LOUD WHISPERS: Consequences

Consequences (Noun):  a result or effect, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant. The result or outcome of something occurring earlier.

I wonder what is going through Hilary Clinton’s mind at the moment.

At a campaign event in San Diego, June 2016, Hilary Clinton painted a picture of what kind of President Donald Trump would be if he managed to win. She said, ‘The person the Republicans have nominated for President cannot do the job. Donald Trump’s ideas are not just different, they are dangerously incoherent.  They are not even really ideas – just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies.  He is not just unprepared he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility. This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes, because it is not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin’. These were the words of a seasoned political player, a thick-skinned Presidential Candidate trying to present herself as a more knowledgeable, stable and responsible choice, someone temperamentally fit enough to lead a nation like the USA and ensure that all the institutions and values the country holds dear would be protected.

Late evening on November 8th 2016, when it had become obvious that she had lost the election to Donald Trump, with all her supporters gathered at the Javits Center in New York, a venue purposefully chosen because it has a literal glass ceiling, Hilary was not in the right frame of mind to make the traditional personal appearance. She however called her political rival to concede the election, then she worked on the delivery of a speech she never believed she would have to make the following day. In her formal concession speech, she said, ‘Donald Trump is going to be our President. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don’t just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values too and we must defend them.’

And so, the Presidency of Donald Trump began, with a rallying call for the country to give him the benefit of doubt, and with him having the benefit of the traditional courtesies of a concession speech, an invitation to him and his wife Melania to visit President Obama and First Lady Michele at the White House, a hitch-free transition and an uneventful inauguration ceremony. There were consequences for this choice. It was four years of high drama, with an impeachment somewhere along the line. Then the COVID19 pandemic struck and millions became infected, thousands and thousands died and millions were left destitute. Many blamed the poor leadership of the President and his incoherent positions.  Full judgement on his policies and Presidency was however reserved till the appropriate time – the 2020 November elections. On November 8th 2020, 81.2 million American voters got under President Trump’s very thin skin. It all went downhill from there. It went on and on till finally, on January 6th, he and a supporting cast gave a series of highly incendiary speeches at a rally in Washington in which he and his cronies urged eager supporters to march on the Capitol where Congress was gathered to carry out a task that was a mere formality – the confirmation of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris’s win at the Electoral College. I tuned in to watch the proceedings, because this exercise never warranted any close scrutiny in the past since it was meant to be a non-event. And then everything went to hell in a massive basket. I sat in front of the TV screen for hours, with my mouth wide open. The scenes of people scaling walls, carting away government property and posing for photographs in the offices of senior leaders were not from Lagos, Accra, Kampala, Delhi or Beijing. They were from the United States of America.

On January 6th 2021, the accuracy of Hilary Clinton’s predictions in her 2016 San Diego speech hit home. Even though the part about the nuclear codes has not happened, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House was worried enough to call service chiefs at the Pentagon and have them explain the process of activating the nuclear codes. Thankfully, there are safeguards in place to prevent the full activation of the codes by the Commander in Chief without due cause. Even then, this week, there was a curious statement issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Their statement, which contained an outright condemnation of the insurrection that took place at the Capitol on January 6th, also emphasized, ‘As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath, it is against the law’. In other words, this was the most powerful military leaders in the land telling the President, ‘Don’t even think about it’.

On January 13th 2021, President Trump made history as the first President of the US to be impeached twice. There have been arguments about the relevance of impeaching a President who has less than a week to go. The impeachment was actually a Plan C. Plan A was to force him to resign from office for the role he played in inciting the January 6th insurrection. Plan B was to get Vice-President Mike Pence to initiate the 25th Amendment which would allow the VP and Cabinet Members remove the President on the grounds of diminished capacity. When the first two plans failed, they activated the third plan and it went through. Even though an impeachment trial still needs to take place in the Senate, President Trump is ending his Presidency in utter and total chaos.

Why go to all this trouble for someone who has less than a week in office left? Consequences. There have to be consequences for the actions or inactions of those who are supposed to know better. Every position of responsibility comes with the requirement to be above board in all things. It comes with the expectation of truth-telling, integrity and a commitment to placing the lives and well-being of others above personal gain. An election was lost, and instead of congratulating the winner and thanking your supporters, you proceed to lie to them that you won an election that was lost with over 7 million votes. Rather than put your own ego aside and tend to the broader needs of a country in need of healing from political and ideological divides as well as literal healing from a rampaging pandemic, you double down on lies and propaganda. You then inspire an uprising that leaves five people dead, many injured and the standing of the country in the world grossly diminished. Thankfully, previous enablers decided to move in and take away the toys – the social media accounts, humongous bank loans, business contracts, political funding, by the time they are finished, the Emperor will be well and truly naked.

Consequences. A word that applies to all in high and low places. To the man in Uganda who is hoping to be elected today as President of his country after serving in this role for 35 years. How many more years does he need to be President? Another 20? To the Commissioner who lured a 16-year-old to his house and proceeded to assault her and is now pressurizing her family into a ‘settlement’. To the government official who smuggled in a teenager for sex and now she is dead from a suspected drug overdose. To the Pastor who is telling his flock they should not wear face masks because it means they do not have faith. To all those who watched while a mad man raped a mad woman in broad daylight and all you could do was record the obscenity on your phones and laugh. To the man who was recently (thankfully) jailed for twenty years for raping his own daughter. Consequences. There will always be consequences.

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She is the First Lady of Ekiti State, and she can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

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6 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: Consequences

  1. Femi Diipo January 17, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Consequences. If only people think about the consequences of their actions, most people will refrain and have use their sense. We all need to do better and be more thoughtful and reasonable because eventually we will reap what we sow

    Reply
  2. shola January 18, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    The man in Uganda came back oooo. He came back and sometimes, it makes me wonder if truly there are consequences o

    Reply
  3. Olivia January 18, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Are most of the people in power bothered? If United States can do this? It is well sha

    Reply
  4. Judith January 18, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    One day, there will be consequences for African and World leaders. Till then, we will just keep reading and hoping

    Reply
  5. DSEED January 23, 2021 at 11:54 am

    If only people can know that there is always a consequence for every action they made. We should be careful of our actions.

    Reply
  6. Olakunle Olajide February 9, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Consequences..Only if this could happen to our leaders as soon as possible.. Both positive and negative.

    Reply

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