Donald Trump, the President of the United States, is at it again. He is desecrating the highest office in the land with a televangelist style of mistruth and over reaching narcissism. Note: Ethiopia is close to home for us. In his latest rally in Ohio, Trump flexes to the crowd that he “saved a country.” We watched, puzzled, trying to understand context. We listened with scorned brows looking at one another as if to say what the…
People please wake up. Two days ago POTUS told the world “I made a deal. I saved a country. I just heard about a head of country getting a Nobel Peace Prize for saving the country.” He goes on to ask his audience, ” I said, what? Did I have something to do with it?” From there he launches into his false narrative explaining “what matters is that we (those of us here tonight) all know.” This is abhorrent propaganda and an abuse of power that for many will go unchecked. In fact he never states the actual recipient or the country to which he is referring. He never explains that the prize was granted months ago and that he has not so much as congratulated the winner via tweet. This is disgraceful and should leave us all feeling alarmed.
Let’s clear up the confusion. First, the country POTUS was referencing is Ethiopia, a tightly controlled nation which has struggled for many years. Mr. Abiy, the only head of state to be granted the Nobel Prize since Trump took office, came into power in 2018 after many months of anti-government protests forcing a resignation of the Prime Minister before him. Abiy has been a stabilizing force in the midst of turmoil mending decades of war and no trade with neighboring Eritrea. He has worked to appoint many women into positions of power and freed many dissidents once jailed. He has also been commended for opening up communication systems within Ethiopia allowing for advancement and business growth. And last but not least he and his wife have adopted an Ethiopian child, going first as influencers in a country relatively new to domestic adoption.
It is also true that nearly 3 million displaced people currently exist within Ethiopia with old political, religious and ethnic tensions resurfacing. This will certainly make the progress of Abiy difficult and tumultuous. In May of 2020 elections are scheduled and Abiy is calling for a unified national party instead of a divided grouping of ethnic coalitions. For a country with such a divide this may prove to be an insurmountable task as rivalries run deep and those in the Northern regions of Ethiopia think little of those in other regions and vice versa. Abiy is striving and leading, gaining ground with the olive branch presented to Eritrea and beyond. He is a deserving, humble, highly revered leader who has a difficult road ahead.
Dear POTUS: The very act of explaining to your rally goers why you deserve the Nobel Peace Prize months after it has already been awarded, once again decimates all that it is to deserve and earn the prize. You had absolutely nothing to do with “saving” Ethiopia or the actual brokering of the treaty between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Your behavior is childish, your broken core so transparent. Your preoccupation of self is as predictable as the sunrise and yet many are willing to allow the grandiose blustering and lies for the sake of what? Humility is your word this week. Look it up, use it in a sentence and while you’re at it do a little fact checking. The lack of integrity and condescending manner with which you often speak continues to position us as the laughing stock. That is not leadership. Just ask our friends in Ethiopia.