On Trump and reactions to him

Ok, so this has been bugging me for a while, and I have some free time now, so I’ll write about it.

I find people “#resist”ing and pretending that Trump doesn’t have a mandate to be president to be a bit silly, but they have their right to protest. That’s absolutely fine if they’re in the USA. But what I find really rather worrying are the protests in the UK. They have no say in the matter, and whilst they’re allowed to protest, I believe that it cannot achieve anything without abandoning the Treaty of Westphalia and the framework of national sovereignty that comes with it.

The idea of Westphalian sovereignty is as follows:

  • The principle of the sovereignty of states and the fundamental right of political self determination
  • The principle of legal equality between states
  • The principle of non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another state

People got riled up about Russia’s supposed interference with information distribution around the US election, and rightly so, as this violates the internal politics of a nation-state. But these same people seem to be ok with attempting to influence the internal politics when it suits them, when someone they don’t personally like get elected. You cannot have an internally consistent belief system if you agree both with punishing a nation for what its government does within its own borders, and with saying Russia is bad for interfering with the US election.

Whether you love or hate Trump, there is no denying that he is the president of the USA, and was elected on a platform that he is staying on now.

I suppose this is a good time to cover the outrage over the so-called “Muslim Ban”.

I have a few points here.

  • For those decrying it as racist, if you believe this to be a ban on Muslims, you are wrong, due to the simple fact that Muslims are not a race. (Reminder that a ginger kid from Glasgow can be Muslim)
  • This is a ban based on nationality. National bans are common, for example Israelis cannot visit Iran due to national bans.
  • Following the framework of Westphalian Sovereignty, no nation is by law bound to letting anyone into their country.

So, in short, protest all you will, but do not believe that your views can be acted upon without opening the door to foreign states influencing the politics of the country you live in.

As a side note, the positively acceptance of political violence at the moment is more than worrying. Some people seem to think punching someone because they’re a “Nazi” is acceptable somehow - forgetting that you’ve basically authorised them to hit back twice as hard now that any semblance of civil discussion has disappeared.

It’s hard to be factual and rational. But try we must.

Hannah Ward

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