03 FEB 2017

Trump: the first 10 days

Kent Messenger Column - 03-02-17 

Last week I suggested his first 100 days would be critical, but with just 10 under his belt we may already know all we need about Trump.

His Executive Order suspending the entire US refugee admissions system, also banning entry to the USA from seven majority-Muslim countries shows no respite from the divisive and inflammatory approach he has adopted from the start.

Such an Order is highly questionable both in law and constitutionally, which is why his acting Attorney General Sally Yates was unable to endorse it. Her duty is to pledge fidelity to the law, not to pander to the White House, and her sacking is dangerously defiant.

Press secretary Sean Spicer continued with a policy of deliberately misleading the public by drawing a totally unfounded comparison between his boss's travel ban and the restrictions President Obama placed on Iraqi refugees in 2011.

The real facts on this were reported eloquently by the Washington Post who are now awarding 'Pinocchios' for each digression from the truth perpetrated by this administration. They took down Nixon with the Watergate scandal - I wonder how long before impeachment looms once again.

Trump's political longevity, however, is just a sideshow to the detrimental impact he is having upon the security of Western nations. His rhetoric and actions serve as a recruitment and incitement tool for extremist groups, directly contradicting his own self-defence justification.

No longer confined to American shores, this ugly xenophobia has now permeated our own political discourse here in Maidstone, with the recent far-right anti-Muslim protests commendably countered by the formation of the Maidstone anti-racist network. Their protesting continued this week as part of the uproar at Trump's much vaunted 'State Visit', also robustly opposed by a massive national petition of some 1.7 million signatures (at the time of writing). Kowtowing to bullies merely strengthens their resolve and I certainly won't be asking for a seat at any banquets.

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