Donald Trump’s state visit: why it should go ahead | The Friday Article

It’s an underlying democratic issue which was partly responsible for the polls being wrong and Donald Trump’s election as the 46th US President. Left-wingers and liberals shut down the political debate by labelling Trump supporters as ‘racist’, ‘sexist’ and so forth, to the extent where the only safe place to share their opinion is in the voting booth. Now, as Parliament debates Donald Trump’s state visit on Monday, Stop Trump demonstrators will protest on Parliament Square ‘to stand up and say no to the future of hatred, racism and division that Donald Trump is trying to create – and to say no to the disgraceful complicity of Theresa May and the British government in supporting him’. Whilst the Facebook page doesn’t state explicitly whether this protest is also against the state visit, with regards to the petition, you have to ask: will preventing him from making a state visit to the UK do more harm than simply inviting him here to speak?

Photo: Gage Skidmore on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode.
Photo: Gage Skidmore on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode.

Of course, it must be said that this article is not condoning Trump’s divisive nature. Instead, it calls for us to return to honest political debate. Already in the UK, we have seen newspapers banned on university campuses and left-wingers continue to ban and cut off the views from the far-right. Isn’t a petition preventing Trump from airing his opinions the same thing, and damages our democracy?

Granted, allowing the far-right president to visit the UK could result in Britain’s right-wing populism gaining strength, but surely protests during his visit will be the biggest sign of defiance against these people, and Trump’s beliefs? Which sends the strongest message to him: a U-turn on his state visit, or the British people allowing him a platform for his views, but them being met with strong opposition? The former shows a sheer ignorance towards opposing views, whilst the latter demonstrates that we are an open society which allows for these views to be challenged. To go back to the point of Trump’s potential visit further dividing the UK, a nationwide protest against the figure presents an opportunity for unity. Although that sense of coming together may still be seen in the number of signatures on the petition preventing him from making a visit, a demonstration is a more visible sign of cohesion.

Should the state visit be called off, would that mean that Trump is prevented from making any sort of visit to the UK during his four-year presidency? Aside from this posing a risk to the ‘special relationship’ buzzword Theresa May likes to use, preventing controversial views from being said in Britain would create a slight feeling of isolationism similar to that which Trump is adopting in America itself. Donald’s cries of ‘fake news’ at press organisations which he disagrees with discredit the journalists who scrutinise his position of authority – surely preventing Trump from stating his opposing views is an alarming parallel to this?

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2 thoughts on “Donald Trump’s state visit: why it should go ahead | The Friday Article

  1. Liam, just make a comment the right don’t like on social media and see what comes out from the woodwork. I know. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. They don’t want a reasonable debate, they want agreement. There is an ugliness in them I’ve never seen from the left – and I have to say they can be pretty damned ugly too. But never that ugly. Never that scary! They certainly terrify me!

    And Trump lives in his own parallel universe in which most people love him and millions turned up for his inauguration and those who turn up to protest are just a “rent-a-crowd” paid to do it – or an example of what happens when you let everyone in. It won’t mean a thing to him – assuming they’re not moved on by police. Security for such a visit is going to be huge.

    As for “special relationships” that means nothing to that man. You saw how he behaved to our PM – I don’t even LIKE Turnbull and I didn’t vote for his party and never will, but that’s not the point. Australia is the only country that has supported the U.S. in every damned war it’s waged. Didn’t help and it won’t help your country if he takes it into his head to change things.

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    • Thanks for commenting, Sue. I too have experienced my fair share of political debates on social media with those from the right of the political spectrum, but remaining civil is the best way to respond to them – or indeed anyone in any type of discussion where there’s disagreement and tension.

      Interesting. I think it would. Trump has complained about protesters before, and going by the whole ‘fake news’ situation, any form of criticism – be it by the press, the public etc. – gets to him. I believe a large-scale protest, should Trump arrive in the UK, would certainly not go unnoticed.

      You have a point there. There’s talk about this ‘special relationship’ yet some of Trump’s policies (particularly foreign policy) are rather isolationist. I’m curious to see what relationship he wants with us whilst he enforces said plans.

      One comment I’ve heard is that a good friend is able to have a good relationship with the other person, but isn’t afraid to call them out when they’re doing something they disapprove of. In the case of the possible Trump state visit, the offer of the visit is part of that friendship, as is the ‘calling out’ done by protestors. Britain has to be careful not to bow down before Trump so that he can help us post-Brexit, but for the sake of honest debate, a state visit needs to happen at some point.

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