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Trump as ‘genuine fake’

For the first time in my life, I found myself in a market in Ephesus, Turkey, which prides itself as the best place to buy…

For the first time in my life, I found myself in a market in Ephesus, Turkey, which prides itself as the best place to buy GENUINE FAKE WRISTWATCHES. The signposts were everywhere: Genuine Fake Wristwatches!  I did a double take. If the watches were fake, then they couldn’t be genuine. If they were genuine, how could anyone describe them as fake? But these were genuine fake, I was told.
On close inspection, I thought the watches, arrayed in different glittering chromatic tribes and styles, deserved a second look. The sellers were all over us like leeches. “Come, see my Rolex -unbeatable!” said one. As I made to follow the rather desperate man, another shop owner blocked my way, standing ram rod between me and his fellow desperado: “I give you fantastic designer Tourbillon, half aluminium, half titanium. In America they sell it for $550,000 but because you’re my brother, I give it to you for $200”.
The chuckle that was slowly building up to laughter died in my throat when the hustler produced one magnificent timepiece which he dangled in front of my nose. I was transfixed.
I went to inspect his wares as I did those of his countless competitors. Everywhere you turned, glamour was on display at give-away prices. Then I thought, if this looked too good to be true, it was probably untrue. No, not just a probability; this was untrue. Brilliant imitations, yes, but still mere imitations of the real thing. Isn’t copyright and trade mark infringement supposed to be a crime?
After admiring the wares and exchanging small banter, I voted with my feet. How could I explain it to myself that I had mastered all the tricks of Lagos and Abuja hustlers only to fall for some frenzied Ephesian seller of glamorous lies masterfully presented as designer wristwatches?
As I entered another section of the market which specialises in historical souvenirs and books, something nudged me from deep within: There’s nothing strange about what the peddlers of fake products were doing. Was that not the same thing that the Republican Party is doing in the United States of America? Instead of fielding a genuine republican certified as morally and psychologically fit for high office, the conservatives have gifted their party with the human version of Ephesus’ Genuine Fake Watches.
That line of thought was further strengthened when we boarded the bus to Kusadasi, the port city where our vessel had berthed. One of the fellow visitors proudly showed me his automatic Omega Double Eagle watch which he had bought for $85. “I’m going to blow minds with this jewel when I get back to America”, he boasted. His wife also showed off her leather bag which cost a modest $30. Two days later as I lounged lazily in the vessel minding my own business, the American guy pops up and jolts me out of my reverie. “That damned Omega has stopped working!” he wailed. Then he launched into a staccato of unprintables. I told him to take it like a man. He had enjoyed two days of fame as the man who ripped off the Turks. The last laugh was reserved for those hustlers in Ephesus. “But how do they do it?” he asked. “Search me!” I replied.
The mere mention of America reminded me of Trump again. Of all the ‘disendorsements’ I’ve come across, the one that flashes through my mind right now is that of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg: “I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one … Americans need a president who is a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower”.
Some years back when he was first rumoured as a presidential hopeful, comedian  Louis Black joked about one of Trump’s most celebrated business failings: “Now, you might say he’d make a terrible president. I mean, the guy bankrupted his own casino. A casino! Where the house always wins! Unless it’s Donald Trump’s house!” 
Funny. But it was no longer a laughing matter, at least in the trump camp last week when the audio clip of Trump’s lowlife characterisation of women as play things hit the airwaves like a nuke. The lingo was straight from the cesspit and showed that this hypocritical bully around whom all racists and haters in America have converged, belongs either in prison, a mental health facility or in a zoo.
Like the genuine fake watches of Ephesus, Trump’s day in the sun has been eclipsed by the scandalous revelations. The list of prominent republicans who have now withdrawn their earlier endorsement of the bully is growing by the day: Senators John Thune, John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Mike Crapo, Lisa Murkowski, Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, Shelley Moore Capito, Cory Gardner and John Boozman who famously said, “If I ever heard anyone speak this way about my daughters and granddaughters they would be shopping for a new set of teeth”. Also backing away from Trump are the following: Representatives Jason Chaffetz, Bradley Byrne, Deb Fischer, Ann Wagner, Martha Roby, Tom Rooney, Frank LoBiondo, Joe Heck Rodney Davis, Cresent Hardy, Chris Stewart and Jeff Fortenberry. Governors Gary Herbert; and Brian Sandoval led the pack of Republican governors who now treat the psychologically unstable hate-monger as toxic waste.
Hate may pretend to have the speed of a jet plane but closer scrutiny betrays the fact that it is but a wheel barrow. Stirring up negative emotions may unleash all the demons idling away in hell, but in the end, good will always trump evil. That is one small lesson we all have to learn in this university of life.
When the Republican Party expresses regret for presenting a candidate who routinely objectifies women, it is like the Ephesian watch seller apologising for selling you a Genuine Fake Wristwatch. Mercifully, there are too many genuine human beings in the United States to allow this cheap, inferior, fake specimen of humanity to prevail.

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