Nightmare – my three biggest concerns about the Trump Presidency
As, no doubt, was the case with many other politically interested Brits, I spent a fitful night sometimes dozing, sometimes watching BBC news streaming on my smart phone, as the news became worse and worse in terms of the US election results. As it happens I have spent an even more fitful morning, occasionally pinching myself, hoping I might wake up from an horrific nightmare.
The trouble is, I am now beginning to believe that it is not actually a nightmare, but sadly it is real. The worst ever candidate has somehow managed to persuade a majority of people in a number of swing states that being a lying, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, bullying, sexist misogynist should not disqualify him from being the most powerful person in the free world. Donald Trump IS now the 45th US president-elect. Good grief!
Sadly, after the shocking experience of the Brexit referendum, I have to say I was not actually that surprised that so many people allowed themselves to be lied to unconvincingly but apparently successfully.
Congratulations and weasel words
Worryingly, the most gleeful welcome for the Trump success has come from the likes of Ms Le Pen in France and Geert Wilders, the right-wing Dutch populist MP, and the former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, not to mention Vladimir Putin. Congratulations have come too from leading European politicians, several of them choosing their words carefully to try and put pressure on Trump to modify his worst efforts of rhetoric. Thus Angela Merkel spoke with caution.
Other Western leaders were less critical and I was ashamed of the British Prime Minister`s weasel words, “I look forward to working with President Trump….”. You can compare the two different sets of congratulations here… http://leftfootforward.org/2016/11/trump-angela-merkel-shames-theresa-may-with-message-for-next-us-president/
By the way, it is not necessary to have many years of worldly wisdom to express concern at a Trump presidency. My ten-year-old Canadian second cousin twice removed, Rowan, managed to work it all out, despite his tender years – check his You Tube posting here… https://www.facebook.com/tara.cordysimpson/posts/10157810266420232?comment_id=10157810736320232¬if_t=like¬if_id=1478711812156577
Three main concerns
Like you, dear readers, I have innumerable concerns about the effects of Trump in the White House but the top three on my list (should that be the bottom three? I mean the MOST concerning three!) are as follows:-
#1 Climate Change Denial
A very few days ago Paris was celebrating the inauguration of the Climate Change Agreement a year after it was passed by all the governments in the world. Trump is a Climate Change Denier and his actions over the next four years could prove to be the straws that break the back of Global survival and take us over the Climate Change tipping point. I never used to believe those signs that said “The end of the world is nigh!”…. I wonder…?
#2 Enabling and encouragement of a new slide to racism in the USA
Trump’s speeches have been littered with “dog-whistle” comments which have already encouraged the “Alt-right” white supremacists to think it is now OK to be overtly racist. They have already been so at his rallies and it seems likely to spread to the streets once he is inaugurated. African Americans and illegal Mexican immigrants will probably be the first targets. I fear there will be trouble to come.
#3 Xenophobia and Islamophobia destabilising an already unstable world
Trump`s anti-muslim rhetoric will not help to calm a fearful world and plays into the hands of the jihadists and their radicalisation and recruitment programmes. I only hope calmer counsel will prevail once he has access to the range of advisors at his disposal. It depends who he will listen to – but I am not terribly encouraged by the precedent of his republican predecessor, George W Bush.
Thankfully, there is possibly one silver lining for an optimist like me to cling to. Trump has decried the state of US infrastructure and may be willing to push through investment plans which could generate much needed economic stimulus which may benefit poorer Americans. Of course, for any silver lining to exist there must first be a cloud – and that cloud is the huge energy use generated by ill-thought-out projects without environmental impact assessments (back to my problem #1 of Climate Change!)
As I was nearing the end of writing this post Hilary Clinton came on the news and gave the most gracious concession speech I think I have heard in my lifetime. There was one line in it that stood out for me when she said we should … “…never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it.” I think she may have been speaking, without even realising it, directly to my ten year old cousin Rowan in Canada!
May your words be heard far and wide Cuz!