• Dami Afam Ade-Odiachi

The Trump Short...

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. Picture by Gage Skidmore.

There is a lot about life that is beautiful. It’s the conversations that we hear, and the stories that we tell and how different they are. There are bursts of colour, unpredictable and commanding. There are the moments that we’d rather not remember, shaping us to ends that we cannot see. All of us subscribing to a higher purpose, or agenda. Not all of these are good, but there is a beauty to them all the same. The depths of depravity, the height of goodness, our uncute faces cute to me. 

When the man they call Teflon Trump was elected and then inaugurated, I remember the terrifying pain of a broken heart. There was a world I was supposed to be in love with that I discovered didn’t love me. You can tell me why he won, and you can tell me how - reductions of the absurd in the most academic prose. You can write of the anger the disenfranchised feel and you can proselytise the tales of the disillusioned. But there are two things you cannot do. You cannot convince me that he was deserving, and you cannot fool me into thinking that his win is good.

I read an essay once. It was so long ago that I can no longer remember who wrote it, but like all great essays, the meat of it remains. It was the story of a man who lost all faith in God, and replaced the vacuum with a profound belief in nothing. Things stayed that way until he had children. Not knowing how to instil in them the values he knew to be good, he took them to church that they could learn what he learned when he was just as young. The merit of hard work and honesty; the power of love; the meaning of forgiveness; the difference between what is right and wrong; the strength to aspire to do what is right; and the empathy to not judge too harshly the people who do wrong.

These were the values I grew up with, and they are the same ones I will teach my children, even if they have now become relics. 

Villains are not scarce where history is concerned, but search the list and you’d be hard pressed to find a man like Trump. Since he’s been given the spotlight, he has never once taken the higher road, even when it has been easy. A tweet, a passing comment, a well timed dig, all performed to perfection as long as a win was within reach. Hand delivering pain and confusion when all but the insane would know to stay silent. And God how he lies, with frequency, with mania, with urgency, and utterly without point. 

People question his motives and theorise them. Maybe they think what I think; that he’s a man so desperate for love, affection, and attention that there’s no length he won’t go to for one of the three. He will break the world for no point but to be the one that broke it. Devil or Saint, he’ll take what he can get. But anyway you look at it, it’s a Trump world and the Trump is king. Racists applaud him and white supremacists bow at his feet. He is a walking miasma of ire, and maybe that’s why he’s there. When things break subtly and imperceptibly it is difficult to know they are broken, and if we don’t know they are broken then they can’t be fixed. 

So to Trump I say, “Go ahead and break the world. Expose the fault lines of prejudice and show us the cost of failure.” After him, there’ll be another. It’s the way of life that nothing lasts forever. When he is done, we will fix it, and the world will be better for it.

There is a lot about life that is beautiful. It’s how we grow, and how we change and how we hope. We struggle and we fail and we learn. Sometimes we seem like the frailest beings, but when we triumph over our weakness it’s pretty damn fantastic.


I wrote this in 2017, just after Donald Trump’s inauguration. It has aged well.

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