Wednesday, 8 February 2017

My thoughts on US President Donald Trump

First and foremost I think we have to take a step back and accept that President Donald Trump is the democratically elected Head of State of the USA, our closest and most powerful ally.

I, along with many of your readers I’m sure, was unhappy with the comments President Obama made during the referendum campaign, seeing it as none of his business to be involving the US in what was an internal matter for the UK.The end result spoke for itself. While I do not agree with some of the things President Trump is now doing, I believe it would be hypocritical for the UK Government to intervene in matters that surely should be purely for the USA’s own Government to deal with.

Concerning the temporary restrictions he has put on US immigration policy, incorrectly labelled a ‘Muslim ban’ by some, I agree with the Prime Minister’s stated position from PMQ’s last week, where she said ‘this Government is clear that it is wrong. We would not do it.’ I will state clearly that I believe President Trump’s action are, in my view, likely to be counterproductive. However, I also respect his right to do what he believes is right for his country.

Although I personally disagree with these restrictions and indeed many of the things President Trump has said both before and since his election, I believe that he has every right, given his position, to make them. All the e-petitions and protests in the world won’t stop him. Although of course I applaud our democratic system that makes such free speech possible. As it is, sadly in many cases, it seems that the protests around the world appear to be a continuation of the reaction of some people who did not vote for Trump, or Brexit or whatever, and are unhappy that they did not get their preferred outcome.

Ironically, a lot of the backlash seems to be out of shock that President Trump is actually doing things that he said he was going to do during his election campaign.  Again, if these things are the principles or manifesto that he stood on, surely he is now just getting on with the job that he was elected to do, and that those who voted for him expect him to do. Too often politicians are rightly criticised for saying things during elections that they never deliver on once elected – we can hardly level that criticism at Trump.  

The USA is one of our closest and strongest allies and it is vital both for our national interest and the world generally that we have a positive and cooperative relationship with them – whoever their president is. By being a friend we can then challenge the positions they take that we do not believe are right. We will surely have more success in influencing them from this position rather than ranting and criticising them from across the pond. If we only build connections with people and countries we agree with 100% it would be a very lonely world!