For Donald Trump it’s all grist to his mill by Léo Joseph

For Donald Trump it’s all grist to his mill by Léo Joseph


According to opinion polls, Joseph “Joe” Biden, Democratic candidate in the November 3, 2020 elections, will be elected president in a landslide. The trend of the American electorate, as reflected in various polls, seems to support the predictions. Nonetheless, Donald Trump’s detractors should not rest on their laurels, especially when dealing with a politician endowed with legendary cynicism, capable of pulling thousands of tricks from his bag.

Indeed, it seems that throughout his term of office, the Republican president has taken a malicious pleasure in annoying citizens, making decisions that alienate minorities, especially Blacks and citizens of Caribbean origin, irritating without restraint the liberal, democratic and other layers of society. In an attempt to strengthen his ultraconservative political bases – all tendencies included—, he has provoked the defection of a number of Republican allies who are much embarrassed by his anti-minority policies. In fact, some frankly describe them as “reactionary”, “anti-popular”, aimed at satisfying the interests of “the bourgeois” of his socio-political family.

In a country like the United States of America, where the overwhelming majority is middle-class, the Republican Party has sided with the electoral minority. Republicans who have managed to break through in federal, local and municipal elections have been able to display certain liberal tendencies, seducing some Democrats and Independents, allowing them to fill the vacuum that separates them from their Democratic rivals.

It is important to remember that this political equation rarely works in favor of Republicans today in states such as New York, Connecticut and California. If Mr. Trump was able to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016, in the College vote, not the popular, one should remember that he had conveyed a somewhat seductive discourse towards minorities. However, after nearly four years in the White House, he seems to have squandered what little sympathy he had for minorities. That is why almost all opinion polls, except for the politically conservative ones or the specially commissioned, award him defeat on November 3.

Based on information circulating in the large majority of press organs, both national and international, including on social media, we can say of Mr. Trump’s fate in the November 3 elections : “Alea jacta est” (The die is cast). This reality seems to dictate the stakes, barely two months before the fateful date. It is, therefore, easy to understand why all the demons are likely to be unleashed inside Candidate Trump, who is certainly not at the end of his political sleight of hand.

Donald Trump and the Haitian Vote

Undoubtedly, the forecasts of the opinion polls do shake the Trump clan while they attempt to get the maximum of dividends from each political sector, even each ethnic group. Thus, we deduce that the decision-makers of the billionaire president’s election campaign will not remain indifferent as to how the 2016 campaign was conducted, as far as the Haitian community is concerned, and more specifically in Florida, particularly in Dade County (Miami).

Indeed, in 2016, the Republican candidate made a visit in extremis, to Little Haiti, at the initiative of some important Haitian personalities, including Bernard Sansaricq, a former Senator in Haiti who had returned home early in 1986, after the fall of the Duvalier dynasty. In the political euphoria aroused by the liberation from the retrograde Duvalier dictatorship, he was elected to the Grand Corps. Back in the United States and having become an American citizen, Mr. Sansaricq aligned himself with the Republican Party, and had become an infantryman in Donald Trump’s army. He helped the Trump election by swaying Haitian voters in Florida in that candidate’s favor. Irritated as he was with Hillary Clinton, accused, rightly or wrongly, of having concocted the misappropriation of the reconstruction fund for Haiti after the earthquake of January 10, 2010, he looked at Mr. Trump to undo the wrongs of the Clintons in Haiti.

In 2020, the reality in the Haitian community in Florida, is quite different, as far as the American president is concerned. Also, Bernard Sansaricq believes he must take revenge on the U.S. President who, he says, has not kept his “promises” to the Haitians. Moreover, he has called Haiti a “sh——le country.” The aversion he has for Donald Trump was expressed in a document, a real exposé on his Facebook page, in which he states that he has ignored an invitation that would have been made to him by the president’s campaign, with the objective, no doubt, to repeat the experience of 2016.

In other words, the message of Bernard Sansaricq, in 2020, is the opposite of what he advocated in the election campaign of candidate Trump in 2016. Due in part to that total divorce with the Republican candidate, the Haitian vote in Florida has, a priori, changed sides. It is high time for Trump to say, “Farewell to calf, cow, pig, and brood,” as expressed in the title of Lafontaine’s poem of Pierrette and the Jar of Milk. 

Is Trump ready to give up on the Haitian voters ?

With 55 days to go before the elections, it is fair to ask the question: Is Trump ready to give up on the Haitian voters ?

It is no secret that politicians of all times and from all countries make a big splash when it comes to promoting their candidacy and attracting voters. In his desperate attempt in going for a second term, it is expected that at the last minute Candidate Trump may want to “innovate” to improve his chances of success with Haitian voters. Is the last-ditch meeting worked out with the Trump administration for the President of the Haitian Protestant Federation, scheduled for September 14, part of that effort ?

If the opinion polls indeed objectively reflect voter trends, and if the U.S. President intends to remain as the tenant of the White House for another four years, it is to be expected that he would make a decision that would cause a sudden turnaround in the U.S.-based Haitian population.

Cynical as he is, on top of being an inveterate liar, Donald Trump may pull an unimaginable trick out of his bag of tricks to woo the Haitian electorate, if he thinks that can make a difference on November 3. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to learn of the release of a decree or a resolution that he believes would please even his Haitian detractors.

In that light, should Donald Trump decide to withdraw his support for Jovenel Moïse, whose latest actions and decisions go beyond the limits of decency, good governance, political and basic humanism, that may lead to a new attitude towards him as far as Haitians are concerned. But that window of opportunity is closing fast.

Clearly, different analysts may answer the question about whether he is given up on the Haitian vote differently, depending on how a last-minute decision regarding the larger Haitian picture is articulated. In the meantime, notwithstanding the acrobatics performed by the Haitian president to remind his “friend” in Washington how he was crucial in the vote against Nicolas Maduro in Venezuala, nothing binds the American president to his commitments, especially when his embrace of Jovenel Moïse at this point tarnishes his own reputation. After all, “in politics [and in State relations] there are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies. There are only permanent interests.” L.J.

Collaboration spéciale, cet article est publié par l’Hebdomadaire Haïti-Observateur, New York VOL. L No. 35, édition du 9 septembre 2020, et se trouve en P. 1, 9 à :