If anyone poses me with the question “Who do you hate most in the world?”, the adult baby who is currently running the United States immediately pops into my mind. As someone on the Left, who cares deeply about social inclusion and equality, having to see an openly racist, misogynistic narcissist represent the ‘Land of the Free’ is an upsetting daily task. However, no matter how much I, and the thousands of people who protested his visit, may hate Donald Trump, he is still the President of America – despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.
Due to our ‘special relationship’ with America, the United Kingdom has a long-standing tradition of inviting the President of the US for a working visit. This has occurred for a century now and no matter the controversy surrounding the President, the visit has gone forward. George W. Bush, for example, was invited by Tony Blair just months after the start of the Iraq War and there were riots. The large majority of Western people have now accepted the inhumane catastrophe that was the War in Iraq and Bush took the brunt of much of that blame. The public protested the President’s visit, similarly to their actions last week, but Bush took to his private jet anyway to have tea with the Queen.
Now, you can see the parallels, but, even then, if Blair had sacrificed his chummy relationship with Bush to adhere to the public will, the UK would have lost not only a friend, but an ally. America has been one of our closest allies for years and losing that connection over someone who will be out of Office in 6 years would have been not only illogical, but dangerous. Moving forward to the present, our relationship with America is more important than ever because we are leaving the EU. Just like Trump, no matter how you feel about it, the UK is leaving the European Union and, economically, the consequences aren’t looking great. In 2016, the UK’s trade imports from the EU were significantly higher than our imports from the rest of the world – although the EU’s protectionism does contribute towards this. With the possibility of losing that free trade, we need all the friends we can get (Donald Trump included). In fact, Trump is improving the US economy with growth rates of 3.2% in 2017 and America remains one of the highest contributors to the global GDP. Striking a trade deal with one of the largest economic states in the world might just soften the blow of Brexit. If we lose the EU as a trade partner, it’s going to be a bumpy road, but America could be the people to supply us with better wheels.
Therefore, Trump’s visit was a necessary evil that Theresa May had to implement, and I’m glad she did. I’m also glad that over 70,000 British people protested against Trump because he needs to know that Britain doesn’t tolerate the guns and the racism and the cruelty – although the BNP would disagree – because even though he has status as the President, that doesn’t give him an excuse to be a bellend. Personally, I didn’t join any of the demonstrations – despite my innate adoration of utilising my democratic right to protest – due to their central issue being Trump’s visit, not Trump himself. His trip was the right call by May, she prioritised her country’s future prosperity above having a mouldy, fascist, satsuma in her house. She let the people riot, she let Sadiq Khan fly the inflatable Trump baby, but she also maintained the UK-US relationship so that when Brexit is finally over, we may not have many friends in our backyard, but we will have one across the pond. I would contend, therefore – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – that the economic benefits of keeping the US close outweigh the temporary social disasters that Trump is allowing – I mean, really, who puts kids in cages?