As our country treaded its way through the last year of the first African American president’s term, we the people, the citizens of this great, enigmatic land, prepared to choose a new leader. Someone, we were told, that would continue to lead us through the murky waters of uncertainty, and into the so-called Promised Land.
Throughout the presidential campaign we heard repeatedly the expression: “Vote for me and make America great again.” This expression echoed all over the country, and even reverberated worldwide. In reality, however, considering the numbers of us who had already questioned the legitimacy of this particular phrase, the truth finally emerged for all to see. Many of us, that is those who put away the blinders of deception, saw it as an illusion. Trickery to lure the vulnerable into a trap — a trap of oppression.
Donald Trump, or No. 45, as many like to call him, seems to have cast a spell over some of the most vulnerable citizens in America: those mostly in rural areas, southern regions, displaced workers and even those still immersed in deep-seated racist views, which lured them into a pipe dream. A flawed dream packed with false hopes, outright lies and fabrications. Dreams that would inevitably lead many of these spellbound people down the path of self destruction and disillusionment.
Consider, for example, the pandemic America is currently suffering through, caused by the ravaging coronavirus that has taken so many lives. President Donald Trump knew as early as February — before the deadly virus overwhelmed the country — how lethal it could be, and that its means of being spread was through the air, especially in enclosed environments. Trump called it a hoax and a tactic of the Democratic Party to denigrate him so he couldn’t be reelected and that it really wasn’t that serious.
Furthermore, Trump later admitted to a well-known journalist, Bob Woodward, who interviewed him for a book he was writing that he announced it as a hoax to the American public in order to downplay the virus. He stated he did not want the pandemic to undermine his presidency, so he misled the American public. As a result of this, thousands of Americans have followed his misleading advice, and many of them have died. Also, he refuses to wear a mask for protection and has influenced thousands of his followers at campaign rallies to do the same. Blatant disregard for the pandemic and overall public safety.
Another vivid example of Trump’s callous egotistical behavior is his creation of the so-called Trump University, wherein hundreds of enrolled students were bilked out of their money and informed after their graduations that the school was not creditable following intense investigations. Consequently, large numbers of class settlement lawsuits were filed and litigated against Trump, resulting in large awards for student litigants.
There are numerous other actions Donald Trump has taken to dupe the American public such as tax evasion, suspected tax fraud (currently being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York), tariff wars with China resulting in numerous farm closures all across the country, tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, setting up fake charities (also investigated and assessed hefty fines), attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act during a ravaging pandemic, denial of climate change, splitting up immigrant families and incarcerating the children and leaving the American Economy in tatters. There are many other examples that could be mentioned, but certainly those previously noted are enough to make one wonder how someone like this could become president of the United States.
Now the question arises, how could this be so in this day and age? The overwhelming truth is that the expression “Make America Great Again” is simply a code phrase for take America back into its past. Consequently, minorities, vulnerable women and the under privileged are kept in oppression so they won’t be a threat to the white working class. It is a direct play on the fears and insecurities of the white working class that lends itself to its desired result — division within America. It’s a con game! A game filled with manipulation and confusion in order to keep the elite in power, and the oppressed deceived.
So, did you see it? In the midst of all the lies, hate statements, bullying and false promises, did you see the mirage No. 45 just sprinkled into the atmosphere again? Don’t get bamboozled. It’s all a distraction.
Ron Rice Sr. is a retired criminal justice professional, local author and motivational speaker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.