During the 2016 election campaign, Donald J. Trump told a Haitian audience in Miami that if they vote for him, he would be their biggest supporter. But his actions during the presidency belies that statement. In fact, Trump has been one of the most hostile presidents towards Haiti and the Haitian community in modern times.
That is why we’re strongly endorsing Joe Biden. We need a return to decency, competency and stability.
A battery of books from friends, foes and family members have already chronicled Trump’s incompetence, so no need to go further here.
But we have to. We’re still haunted by the words of his predecessor, Barack Obama, when he said that “Donald Trump is uniquely unqualified to be president of the United States.”
That statement stuck because it sounded more like genuine concern than political jabs. The man who was doing the job was not telling us that Trump’s ideas were bad because of his political ideology. Obama was telling us that because there was information that Trump was criminal. As the sitting president however, despite having access to all kinds of information, Obama couldn’t bring the receipts. Unfortunately, not enough of us listened. And here we are.
The Haitian Times and its readers haven’t been surprised at the developments of the last three-and-a-half years. Us New Yorkers, in particular, have known that Trump is a Fifth Avenue version of the three-card monte hustler. That game is ubiquitous in Manhattan’s Times Square, where hustlers try to pry dollars from tourists’ hands by asking them to identify the red card. The trick is none of the three cards in the deck they’re shuffling and showing you has a red card — despite you seeing red cards.
Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Jocelyn McCalla, a long time community activist, wrote a blistering opinion piece in The Haitian Times that foreshadowed the actions that have shocked this country and weakened democracies across the world, including our homeland’s tenuous democratic experiment.
Haiti’s president , Jovenel Moise, has been a bit of a Trump replica himself — totally out of his realm, a man with no clue of how to move Haiti forward. In a normal American administration, you could count on Washington to offer some guidance. In this case, the best the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Haiti can do is to send out press releases and social media posts reaffirming that they want elections. They also suggest that Moise stop ruling by executive decrees and work with a dysfunctional parliament.
They should heed their own advice.
Trump’s penchant for ruling by tweet has given everyone whiplash. He declares one thing in the wee hours of the morning, experts and officials in his own administration deny it or hedge for him, then he counters their attempts at reassuring an anxious public by doubling down on the original declaration. Right now, countless legal battles are making their way through the courts as individuals and groups sue Trump and administration for breaking the law. Or overstepping.
We saw at the last debate how racist, unhinged and selfish Trump is when he not only refused to condemn white supremacists, he instructed them to “stand by”. That directive sounds an awful lot like the words of an authoritarian head of state giving orders to henchmen. And we, of all people should know how that looks, having watched that movie play out in Haiti, with Duvalier in the lead role.
We’re not saying that the Biden administration will be a lifesaver or change things fundamentally in Haiti. That’s on Haitians in Haiti and abroad to reach a consensus. But what we know is that his team will work with stakeholders to come up with a short, mid and long-term solution to fix what ails Haiti.
For all these reasons, we strongly support Democrat Joe R. Biden for President of the United States. We urge you, dear readers, to register to vote and to vote (whether by mail or in person), so that we can all say to Trump come November: “you’re fired.”