By Dr. R. O
SIR: Thanks to Dr. Jide Oluwajuyitan for pointing out the parallel between Donald Trump and Hitler in his column in The Nation of Thursday January 14. Just a few years ago, the piece would have sounded heretical to many Americans. But today, the evidence speaks for itself.
Nevertheless, the lesson is not solely for Americans who have a large stamina to weather all storms but for humanity in general, and in particular, places like Nigeria that likes to copy and paste without a clue to what is going on. The point is that what we witness in America today is not unexpected, for according to Murphy’s law, whatever can go wrong, will.
Ironically, much of what the founding fathers of that country foresaw and wanted to prevent is demonstrated today in Donald Trump: the Electoral College did not prevent a demagogue. Nor should anyone blame him or his party because they were molded into their current form by their counterpart, the Democratic Party. If one has a winning formula in popular votes, then the other will eventually find ways to win too, be they crooked or unpopular ways. It is about power.
And that is the crux of the whole matter. Many people still overlook the fact that power and service don’t mix well. Ask someone to serve and give him a little power, what you will get is that the little power will enlarge at the expense of service until service is given only to the extent that it consolidates power. While Americans are proud of their brand of governance, a democracy that is based on power, they forget that their brand was an offshoot of the Roman system of conquering by force. To end the Roman system, the idea was floated to give the masses the opportunity to elect their own gods (those who wield power). But the two systems are essentially the same: I conquer you by force or you elect to give me the force. It is the
same thing, and those who understand how to use power will always have their way into governance, even if we fill all elective seats with saints to begin with. So, elect saints into our National Assembly today, it is just a matter of time before the saints are dislodged.
Things look more sane in America than Nigeria not because the system is better but because they have had more time to be civilized. But in spite of the mountains of laws for check and balances in America (an absolute requirement when you operate a system that is inherently unstable), whatever can go wrong must go wrong eventually.
Perhaps this is a time for us to realize that democracy has never endured anywhere in the world (not in Greece or anywhere else), in spite of the seeming success in the USA. That country is operating at a fraction of her potential but does not realize it. Now is our opportunity to design something else.
Source: The Nation