On Trump and the drunken party mob

By: Stephen D. Capillas January 19,2017 - 08:37 PM
CAPILLAS

CAPILLAS

On learning last November that American businessman Donald John Trump will become the 45th US president, I had a flashback about reading a Doonesbery comic strip panel published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer sometime in 1988.

That comic strip written by Garry Trudeau showed a satirized portrayal of Trump issuing a denial to the media about his plans to run for the presidency. While he denied the report, Trump still managed a smile and talked about what he would do if he were elected president.

Among his plans, he said, was to renovate the White House and the comic strip showed Trump’s White House looking like one of his Trump Towers in New York City complete with gleaming glass, steel and concrete and his name “Trump” highlighted in blinking neon lights.

I was reminded anew about that cartoon as Trump, who continued to vilify his critics in his Twitter account with as much energy and bile as they do against him, is set to take oath sometime today (evening Manila time) before the American people, a full two months after the most polarizing US elections in recent memory.

It was supposed to be a close but nevertheless decisive victory for former senator Hillary Clinton who was supported by Hollywood, the liberal left, her husband and former president Bill Clinton and now former US president Barack Obama.

I thought back then and still do now that it was the height of arrogance for Trump to declare on the last day of the campaign period that the US should call off the elections “and give the presidency to Trump.”

There were a lot of American voters who were upset when Trump won and based on my readings, among the factors for his surprise victory was that the Clinton team grossly underestimated Trump’s reach among the dissatisfied, unemployed white American males mostly living in the countryside who still constitute a sizable voting bloc in the US.

That bloc, along with the largely conservative Bible belt in the American south, was also responsible for the overwhelming second term victory of former US president George W. Bush who got flak for his Iraq war that was based on his claim, later proven to be false, that the Saddam Hussein regime hid weapons of mass destruction.

Yet for all the criticism leveled at Trump from figures such as American acting legend Meryl Streep and former vice president Joe Biden who told Trump to “grow up”, it was Obama who exhorted the Americans “not to underestimate” the businessman-turned-reality-star and now their US president.

“Well, I think that he (Trump) clearly was able to tap into a lot of grievances. And he has a talent for making a connection with his supporters that overrode some of the traditional benchmarks of how you’d run a campaign or conduct yourself as a presidential candidate,” Obama said in his last interview as US president.

Unlike our own President Rodrigo Duterte, who’s a seasoned politician and career public official, Trump takes over the reins of the world’s most powerful nation with zero political experience and widespread animosity over his election.

* * *

While the Sinulog officially ends today, the memories of this year’s Sinulog revelry are a continuing reminder of just how out-of-control and chaotic the city’s visitors and residents can get when they’ve had too much to drink.

There were still photos of revelers that circulated in social media, including minors, who got rowdy, including teenagers that climbed atop a taxi and jumped on it several times.

Not a few motorists were also harassed by these underage partygoers, who think nothing of pounding and scratching their vehicles and drunkenly shouting “Pit Senyor” or some dumb catchphrase at the passengers.

Locked up and trapped in taxis or their own vehicles, these passengers and commuters could only grit their teeth and pray they make it out of the unruly mob in one piece.

Which is why I support the Cebu City government’s plan to impose a liquor ban similar to what is enforced during the elections for the duration of the Sinulog celebration.

It looks impossible to do of course and a lot of nightspots will howl in protest over this ban, but a lot of these establishments including hotels have failed miserably to impose limits and a modicum of discipline on their customers.

There are ways to celebrate the Sinulog without inconveniencing commuters, causing heavy traffic congestion and harassing people to the point of outright violence.

Maybe anti-riot police should be present in these party zones to instill order and haul these errant partygoers to jail. It’s time these overzealous party animals cut back or simply cut off the drinking so they won’t harass or disturb anyone else.

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TAGS: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, businessman, businessmen, Canada, Donald John Trump, Elections, Garry Trudeau, President, US president Donald Trump, USA

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