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US Election: Rhetorics, Gaffes That Cost Donald Trump The Presidency

Although United States President, Donald Trump is still posturing by not only refusing to concede defeat, he has gone on to claim victory without providing evidence to back up his claims. 

Trump has refused to concede defeat despite Joe Biden hitting the 270  Electoral college votes threshold to win the Presidential poll. As at the last count, the Democratic candidate has amassed 290 votes, with Trump languishing on 232.

Many pundits and analysts alike have attributed several factors for Trump’s defeat, but the following top why Americans decided to jettison the Republican candidate for the former US Vice President. 

Stoking of division among Americans Perhaps

No US President has stoked division among Americans than Donald Trump. It’s a given, the United States are divided along party line – the Republicans and Democrats. 

But Trump’s presidency has greatly divided Americans more in the last four years. Donald Trump politicized everything under the sun, including backing White Supremacist and the likes. Ahead of his presidency in 2016, Donald Trump refused to condemned leader of a White Supremacy group, David Duke for his offensive comments. 

Just recently during the Presidential Debate, Trump on National television backed a rogue group, the Proud Boys. A group is known for its fanatism and extremists beliefs. Upon being asked to denounce the group, Trump simply said; “Stand back and stand by”, tacit support and endorsement by a US president to a White Supremacy group. 

Traditionally in the US, upon the conclusion of any election and defeat accepted and concessions made, the Victor makes effort to bring everybody on board, including the Republicans, Democrats and Independent, promising to unite the nation. But President Trump failed to do that since assuming office in January 2017, fanning the ember of hates, anger and division. 

Despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular votes with 3 million votes, she conceded defeat, but four years after, Trump still calls her “crooked Hillary”, chanting “lock her up” alongside his supporters. These are not behaviour expected of a man in charge at the White House, leader of the revered free world, the president of the United States of America. Trump has taken the bar so low that Americans simply got fed up. 

The perpetrator of fake news via his tweets

As of October 2020, President Donald Trump has made over 20,000 false or misleading claims since his assumption of office in 2017. This figure is according to Fact Checkers at the Washington Post. 

A United States President now a perpetrator of fake news and lies? How did America get here?  According to the ex-US president, Barack Obama on Trump’s false claims, he said; Americans now tolerate a lot from Donald Trump what we won’t take from a high school principal, football coach and even a family member”

During the 2016 election, Trump was across screaming rigged election, until it appeared he was actually coasting home to victory. Even Hillary that got more votes did not deride the democratic system, she simply moved on with her life. 

According to multiple reports, Trump does not attend to his presidential briefs but spend most of his oval office time watching television and trolling on Twitter. 

Romancing dictators:

Trump has brought unusualness to the Presidency with his friendly demeanour towards dictators and dictatorship regimes, especially Vladimir  Putin and Kim Jong-UN of North Korea. 

The United States and her presidents are usually at opposing views with anti-democratic elements like Putin and Kim Jong-Un and to see Trump now exuding cult-like followership of these Authoritarians makes everybody perplexed and bemused. 

The US president was once quoted as saying; “I have a very good relationship with him, [so it] probably would be. We fell in love.” These encomium and lavish endorsement of autocratic regimes has gotten most Americans infuriated, none least the United States mainstream media and diplomatic Corp. 

Poor handling of COVID-19 pandemic

None of these issues cost Trump the presidency more than his poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, during the outbreak of the virus, Trump dismissed it as a hoax, noting that it was the machination of the media. 

Upon seeing the devasting effect of the pandemic especially on Americans, he tagged it “the Chinese virus”, assuring Americans that it would go away soon, but now months down the line Americans are the biggest casualty to the virus. As of November 18th 2020, the US has recorded 11.4 million cases, with 284, 000 deaths, representing 20% of global cases. 

The president even denounced the use of facial masks,  not forgetting his constant fight with the nation’s top epidemiologist, Dr Anthony Fauchi over his advocacy for Facial masks and social distancing. 

Until Trump contracted and recovered from the virus, he vehemently opposed the use of masks, coupled with his penchant for holding super spreaders events like the one held in White House against COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. 

Weeks before the election amidst the peak period of COVID-19 in the US, Trump and his campaign team held several rallies with thousands of supporters in attendance in sharp contrast to Joe Biden whose most of his rallies were conducted virtually. 

In furtherance to this, President Trump became jealous of the media reportage of the pandemic, screaming “It is COVID, COVID, COVID and COVID-19 you hear from the media.” He just could not wish COVID-19 away and he looked for every positive narrative all to no avail. He was even quoted as saying on COVID-19, “It’s what it is.”  

Fight with the media 

No US president has had a combat with the Media like Donald Trump. This began even before he assumed the presidency. He referred to the US mainstream media as crooked and fake news institutions. 

With only days to the Presidential election, Trump walked out on 60 minutes, a popular interview programme on CBS anchored by Lesley Stahl on CBS. Trump has consistently behaved like a cry baby when it comes to the media, always whining and complaining like a toy bereaved baby. 

Never has this been seen from the supposed most powerful man in the United States if not the world and Americans were no longer finding it funny. How can the entire media be perhaps with the exception of Fox News ganged up against Donald Trump? An institution that has existed since time in-memorial? 

Ridiculing American famous and respected democracy

Aside from his refusal to concede defeat and congratulate Joe Biden as the duly winner of the US election, Donald Trump has consistently ridiculed the US democracy, leading mistrust in the system and process.

Speaking in an interview after the election, Barack Obama put it succinctly; “A week later we have a bunch of false suggestions that somehow there was cheating or fraudulent votes or illegal votes. But if you were listening to talk radio that Trump voters are listening to, or watching Fox News or getting his tweets, those allegations are presented as facts “

He added; “So you have got millions of people out there who think oh yeah they must be charting because the president said so.”

Imagine a US election result still being disputed weeks after, all because Trump is relishing the oval office and unwilling to give up power. Even the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei  made a mockery of the US election referring to it  as a “spectacle that has exposed the weakness of democracy.”

This is the same United States that is quick to tell other countries how to conduct its affairs, now falling flat-footed with her inability to meet the minimum requirement. What moral right do they have to tell Nigeria anything ahead of 2023? 

Trump’s defeat was long coming and not surprising to keen followers of the US political discourse. The gaffes were simply too many. He even became a law unto himself, ignoring all existing institutions, norms and laws he met on ground. He is a man not befitting of an American president, he only reminds one of Idi Atmin Dada of Ugandan. Trump is a racist,   

Misogynist and narcissist and the US and the works should hope never to see his type again. On the US democracy, the lack of trust is now embedded. It would take a generation or more to recover. It has been so battered. 

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