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A Loud Farewell to the Soloist

A Loud Farewell to the Soloist

Monday, 11 January, 2021 - 11:45
Ghassan Charbel
Ghassan Charbel is the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Journalists are evil by nature. They hunt for intense news and tragedies of states or individuals. They do not long for logic and moderation, but search for excitement and surprise, confident that the readers, just like them, are hungry for sizzling feasts.


If a journalist rejoices in pursuing a controversial president of an ordinary or middle country, then how is the case if the notorious president was the head of the only superpower?


As the United States is a country that hugely impacts the entire world, we had to follow daily news of the master of fleets stationed in the White House. We had no choice but to maintain our seat in the ranks of the “Twitter” people, as Mr. President wanted to turn the page of “fake news” carried by “timeworn” press castles.


This is America. Nobody can enter the White House on a tank, as was the case in the banana republics and the terrible Middle East. A powerful man cannot disregard his rivals and transform the elections into a mere referendum to pledge allegiance to the inspiring historic leader. Donald Trump had to enter the castle through its legitimate doors, i.e. the polls. With undeniable mastery, a man in a red tie emerged, holding a provocative dictionary and playing with the feelings of those frustrated by the atrophy of the American greatness. The Republican Party fell into the grip of a man coming from outside the traditional club and using a different dictionary.


With direct sentences and decisive judgments, the American president set off like a train without brakes.


He was not the fruit of the universities that gave birth to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, nor was he an expert in the international equation as Richard Nixon, who opened the “Chinese continent”, nor was he experienced in government corridors and institutions like George Bush the father. At first, he seemed similar to Ronald Reagan in his ability to promote simple ideas, but in a different time and with diverse rhetoric.


The world had never seen this before. The US President manages the empire and its relations with the world through tweets. The singer is by nature a soloist, while the master of the Oval Office is supposed to be the conductor of an orchestra, which relies on reports of those who watch over the security, economics, and foreign policy. He was a soloist, who believed that the game was about him first and foremost, and that its fate depended on his ingenuity.


He always used a strong and strict language, but also the sudden friendliness game, which appeared during his unjustified dealings with the North Korean leader. He directed blows at his opponents, without caring about healing the wounds, as if he was not afraid of multiplying his enemies. Therefore, working within his team seemed to be difficult, similar to walking a tightrope, not only because he has a mood that dictates decisions, but also because he is able to surprise the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense with a resolution that has neither been studied nor examined.


He repeated the slogans of regaining the greatness of America and the vitality of its economy, relieving the burden of its management of the world, and withdrawing from agreements that he considered unfair to the Americans. He acted as if he trusted his ability to address the heart of the country, even if this approach caused open wounds in the relations between the components and between “natives” and immigrants. He did not take America into a new war, nor did he bear the burden of rebuilding a country that was ravaged by a US intervention. The man of the “deal” seemed to be clinging to his ingenuity, brandishing force but not using it, preferring to take the path of sanctions, as it unfolded in the form of a painful and effective weapon.


The Middle East has spent four years watching his tweets. His decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran and subject the Tehran regime to maximum sanctions was not simple at all, just like his determination to kill General Qassem Soleimani, who was closest to the mind and heart of the Iranian spiritual leader.


This comes in addition to the great change that he brought about in the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which will have lasting effects on the future balance of power in the region.


Following three tumultuous years in office, the numbers were not against him. He considered the second term as a legitimate right. The surprise came from where he hadn’t expected. A virus emerged in Mao’s country, then spread to the world and attacked the United States. Trump miscalculated the seriousness of the “Chinese virus” and its ability to kill, spread and exhaust the economy.


In an alarming atmosphere imposed by Covid-19, people wanted the president to lead by example in caution and to promote compliance with safety measures. Trump seemed to be a lonely and stubborn player, revealing his lack of advisors, who could intervene before the boat sank, and his inability to listen to such advisors, if any.


The Coronavirus participated actively in the vote against him. Joe Biden benefited greatly from those who dreaded the tweeting president. Media hatred also contributed to the battle. Thus, Biden achieved victory.


The most dangerous thing that can befall the powerful is the inability to believe what needs to be believed. Trump seemed unable to admit defeat. In fact, Biden could not deal a fatal blow, but rather won by notching points. It was clear that Trump, who lost the battle, could use the numbers he recorded in the elections to maintain his party or prepare for the next round in four years. The strong boxer did not approve of the outcome of the match. He committed the sin of incitement to scramble the game in order to demean the winner, embarrass him, or question his legitimacy.


It appeared that the boxer, who refused to leave, chose to hit his head with the Congress and the Constitution, disregarding the consequences. The blow did not come from Biden. Trump directed it to himself. And now Washington is busy with a loud farewell. The president became a burden in his last days. Some demanded his dismissal, while others called for his resignation.


It is a loud farewell to the soloist. It is America, pretending to be tolerant, then clenching its jaws in defense of its features. Trump gave Biden a rug of coal, but he slipped and walked on it.


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