We need to talk about Trump

Let’s start with some first principles: Trump is literally not my president. I didn’t have a vote in the election, as I’m not an American nor do I live there. And yes, I know exactly how it feels to have foreigners tell you what they don’t like about your country or your government.

And I try to avoid doing both, because lately the UK is no shining example of tolerance and love. Or even logic, due to the catastrophe that was the Brexit vote. ‘People in glass houses…’ and all that.

I also try to avoid overloading this blog with commentary on current affairs, as it can be quite divisive. I tend to keep that for debates on Twitter. Or over coffee, in person. So if you’re disinterested by this topic, feel free to skip to the next post.

That said…

That said, America appears to have appointed a narcissistic, unstable, petty, ego-driven, volatile and self-confessed sex-offender as president. I emphasise appointed as Trump lost the popular vote and the American electoral system still managed to get him into the White House.

And America may well have doe so in the past. Nixon was not dissimilar to Trump and I’m sure every president since has leaked their own preferences, biases and irrational needs all over the Oval Office. But, I think the difference is that they were surrounded by advisors and officials who could set them straight and ensure no damage was done to the office of the President by a temporary office-holder.

So let’s be clear: I don’t believe US Presidents are automatically examples of grit, determination, logic and wisdom as soon as they win the election. They’re human, just like you and me.

The difference here is we have an outlier on most aspects of human behaviour and attitudes in the White House, who has chosen to surround himself with similar outliers. Or extremists, if you will. People whose views on humanity, society and equality are as far to the right of any spectrum as you might find.

In the weeks leading up to the inauguration, I read a veritable chorus of commentary asking for us to ‘give Trump the benefit of the doubt’, telling us ‘the office will impact him’ and that we should ‘take him seriously, not literally’.

We’re just over a week into the Trump Presidency and I’m not going to keep quiet any longer. Yep, he’s not my president, but America is no normal country. Its decisions impact the rest of the world and as we can see, his executive orders thus far have done just that.

He has succeeded in offending and alienating his to closest neighbours with continued inflammatory talk of the ‘wall’ with Mexico and by instigating a ban on entry to the US by citizens (even green card holders and those with joint-nationality) from a selection of mainly Muslim countries. Except, of course, those where he has business interests.

You see? He is quite literally implementing the campaign slogans and it’s only a week into his term. Christ on a bike, what else is he going to do?

He has failed to share his tax returns or to formally divest himself of his vast and complex business affairs. He’s running the White House like a members’ club, giving jobs to friends and family, no more qualified to hold such important offices than you or I. And in some cases, probably less…

This is fascism in action.

Think about it. He’s pretty much mirroring what every nationalist dictator in history has done. He’s promised to rebuild the country, he’s blaming ‘others’ for the downfall of the country, he’s attacking the very system of government he’s supposed to be leading and he’s spreading lies and disinformation about allies and political foes alike. People don’t know what to believe and they’re afraid. He’s using his executive power to implement a nationalist agenda before our very eyes.

He and his administration announced their Muslim travel ban on Holocaust Memorial Day, while also refusing to specifically mention Jews in their press release. It’s like they’re waving their intolerance in our faces and laughing about it.

I’m scared.

I’m not worried that someone whose politics I disagree with is in a position of power. I’m worried that such an unstable and intolerant person has their hands on the levers of power, is busy making new enemies and has the military power to end life on earth.

And to all those American commentators who vilified me on Twitter with their talk of systemic ‘checks and balances’: where are you checks and balances now? Your system of government and electoral method has let you down, allowing a grotesquely in qualified man to take over your country and set it back at least a decade in just seven days.

Now let me tell you what this isn’t. This isn’t me issuing a blanket condemnation of all Americans, or even all the Americans who voted for Trump. Looking at Brexit, we can easily see why angry people use a vote to make a point, without a thought for the consequences.

I’ve been to the US enough times to know that it’s as varied in terms of people as anywhere else. It’s full of talented, thoughtful and broad-minded people. People who more frightened of this development that I could ever be. They’re out there right now, protesting at airports.

What I’m trying to say here is that this isn’t politics as normal. This is one of those times where people need to set aside political differences and stand up for what’s essentially right. Banning and abandoning people purely on the basis of their religion is not government-as-normal. It is fascism.

Our own unelected Prime Minister not only held Trump by the hand in public, she also invited him for a state visit to the UK later this year. This gives him legitimacy and is nothing more than a futile attempt to build some kind of relationship with Trump to offset the economic damage that will come with the kind of ‘hard Brexit’ May is pushing for. She’s emphasising trade and cooperation over human rights.

I’m embarrassed for the UK, especially as countries all around protested the travel ban openly. People need to know that this is not what the majority of people in the UK believe, no matter how appallingly the Prime Minister has behaved.

Remember also, that this is the woman who, when Home Secretary, had trucks drive around areas with suspected high number of illegal immigrants with a ‘Go Home’ message written on the side. And that after fawning over Trump, she flew straight to Turkey to sign an arms deal with a similarly unhinged nationalist clown.

trump-may

If Trump comes over here, I’ll be out there protesting his presence, his behaviour and his anti-human stance. The man is a charlatan, a bigot and unfit for office – any office. His past behaviour marks him out as singularly unfit to be President and no seal of office or plethora of officials or machine of government is going to change my mind on this.

He’s had his chance and he’s blown it.

Who’s with me? Who’s going to protest in London if/when he flies in?

  1. I salute you for this post.

    Like you, I try (and sometimes fail) to avoid posting anything overtly political on my blog as I was given some BS racial abuse on the morning of the EU Referendum results. That was the morning I knew Trump would win the election, as it became clear to me I had underestimated how much silent prejudice is around.

    His actions absolutely signal the start of facism. And it genuinely worries me just how many people think that what he’s doing is good. It is nothing less than discrimination with a government stamp of approval.

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    1. Thanks Fed. I’ll be honest – I wondered how people would respond, as Trump (and politics in general) can be very divisive. And I’d much rather add some positivity to the internet…

      But this last week has pushed me. It can’t be ignored and it can’t be only talked about in whispers.

      I also see a connection between Trump and Brexit, in that big decisions with enormous consequences were answered with a simple yes/no, in/out answer.

      And I agree – I think a lot of us underestimated the level of prejudice there is out there. For a presidential candidate to get the seal of approval from the KKK and still get to the White House is something I never thought I’d see.

      We can’t assume that everything we’ve won in terms of societal change and progress is here to stay – in the US, or Europe. The Government’s planned ‘Great Repeal Bill’ will need to be scrutinised with incredible detail if we aren’t to lose key rights.

      It’s a tough time, alright.

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  2. I voted for Trump. I’m sick and tired of the selfish corruption that has been prevalent in our government for years. We are spending a fortune on illegal immigrants and Muslims full of hatred for us. They want their barbaric Sharia Law to run America. The violent Muslims have ruined Sweden, France and Germany. Not to mention their own countries. Their cruelty and violence is a blot on humanity and the world. Regarding the popular vote, it has been discovered deceased people have voted, illegals with no ID have voted and people have voted in two states. The investigation is still underway, but so far over 800,000 votes for Hillary have been deemed fraudulent. We voted Trump in because he is exactly what we wanted and need now to clean up the traitorous mess Obama left us. I pray justice is done in America and we get our country back. We get our jobs back and take care of our veterans and homeless instead of illegals and violent Muslims. We have ways for people to become citizens. It’s time we enforced them. Even Canada has requirements and are turning away Americans that want to leave and live there. We have been the “nice guys” of the world to the most demanding and ungrateful individuals on the planet. It ends now. That’s exactly what we wanted and we are thankful to God, He has set Trump as our president. I appreciate your concern, but it isn’t necessary and not even wanted. Your opinions are frankly irrelevant. God bless and I wish you the best in life. I’m sorry you’re afraid. I’ve never felt so secure and proud of my country.

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    1. What is truly frightening is that there are people in the USA who genuinely believe that Obama was a “traitor”, that 800,000 fraudulent votes have been suddenly found cast for Mrs Clinton, that Europe has been “ruined by violent Muslims”, that the USA is seen as “the nice guys of the world” and that God has “set Trump as President”. Oh – and that any counter views are “frankly irrelevant”.

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    2. Take off the rose tinted glasses Donna, two weeks in and already he is turning out to be the biggest liability ever. The man is a complete fool, no sense of normality. Ignores the facts like that Saudi has more Muslims and was the source of most of the terrorists from 9/11 oh but I forgot he has business interests there so that’s why he didn’t ban them.

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  3. Where I work (possibly one can extend that to my region but working in LE, one expects a higher level of conservatives), I was LITERALLY surrounded this week and figuratively hammered by my entire staff during lunch hour because I pulled a face when somebody made some remark about how great Trump’s executive orders are this week. ‘Finally, making progress.’

    It was ugly. Prior to the election, it was angry to jovial barbs.

    I don’t have discussions or debates with them because there’s virtually no way that changes a mind and why waste the energy?

    I do make the odd statement against Trump’s character, which I’ll again clarify: I have followed him in press since the EARLY 1980s. I worked in a library and read east coast through Chicago & St. Louis papers DAILY, including business pages. I’m an odd bird for many reasons but politics was a sport to be followed in my family.

    My brother’s 2nd out of 3 degrees is poli- sci. I took poli-sci, a couple of Constructional Law classes and numerous History courses.

    It’s normal in me.

    So.

    I’ve been disgusted by him for decades.

    I do not believe that he has improved as a human not that the office will help. Since he has done everything to rid himself of restraints or the hundreds of people who would’ve worked to protect America’s interests at home or abroad?

    What can I say?

    I don’t think it was right to make HIM president…of anything but I believe strongly in the Golden Rule, which I guess doesn’t get much truck anymore.

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    1. I feel for you – I only come into contact with those kinds of opinions and beliefs if I choose to, and only then on the internet. Be strong and remember everything you know about him – despite what disinformation is spread by his team and many, many fans.

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      1. Impossible to forget more than 1/2 my life’s knowing ‘him.’

        As for the people who support him and claim (really) that he has given up his livelihood to help America…? They can only belief that because if the truth hits them, it’s like finding out a saint was a monster. It would destroy their entire world view.

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  4. Thank you for this post. Great job. Although I live in the USA, I am fortunate in that I have dual citizenship: both Greek and American. I think the Greek one will benefit me over the next four years. I didn’t vote for the idiot and he is NOT my president. He is an embarrassment to this country and to the world. He lies to suit his needs and insults us all. A qualified leader? I KNOW not! Naked hugs!

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    1. Thanks for responding and for your support. It’s no time to ignore this stuff.but can be equally hard to speak up and take the flack that comes with it. His fans are many and vocal – and misinformed.

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  5. great post. How could May HOLD HIS HAND?? *speechless*

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    1. Thanks. I’ve been in and out of ‘speechless’ since Trump’s “win” in the election. I’m running short on ‘stupefied’ and totally out of ‘I can’t believe it’.

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  6. If this ‘State’ visit does take place they are going to have to cancel all Police leave, bring in Police from the surrounding counties, wish they hadn’t sold off the water cannons. There will be riots on the streets no doubt about it.

    Trump has to be the most unpopular President ever elected, he makes GW Bush look like a Mensa/Mastermind Champion.

    That is if he hasn’t been impeached or shot before he ever gets here. We can hope I suppose.

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