This is the first in a series of three articles. I explain in the first why I didn’t support Trump. In the second article, I’ll explain why the Left are wrong to react so badly to his election, and in the third article, I’ll look at the silver linings to the cloud – how we should be seeing the opportunities for Britain. The three articles should be read together.
I didn’t support Donald Trump. That doesn’t mean I supported Hillary Clinton. When I didn’t vote Blair in 2001, I wasn’t supporting William Hague. I haven’t supported Hague, Howard, Cameron, Brown or Miliband either. If all UKIP supporters had voted tactically for one of the above, there wouldn’t be a UKIP today. We vote for what we believe in; that’s what made UKIP a force in British politics in the first place. Nobody is forced to support the ‘big two’, and it’s fundamentally UKIP not to.
The mainstream media doesn’t like Trump. That isn’t in and of itself a reason to like Trump though. We judge him, like everyone else, on his merits. So, without further ado, here are the Top Ten Reasons I didn’t support Donald Trump:
1) I didn’t want to be accused of hypocrisy. When Barack Obama came to the UK and campaigned for Brexit, we told him that it’s none of his business. We were right to do so, but I wasn’t about to support any American candidate. The most I said was I don’t like either.
2) I already had a negative opinion of Trump before he became a candidate. Despite medical quarantines and the highest of standards in place, despite medical evidence, he wanted to leave American hero Dr. Kent Brantly to die of Ebola in Liberia and unnecessarily cancel flights, stoking fear unnecessarily.
3) Trump has zero relevant political experience. Ronald Reagan was a great President. Everyone remembers that he was a former actor, and forget that he also had 8 years’ experience as Governor of California. Trump will, quite literally, be learning the basics – ‘on the job’. Electing someone so inexperienced is a huuuuuuge risk.
4) Trump’s economic background is borderline-Communist. Donald Trump has one thing in common with the Greens. He once demanded a ‘wealth tax’ to confiscate the property of rich people. The Greens want to steal 2% of every rich person’s assets every year; Trump proposed a one-off 14.25% steal. I’m not a Communist, I’ve never been a Communist, and I have a fundamental mistrust in that philosophy.
5) His rapid changing of policies – you don’t know where you stand. He’s said that the minimum wage (for example) shouldn’t be raised at federal level, and that it should. He’s said that it shouldn’t be raised by the States themselves, and that it should. It’s impossible to know where he actually stands on this and many other issues.
6) Trump’s comments about sexually assaulting women. I’m not writing an article on the Clintons, because I think most UKIP members – like me – dislike Clinton anyway. So the fact that there are also accusations against the Clintons doesn’t make me like Trump. It just (and there’s a theme here) makes me dislike Clinton. I’m not sure that ‘locker room talk’ really covers “I better use some Tic Tacs in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you want. Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”
Even in the best-case scenario for Trump, if this was mere talk and allegations against him all ‘trumped-up’ and politically-motivated, it’s not what I’d be looking for in a President.
7) I just don’t like nasty politics. The mocking of a disabled reporter, telling his opponent she should be in jail, attacking his Republican opponents, etc. The defence of Trump over his hand-waving mockery of a disabled reporter – I’ve seen the video – is that he also mocked others in the same way. It seems that his voice and waving were more over-the-top when referring to the disabled reporter than his mockery of others. Never, ever, ever, would you find Nigel Farage doing something like that. Nigel knows where to draw the line. Trump’s ‘blood coming from her wherever’ comment is just crude. I don’t like his constant bullying references to ‘lying Ted Cruz’, ‘he’s a nasty guy’ and others during the primaries.
That kind of nastiness just isn’t my politics. I don’t like it, I don’t support it, and I don’t want to see it creeping in to UKIP. Even if it wins votes, it’s not for me.
8) His comments about Mexicans. He described an American judge born in Indiana as being unfit to hear a case he’s defending because the judge is ‘of Mexican heritage’. Not mainstream media manipulation, but Trump’s actual words. Likewise, his comments about Mexican immigration: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Just because he said that ‘some’ are good people, ‘Mexico aren’t sending their best people’ and not saying ‘all’ Mexicans are rapists doesn’t, in my view, make it okay. Trump isn’t merely supporting – as we all do in UKIP – control over immigration, he’s singling out people because of their race.
9) Trump’s business record. Not totally a self-made man, he started off with substantial financial help from his father. He’s had four business bankruptcies, faced multiple lawsuits, claims that he’s treated his staff badly, allegations against the ‘Trump University’ (not a university) (his lawyers are asking for the trial to be delayed until after he’s sworn-in…not a good look for a new President). Yet he’s paid very, very little in tax. Finding legal ways to avoid paying tax makes him ‘clever’ according to Trump. Perhaps, and it’s legal – but hardly Presidential.
10) I just personally don’t like his style. Maybe it’s just a personal reaction, but watching Trump in the Presidential debates and watching his speeches, I get the impression that he’s all style and no substance. He comes across as arrogant and makes wild, fantastical claims without being able to back them up. The whole package just makes my skin crawl.
I don’t like Donald Trump, but as you’ll see in my next two articles, that’s no longer relevant. I don’t like him, I didn’t want him to win (or Clinton to win either). You might agree or disagree with every word I’ve said here, but all of us – unlike the Left, as I’ll point out in my next article – accept the election result.
[Ed: the second and third articles in this series will be published tomorrow and Wednesday.]