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Time to Stand Up and Be Counted

Author: Don Derrett

As an Englishman living in France since 2013, I’ve been following the world news on social media and other media via the internet with increasing horror, as I’m sure many others have too. However, this year I believe we have reached a watershed moment and what we do and say from now on will affect the future of all our lives and future generations for a very long time to come.

There has been a whole chain of events over the last few years that have led to this watershed moment but here I want to deal with the latest and potentially most devastating episode in this phenomenon: the change of Presidency in America.

Donald Trump is the President of America because he was democratically elected to that position by the American people through the American electoral system. Although some may argue about the imperfections of that system and it’s openness to abuse, it is the result of a perfectly legal democratic process until a legal challenge to it can be found, and that is what we have to deal with. 

And we need to remember, he promised many things during his campaign, many of which he has already started to do. The American people listened to his promises in their hundreds of thousands at his rallies and they voted for him because they believed he would keep his promises. 

Many of us, I believe, had hoped he would be like other politicians and promise one thing before the elections and do another thing after he was elected. But remember, Donald Trump is not a politician, he is a businessman and when businessmen decide on a course of action, more often than not, they act to turn their plans into reality.

And what a reality we are all waking up to, not just in America but across the world. But remember the American people voted for this reality, this is legal; he didn’t take his position by force. And now the American legal experts are doing what they can to postpone the worst effects of his actions but it is a time limited damage limitation exercise. He will be ruthless in taking action to counter any attempt to stop his plans, look at his record as a businessman; you can predict how someone will behave in the future by seeing what they have done in the past.

But if you think Donald Trump is alone in putting his plans into action, look around him, he has assembled a troop of equally determined business people intent on supporting him to achieve his goals. And remember the American people who voted for him haven’t gone away. As repugnant as his actions are for many people in America and around the world, he has the support of the enormous number of American people who voted for him. And I personally find that more threatening than Donald Trump and his team because through his position of authority he is now emboldening the very worst in people, people all around the world, who now find that their extreme opinions, hatred of ‘others’ and prejudices have been legitimised. 

And ironically within the first weeks of his term we saw his statements as the legitimate President of America being given credence by our own ‘unelected’ Prime Minister, seeking to find terms of agreement with him. History often repeats itself and appeasement is never a pretty sight.

But it is not just our PM that has offered succour to the new President now under attack from the vast majority of the free press; many former critics of him in America are now trying to find ways to work with him.
Appeasement never works; it results in encouraging the perpetrator of oppressive actions. Good people must stand up to the business people who are now in the seat of power in America and effectively free to do whatever they want to the ‘free world’. But it’s going to be a difficult protracted war, fought often behind closed doors, manifested in public protests and sometimes punctuated by small victories won in the court of law. 

We must look to and support other leaders of the ‘free world’, who have the strength of character and rock solid values that underpin their belief in liberty, freedom, equality and fraternity for all citizens, to unite in the face of adversity and lead us out of this terrible reality before it is too late.

And we as individuals must stand up and be counted, say and do what we can in our own circles or risk being brushed aside by this new wave of intolerance and brutality. 

The publisher is the Centre for Welfare Reform.

Time to Stand Up and Be Counted © Don Derrett 2017.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.