Yesterday, 20 January 2017, Donald J Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States. He sits in the most powerful seat of the Western world, elected to there by the electoral college system, not the electorate. The last two years have been filled with moments where the world has wondered how anyone could put someone like him into that seat, but here we are. Four years to go until potentially someone else gains ownership of the seat. Four years is a long time to be anxious, but I fear that it all we have ahead of us.
I live in Ireland, I’m an Irish citizen. I’ve seen people online telling people like me that it is none of our concern who their president is. And true, he’s not the president of my country. If he was, we’d be safe in the knowledge that he was a figurehead with little power more than opening a new gallery. True, I don’t pay attention to every single country and their governmental elections, just a select few. However, the actions of the figureheads of the larger world powers that do have a direct impact on Ireland and the Irish economy? Yeah, those I like to keep an eye on.
I work for an American Multi-National Company, as do many of my family and friends. These are companies who Trump has vowed to sanction for outsourcing these roles outside of the United States. For now, I feel confident in my job security – but that will all depend on the whim of a man who can’t control his twitter-rage. This leaves me with a niggling worry for my financial security, by an outside source over which I have no control. Our economy is already gearing up for a shake up as a result of Brexit. Increased protectionism affecting the American Multi-nationals who contribute a lot to our economy in employment (lets not get into tax issues just yet) can only lead us down a negative path.
This is a man who is presenting himself as a man of the people. He’s made his billions in property speculation and at the detriment of those same people. He’s declared that women who obtain abortions, currently legal in the United States of America, should be punished. He wants to repeal an act which allows those living on the breadline to obtain healthcare. He’s pro-gun, anti-immigrant, anti-woman, racist, and denies climate change exists. This leaves me feeling dread for the next four years. Women in the United States under his plans will be left without access to primary reproductive healthcare facilities. This will leave them without contraceptives, smear tests and other women’s health initiatives.
He does not work with dignity or grace. His ascension to power was marked with a speech which criticised every action taken over the last 8 years, playing the blame game and giving no praise to things done right. His plans to overturn decisions made by the Obama administration are plentiful. However, not unlike the Brexit mess next door, we’re not seeing any coherent plans to replace what is currently in place. Reports telling us of sexual harassment incidents, audio tapes showing how he behaves, reports showing alleged Russian involvement in taking control of politics – it’s all stuff that makes me want to stick my fingers in my ears and hum. It’s everywhere.
I’m not a political mogul. I’ll leave that to the many politics graduates with whom I share my newsfeed. They are far more up to speed than I. It doesn’t take a politics degree to understand this one small thing: Being Nice Costs Nothing, and you win more flies with honey than vinegar.
I am raising my son to respect women, to do the right thing instead of the easy thing, and to play nice with other children. It’s difficult to merge this view with the current state of politics, where we seem to see those who do choose the moral right path fall by the wayside. Parents around the globe have had the same issue since November 8th, when election results came in. Thankfully my son is too young to understand. Hopefully in four years, when he will be almost seven, this is not a conversation we will need to have.
There are countdowns already started on websites around the world to InAuguration 2021. We can try to distract ourselves with different presidents, less controversial, like President Frank Underwood. House of Cards used the occasion to announce another season hitting on 30th May. In the mean time, we can just keep on living the way we live. We can keep teaching our children to live like good people. We have to keep hope alive to get through the next four years with our sanity and dignity intact. I hope the same can be said for the American people, and those enforcing policies from Trump while he is in power.
I’ll be over here, with my fingers in my ears hoping for the best from the Trump Administration over on Facebook