Why I’m one of the many #libdemsagainstTrump today

I asked on Twitter this morning what the worst thing about Donald Trump was. Many of the replies I got were variations on the theme of “everything.”

It is rare that you find a human being with so little empathy for others and so few saving graces. When that person has so much global power and influence, it’s utterly terrifying.

It’s not just about his racism which leads him to ban people of a certain religion and decry Mexicans as rapists and slag off the most prominent Muslim politician in the UK. It’s not just about the ingrained misogyny which leads him to boast about sexually assaulting women. It’s not just that he is more comfortable with the likes of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un than he is with Justin Trudeau. It’s not just that he is stitching up the Supreme Court and with it threatening human, reproductive, workers’ rights for generations. (Let’s not forget that his current nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, who spent the 1990s persecuting  Bill Clinton, now thinks that no sitting President should be subject to criminal investigation). It’s not just that he brags about separating children from their parents and detaining them in soulless camps on the Mexican borders. It’s not just that he is doing the work of a deeply unpleasant Russian dictator for him. Who wins if Europe, the EU and NATO are destabilised? Putin, of course. And I’ll just leave here the news that you may have missed amid yesterday’s trail of chaos and destruction the entirely unrelated news that 12 Russians were indicted for interference in the election that Trump so narrowly won.

Any single one of these things is enough of a reason to protest. Together they are compelling.

How good would it have been yesterday if Theresa May had channelled Hugh Grant from Love Actually and ripped Trump a new one in the Chequers press conference? It was never going to happen, because our position in the world is so weakened because of Brexit, but someone has to stand up to the very real danger he poses to every civilised value that we have until now taken for granted.

But what is the point in protesting? It’s not going to change anything, is it?

Well, sitting at home while this appalling man takes a sledgehammer to the values I hold dear isn’t an option for me. Of course he’s not going to change his ways just because a few hundred thousand of the people he can’t stand take to the streets.

I hope that the coverage of the demonstrations gives some comfort to his targets, though. That they will know that people thousands of miles away stand with them.

It’s not just about Trump, though. Political power in this country is very much in the hands of people who think like him. They may not be quite as overtly obnoxious, but remember that we have a Prime Minister who has talked about ripping up the Human Rights Act, and who has stood by when the press denounce as saboteurs and enemies of the people anyone who challenges her on Brexit. We have watched in horror as the Conservative Party’s reaction to the rise of UKIP was to become them, to move to the right, to set groups of poor people up against each other, creating a climate where they think each other is the enemy. We see 15000 children forced to live apart from at least one parent because of our unfair immigration system.

It’s at this point that our values as Liberal Democrats, as enshrined in our constitution, show the way forward.

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.

Everything we do is about making that sort of society become a reality and that’s why I’m going to be out on the streets today. It’s why we as Lib Dems  try and stand up for those who are marginalised in some way every day.

Standing up to Trump and what he represents is motivated by love of our fellow human beings. And while there will be a few very funny and caustically Scottish banners today, for me, the most important message is that Love Trumps Hate.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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20 Comments

  • So much for the ‘We should respect and welcome the president of the US’…Not this president.

    You invite a new member of a family you have been friends with for years for dinner. Before he arrives he goes on twitter to say that you, your wife and family are useless and that a disgraced ‘black sheep’ of your family should be running the household. .

    Over dinner he says that he didn’t really mean what he said and that you and your family are ‘reeely’ his ‘best special friends’.

    How the heck are you supposed to form any lasting relationship with such a person? Far better to stay at arms length until his ‘new family’ see him for what he is and get rid of him; then you can resume your old friendship.

  • Well said Caron, I endorse everything you said about Donald Trump but my words would be blunter and unprintable!!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 14th Jul '18 - 12:46pm

    I agree with this but think Theresa May did show up Trump on immigration, the contrast in their comments was significant, quite ironic from the ex Home Secretary , she of the hostile environment, it says much as to how far away from the best of the American dream, values, this appalling president is.

  • Richard Underhill 14th Jul '18 - 12:52pm

    Caron Lindsay Sat 14th July 2018 “the worst thing about Donald Trump”
    “separating children from their parents”. Not keeping records is worse.
    Did he not realise that is decree might be overturned in a court? or in several courts?
    Did he not think it possible that he might change his mind and rescind his decree?
    How then would he reunite the children with their parents?
    What he has done is obviously cruel. It is also unusual. I am a Brit with American relatives because my brother became a US citizen after emigrating to Canada. Trump’s action sees to me to be Un-American. Grounds for impeachment?
    His current wife, a Slovene, disagrees with him.
    How big a fine could he face? Is he insured?

  • Richard Underhill 14th Jul '18 - 12:56pm

    expats ” stay at arms length until his ‘new family’ see him for what he is and get rid of him”. BUT, by then he may have appointed two members of the Supreme Court, maybe more.

  • John Marriott 14th Jul '18 - 1:27pm

    Some people just love to ‘protest’. Whilst in no way wishing to prevent people exercising their democratic right, you have to wonder whether such manifestations of displeasure actually achieve anything, especially with a person like Donald Trump, and just simply cost a great deal of money to police.

    I tend to agree with ‘expats’ that the best way is to wait for the democratic process to sweep him away. I’m still hoping that Mr Mueller and his enquiry still have a few tricks up their sleeve.

    Finally, it’s interesting that the MP for the 18th Century (aka Mr J Rees Mogg) was so incensed to be told by “a Yankee President”(aka Barrack Obama) to go to “the back of the queue” for a future trade deal and yet thought that Trump’s assertion that there would be no trade deal if we stayed close to the EU “reasonable”. Double standards?

  • William Fowler 14th Jul '18 - 2:28pm

    He is fairly typical American of his generation, wonder how much of his harsh words about Mrs May were caused by her allowing the protests to go ahead? Be interesting to see what happens if we end up with our own version, Boris Johnson as PM (quite likely if EU rejects the May deal), will the Left go on constant demo’s?

  • Donald Trump is an absolute disgrace and there can be no justification for any form of militant thuggery, bullying, racism, isolationism, protectionism, white nationalism and hardline authoritarianism at all.

    What frightens me was all these revolutionary left wingers and radicals effectively siding with Trump by going along with populist policies and attacking the status quo. Sanders had no business standing against Clinton and nor did Stein. Sanders, Stein and Johnson are as directly responsible for the election of Trump as all the talk show hosts, NRA, far right, conspiracy theorists and so on are. By attacking TPP, attacking the Iraq and other wars, attacking Wall Street and job offshoring, attacking globalisatiom agreeing that immigration is an issue and criticising China, they all played into the Trump narrative.

    I am afraid there are many people on all sides of the political spectrum who would rather agree with belligerent populists, than with the sane status quo.

  • Mick Taylor 14th Jul '18 - 9:04pm

    I have said before and I repeat it now. You give the man credibility by these demonstrations. Far more telling to ignore him. Don’t give him the publicity he craves.

  • Martin Land 14th Jul '18 - 9:15pm

    I don’t know how representative Lib Dem Voice is of the party nowadays. If it is, we deserve to be where we are in the polls.
    All I read here week after week is the sort of student politics that kept us in a cul-de-sac for years before Chris Rennard shook us out of it. We are demonstrating against Trump, for LG etc. rights, and a host of very worthy causes which are of little or no interest to the electorate. If this party is ever to have any relevance again we have to get out on the doorstep and listen to the concerns of the electors. None of which include any of the above. Protesting against Trump may satisfy your inner student but it isn’t going to solve anything.

  • @Mick Taylor agreed. The man is a narcissist. Demonstration’s just give him the attention he craves; they achieve little else.

  • Richard Underhill 14th Jul '18 - 10:37pm

    Martin Land: In Tunbridge Wells in the May 2018 elections several parties, including Liberal Democrats, opposed an expensive construction program. A new party was also created, including a former Tory leader. The reaction of the electorate was heavily negative, including one LIb Dem gain and one gain for the new party.
    The attitude of the Tory controlled borough council is simply to announce that they will continue with the policy. The Tories’ attitude to democracy has not caused great surprise. There are two local newspapers, both of which led their front pages with news of heavy rain and failure to clear drains.

  • John Marriott 14th Jul '18 - 10:38pm

    Quite right, Martin Land. However, manning the barricades appears to be part of many people’s DNA. Trump is here, bar illness, death or impeachment, for another couple of years at least. The only people who can legitimately get rid of him and his Republican cohorts are the voters of the USA, so the Democrats need to get their act together firstly for the Mid Term Congressional elections and then find a candidate, who might just be prepared to trade blows with him in the next race to the White House. They might also, as far as the latter is concerned, like to consider whether the Electoral College is fit for purpose any more.

  • David Becket 14th Jul '18 - 10:38pm

    @Martin Land
    It is not the protests that really cause a problem, it is that the same attitude now runs conference, good worthy Liberal motions that are of little or no interest to the electorate, whereas what should be coming out of Brighton, is a programme for Government. Fat chance of that, and we will stick below 10% in the polls. We need somebody with the vision and energy of Chris to get us back on track.

  • I just want to say the American people appreciate GREATLY you Brits demonstrating your distaste for the Traitor-in-Chief. We are currently paralyzed by the disgusting thing occupying the White House and by the treason of the Republican Party in allowing him to get away with trying to destroy our country. We are putting our faith in Mueller who I think of as our Elliott Ness. He has all the criminals in his crosshairs. There is a plan if anyone tries to interfere with him.

    We love you England and all of our allies!

  • The part that I strongly agree with in Caron’s post is that political power is very much in the hands of people who think like President Trump. I have to admit though I don’t find them less obnoxious. What I would like to see as a starter are clear Lib Dem policies and campaigns on preventing things like the unlawful use of the internet to influence our voting, the limitation of expenditure in national campaigns, the control money laundering in the U.K., not only by Russians, the fact that it seems that having money seems to be a criterion for being allowed to live in our country. And of course a recognition that Russia busies itself with meddling via the internet, but there is no reason to believe it is the only country. We also need to recognise that there is a need to communicate with people and show empathy with them. Trump has the experience in show business to be able to sell himself as plain speaking. We need to recognise the dangers in our own country when we get someone like him as Prime Minister. We need to make sure that we have someone to fight against what is a developing attack on our democracy.

  • Philip Knowles 15th Jul '18 - 8:23am

    The Trump visit and the speeches belie the fact that the ‘special relationship’ is a figment of imagination despite what Trump and may say.Trump is saying that NATO needs to spend more money on defence because they are tired paying to defend us.. I won’t forget the help we got from the special relationship over the Falklands – zero. Nor the tariffs imposed on scotch etc when it suited them. Trump and America are bullies who will abuse their power and any trade deal will last only as long as it suits them. It constantly surprises me that the nature of US government is different to that of the people.

  • Donald Trump likes tradition, so the Government should have offered him the opportunity during his visit to Scotland to stay the night at the mysterious village of Brigadoon. He might end up staying there for a century!

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