I have spent several days feeling the need to write something about how I am feeling about what has been happening in the world in the last 11 days. I have started several times, written one paragraph, jotted down some notes on my phone, and then dismissed it as the mere thought of continuing it has left me feeling slightly depressed. I still have not managed to come up with a title for what I have written, as too many emotions and opinions are fighting to be centre stage,

I couldn’t get back to sleep when I woke up in the middle of the night to find that Donald Trump would become the next president of the United States having beaten Hillary Clinton. I understood that Clinton wasn’t well liked, but never, not once, did I allow myself to believe that the country that 8 years earlier elected its first African-American president would regress in such a way that Obama would be followed by a creature as ignorant and hateful as Donald Trump. Sure we could argue that democratically Trump wasn’t actually elected, because more people voted for Clinton, and the American election system is outdated and is set up in such a way it may not benefit the voting majority. However, and this is the unfortunately important part, he was elected none the less.

I understand the idea of hatred. I understand that for some it comes from a place of fear and a place of hurt, whilst for others it is indoctrinated into them from birth, they are born into a world where they are taught hate and distain rather than love, compassion and tolerance. I am not sure from where Donald Trump’s hatred stems, perhaps it’s a combination of things, but I do know that his hatred is the scariest we have seen in the world for a very long time. What is scarier still, is the amount of people that share his misguided and downright ignorant feelings.

As long as there have been modern settlements, there have been divisions and persecutions. The Church persecuted those who refused to let go of their Pagan beliefs. Women who refused to bow their heads and do as they were told or who tried to help others with their knowledge of herbs and healing were burned alive, assuming they didn’t drown before the persecutors got that chance. The Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups have persecuted men, women and children for daring to go against them and their extremist views. Hitler and his Nazis persecuted several groups of people, but more so than anyone else, the Jews.

By now you probably know where I’m going with this. Donald Trump is persecuting people. He wants to build a wall between his newly inherited kingdom and Mexico. He talks about torture as if it is akin to having a cup of coffee.  He wants to “make America great again”. More scarily than any campaign promises or mad Twitter ramblings he has actually LEGALLY started the persecution of Muslims in America. He has started to treat American citizens, people who have worked, lived and loved in the supposed land of the free like they are worthless. People who have gone to countries like Iran to visit family or bury a loved one are being faced with the very real possibility that they will not be allowed to return to their jobs, homes and families in the US. Because they are Muslim.

Refugees from countries such as Syria will not be welcome in the US under Trump. In his eyes, children should be left to suffer in refugee camps or die horribly as they are caught up in the heart-breaking toils of a war that they have no say in, and he does not give a damn about any of them. As a father, how is that possible? How can you not care if children are dying, how can you be ok with effectively telling children that they are worthless because of the God of their parents? How long will it be before Muslims already in America will be required to wear a token stitched to their clothing to show which religion they belong to? How long before they will all be officially treated like second class citizens in every way?

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”  People have a lot to say about John F. Kennedy, and not all of it good, but the man did have a way with words. The above quote is one we could all do with reading, re-reading, memorising and applying in the world in which we are now forced to live. Trump’s America has already shown startling similarities with Hitler’s Germany. There has been a lot of unhappiness in America; people are desperate for a change, to the point where in their desperation they have given one of the most powerful positions in the world to someone who (and this is where I give up on polite wording) is simply a deranged lunatic. Trump knows no Tolerance. He has no time for someone else’s beliefs. He ignores facts given to him from intelligence agencies, him and his stooges have their own alternative facts in regards to what is going on in the world. Trump does not condemn the oppression or persecution of others; he openly encourages it and has made it possible to do so by law. Trump, like Hitler, make people support him by playing on their fears, their paranoia and their hate.

It’s going to be an incredibly difficult four years. American politics affect the rest of the Western World to the point where we have gone from slight amusement at the fact that the clown from The Apprentice was running for president to absolute, mind numbing fear for what his reign might bring upon the world. Someone should show the above quote to Trump, and perhaps at the same time remind him that he himself is an immigrant. Only a couple percent of the American population is made up of Native or part Native Americans.

Now, don’t let anyone tell you that America was built on freedom and tolerance. It wasn’t, for centuries it was a country where the weak and minorities were abused, persecuted and murdered. Equal rights for those who weren’t male and Caucasian has only existed for a few decades, and some would argue that it still doesn’t exist for everyone. America wasn’t built on the claims to greatness she has staked through the years, but the United States have been known as the land of the free none the less, and it has come such a long way from where it once was. Eleven days has passed since Trumps inauguration, eleven days is what it has taken for the cracks to become canyons. Trump isn’t making America great again, he is destroying her. And if we let him, he will take all of us down with her.

So much hatred is spread these days; the propaganda leaflets distributed under Hitler seem like nothing compared to what can be spread on social media. It is so very easy to believe everything you read. It is far too easy to let your fears control your feelings, and so hateful messages and lies spread like wildfire. Social media and the internet have made it far too easy to spread hatred; it has given people who otherwise would have no place to spout their poison a platform. It has also given us the opportunities to stand up for what’s right and to stand against those who have nothing better to do than to spread their ignorance.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”  Be tolerant, be understanding, have compassion. It doesn’t matter where you live, which God you believe in; let enough love into your heart to respect those different to you. Do not aid the oppression and persecution carried out by Trump and his like, but instead condemn it with every fibre of your being.

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