By Uthman Shodipe-Dosunmu
A great Republic on the hill, a shining democracy once envied and awed for her defining majesty, her values; embraced for the pulchritude of her tolerance, celebrated for her instinctive sponsorship of global accommodation, recognized for her prompt stirring spirit of competitive distinction, distinguished as the universal moral arbiter, pacifying a broken, dysfunctional world with the emblem of decency, with the sane, tempering authority of civilized liberal ideology, was, alas, suddenly reversed, withdrawn into a mockery of authoritarian intimations, manacled for four years by a bigot and a clown who would play God while his nation slipped into a parody and utter ruination.
The Trumpian madness shattered all American sacredness, devalued a nation and a people, ridiculed long held virtues and institutions, distorted the sanctity of truth, deepened racial hostilities, vaulted venom and animadversion as the new creed of a nation that once roused as the North Star, the very guiding shepherd and the hope of the fettered, the wretched and the lost.
Trump was an anathema, a dark incubus, some hellish fiend unleashed upon a good people from the bleakest unknown of the Dantean universe. He was (and we must always refer to him in the past) some dubious, unbelievable anomaly, a beclouding intrusion upon a firmament that once brightened with the best of all dreams, with the greatest of all aspirations, with the noblest of all possibilities.
But in truth, in his disruptions and madness, in his racist vaunting and wild unstable, flailing complexity, Donald J. Trump invoked the dirty corners and the ugly underbelly of the hidden, unspoken America. He was the representative of the bigoted, the lunatic fringe; the blemished midgets encased in a twisted world, where the African-American was still looked down upon as a non-person to be trampled and chained.
Trump gleefully waved the banner of division and ruin, triumphing in hate and prejudice, huffing and howling like a true mad hatter, voided of conscience, unknown to contemplative reasoning, wrapped in destructive delusions, reposed in some blind, plastic animation.
Trump was truly without the veritable defining human core which makes one to feel for others, to serve with sacrifice, to look beyond personal gains, to galvanize beyond immediate advantages, to lead with the truth of the human affection.
He loomed forever in some lofty, indifferent distanciation, a deluded phantom, pretending substance, the hollow man presuming solidity.
Trump lived in a cruel, selfish world where the universe revolves only within a narrow orbit as defined only by him. Nothing else mattered, save personal advantages. All else can be abandoned, all else can be flung into the pit of irrelevance, including the continuity of the state and the balance of the national order.
The Trumpian universe has reduced a once great Republic to a wilderness of forfeiture and grim malady. There are too many broken places. There are too many festering sores. There are too many ravaging absurdities still deepening a sundered nation.
And they will persist after Trump, albeit in some reduced, less sinister version. For the true American rebirth will not happen from the solitary will of one good man called Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. No. It must come from a unifying summation of all good people who reject the politics of hate and exclusion. It must come from the conscionable recesses of everyone who treasures the beauty of our common humanity and the necessary embrace of the human dignity.
Yes, Trump is gone despite his despicable tantrums. But his ills, his dark portents, the grimness of his souring hour will remain a harsh, bitter juncture when the story of the American moment is told.
Like Athens and Rome, America has reached her discerning apogee. It will attempt a reversal of the dark, Trumpian orgy. It will try to purge her own demons. But only that. It can never reach the firmness of her full effulgence again. Never. America’s story is told. She must eventually yield to a new order.
*Shodipe-Dosunmu, a former Chief Executive officer of defunct Eko Today newspapers, writes from Lagos.