Zelalem Eshete, Ph.D.
I never thought there would come a time where would I admire an Ethiopian prime minister over a United States president. It is a strange time. President Trump is stripping away inherited ideals that long existed in United States while PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed is instilling ideals in Ethiopia that didn’t exist in the first place.
United States is founded upon timeless ideals. Yes, there is prejudice and racism but that doesn’t speak to America as a whole. Instead, that can be attributed to the fallen state of humanity. America has been on a journey to enlighten and deal with such ignorance. That progress is the beauty of America, one victory at a time. That is why America is an inspiration for the world, and a sanctuary for the persecuted. America’s soul speaks of such priceless identity.
Now the president single handedly undermines those ideals to re-invent America and in doing so, he is making America lose her soul. It is an oxymoron for an immigrant president (albeit his ancestors) to turn around and label Mexicans that aspire to come here as drug dealers and criminals. Ensuring legal immigration through secure borders is a noble thing, but dehumanizing immigrants to sell his agenda by holding the united states hostage is insane.
When the highest office in the land debases the ideals of America, it is an American identity crisis. Being the super-power of the world or the super-rich of the world is meaningless and short lived unless one can be the super model of the world. There have been many rises and falls of civilization in history: Axum, Egypt, Athens, Rome, Great Britain. America is not meant to join this list. America’s soul dictates that America will keep herself from the fall through wisdom and understanding. At the time wisdom and understanding is a hard commodity in the White House, we need to look for guidance at the faraway, unlikely place known as a “dark continent” (what the president calls “shit hole countries”).
There, we find Ethiopia: grabbing the imagination of not only Ethiopians but Africans and the world at large. PM Abiy Ahmed espouses regional integration and openness to the world. He champions Ethiopianism within the context of “medemer” (coming together). His “love wins” philosophy had the power to end the twenty-year hostility with Eritrea, practically overnight. All political prisoners have been set free. All parties have put their arms to rest and are roaming Addis Ababa in freedom. Every morning, the impossible is becoming possible. There is distinct joy and aura of hope in the air. What has enabled each of these historic changes is one and the same: the fact that PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed is instilling timeless ideals for Ethiopia. That is what makes or breaks a nation.