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New Year: To My American Brothers and Sisters

31 Dec 2017
New Year: To My American Brothers and Sisters

By Yvonne Ridley

WELL my dear American brothers and sisters, another year is drawing to a close and it is only natural we look back on the last 12 months before we go charging in to 2018 with renewed vigor and hope.

The heralding of the New Year also gives us a great chance to reflect on the first anniversary of US President Donald Trump's performance on the world stage as well as in his own back yard.

Remember how much hope he held out for the working classes when he became leader of the Free World in January 2017? He painted a grim picture of the state of the USA, the decline of its inner cities, the rise in crime and the elitism of the Washington DC crowd which was so far removed and untouched by the poverty and carnage in America.

He promised to "Make America great again" and despite his own personal record the US voters fell for his nationalistic rhetoric hook, line and sinker. To be brutally honest all POTUS has succeeded in doing so far is sewing class, religious and ethnic division in a country which was once so rich in diversity and multi culturalism.

His Mexican wall is still no further forward but he has prevented Muslims from certain countries coming to America as tourists or would-be green card holders. The restrictions have served only to isolate America in such a way I can't see how the USA can host international events like the Olympics or Soccer World Cup.

His pledge to put America first when dealing with foreign policy is also sounding pretty hollow these days. There was nothing interventionist about proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of Israel. For a start it was way out of his remit and, as the rest of the world showed with the exception of few minor countries, it was a move which brought round, widespread condemnation. Now, it seems his "non interventionism" in global matters is ringing pretty hollow.

What happened to the controversial trade agreement he was going to dismantle? It went the same way as the Mexican wall. Meanwhile, despite promises to no longer meddle overseas, the US continues to bomb and attack and have a presence across Africa and the Middle East. There's more troops piling in to Afghanistan as I write and the threats against North Korea are breath-taking, reckless and irresponsible in the extreme.

I really feel for the working classes across the US. My roots, coming from a coal-mining village near a once thriving steel town which supplied the metals to build great ships in the shipyards of my native North East of England, are embedded in a working class culture. I might own my own property and have a comfortable lifestyle today, but being working class is still in my DNA and so it's only natural I feel a solidarity with other working class communities.

America's working classes have not benefitted from the culture of Trump. Work instead of welfare never happened and the rusting factories and barren industrial wastelands are looking pretty much the same. Americans are still struggling with some having to hold down more than one job just to survive. I would like to bet Donald Trump, like previous republican and democrat presidents, does not lie awake in the White Hole pondering the poverty which mires America's vast swathes of industrial wasteland.

As for tax, well it seems clear to me that the filthy rich are getting more wealthy while paying less tax. No one seems to care that the Obamacare health system is being dismantled in favour of something inferior, either and the working classes have been sold down the river.

It seems to me that Donald Trump is a one-man, human wrecking ball who has done the opposite of making "America great again." He's an international embarrassment on the world stage, his tweets are inflammatory and not based on fact and he has trampled on his nation without a care or thought for those who elected him to power.

Time for the voters in America to remember this, the empty promises and to make sure that Trump never gets a second term. 

Meanwhile, plans are being made for Trump to come to the UK in 2018. I'm not convinced he will come because his advisers will no doubt tell him that hundreds of thousands of us are already planning a 'welcome' for him that he will not forget. Even The Queen seems to have rescinded the red carpet state welcome and the status of his visit has been downgraded.

I see that 1308 people follow the 'Muslims for Trump' Facebook account and I am mystified. The real mystery is that there are 1308 Muslims out there who have signed up to that account. It's a real 'turkeys voting for Christmas' scenario. If Trump has proved one thing, anyone can stand up and run for the job of Leader of the Free World.

If you are Muslim and thinking of adopting a New Year resolution for 2018 make it this: It is time Muslims in America got more involved in politics ... that is the best and most effective way of making change and bringing an end to Trumpism which has delivered only to 1pc and not the 99pc. Have a great 2018!

-Sister Yvonne Ridley is an author and journalist living in the UK. Her latest books is called TORTURE: Does it work? Interrogation issues and effectiveness in the Global War on Terror. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Torture-Interrogation-issues-effectiveness-Global-x/dp/1782668306 

 * If you want to book Yvonne Ridley for an event please contact info@1stwitness.com

 

Elder George

Employment is up. Consumer confidence is up. The stock market is up. Isis is in decline. The press has been exposed for the sham that it is. Not bad for the first year.

Jawed Anwar

Hate, bigotry, racism, Islamophobia, and Israelism are increased.

Yvonne Ridley

Elder George, you sound like Trump! I can only deal with facts, something The White House has a long distance relationship with, and the truth is America’s homeless population rose in 2017 for the first time since the Great Recession, propelled by the housing crisis afflicting the west coast. A Federal study has found that 553,742 people were homeless on a single night this year, a 0.7% increase over last year. It suggests that despite a fizzy stock market and a burgeoning gross domestic product, the poorest Americans are still struggling to meet their most basic needs. In other words if you're part of the wealthy minority you will not be affected by Trumpism. You can remain part of the "I'm alright, Jack" brigade or you can start to delve at the real statistics out there which tell a different story. Jawed Anwar is right to point out the increase in bigotry and racism - these are the vile sort of things which increase and thrive in poverty.

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