Donald Trump is back in his game and people are wondering if he can return as the most powerful man in the world.
Could a man who left the American presidency just three years ago amid confusion and irregularities return to the White House?
I have this “egbon” in Nigeria whose infatuation with American politics is unquenchable.
Worried, he asked last week: “Aburo, o dabi pe Trump is coming back to the White House?”
He was shaken, after the political season was flagged off with a Trump victory at the Iowa primaries.
Yes, Donald Trump is planning to return. But can really win?
And my answer was, yes, Donald Trump can win again.
Since 2016 when nearly 45 million fellow Americans dumbly voted a demagogue to lead the nation, I had concluded that if uninformed voters are in significant numbers in any nation, democracy can defeat its purpose by being the government of the stupid majority.
The factors that got the most unlikely personality into America’s highest seat in 2016 are the social media, gullible voters, the electoral college system and Fox News.
His populist campaign and the tailwinds that brought the Manchurian candidate to power once are still there, unfortunately.
Donald Trump has done what no other American leader would get a pass for, yet he is still a strong political force, having scaled the first hurdle, beating other aspirants Republican Party votes In Iowa and New Hampshire.
The issue is not just the fact that the cantankerous former president won the two most important states for primary elections, but that he has won the hearts of evangelical Christians, the majority white population, the less educated, and even those with a college degree.
Except something strange happens, it is all but certain that the Republican Party will present a leader of the insurrectionists, who will stop at nothing to break the law.
The obstacles that can disrupt Trump’s return may end up being legal, rather than political.
As of January, 2024, the former president navigates a complex web of legal minefields, encompassing multiple investigations and lawsuits. These cases span varied jurisdictions and allegations, posing a considerable challenge to his personal, business and political well-being.
There is the Justice Department charged of Trump for his involvement in the attempt to overthrow the government after the results of the 2020 election on January 6, 2021.
The issue is not just the fact that the cantankerous former president won the two most important states for primary elections, but that he has won the hearts of evangelical Christians, the majority white population, the less educated, and even those with a college degree
Several lawsuits in various states seek to bar Trump from holding public office again, based on provisions barring individuals who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United State. In Colorado and Maine, after officials ordered Trump’s removal from the ballot in 2024, the US Supreme Court has been asked to intervene.
An ongoing case in New York state threats his real estate businesses. In a $250 million civil lawsuit, Trump and his organisation are accused of inflating asset values on financial statements to obtain favourable loans and insurance policies. Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his sons are liable for fraud for inflating golf course and property values.
The former president also faces a federal case over his alleged mishandling of classified documents, a case big enough to bring down any politician on moral grounds. Among 40 felony charge are violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and making false statements. The trial is set for May 20, 2024.
That’s not all. In Georgia, he faces another threat because of his interference in the 2020 election. Fulton County District Attorney, Fani T. Willis, indicted Trump and 18 associates on racketeering charges stemming from his purported efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results. This “criminal enterprise” case alleges illegal solicitation of election officials, false document filing and conspiracy to impersonate and forge public officials.
And in New York, Trump has other civil lawsuits related to two women. One involved hush money payment made to adult film star, Stormy Daniels, during his 2016 campaign and the other is a lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll over rape and defamation.
The writer, Jean Carroll, is asking for at least $10 million in damages, as well as an unspecified number of punitive damages. She accused Trump of a decades-old rape in the mid-1990s in a department store dressing room.
The Manhattan District Attorney in New York, Alvin Bragg, also charged Trump with 34 felonies for allegedly falsifying business records to conceal hush-money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and others during the 2016 campaign.
For most politicians, just one of these cases is enough to bring their campaigns to a halt. Not for Trump.
Instead of folding, Trump has tried to make his legal problems – which include four criminal indictments – a selling point for voters, and in recent days alternated between appearances in courtrooms and in politically-important states.
However, the full legal ramifications for Trump are still unfolding.
The upcoming trials, rulings, and potential indictments will determine the severity of the consequences he faces.
These legal battles will also cast a long shadow over the 2024 presidential election, with implications for both Trump’s candidacy and the broader political landscape.
Beyond the legal battles, these cases raise crucial questions about accountability, the rule of law, and the potential threat to democratic institutions posed by actions like election interference. Whether Trump is ultimately held accountable will significantly impact the nation’s trajectory and set precedents for future administrations.
Donald Trump is simply fit for a Banana Republic, although he is much liked by about 38% of the US population for reasons ranging from race, religion to social class.
Trump is evidence that America will always struggle from the very same factors that made it great – diversity.
Although Trump’s grandparents, Friedrich and Elisabeth Drumpf, came to New York City as immigrants from Germany in 1902, Trump positions himself as the protector of American values and culture, posting all kinds of offensive content about other races, ranging from his rants about Mexican immigrants, the birther campaign against former President Barack Obama and his more recent attacks on his Republican opponent, Nikki Haley, for her Indian heritage.
He talks as if America was not founded by immigrants and brags like his own life as an American didn’t start in more recent history.
Yet, many believe him. Many follow him. Many will work with the Teflon Don of contemporary American politics to destroy its democracy. They do so because Trump gives them what they want – the old past!
It is the same voters who voted for Obama, giving him successive victories, who fuel the Trump machine in a few states that decide the outcome of US elections.
Most analysts find it difficult to understand how anyone who voted for Obama would have voted for Trump. That is American politics for you. It seems complicated but it is easy to follow.
Most Americans are already locked in ahead of any election. There are usually about 40% to the left and the right, dug into their political camps. Most of these voters are delineated by the states in which the reside – otherwise called the Blue States for democrats and Red States for Republicans.
The political outcomes in these red and blue states are pre-determined. They vote the same way all the time.
As a result, all elections are decided by just a few swing states, where the voters that are mostly independents, meaning those whose minds can be changed, even a few hours before an election.
These states include Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina and Maine.
Another complexity is the electoral college factor, which does not allow candidates with the popular vote to win outright.
It is a form of indirect popular election allowing the selection of a panel of individuals pledged to vote for a specific candidate. The people vote for those who will then select the president.
In a country that is slightly slanted to the central right, the election is often in favour of Republicans, who know they cannot win the popular vote any longer and are focused on gerrymandering.
Republicans haven not won the popular vote in an election for 20 years!
Most Americans are conservative in religion and value, and the chances that those in the middle, the swing voters will vote for Trump is higher.
As we break into the news cycle, Trump’s clueless Nigerian fans should ask themselves what their own values are on morality and justice look like
The exception is usually when the economic is stuttering, when there is a political crisis or the Republican party presents an unpopular candidate.
So, questions about whether Trump can return as president are ridiculous. Yes, he can!
While Trump will increasingly face serious political challenges because of his mounting legal troubles, he knows how to wade through the waters as he had done in 2016.
That is why he is whipping up religious and racial sentiments.
No fewer than 90% of evangelicals Christians who voted in Iowa were for him. And there is a silent racial factor in his followership.
Europe is already raising fears of how a second Trump presidency will make their own economic and security roadmap to wobble.
As we break into the news cycle, Trump’s clueless Nigerian fans should ask themselves what their own values are on morality and justice look like.
The Donald Trump candidacy presents a moral dilemma to good people.
He is a demagogue, a populist who feeds on the hatred of the underprivileged, using any lie to position himself for power.
Since democracies are natural breeding grounds for demagogues, Trump’s strategy is to refuse to follow the standard conventions of polite society or decency, using his crudeness as a superficial sideshow.
Trump rejects conventions that ordinary people abide by, by being lawless and confrontational – even using Christianity in the most mischievous way to gain acceptance. Yet, his supporters who abide by the rules of the society accept him, sometimes raising the moronic argument that “he is God’s choice” against anti-Christs.
If Trump succeeds, he will quickly move to destroy the structures of democracy and the rule of law.
But I am an optimist. Trump has to fail because there is an inherent goodness about the American spirit that will defeat him.