Don’t Antagonise Trump

Donald Trump is certainly a larger than life character. With his overly confident personality, dubious looking tan, and a haircut that no man is likely to aspire to copy, he gives those protesting against his government policy plenty of ammunition to fire. Protesters love a good effigy, and the effigy planned for Trump’s visit is definitely worthy of a laugh. The 6-metre-tall balloon of Trump wearing only a nappy that is set to fly over London during his visit is comical. However, it is also highly disrespectful.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the biggest Donald Trump fan in the world. But what I do consider myself a fan of is respect and courtesy. I agree with the right to protest – and by all means, protest the policies and actions of the Trump administration if you see fit- but do it with the respect befitting the office of the President of the United States. Regardless of whether you love or loathe Donald Trump, we cannot get away from the fact that he is the President of the UK’s closest partner. It is a fact we will have to continue to consider for a possible six years more. When Trump makes his visit, he will be visiting as Trump the President and not Trump the character – we should treat him accordingly, not for his sake but for our own.

What we must remember is how important transatlantic relations will be to the UK, especially in an uncertain post-Brexit world. The United States is the UK’s biggest trading partner outside of Europe at a worth of around £80 billion a year. In furtherance to this, the US is the UK’s closest military ally, providing us with our Trident Nuclear Deterrent delivery system and the newest state of the art military hardware. In recent years we have seen a plethora of threats emerge on the international stage. The re-emergence of an aggressive Russia, a hostile North Korea, and the potential of a nuclear Iranian state all provide challenges for the UK and her partners in the years to come. Despite the naivety of some, we would be foolish to underestimate the role the United States plays in our defence. To lose that blanket would be nothing short of catastrophic should we find ourselves threatened by external powers.

To antagonise Donald Trump would only serve to damage transatlantic relations. With his unpredictable personality, no one knows how much goading it would take before relations take an irreversible decline. By all means, protest as you have the right to, but don’t forget that Trump is only there in the short term. The politics and unity of the west should not be allowed to alter in the long term due to disillusionment with one man’s personality.