Donald Trump epitomizes failure and 2020. Photo: Gage Skidmore.
2020 was a year of failure as the whole world convulsed under the ugly coronavirus pandemic and many attendant ailments created by the disease.
It was the year of failure on a spectacular level as the most incompetent president in U.S. history twittled and twaddled on Twitter and let the pandemic spread on a record level. Donald Trump ignored all science and simple but effective measures to contain the disease including wearing facemasks and social distancing. He promoted coronavirus skepticism and even proposed injecting bleach as a solution. As a result, as of today more than 18.4 million Americans have been infected and over 325,096 have died. Even with the introduction of the vaccines, it’s likely that by April more than 500,000 Americans would have died from the disease.
In Africa, the disease has not claimed as many lives when compared to the United States and European countries except in South Africa which now accounts for more than a third of the infections and deaths. In Africa, with a population of 1.3 billion, more than four times that of the U.S., as of today the total infection was over 2.6 million, with 60,973 reported deaths. South Africa accounted for 968,563 of the infections, and 25,983 of the deaths.
All of Africa has been severely impacted by the economic disruptions that will likely lead to social upheavals and some regime changes, which are not necessarily a bad thing as some tyrannies may fall. In Uganda millions of young people–80 % of whom are unemployed–seem poised to vote for a youthful candidate, Bobi Wine, and to end the 35 years U.S.-backed dictatorship of the kleptocrat Gen. Yoweri Museveni, come election day Jan. 14.
The economic contraction, with all but a few African countries showing negative growth, means Africa’s international creditors will have to indefinitely suspend interest payments and forgive a significant portion of the continent’s $417 billion foreign debt. Zambia defaulted on interest payments and other countries could follow suit.
2020 was also the year of revolt. Following the brutal public execution of George Floyd by a deranged racist police officer Derek Chauvin, protests erupted throughout the U.S. and around the world. This has led to some reforms in policing and acknowledgment by the corporate world which is still a day late and a dollar short in making amends. The global fight against police criminality also echoed globally, with Nigerians protesting against a notorious police unit under the hashtag #EndSARS.
2020 was also the year of change when in November more than 82 million Americans voted for Joe Biden, to bring an end to Donald Trump’s corrupt presidency. The outgoing president’s behavior demonstrated to the entire world the importance of durable institutions of state such as an independent judiciary, legislature, media, and even armed forces–without which Trump would have simply seized power and ignored the outcome of the election. Now that Americans have gotten a little taste of what it feels like when a president becomes authoritarian, Americans must reject any support for dictators anywhere in the world with their taxpayers’ dollars.
2020 was the year of turmoil, pain, and disasters.
Good riddance 2020, welcome, in a few days, 2021.