The Public Doth Protest Too Much..


President Trump is in Europe this week just in case you didn’t notice. Special thanks to the UK for babysitting our dear leader for a few days while we take a much needed break.There’s nothing like a weekend without the brats, right mums and dads!

I see you guys have been busy preparing for this state visit with mass protests in London and other major cities, including Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff. And a huge (or should I say ‘yuge‘?) Trump baby blimp will be flying over London in his honor. Political satire in the true spirit of Spitting Image! Brilliant, keep it coming. Lord knows we need some cheering up.

Pity he won’t get to see it in person though, but I guess he’ll catch the highlights on Fox News later on and we’ll hear all about it on Twitter. I’m looking forward to his reaction because we all know he can take a joke and laugh at himself, right?

And speaking of social media, ‘Trump baby’ has inflamed some conservatives at home and across the pond and incited many an entertaining Twitter rant and Facebook fight. A heated kerfuffle broke out on a Facebook post just the other day and surprisingly one of the outraged Trump supporters was from Wales – my home country. Say what?

Offended by a photo of the balloon fashioned in the image of a giant, orange, angry diaper-clad Trump baby clutching a cell phone (I know, priceless!), several people complained about ‘how weak and pathetic’ his critics are to ‘personally insult the leader of the free world.’

These are the people who accuse liberals of being snowflakes. I’m loving it. And they’re defending a man who publicly and unabashedly hurls ugly insults on a daily basis, usually on Twitter. The guy who joked about grabbing ladies’ you-know-whats not so long ago.

And yes, incredulously, there are ordinary people who support Trump in the UK, but I think those poor souls will be drowned out this week. Hey, here’s a suggestion: you may want to keep your admiration for Trump a secret for the next few days. Or maybe you can shack up with Nigel Farage for the weekend. I’m sure old Nige won’t mind.

The FB confrontation got me thinking about the impact of protests, civil disobedience and marches, which are a true mark of a democracy and a time tested tactic to highlight inequality, confront injustice and enact change.

Protesting does not change the minds, ideology or principles of the powers that be, but it can force them to either scrap or soften unpopular policies. Protests similarly do not affect the fundamental beliefs of the other side of the political fence in any significant way. Do they ‘get it’ and see why people are marching? Do they commiserate even slightly with the cause? Or does it just turn them off completely, cementing their hatred of the left?

It amazes me that despite all the information, coverage and footage concerning the results of Trump’s harsh immigration policies, many Republicans remain unmoved and unsympathetic, blaming Clinton, Bush and Obama instead. They ignore the human tragedy, the heartbreak, cruelty and utter horror of children being literally ripped from the arms of their parents. Instead they defend Trump. Whataboutisms rule on social media.

The Trump Baby is a clever political parody; the protests will make for entertaining news footage. It will reaffirm that Trump is quite possibly the most unpopular president in modern history. It will placate liberals with the reassurance that ‘we’re not alone in our utter disdain of Trump’ by reinforcing the fact that most of the world hates him too. And it will simply inflame the right who, let’s face it, don’t need much prodding, and their reactions are stellar.

But what else will it achieve, especially since Trump probably won’t even see it first hand?

In reality it’s not going to change anybody’s mind. And alas, it won’t change the fact that Trump is president and will in effect do what he wants at home and on the world stage with little objection from within his own party, who just happen to be in charge of every branch of the government right now. The visit and hoopla will soon fade away, just yesterday’s news.

Instead of reacting to unhealthy and dangerous policies, we can prevent them from coming into being in the first place by voting. So many participants of the Women’s March following Trump’s inauguration did not vote for Hillary yet turned up to protest after the damage was done. This cannot happen again. And it’s up to the Democratic Party to stop the internal bickering, create a clear, cohesive message, nail down a platform and start fighting back – as a team. Do it for the USA and do it for the rest of the world.

Protesting highlights inequality and injustice – voting your conscience can prevent these harsh measures from being implemented in the first place.

In the meantime, I’ll grab my popcorn, pop open a Heineken, and enjoy the show. This should be good! Nothing beats British comedy.

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Alison Hill

Writer, Producer, Radio Commentator, Horror Aficionado
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