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Goodbye Donald

It was there for the taking...

Goodbye Donald
Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Dear Donald,

I hope you are well.

Before I start I need to set the stage properly. Firstly I am British, and live in England, so I have no real horse in the race and the impact of your presidency has not or would not have impacted me as much as my American cousins. Secondly, if I was American, from what I had seen from across the pond I would have voted for you back in 2016.

Now we've got that out the way, let me explain why (the voting for Trump bit, not why I'm English, there's not much choice I had in the matter there). For me the role of politicians is to serve the people. To create a better society and an environment conducive for citizens to thrive and live a better life. To remove obstacles in people's way, protect them where possible from threats both domestic and abroad and to help the most vulnerable in need.

All politicians have differing ideas on how to achieve this, and this can be and should be a great thing in our Western democracy. Politicians should enter politics, particularly those going for the top position, out of a genuine desire to help people and to serve. Politicians are public servants and the accumulation of power and wealth should never be a priority.

However, it seems that many modern day politicians pursue this career for the wrong reasons. Here in the UK our MPs (Members of Parliament, equivalent to senators I believe) have a salary of £81,932. In a country where the average full time salary is £38,600. To me that seems slightly strange for a job that is meant to serve the people. Most modern day politicians are also career politicians, they leave school or university and go straight into politics, never understanding what it's like to start a business, let alone run one or be an invaluable employee in any sort of industry.

They never understand the struggles of peoples' everyday lives because they have never really lived it, not once they are politicians anyway. This is why, in my opinion, trust in politicians in the West is at an all time low. Not because they lie, which of course so many do, but because it is hard to vote for someone who you don't believe actually understands what it's like to be you. How can they know what's best for you if they've never shared your experience of struggling to pay your rent (MPs are given expenses to cover 2 homes, one in their constituency and one in London), of struggling to find a job, the struggles of starting a business etc.?

Politicians so often also say only what they want people to hear, out of fear of scrutiny and losing their seat. Political correctness has been such a toxic thing in recent years because it has stifled so many needed discussions. To be clear, my definition of being un PC is to say something that needs to be said, without fear of offending people. In a personal sense, say you had a friend who had a very destructive behaviour like a gambling addiction or they smoked etc. The thing that needs to be said is that they should stop, but that of course may mean they dislike you, but the right thing to do is to say it anyway. It's uncomfortable in the short term for both sides, but the end result is better for everyone.

Politics has been paralysed in a lot of ways because genuinely difficult but necessary conversations have been ended before they've even begun because of risk of offence or because they have offended far too early on in the debate.

Now bringing this back to you Mr Trump, along you came in 2016, and as I said putting myself in the shoes of my transatlantic brethren, I would've voted for you.

To me, you had no filter, which to me was a good thing. You were saying your own words, not the sterile and polished words of the speech writer who had prepared the key talking points for you previously. You offended people because you said what you thought, at the time it's not even what you thought that mattered, it's the fact that it was clear that the thoughts were your own. That is what made you stand out, and why I'm sure so many people were drawn to you.

You came from a background of business, obviously you have a slight leg up (what with the millions in the bank already from your father), but nevertheless it's undeniable that you had experience growing and running a business. Exponentially more experience than your rivals from both parties. Does that mean you understood the plight of the everyday man? No, probably not. Does it mean you had more knowledge of normal life than your rivals? Yes, ever so slightly.

To think Hilary Clinton knows what it's like to live like an average person is absurd to me. The Clintons have a net worth of tens of millions of dollars, if not hundreds combined. Does that not seem strange to you? The difference in lifestyle from someone on $30,000 to $300,000 is huge. From $300,000 to $3,000,000 is again large but slightly less distant. From $30,000,000 to $3,000,000,000 is I would say, just as alien to the person on $30,000 a year.

At least you came along and were honest about your wealth, it was another sign that you had come from the private sector, had succeeded and were going to run the country like a good business. Increasing efficiency, cutting costs, and increasing profits. Putting more money into the hands of everyday Americans. Not by borrowing more money, which is so often the case but that eventually comes back to bite everyone in the rear.

There is a perception that politicians can be bought by powerful corporations through donations in order to promote policies that benefit those industries. How can a billionaire be bought? These companies would have to donate hundreds and hundreds of millions in order to even get noticed. That was the perception anyway, that you couldn't be bought and that whether right or wrong the policies that you were hoping to implement were because you felt they were right. Of that I, and so many others had no doubt.

Fast forward to 2021, and now we are at the end of your time in office, and I can't help but feel that this was such a wasted opportunity to bring in a new type of politics. You shocked everyone in 2016 by being elected, but to those who voted for you and for the silent majority of people who for so long hadn't been listened to by politicians, it was no surprise. You were so different from what came before. A man who said what he believed, with no filter, who to me anyway, chose to ran, not out of monetary gain but because they felt they could run the country well and help the lives of ordinary people (although I'm sure ego was a contributing factor but when is it ever not for politicians).

You had the chance for real change but you tripped up at nearly every hurdle, like a blindfolded drink on stilts. There is unfortunately a balancing act to being a president (not speaking from experience here). When you are president of the United States, the leader of the West and the free world, the single most powerful man in the world, you need to play the part to a certain extent. It doesn't mean selling out your principles of speaking directly and in what you believe but you must also temper that with a calming reassurance not only to your citizens but the rest of the world. You can rock the boat (as it needed to be) but you can't ram it into an iceberg.

There were many successes to your presidency don't get me wrong and in order to be balanced it is important to point these out. From tax reform, to momentarily at least pacifying North Korea by becoming the first US President to meet the North Korean leader in North Korea.

However, as time went on, particularly towards the end of your presidency you failed to become the candidate that so many believed you could be.

You fanned the flames of anger, and the riot in the Capital last week was a perfect and altogether horrifying summary of your presidency.

Rioting on any side of the political divide is bad.

Violence for any reason should be discouraged.

Political scrutiny should be settled via the ballot box, not through an invasion of your Capitol building.

Now 5 people are dead, including a police officer, just doing their job. None of them should ever have died. They should never have been in that situation in the first place.

Everyone has free will, and those people chose to be there. However, you had the chance to speak to them and ask them to go no further. You were against violence and rioters earlier in the year, but when it potentially benefitted you it was ok. Now 5 people are dead and the rest of the world is watching.

You had the chance to be something so much more, not just for America but for the rest of the world. A new type of Politician, who said what they thought, wasn't afraid of offending people (when it meant real progress could be achieved on the other side) and who couldn't be bought by anyone. Instead you have blood on your hands and the hatred and tension throughout your country is at boiling point. It's genuinely scary to think what on earth will happen next.

Peace,

Charlie

politics
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