The world must learn to wean itself off Donald Trump’s crazy new America

Yonden Lhatoo says Donald Trump’s ‘America first’ policy in motion is a wake-up call for the world to stop depending on the US and find its own feet

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 February, 2017, 3:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 February, 2017, 6:32pm

If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t yet watched US President Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony and speech, I strongly suggest you look it up online.

It’s compulsory viewing to get an idea of the New World Order and what’s happening as America walls itself in and shows us all the middle finger.

Watch the man who was once a national and global laughing stock wipe the grin off everyone’s face as he is sworn into the most powerful office on the planet and sends a finger-wagging message to the rest of the world: “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first.”

The entire ceremony, capped by Trump’s belligerent barrage of invective putting the world on notice, came across as a dystopian, autocratic, fascist scenario of the type that popular culture loves to depict in comics and movies.

In foreign policy, energy, jobs and trade, Donald Trump’s key plans put ‘America First’

Hence the comparisons with Bane, the grotesque Batman villain, when he takes over Gotham City, which could well be Washington, DC, in Trump’s apocalyptic vision of “American carnage”.

Trump (in his real-life inauguration): “We are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the people.”

Bane (in the Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises): “We take Gotham from the corrupt. The rich. The oppressors of generations who have kept you down with myths of opportunity. Andwe give it back to you, the people.”

Watch: Trump quotes Batman villain Bane in inaugural speech

Unfortunately there is no real-life Batman to fight this bane of humanity as he delivers on campaign promises that, only a couple of weeks ago, sounded too outlandish and reprehensible to ever materialise. Starting with phase one of his Muslim ban, preventing citizens of seven countries from entering the US and blocking all refugees.

“It’s working out very nicely. You see it in the airports, you see it all over,” he said in response to the global chaos he unleashed with the stroke of a pen.

Watch: Trump says Muslim ban is working out very nicely

White House aides who wrote Trump’s travel ban see it as just the start

And therein lies the rub. Everyone and their mum is still trying to get to America. The world still looks up to a country that no longer stands on the pedestal we’ve put it on. Like it or not, the empire of our times is a changed nation.

An isolated America? Bring it on, I say. For too long, the world has been addicted to the US

The fact is, it has always been “America first”, but never “America alone”. Because America has had to interfere in everything to further its own interests. The difference now is the prospect of the US truly going it alone, although it isn’t quite clear how that will be achieved by a man who runs businesses in nearly two dozen countries and owes his fortune to the global economy.

An isolated America? Bring it on, I say. For too long, the world has been addicted to the US, drinking the Kool-Aid in a pear-shaped symbiotic relationship that has reduced it to this state of utter dependence. It’s time for us to wean ourselves off this diseased teat, infected as it is by the scourge of Trump.

It will be hard, as it always is to beat addiction. And it will take time. But it can be done. In a sense, Trump has inadvertently sounded a much-needed wake-up call for the rest of the world to forge its own alliances, find its own feet, and learn greater self-reliance without America in the picture.

There was also a lot of religious talk at his inauguration – he did win more than 80 per cent of the evangelical vote – capped by the ubiquitous “God bless America”.

Watch: George Carlin on ‘God bless America’

It really reminded me of what the late stand-up comedian and social critic George Carlin – a great American, by the way – had to say about this mantra: “Let me tell you a little secret about God, folks: God doesn’t give a flying [expletive] about America ... There are over 200 countries in the world; do these people really think God is going to sit around and pick out his favourite?” Amen, I say.

Yonden Lhatoo is a senior editor at the Post