A Professor of History and International Relations at the Lagos State University, Ojo; Abolade Adeniji, says Americans may reconsider outgoing US President Donald Trump for a second term in 2024 despite his seeming unpopularity at the moment.
Adeniji, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH on Friday, said the performance of incoming President Joe Biden will determine the political fate of Trump in the 2024 US presidential election.
“I don’t want to talk about 2024 yet,” Trump had told reporters when asked if he would seek the presidency again in 2024 but the incumbent, who vacates the White House on January 20, 2021, is constitutionally entitled to another term of four years.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that Trump, the Republican candidate in the November 3, 2020 election, grudgingly conceded defeat to Democrat Biden after the outrage that trailed the Capitol invasion by the incumbent’s foot soldiers.
Commenting on the Trump era, the professor of international relations described his impending exit as a relief to the world.
Adeniji said, “When a man of such ilk takes over such a position, you know that for good or for bad, it is going to reverberate and have an effect on all of us. When you have a man that is not guided by principles, that acts on impulse, and of course, also has the nuclear code under his command, you know it is dangerous. I wrote an article when Trump took over and I said these will be uncertain times. I think I was proved right. But my relief is that the worst appears to be over.”
The don also said Trump is leaving America with legacies of division and heightened tensions, especially with the January 6, 2021 invasion of the Capitol by his supporters who attempted to halt Congress’ certification of Biden’s electoral victory.
“If I can write history in a hurry, I will say that Trump is leaving a legacy of division, not just of the United States but division of the global order. America fostered this order we are still under after the second war and to think that an American president undermined that order built by America itself is remarkable.
“Trump heightened tension in many sectors, he brought America into disrepute, made it a laughing stock to the chagrin of those who look at America from afar. He wanted to remain in power despite losing an election and he later marched his troops to Capitol Hill. He whetted the appetite of his followers with racism. That is a spectacle even for a third world country,” he said.
Adeniji noted that had Trump spent eight years in the White House, the damage would have been irreparable, adding that his successor has a lot of work to do to restore one of the world’s most enduring democracies.
“Thank God Trump did not spend eight years. If he had spent eight years, the damage will be irreparable. Biden himself understands this and he is focused on normalcy and restoration. It won’t be easy but it will be a lot of hard work,” he stated.
Politically, it is not strange for citizens to crave the return of a former president when confronted with a poor incumbent just as many Nigerians now crave the return of a certain former one-term President.
The professor shared this possibility, saying Americans might also reconsider Trump for the 2024 presidency if Biden fails to meet up to expectations.
The former Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the Lagos State University said, “Politics can be very unpredictable. The man may just return with greater fervor but what is on ground does not support that. Even at the moment, the Republican party members are sitting down to edge out Trump but over 70 per cent of the Republican base are still with Trump, he has whetted their appetite with division and racism.
“The performance of Biden will make a lot of difference. If Biden falters and Americans lose faith in him, they may begin to romanticise the Trump era and we all know what that means.”