Opinion

A tale of two leaders

History has a way of repeating itself perhaps that is why some people erroneously believe in reincarnation. If Donald Trump was born about a hundred years after the death of Idi Amin of Uganda many would have thought he was an incarnate of Idi Amin.

He actually appears to be a much more refined, polished and upgraded version of Idi Amin. We might even be more charitable and add that he is a more lovable version of Idi Amin. Ever since the advent of Trump I have begun to forgive Amin… and to love Donald Trump.

The world should follow my example and let bygones be bygones. Idi Amin bloomed in infamy because there were no restraining factors and a constitutional framework backed up by strong institutions to rein him in. In fact, all the people who were in his inner circle remind men like Rudy Giuliani and others (including the House Republicans) who have become the Trump cheerleaders in his bid to stage a democratic Amin-style coup.

As a dictator in Uganda, Idi Amin caused the death of over 500,000 of his fellow citizens. America would not have tolerated such killings and he would have known better than to try. Which explains why Donald Trump is a much more improved version of Idi Amin Dada, who was a soldier. So improved that Trump even dodged the draft to join the military and fight in Vietnam.

But that was not because he does not like war – just that he does not like people firing at him. Speaking at a campaign in Iowa in 2015, Trump declared, “I love war. I am good at war. I have had a lot of wars of my own. I am really good at war.

I love war in a certain way, but only when I win.” Yeah, Trump has been in a lot of wars – video games, chess games and boardrooms. The war with bullets flying and the prospect of death really does not appeal to this great gentleman. Donald Trump may have murdered a lot more people than Idi Amin – in video games.

But he would be repulsed at the thought of killing such a great number of people in real life – may be just a few on death row. Contextually, since Trump has never killed anyone, he is not a murderer and should not (NEVER) be compared with Idi Amin who was “a serial killer” in Uganda. On the other hand, Trump has so far separated 666 children from their parents (deported illegal immigrants) on the Mexican border.

This would have outraged Idi Amin Dada who deported hundreds of thousands of Asians and Indians from Uganda, but was kind enough to allow them to go with their children. Why Idi Amin seems to have had more feeling for children than Trump should elicit scholarly interest.

You see Amin married four wives; Trump has been in three marriages. So? For want of evidence let us put it down to different people, different strokes. However, this article is mainly about the communication style and rhetoric of two heads of state. Twitter was not there in Amin’s time, but he did not do badly in terms of using the prevalent mass media of the day – radio and television.

He announced the expulsion of Asians on radio and television, and labelled them “smugglers” who were dumped on Uganda by the evil British. He maintained that he took the decision in the national interest of Uganda.

Twitter had supplanted radio and television in Trump’s time. Trump used twitter to announce that he was deporting illegal immigrants from Mexico, and labelled them as “rapists.” Trump followed up his tweets by announcing that he “loved Hispanics.” In the same way, Amin had 44 years ago ended his tirade against the British by stating that the British were his “great friends.” The email equivalent of Amin’s time was the telegram, and he fired them off at the same rattling frequency as Trump tweets.

Good, old Amin used the telegram as compulsively as dear Uncle Trump is using twitter today. In the thick of Watergate, Amin tweeted a “quick recovery” telegram to Richard Nixon. He even telegrammed the British Prime Minister Edward Heath and intimated him of his offer to assist British economic recovery, if Heath would “let (Amin) know the exact position of the mess.” Dear, old Trump has not done badly.

Hear Trump on twitter, “The first 90 days of my presidency has exposed the total failure of the last eight years of foreign policy! So true.” Trump would also lambast Iowan voters who did not support him by tweeting, “Too much Monsanto in the corn creates issues in the brain.” But the real deal between these two brothers-in-politics is that both perfected the art of firing people through the media.

Amin’s minister of culture, Yekosofat Engur, was a guest of honour at a state function when he was fired on television, and his subordinate appointed to take over from him. He had clue he was about to be fired.

He learnt of his firing on his way to the office. The former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, was in Los Angeles having a parley with field agents when Donald Trump released the tweet that he had been fired. Comey had no clue that he was about to be fired, and only learnt of it through the tweet. What is more? Amin claimed that he is very intelligent and has a very good brain.

Uncle Trump, my main man, also claims to be very intelligent and that God blessed him with a very good brain. Amin claimed to be loved plenty by his people. Trump could be accused of plagiarism here. All in all Amin and Trump have a lot in common – especially now that Trump has deployed Nigerian tactics to try to hold on to power at all costs.

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