Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives at Pittsburgh International Airport November 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski
Donald Trump ran a brilliant campaign in the last U.S. election. Apart from the ‘crooked Hillary’ charge and the private email attacks, he accused the Clinton Foundation of selling access to Mrs. Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State for money. He hinted that Mrs. Clinton lacked stamina for the job of President.
He lambasted ObamaCare, which he called the worst health care plan in history.
Mrs. Clinton smiled through all these attacks. Without specifically saying so, Trump asked if the U.S. was ready for a female President and the misogynist in him showed no respect for women, many of whom came out to accuse him of sexual assault.
He showed no respect for the truth and the Press. He constantly lied, calling Mexicans rapists, thieves and worse. The Press he dismissed as corrupt and biased. The more outrageous his claims and behaviour, the more press coverage he received thus squeezing out Mrs. Clinton from coverage. He mocked the handicapped and made these extraordinary claims that he would make America great again. He tapped into the primordial fears of Middle America – racists who had lost their jobs to foreigners who now overwhelmed them and threatened to take their country. He would revive factories, reopen coal mines and bring pride back to Americans. No one asked him questions on how. Trump chewed up Mrs. Clinton and spat her out. She had responses but never deployed them against Trump. Her husband had created more jobs than any other President in the United States; Obama had followed Clinton’s record of job creation. Mrs. Clinton should have chosen Mr. Bernie Sanders as her running mate because he also had fanatical supporters who would have countered the Trump movement.
Maybe Mrs. Hillary Clinton needed a little Nigerian character: the character of a market woman, a fish seller or any Balogun, Ereko, Onitsha, Aba, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Oshogbo market woman.
Let’s imagine the Nigerian’s woman response to Trump’s taunt of ‘crooked Hillary’ and the resultant cry of “Lock her up; Lock her up.” Trump further promised that he would set up an inquiry into Mrs. Clinton’s handling of her email account and prosecute her.
The Nigerian woman would have removed her head dress and tie it around her waist. Then she would face Mr. Trump. “How dare you call me crooked”? She would then go into the history of Mr. Trump’s crookedness starting with his forebears and ancestors from Germany and Scotland.
She would recall Mr. Trump’s tax issue (-him not paying tax since 1995) and claim that no Trump, including his children and father and grandfather, had ever paid tax. They were all freeloaders. She would take every single project, hotel, golf course, and businesses owned by Trump and say that they were proceeds of corruption.
The Nigerian woman would continue. “You think to have a private email server is a crime? Where is the crime? Can we compare my criminality with those of your parents, your various wives and their children who are all serial tax dodgers”?
She would take each of Trump’s former wives who were the mothers of his six children and do a number on them: she would show everyone the picture of each of these ladies with each child; detail the settlement term of the divorce and so on, trying to prove that Mr. Trump, plus his own admission, has no respect for women.
Trump has small hands and he boasts that he’s well hung. What kind of talk is that for Mr. President? The Nigerian Hillary would be vituperative in her abuse: omo jati jati, alakori, won bi e re, and a stream of abuse that would be poetic and venomous as she unplugs Trump’s character. She would then pivot around, do a dance, point to her backside and say to Mr. Trump “come and eat.”
Jesus Christ had said that if someone slaps you on one cheek, you should turn and give him the other cheek to slap. I do not believe that Christ was talking about politics, definitely not the Nigerian politics.
Every Wednesday at noon during the Prime Minister’s Question time in the British Parliament, there is an exquisite display of the cut and thrust of politics. It is not for the faint-hearted or the humble. Mrs. Margaret Thatcher enjoyed the sobriquet – Iron Lady because any attempt at insulting her, she hammered the opponent with sarcasm that has become common fare in British politics. Her most famous phrase when she stood firm against the Trade Union Laws was “This lady is not for turning”. It does not take too much imagination to see how many ways such a short sentence could be interpreted. But Maggie was having none of that – she would face you squarely, mano a mano.
Mrs. Clinton should have dealt with Trump’s bullying. The only way one deals with bullies is by out-bullying them.
“I will send you to prison” he promised Hillary. “You are crooked”; the most corrupt politician in the history of the United States. At his rallies, he repeated those charges, elicited the chant of “Lock her up”. Her response was to smile through all this abuse and to reply that when “they go low we go high”. Laudable sentiment everywhere else except in politics. In politics when they go low you go lower and grab your opponent by the cojones.
If Mrs. Clinton was able to deal with Trump in the way she would have done to a bully, it would have shown that not only was she more qualified for the job of President, she was also tough and dirty enough to mix it up with any politician, any President or world leader, that she had steel in her back bone, that you mess with Hillary at your peril.
At the Balogun market, a woman named Bose is selling her merchandise. Babs wants to buy some yams and she tells him a price; they haggle and haggle but cannot come to an agreement. Babs stays to go on haggling. Bose, the yam seller, had had enough. She asks Babs to move along and give way to other buyers. Babs is still toying with the yam. Bose seizes the yam from him and tells him, in a not too polite way, to scram. He takes umbrage and asks her whether she has no manners! Would she talk like that to her husband? Is she not well trained? Bose looks at Babs, removes her head dress which she ties around her waist and she verbally lashes at Babs. Alalakori, Were! Jobless idiot! Who gave you money to buy yam? Stingy husband, why did you not give your wife money to buy the yam; you think she will cheat you! Babs retorts that Bose has no manners, does not know how to talk to men, that is why her husband left her and married another wife.
Bose is incensed. She replies that the man is a shit carrier, Oku igbe, a thief who has come to steal yam in the market. By this time a small crowd has gathered witnessing this drama and seeing whose expletive is richer and would hit the mark. Babs calls Bose an asewo (a prostitute), using the sale of yam as a cover for her real profession. Yes, replies Bose, she is a prostitute but Babs cannot afford her.
Even yams he cannot buy. Bose calls him a mad man, a thief and starts booing him_oh_oh_oh, ole, oh ole_oh. Shouting and tapping her mouth with her hand as she dances ole, ole. Some onlookers ask Bose why she is abusing Babs. She replies that this thief wants to steal yams. By now, Bayo has his tail between his legs, having been out-abused.
Throughout the entire market, scenes like this are repeated over and over again.
So imagine that Mrs. Clinton had the mindset of Bose and the appropriate vituperative vocabulary and a Nigerian woman adviser during that election! Trump would have been unable to continue to bully her and she would have retained the initiative to campaign and say what she would do. Having thus shown herself a no-nonsense tough woman, able to stand her ground, America would now be governed by her first female President.