By Adeola Aderounmu . . .
With the title of this essay, l have not lied.
If you think it is funny or ridiculous, you have a right to that feeling especially if you know who l am.
If you choose to continue to read after this point, try to have an open mind and be objective.
I followed American politics for a while especially when Barack Obama became a candidate for the White House. Before the presidential election in 2008, l got a request from a media organisation probably based in the United States to write an opinion about Barack Obama.
So l did a series of online interviews with some people in Nigeria right from my base in Sweden. The results were 3 articles on Obama and the 2008 American presidential election in general.
The media group known as Vote2008 Takeaway has since pulled down all the publications or maybe they moved the websites. I cannot be sure which.
I started to tune down my interest in American politics after Obama’s victory. I read about all the opposition to Obama’s policies from the republican side. Not that l was very pleased with Obama himself. The last straw was when American drones started to take away lives around the world. I zoomed away from American politics.
Later on, l started to hear the name Donald Trump more often. I must have heard it in connection to the 2008 election and probably did not pay attention to it.
The reason l have not paid attention to the name is because for some (probably strange) reasons l was connecting the name to something about THE SIMPSONS.
I don’t know or recollect how that happened. But it happened so.
For once l never thought Donald Trump would turn out to be a real person.
I mean my CNN channel disappeared from my free cable network and l hardly tune in to Aljazeera after l was unable to get a reply from one of their correspondents after making some enquiries on a subject matter. I felt dumped because l just helped them with one of their programs by participating in a recorded Skype-video conversation.
Anyway one fundamental argument, as l reflect now, why l didn’t think that Donald Trump was a real person was because most of the things attributed to him don’t sound real. So l just laugh and thought whoever invented this comic character is crazily funny.
I also thought: what is the media getting at when they portray such a comic character?
Let me repeat, this is not a joke. There was a time l thought Donald Trump was not a real person.
Yes, l am a writer. Yes l write about Nigerian politics since 2001. And yes l am not ashame to say that in the early days l didn’t know that Donald Trump was real.
I have my priorities.
I didn’t think all the dumb characters portrayed in Simpsons or other cartons or comedies are real.
It was when it dawn on me that Obama’s second term is drawing to a close that l started paying attention again to some aspects of American politics especially the candidates vying for the White House.
By the summer of 2016, l’ll probably catch up with all that is obscure now.
But how did l discover that Donald Trump was a real person?
It is the same way l have checked my sanity over the years. I ask people unexpected questions. Even at meetings or gatherings l have asked questions or make comments off the mark just to do some reality checks.
One day l asked my wife-have you been hearing the name Donald Trump? She said yes. So who is he l asked? After our conversation, l finally came to terms that Donald Trump actually exists and that he is not just a character in the Simpsons.
My wife laughed, but it was in a good way. My sanity check was complete.
So, l finally discovered that Donald Trump was actually a real person.
I couldn’t believe my ignorance. At my age..!
Still, l didn’t pay attention so close enough. Even after discovering that he is a real person. I mean, l thought the media had been unfair to him and that they must have attributed all those nonsense to an innocent man. There must be some of those stories about him that are exaggerated.
My line of thought was liberally, dilutedly objective: if a man is going to become the president of America in this century, he should at least not be dumber than Mr. Obama’s predecessor or McCain’s running mate.
I reasoned further, though l didn’t fancy Obama’s drones, Americans can still produce people who can show enlightenment, grasp of globalization and ability to discern between fishing in Alaska and hiking in Barcelona.
Does anyone remember Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate who does not even have an international passport? Sarah Palin l know. She was for real!
I thought that Donald Trump was a comic media invention that was developed to haunt Barack Obama. I thought it/he was a comic character and how l arrive at that reasoning will forever remain a mystery.
I can quite understandably and easily align with people who think that Donald Trump is dumb. I mean l didn’t even know he was a real person like Sarah Palin.
If 20 % of all the things attributed to him are real or correct as much as he is a real person, l am so sorry for all categories of American people.
In those days when l used to watch Jay Leno’s late night show, l ’d been taken aback several times when Leno went on the streets of America to ask people simple questions.
For some episodes, he asked sometimes very simple questions that sound like: who is the president of the United States? Amazingly some people don’t know, don’t care! As l reviewed the Jay Leno’s shows that l watched and placed them side-a-side the emegence and rise of a presidential candidate like Donald Trump, my shock about the realness of Trump simply just disappeared.
I mean he is a leader in the race to the White House.
I can imagine that Jay Leno asked other questions like: where is Iraq? Some people would have answered, in Africa. I mean the US invaded a country that majority of her citizens do not know the location even if you givet hem a map.
The United States probably have the largest accumulation of ignorant people per total population on a global scale. Some will argue. I care less. But l wish they could do their research or possibly go deep into the villages and cities in America.
Hence when a character that should exist in a comedy suddenly turned out to be a real life leading presidential character in the US, you can get a better perception of where the world is heading in general.
On a global perspective, the world is in the hands of the wrong people. Are we for real?
Mostly l have read only the headlines since l discovered Donald Trump. That way, I have maintained my sanity since my wife explained to me who he is.
With all that l have to do, think or worry about especially if you love Nigeria and Africa like l do, adding the content of Donald Trump’s campaigns or useless speeches will amount to what the swedish people called slosseri med tiden. Go figure..!
My greater sympathy goes to all those who have suffered persecution, rejection and extreme discrimimation in the hands of Donald Trump-the real character.
Just imagine a Donald Trump-presidency and a gun-for-all American society. I say a Swedish prayer for all American citizens (by birth or naturalization), May The Wind Be Your Way..!
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