While many Nigerians are busy ridiculing Donald Trump’s rather unorthodox bid for the Republican Party’s Presidential ticket, he’s busy surging in the polls.
Since his surprise declaration on June 6, 2015, he’s established himself as the candidate to beat. Au fond, the eyes of the whole world are on him, and that’s exactly what he wants.
I am not a fan of the loudmouthed New York billionaire, though. In addition to his uppity personality, he has uttered a lot of rubbish that are at variance with what is expected of someone of his stature.
For example, at the peak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) crisis of 2014, he opined that all American doctors treating Ebola patients in West Africa should be barred from returning to the United States.
Not yet satisfied that that measure will adequately shield God’s Own Country from the menacing disease, he went ahead to proffer President Obama a novel solution: “Stop all the flights from West Africa, now!”
Are these the kinds of policies he wishes to make when voted into power?
His impressive performance in opinion polls notwithstanding, I believe he has a very slim chance of landing the elusive ticket. His popularity, though overwhelming, is plastic and time-limited.
The truth is that most Americans are intrigued by his no-holds-barred, say-it-as-it-is, politically incorrect and frenetic candidacy, epitomised by his explosive diatribes. It’s an approach never before seen in America’s presidential electioneering and the people are simply thrilled.
The truth, also, remains that very few of those backing him in the opinion polls will actually go out of their way to vote him in during the actual poll. The Republican Party leadership knows this; there’s no way they are going to choose him at the party’s convention billed for July 2016.
Doing so will amount to losing the Presidential Election four months before it is even conducted. After all, no-one wants to leave the affairs of the United States of America “the world’s most powerful and influential country” in the hands of a volatile, self-righteous lunatic.
Moreover, if recent polls are anything to go by, the Trump Effect is on the wane. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that the celebrated retired neurosurgeon, Ben Carson- himself a radical, say-it-as-it-is, politically incorrect candidate– has surged into the lead of the party’s presidential race with 29 percent against Trump’s 23 percent.
Similarly, a New York Times/CBS Newspoll released last week had Carson in the lead with 26 percent and Trump follows at 22 percent.
As bad and as ridiculous as it makes the GOP’s (Grand Old Party) presidential race look, however, Donald Trump’s erratic candidature is actually healthy for the system. Firstly Donald Trump’s frequent outbursts and vituperation, which are often at variance with the Republican Party’s entrenched ethos, demonstrate that he’s no pushover.
He has come out to Americans as someone who is not afraid to be different, someone who cannot be easily manipulated and held to ransom by extraneous forces.
One of the greatest fears of an electorate anywhere in the world is electing a candidate who will turn out to be a stooge and a puppet to vested interests, including campaign sponsors and political godfathers.
More so, Trump is a billionaire several times over; theoretically, he can single-handedly fund his own campaign.
Secondly, he comes as his true self, not as a creature of someone else packaged for electoral purposes. Oftentimes, what the electorate gets to see is a designer candidate, crafted and fine-tuned by his party and sponsors, whose electioneering disposition may not be consistent with his true personality. With Trump, what you see is what you get.
Thirdly, his frequent and well-calculated attacks on anyone whose opinions do not align with his put everyone on his or her toes. With Donald Trump in the game, you know there’s no room for slip-ups; otherwise his damaging opinion about you will be tomorrow’s news headline.
Some time ago, he described the then-frontrunner in the GOP race, Jeb Bush, as “low-energy.” Ever since, Mr. Bush’s fortune has not been the same. Earlier in the week, he advised his ailing opponent to drop out, declaring that “he has no chance” and that “he’s wasting his time.”
Finally, Donald Trump injects some comedy into what is usually a dour, solemn and cautious affair. We could all use a laugh. He’s the reason why many people are interested in the Republican angle of the presidential race. You never know what is in the cards when Trump is in the game.
With the aforementioned points in mind, especially the first three, it’s clear that Nigeria needs a Donald Trump. Nigeria needs a Donald Trump who will be unafraid to speak his mind not minding whose ox is gored.
We need a Donald Trump who will shake the system to its very foundations. We need a Donald Trump who will not be afraid to speak out, to pick on our underwhelming leaders and tell them their ills to their faces.
Nigeria needs a politically incorrect Donald Trump. We need a Donald Trump who is not afraid to be different, only that this time around it will be in a positive way.
We need a Donald Trump so unwavering in his convictions that he doesn’t care if he’s labelled unpatriotic, called a tribalist or a tagged a squawker.
We need a Donald Trump who will be his own man. Nigeria needs a Donald Trump who will not be a slave to his election sponsors, party chieftains or political godfathers.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.