The US is concluding one of the most unusual elections, involving perhaps, the most unusual candidate in the person of Donald Trump.
Trump is not your archetypal politician. He is unrefined, unrestrained, anti-establishment, politically incorrect, and has managed to redefine and normalise the abnormal in American politics.
Never in the history of the United States has there been a candidate who divides opinion as Donald Trump.
Given some of his outrageous comments and actions, it baffles many people outside the US why Trump remains popular, especially among his core supporters.
While many people think (or hope) that Hillary Clinton will triumph on November 8, nobody is ruling out the possibility of a Trump presidency, given how he obliterated strong opponents such as Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz during the GOP primaries.
Kenyans, just like many other people all over the world, are horrified when they hear, watch, or read some of the outrageous things attributed to Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual harassment, assault, tax evasion, making derogatory remarks about women, and outrageous racist and sexist comments.
He has insulted, disparaged, and mocked everyone who dares to oppose or criticise him.
Trump is the master of doublespeak, a pathological liar, and an expert in evading questions and diverting attention from the critical issues.
He loves attention, always the “now showing” in the drama of American politics.
He is shallow and clueless about many of the issues dear to most Americans.
To most people, except his core supporters — and they are many — Trump is regarded as unfit and incompetent to hold office.
Ironically, as Kenyans react with shock and disgust at some of the things Trump has been doing or saying, the list above sounds all too familiar when it comes to many of our elected leaders.
We all watched a governor slap a woman in the full glare of cameras, we listened to a governor insulting women leaders, and we have witnessed a countless number of MPs make hate-filled remarks about people and leaders from other ethnic communities.
We have watched as Cabinet secretaries, governors, and other elected or appointed leaders shamelessly siphon money from the public coffers.
We have an elected leader accused of rape.
We have watched “honourable” leaders behave dishonourably, we have seen lewd photos of elected leaders.
Every time we express shock and disgust at Trump’s actions, it is a reflection of our collective hypocrisy and inability to see the irony.
We fail to see the striking resemblance between our leaders and Donald Trump.
While we struggle to understand why Trump is so popular among a sizeable group of the US population, it is an indictment of our collective conscience since we enthusiastically cheer and support tribal warlords, hate mongers, and looters of public coffers.
Trump is a perfect representation of a Kenyan politician.
Kenyans must wake up to the reality that we get the leaders we deserve.
As we prepare for elections in August 2017, we must be more conscious and interrogate the character, credibility, and competence of the leaders we elect across all levels.
We cannot continue to vote for leaders who plunder our national resources, incite hatred, lie to us, make empty promises, and reject any form of accountability.
We deserve better and we must exercise the power of our votes.
Dr Kamau is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Media and Communications, Aga Khan University. [email protected] @thesamkamau