Top Trumps for 2017

Top Trumps for 2017

trumpsworldIn hindsight even as adults we behaved like children. We never shook off the mantle of goofiness justifying our exaggeration, so that now when it’s absolutely true that “there’s never been a time like this before” it’s hard for us to accept it.

I don’t have ten top stories for Africa in 2017. I’ve just got one with five subtopics, and then just four others, because almost everything in Africa like in the whole-wide world is now overshadowed if not effected by Trump.

And remember, folks, it’s not Donald J. Trump. It’s Trumpism. It’s Zumaism. It’s Kenyattaism and Kagamism – it’s Tribalism, plain and simple, and it’s destroying the human species. Return over the next few days for the specifics, but here’s the summary:

Tomorrow I’ll explain how Trumpism policy isn’t policy. Like an irritated child it’s nothing but reaction. That means it usually offends, produces results not even desired by the child, and begs for someone to come in as disciplinarian.

So perfectly documented by Susan Glasser in Politico, Evan Osnos in the New Yorker, and now Michael Wolff‘s ‘Fire & Fury’ Trumpism 2017 was massive dismantling. In Africa this meant dismantling foreign aid, military agreements, conservation policies, trade agreements and generally leaving an enormous opportunity for China to take control.

Monday I’ll review the incredible and sometimes unbelievably random new wars Trumpism is inflicting on Africa. And even more astounding, that even with massive more military on the continent, America seems to have disengaged. No longer caring really what happens, simple catastrophes that would easily have been prevented in the past now come to fruition and mayhem.

Tuesday I’ll review the incredible resurrection of autocracy in Africa as a result of Trumpism. Where democracy still exists, it’s being systematically shredded to pieces and there’s no American around anymore to try to stop it. Newer societies of the sort that exist in Africa can’t tolerate disorder the way America might be able to. So the Strong Man steps back in, then invites China to dinner.

Next Thursday I’ll sum up all the Trumpism mayhem as simple tribalism allowed to run amok. It’s historical, routed in deep perhaps biological flaws in the human species. This modern version was predicted and now it seems nearly out of control.

And next Friday I’ll end with the only possible optimism being expressed in not just Africa but in many corners of the world, that this mayhem will end as everything must, and that the lessons learned will be Biblical. Perhaps we can already see some goodness at the end of this horror.

Fake news, “alternate facts,” is certainly associated with Trumpism, but it preceded it, perhaps presaged it. In Africa last year it had some devastating consequences for Tanzanian journalists, paleontologists and even my own theories of reporting.

2017 was an important year for truthful reckoning of the growing human/animal conflict in Africa, particularly with elephants. The issue is a modern political one and thrusts conservationists against sociologists. The good news is that the scandalous reporting of animal extinctions have faded and reason seems to have prevailed: poaching is not the problem, people are.

I never in my life thought that big game hunting could actually come to an end, and it’s a long way from that right now. But for the first time ever there are serious indications that African societies don’t want big game hunting and may actually move to stop it.

2017 was an important year for discoveries about our early selves, millions as well as thousands of years ago. Science that took ten years was finally revealed, new techniques in DNA typing continue to reveal blockbuster conclusions, and we learn bit by bit how unlikely it was that we ever came to be!