America has elected a madman. Today is a dark day for all of us. Not only for the United States, but for the security of the entire world. Many misguided and angry Trump supporters may soon find out that the light at the end of the tunnel is actually just the headlights of an oncoming train coming towards them.
And when public opinion turns against him, this is a man who will not bow down; as he and his team have already made it clear, they have no respect for democracy.
There is a saying 'history repeats itself - once as a tragedy, once as a farce' This is both.
German author Johan Franklin writes on Twitter: “Dear Americans. Go ahead, vote for the guy with the loud voice who hates minorities, threatens to imprison his opponent, doesn’t give a f**k about democracy, and claims he alone can fix everything. What could possibly go wrong? Good luck".
This. This is what can go wrong....how wrong, we don't yet know.
So let’s look at some of the issues that may be of concern?
Trump has tried to model himself as 'the law and order candidate': speaking at a rally in Virginia, United States he told the crowd “We must maintain law and order at the highest level or we will cease to have a country, 100 percent,” But this is a man who has shown nothing but contempt for international humanitarian law. Not only has he advocated murdering the families of terrorists, at one rally in February this year he told his supporters; “Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works,” “Half these guys [say]: ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works.” Putting morality aside, as we unhappily fear Mr Trump will continue to do, the truth of the situation is that torture doesn’t work, according to experts. An article on newscientist.com commenting on a 2015 book by Professor Shane O’Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin, states that:
“torture does not produce reliable information largely because of the severity with which it impairs the ability to think. Extreme pain, cold, sleep deprivation and fear of torture itself all damage memory, mood and cognition. Torture does not persuade people to make a reasoned decision to cooperate, but produces panic, dissociation, unconsciousness and long-term neurological damage. It also produces an intense desire to keep talking to prevent further torture.”
The article by Carl Elliott also cites a Cambodian intelligence officer who said; “One survivor confessed to being everything from a hermaphrodite to the King of Cambodia’s son” Does Trump still sound like the 'law and order candidate'? Considering that torture was outlawed under the 1949 Geneva Convention, we think not. He has even gone so far as to speak out against the Geneva Convention, calling it "the problem". Chillingly, Trump once asked a foreign policy expert three times why he couldn’t use nuclear weapons if he were to become president. That day is now upon us, and I’m sure it will stay with us for a very long time. That Trump sees no problem with using a weapon specifically designed to slaughter innocent people should perhaps come as no surprise, given, for example, his insistence that when combatting terrorists “you have to take out their families”.
His general disdain for foreigners has been made abundantly clear. Of his many election 'policies', two of the most famous are, of course, 'the wall' and the 'Muslim ban'. He repeatedly claimed he would have a wall built to separate the US from Mexico to keep out Mexican illegal immigrants.
This is apparently an important issue because according to Trump, illegal immigrants from Mexico are “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Trump has even insisted that Mexico will pay for the wall, a claim fiercely rejected by Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto.
And late last year, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslims entering the United States - although after much to-ing and fro-ing and contradicting himself, this proposal now seems to have morphed into an extreme vetting process (which, arguably, the United States already has).
Amazingly though, according to Trump, it’s Hilary Clinton who is bigoted. As if all of these things were not problematic enough, Trump has also stated that climate change is a hoax “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”, a claim he tweeted in 2012 and subsequently repeated on numerous occasions.
During the first presidential debate against Hilary Clinton, he denied ever saying this, but incredibly, as of the 9th November, he has still not deleted his tweets. Finally, in leaked audio published by the Washington post Trump boasted he could do anything he wanted to women, claiming “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful - I just start kissing them. it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy… You can do anything.”
These comments have been widely condemned, particularly in light of Trump’s statement that he “doesn’t even wait”, apparently confessing to sexually assaulting women on a regular basis. Trump has since apologised for his comments, which he now attributes to “locker room talk”, and insists that he does not sexually assault women - but a veritable multitude of women have since come forward, essentially corroborating his original statements. Summer Zervos and Natasha Stoynoff, for example, have both alleged that Trump kissed them against their will. Ninni Laaksonen has accused Trump of groping her. “Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt. He really grabbed my butt,”.
Jessica Leeds accused Trump of attempting to grope her breasts, before putting his hand up her skirt, when they were sitting next to each other on a flight. The two had reportedly never met before. According to Leeds, he was “like an octopus… his hands were everywhere”.
This is not entirely surprising, as suing or threatening to sue people seems to be something of a hobby of Mr Trump’s. He’s reportedly been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits over the last three decades, attempted to sue comedian Bill Maher over a joke involving Trump’s mother and an orangutan, and even threatened legal action against satirical news site the Onion over a satirical article.
On election day, Trump filed a lawsuit alleging a Nevada county kept polling locations open longer than permitted, in what Trump apparently believed was a sign that the electoral system was rigged against him.
As he did when accused of bigotry, Trump has attempted to shift the focus from his “pussy-grabbing” talk onto the Clintons, accusing Bill Clinton of abusing women and Hilary of having “bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated” her husband’s alleged victims.
And in the second presidential debate, he explained that “nobody has more respect for women” than Donald Trump does (editors’ note to women: please don’t worry - we strongly suspect this claim is not actually true).
This all seems pretty worrying, but then, as Trump so profoundly elucidated in the debate, “when we have a world where you have ISIS chopping off heads”, his casual bragging about the apparently routine sexual assault of women is a relatively small issue, right? We are going to be paying the price for the actions of the Trump 'electorate'. Again democracy has failed. Inequality has grown to new levels and is still growing, fuelling a backlash of right wing populist movements across Europe and America. The orthodox model of neoliberalism has failed, allowing a madman to be elected.
A lunatic has made his way to power in one of (supposedly?) the most civilised countries in the world once again and he is a great threat not only to the US migrant population, but to the future of world peace. And the UK wants a 'special relationship' with him...it beggars belief.
Today, it has become even more vital that Britain elects a socialist government with a real moral compass - it is dangerous to leave the 'Trump years' in the hands of a party whose cruel austerity regime seems to indicate that they, too, believe 'torture works'.
So to the British elite we say this. You can hide in your bubble, thinking it will protect you from the troubles of the world. Ignore the poverty that continues to grow in our communities and along our streets, the conditions of adversity that stretch far and wide, the homelessness, the poor, the sick and the needy.
But that bubble isn't real. It doesn't really exist. And one of these days you’re going to have to accept the truth when the consequences of this increasingly dangerous and polluted politics come a little closer to home.
You have lived beneath a veil of ignorance - or indifference - for so long. But the time has come for you to open your eyes and see what we see. Because when we stand on the eve of environmental or nuclear destruction. Whether you're rich or poor. Whether you see winners or losers in your minds. Whether you're black or white, blue or red. a time is dawning, and a time is dawning fast, when all our interests will be the same