The Rise and Fall of King Trump
Updated: Mar 7
By Adeleke Adefioye
Donald Trump joins William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush on the list of one-term Presidents, but his whimsical and capricious intentions to turn the presidency into a monarchical dynasty separates him from the existing names on the one-term list.
From the moment he declared his candidacy to the minute the lights went out on his presidency, Donald Trump was not only controversial, he was generally not presidential and specifically un-American in every sense of those words. For the purpose of clarity, my assertion about his non-presidential demeanor has nothing to do with being politically correct, it has everything to do with the possession and exhibition of good leadership traits.
Events Preceding the Rise
As soon as Trump announced his candidacy, there was this unbelievable look on everyone’s face. The conservatives thought the presidential bar that used to cruise in sky-high altitude had just been lowered and placed beneath the foot. The liberals, on the other aisle, wondered how the likes of Trump managed to creep into the GOP's presidential aspirants’ line-up. The general populace was astonished at the initial stage, but as time went on, everyone began to see his ambition as a comic relief to the process. As a result, he was treated as nobody in the political arena and an inconsequential element in the rank and file of politics, especially being an outsider. At some point, his candidacy became a combination of embarrassment and distraction to the Republicans. Obviously, he came into the political scene with lots of preexisting conditions.
He overestimated his net worth and gave demeaning and disparaging nicknames to more intelligent candidates eyeing the White House. He christened Hillary Clinton ‘Crooked,’ he called Marco Rubio ‘Little,’ he branded Jeb Bush as ‘Low Energy,’ he transformed Ted Cruz to ‘Lying Ted,’ and baptized Elizabeth Warren. When he was done, he gave her a new baptismal name – Pocahontas.
Surprisingly, he spared someone from his disparaging nick-naming show – himself. For instance, I never heard him call himself names like Donald ‘Big Mouth’ Trump, Donald ‘Orange’ Trump, Donald ‘Rainbow’ Trump, Donald ‘Recalcitrant’ Trump, Donald ‘Cheat Expert’ Trump, Donald ‘Vindictive’ Trump or Donald ‘74 year-old boy’ Trump.
He referred to Mexicans as rapists and drug barons, he never released his taxes as required by law, and he bragged that he could get away with murder if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue in the heart of New York. Despite all of the red flags, somehow, political gladiators who were considered relevant on the presidential aspirants’ line-up began to drop and collapse in a manner reminiscent of a crumbling pack of cards. The crowded scene shrank as each day rolled by. Finally, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump became the last man standing. Jeb Bush, one of the most favored aspirants by the right wing at the inception of the race had long ‘disappeared’ into thin air. When Cruz and Trump, the perceived inconsequential element, drove through the last tunnel, only Trump emerged at the end of the tunnel. He became the Republican Presidential Flagbearer against all expectations. Then, the unbelievable look on everyone’s face returned. Conservatives and liberals couldn’t believe it. How did this happen? How did he make it?
There was a justification for the surprise, though. On both sides of the aisle, Trump was regarded as the most unserious, the most unprepared and the least presidential person from the pack. He couldn’t collate his thought process sequentially, he couldn’t hold discussions down without being disrespectful and his speeches were all over the place with no specific substance.
As soon as he emerged as the Republican’s Presidential Candidate, so many scandals and allegations emerged with it. From immoral acts with prostitutes to groping women at random disrespectfully. From Trump University fraud to several bouts of shady deals. From the released Access Hollywood bus tape where he bragged about grabbing women body parts by intimidating them with his celebrity status to his illicit escapades with Stormy Daniels – an adult movie actress who he later paid a sum of $130,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The list was inexhaustible.
With Trump as the Republican Presidential Flagbearer and the strings of unending allegations and scandals around his neck, the Democrats had a field day. The presidential election would be a piece of cake. No one in the right frame of mind would vote for a character like Trump – so they thought.
It didn’t appear like Trump had a strategy. But then, a base magically sprang up for him from nowhere. He had referred to Mexicans as rapists and drug barons. He promised to build a wall at the United States-Mexico border to the south. He promised immigration reforms that would ‘serve national interest.’ Reforms that eventually stereotyped certain hand-picked quarters around the globe and tactically restrained them from legal entry through the application of stringent guidelines while Trump-favored quarters literally have less stringent guidelines as against applying the same set of guidelines to everyone with no preference for certain nationals.
Coincidentally, the Mexico wall and the immigration reform promises resonated with some folks and his base began to experience an unprecedented astronomical growth. The more progressives criticized him, the more his base expanded. Somehow, in the weirdest manner, Trump pulled through and won the 2016 general elections. He did not garner as much as Hillary Clinton did in the general election, but again, and somehow, he won the electoral vote that placed him in The White House.
As soon as he became the President and the Commander-in-Chief, Trump added a list of other titles – a master bully, the anointed one on Twitter, the Divider-in-Chief, Expert Lie Peddler, and His Royal Majesty – The King of the Kingdom of America as well as the Supreme Ruler of the United States. Throughout his reign, he deprecated everything America stood for and embraced everything America stood against. He never overlooked anything. Anyone who criticized any of his heinous policies or weird demeanor got a piece of his almighty tear-down. You would think the office of the president is a busy one. Nope. Not for Trump. He would respond to a two-year old child who passes a comment he deemed as uncomplimentary.
In October 2019, he approved a military operation that led to the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the erstwhile leader and caliph of a terrorist organization known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL. The operation was considered successful. There were some praises that rolled in for the Special Operations Military Working dog that chased after Baghdadi when he attempted to escape. To my surprise, Trump grew jealous of the dog and literally displayed a great deal of discomfort requesting to know why a dog would receive credit for an operation he approved.
You can tell from his face how much he detested what he referred to as ‘not receiving enough credit while a dog takes all the credit.’ Personally, that was it for me. If a man could be jealous of a dog, to me, that was the lowest any human could possibly go.
He became a master bully. He waged a fierce war against the press. He mocked a disabled reporter openly. He shut reporters down on several occasions. He referred to professionals as stupid. He referred to climate change as a hoax. He challenged the existence of science. He tasted the power inherent in the office of the president and utilized the executive order tool incessantly. He once told a reporter during a press conference ‘I am the president, not you.’ You’ll then wonder if anyone was trying to drag his office with him. There was always a new low just when you thought you had seen it all.
Trump had an inordinate ambition of becoming a dictator. He once said he hoped Americans listen to and worship him as North Koreans worship Kim Jong-un. He coasted along the ‘unfamiliar’ political terrain with no known guardrail or navigation. One of the tools he downloaded from his superego store was intimidation. He did not only intimidate everyone who crossed his path, he threw a tantrum at anyone who held opposing views to his opinions. He was always apoplectic with uncontrolled rage. He basically became contentious and combative all through his reign.
The Evangelical Effect
Throughout Trump’s presidency, there were divergent opinions within the evangelical community. While some showered unending encomiums on him as a God-sent President, some strongly condemned an attempt to link him with anything Godly because of his conspicuous reckless behavior which is at variance with empathy and compassion synonymous with Christian values.
Some of the members of the evangelical community that showered encomiums on Trump often lay emphasis on the fact that one of the last prophecies to be fulfilled in the bible is the return/recognition Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel since God himself chose the city (II Chronicles 6: 5-6). Therefore, Donald Trump’s announcement of the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel on December 6, 2017 and the subsequent order to relocate the United States’ Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was on the right track to fulfil one of the last prophecies before the second coming of Jesus Christ. As a result of this, according to this group, Trump must have been appointed by God into the office of the President to fulfil this prophecy and subsequently ‘clean up’ America.
Matter of fact, I’m a Christian, and I’m not disputing the possibility of Trump being appointed by God for an assignment. That may have, as well, explained the mystery surrounding his emergence as the President of the United States even when it was glaring that he was the least qualified of all the contenders at the time.
In the Old Testament, God administered his people through Prophets, Judges and Kings. There is always a consistent sequence with the Almighty God. He chose whoever he wanted. He still does anyway. When he decides to choose, he does not care who an individual is. He doesn’t care about social status, relevance, brilliance, skill set, charisma or academic qualification.
When he chose Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, Moses was the least qualified person if physical ability was anything to go buy. Despite growing up in the opulence and grandeur of Pharaoh’s palace, he realized that he stuttered and wanted God to drop him from being considered for the assignment, but God insisted he wanted him despite the fact that he was not eloquent.
David was the youngest of his brothers. He was the least qualified person to ascend the throne, but God insisted that he wanted him. Rahab was a prostitute, but God used her for the protection of the Israelite spies in the events that preceded the capture of Jericho. The list goes on and on.
As posited earlier, God does not care about the personal flaws of an individual he intends to choose or appoint to complete an assignment for him. However, he begins to care about that individual’s conduct, actions and demeanor the moment he chooses or appoints such an individual.
For instance, he didn’t care about David’s status as the least qualified among his brothers when he chose him as the king. But when King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite, God rejected him out rightly as the king. The saving grace for David was a genuine confession and true repentance.
In the same vein, God appointed King Saul as the first king of Israel and rejected him shortly after he disobeyed him. He had won a landslide victory in the war against Amalek, but he flagrantly flouted God’s order by sparing King Agag’s life and kept some loot from the land of Amalek for himself against God’s instructions. He was rejected as the king by God afterwards as announced by Prophet Samuel.
These stories are very consequential in an attempt to either remind or keep some of the members of the Evangelical wing, who have been rooting for Trump as the chosen one, abreast of how God operates. Indeed, if God had chosen Trump to fulfil certain prophecies or complete a specific biblical task, then, the emergence of Trump as the President would make more sense if God’s selection criteria are anything to go by as Trump was clearly the most unqualified.
Again, it is important to keep in mind that God doesn’t care who an individual is before he chooses, but he begins to care about that Individual’s conduct after he or she has been chosen. It may be recalled that it became habitual of Trump after his inauguration to ascribe every success story to himself. Pride sets in for him and he began to make statements like ‘I alone can fix it,’ ‘There hasn’t been any President like me in the history of America,’ ‘I know more than the Generals,’ ‘No one can match my intellectual capability,’ ‘I don’t need my special advisers,’ ‘I make all the decisions by myself,’ I am rich. I’m a successful businessman who has made a lot of money,’ ‘I know more than the scientists.’
Almighty God, the Commander-in-Chief of the universe, detests sharing his glory with anyone. He takes all the glory all by himself. The ‘all-about-me’ mentality of Trump must have angered God and he might have rejected him if Trump was indeed chosen by him. If the members of the Evangelical Wing who are core supporters of Trump had realized this fact earlier, they wouldn’t have tried to undo what God had already done. Obedience, the Bible says, is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams’ (I Samuel 15:22). The Book of Proverbs, the most viable resource for wisdom, also says ‘Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,’ (Proverbs 16:18).
As the general election that would determine the renewal of his tenancy at the White House approached, Trump developed cold feet. He had stepped on toes and knew his base was shrinking. He hated the guts of his political rival – Joe Biden. Biden is much more a likable person. He was everything Trump was not. Biden epitomized empathy, humanity, compassion, humility, integrity and most importantly, his policies appear to be more humane and resonated well with the general populace.
In the days that preceded the presidential debates, the numbers went up in favor of Biden in most of the opinion polls administered nationwide. After the presidential debates, the numbers went up some more in favor of Joe Biden. If Trump’s feet were cold before the debates, they became frozen after the debates.
Trump comes across as an evil genius. He’s a master manipulator who detests loss. Once he noticed the astronomical growth of the opinion poll numbers in favor of Biden, he went back to the drawing board. By the time he left the drawing board, he came up with two strategies. The first strategy was to propagate a conspiracy theory that the election was going to be manipulated in favor of the Democrats. Subsequently, he attacked everyone who requested proof to support his false claims.
His second strategy was to discourage his supporters from participating in the mail-in ballot. His first step was to generally launch an assault on the integrity of the election and the second step was to specifically spread falsehoods about the reliability and the security of the mail-in ballot system.
Months before the election, he said he would not accept the result of the election unless he wins. ‘This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen,’ he informed his supporters without providing a shred of evidence. Unfortunately, some of them who do not realize that there is a difference between a subjective statement and a valid statement fell for Trump’s falsehood hook, line and sinker as they either didn’t realize or never bothered to pay attention to his determined bid to smear the legitimacy and credibility of the election.
As a candidate, he painted a picture of an imminent fraud in an election and he went ahead and participated in the process, anyway. Then, the result of the purported fraudulent election will be acceptable to him if he wins, but the result would not be acceptable if he loses. What a genius! Personally, that sounds more to me like anticipatory repudiation.
On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, the 59th quadrennial Presidential election held in the United States and Donald Trump, the 45th President of the nation lost the general election and subsequently lost the electoral college vote that ironically made him the President in 2016 having lost the general election to Hillary Clinton.
As soon as the election was over, so was Trump’s sense of decorum if he had any left prior to the day of election. When Biden’s vote count began to quadruple his vote count in the states of Georgia and Pennsylvania, he hopped on Twitter and tweeted ‘STOP THE COUNT’ all in upper cases. At this point, you’ll begin to imagine his state of mind. When a candidate in an election decides to order electoral officials collating and counting ballots to stop counting simply because he felt that loss was imminent, then, citizens do not need to go verify the propensity of such candidate being a dictator.
Trump is always apoplectic with uncontrolled rage. He never wasted time to inform anyone who cares to listen how uniquely smart he is. For the most part, when an evil genius misconstrues his scheming prowess as smartness, he always ends up out-smarting himself.
He tried all he could to remain in power by all means. With no evidence, several lawsuits were filed from appellate courts to the Supreme Court and all were thrown out of court one after the other on the grounds of frivolity.
As soon as he discovered that he couldn’t manipulate the court system and recounting of votes wasn’t working for him, he switched swiftly to inciting insurrection targeted at disrupting congressional proceedings when Electoral College vote certification was underway. Alongside this, he mounted pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to overturn Joe Biden’s electoral victory. He obviously did not realize the fact that the vice president’s role to preside over the certification process is ceremonious. There isn’t any public office holder that is statutorily empowered to overturn the will of the people.
Some of the complete gentlemen like Mitt Romney, John Kasich, Adam Kinzinger and other progressive Republicans, who understand that leadership in politics is placing a higher premium on people’s interest as against pushing party agenda have all, at different times after the election, referred to the election litigation as well as other attempts made by Trump as efforts in futility. This GOP list was later joined by Sen. Richard Burr (North Carolina), Sen. Bill Cassidy (Louisiana), Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Sen. Ben Sasse (Nebraska) and Sen. Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania).
According to George W. Bush, ‘I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country. The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.’
Aside from George Bush, Benjamin Ginsberg, a Republican Election Lawyer, also posited that ‘In my experience in recounting, if you don’t have the evidence developed in real time on Election Day, then the story becomes a cotton candy. You take a bite and it vaporizes to nothing.’
Trump’s fall gives credence to the relevance of humility in all that we engage ourselves in as humans. Pride, the Bible says, goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.