potentially less susceptible to the manipulations and shenanigans of the US and Wall Street ‘establishment’.
12. Trump had spent over 30 years in the US media coming up to the elections. Aside being a maverick and popular American business man, he was featured in and had Cameos in over 50 American movies with his name mentioned in over 60 movies. Trump was also beholden to Wall Street since the 1980s. He was a darling of the media for 30 years plus until he declared his intention to run for President. He was a staple on US cable TV with his popular reality TV show known as ‘the Apprentice’. He also owned the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe Beauty Pageants some of them from 1996 till 2015 when he sold them off among others. It was therefore an uphill task for Hillary to expect to wash all that headstart away with $1 Billion in 7 months (without prejudice to the Clinton dynasty and Obama’s incumbency) and try to convince the same Americans before whom he blossomed for decades that he was an idiot, unsavory, dumb, racist and you name it.
13. The American electorate were simply just not buying the Trump is a fool rhetoric (the Democrats and their media apologists, lackeys and shills however upped the ante and cranked up the hate-inspired and unbalanced reportage in the media (MSM) to the detriment of the fidelity of Hillary’s messaging. It was nary a good strategy. It was a strategy that achieved the opposite result; it rather empowered Trump and his base.
I quote Floyd Mayweather the African-American boxing Champion:
“How come Trump wasn’t called a racist till he declared his intention to run for President”?
Let’s be analytical and stop swallowing everything we see in the media.
Africa let’s begin thinking for ourselves and usher ourselves into an age of African renaissance where each African child will put their hands to the plow and begin self-re-education in our bid to commence the building of a strong and vibrant agrarian economy across sub-Saharan Africa which shall buoy our planned industrial base and industrialization in our bid to catch up with the rest of the developed world.
Meanwhile, the developed world are moving on to a world driven by Blockchain, 5G, (6G is already being developed), Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, IoT (Internet of Things), IoP (Internet of People), Nanotechnology, Machine Learning etc and have moved on to the 4th Industrial Revolution.
We are still haplessly and unfortunately grappling with basic industrialization, trying to pile on a weak service or tertiary sector on top of a fragile industrial sector ensconced on top of a wobbly agrarian sector. We need to stop theorizing and practicalizing value-addition to our exports, diversification of our economies, fiscal discipline, developmental continuity from one regime to the next, end of subservience of our leaders to our Colonial Masters, curbing of the pillaging and plundering of our common patrimony, recalibration of our value systems, renegotiation of our trade deals with the rest of the world, gradual stoppage of aid-dependence, re-evaluation of our school curricula, increase in intra-African trade, improved speed in regional integration in our bid to foment the unity of the sub-region and Africa as a continent, development of homegrown solutions, election of people with ideas and proven track record into office and an estoppel of the continuous recycling of aged and gassed out (and in some cases) paraplegic political dinosaurs from our polity among others.
Gideon Goldmann is a US Representative of Economic Strategic Growth And Development Initiative of Africa (ESGADIA).