Donald Trump gave us recently yet another reason to laugh him off.
We are sure our readers need not be told who Trump is. They know him, where he is, what he is and what he stands for. But Trump does not know where on earth the Philippines is located and who are the people living on these more than 7,000 sun-drenched, typhoon-lashed islands of natural beauty from where talented young men and women go across the world offering their expertise and providing an array of services.
Thus, Trump described our country as a hive of terrorists and infuriated some, not only on our shores but also in faraway Guam where people who hailed from here have risen to hold high offices.
While such reaction is natural, what is indeed laughable was Trump’s subsequent gaffe, explaining that his campaign interns fed him the wrong information that led him to believe the entire Philippines was a Muslim country located in the Middle East. This is a man wanting to become the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most powerful nation, a man, if elected to the office he seeks, would have his finger on the button that can unleash a nuclear holocaust.
Okay, let us give him the benefit of the doubt; because when America relinquished its sovereignty over our country effective July 4, 1946, Trump was a 20-day old infant. If he gave lessons in geography and world history a miss in the pursuit of wealth, let us not get angry with him for it. There is no point; now that he is in his 70s, it is too late and too difficult for him to read up and become well versed in world affairs. Let’s be realistic. Not all old dogs can be taught new tricks.
Nonetheless, there will always be some who would say: “Come on, for God’s sake, there is a tall building in our capital city called Trump Tower; still he doesn’t know about us?” Of course, Trump licenses his name to be put on buildings and other landmarks for a price. Moneymaking is his primary passion. So, he might explain it, too, away, unabashedly, as a deal concluded by a flunky in his leasing department as a routine affair without him knowing anything about it. Anything is possible with Trump.
But surely, there is no need to stoop low to the level of someone who is totally ignorant of a subject he was talking about.
Indeed, there are many things people outside our borders know about us, which Trump may be unaware of. They are not limited to all the world heritage sites in our country, the chocolate hills of Bohol or the tarsier. Our American connection itself is centuries long. Filipinos were the first Asians to arrive in America in the 16th century, later establishing a settlement there in the 18th century and came to be known as the Manilamen.
All these history lessons may be too much for Trump to absorb. What is the most relevant for him now, in our view, is something simple, which, considering his present needs, he might be able to understand and do not forget: a headcount in America four years ago concluded that some 3.4 million people in the American population have Philippine roots. That is a community as large as the combined population of Maine, New Hampshire, and South Dakota. They make the second largest Asian group in the country. They keep the American healthcare system and various other services running well, besides being employed also in the White House. They form a large vote bank to consider if Trump is serious about becoming the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most powerful nation.
Who should the American people send to live in the White House next year is their choice. Let’s leave it at that and pray, God Save America and the rest of the world.