I can’t help but feel that the world these days is a scarier place. With a rise in terrorism, conflict and global warming, life is not as comfortable as it was before. But these things are all unpredictable and uncontrollable.
What is most terrifying of all has gained prominence through more official means. Ever since billionaire Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the US presidency back in June 2015, everyone treated it as a stunt. But now this feels like a joke that has gone on for too long.
Over the last few months his support in the US has grown and grown, and it seems that he is not as far away from the top job as we all first assumed. A Trump presidency would certainly impact the world – but probably not for the better.
First and foremost, Trump is a billionaire businessman – not a politician. Before his candidacy he was known in the US for his business empire, as well as being the host of their version of The Apprentice.
Trump first came onto my radar when he announced his plans to build a golf resort in Aberdeenshire back in 2007, much to the dismay of the Scottish people and politicians. He claimed to have a great connection with this country, as his own mother was Scottish – but this connection only went one way.
Trump soon fell out with the Scottish Government over a proposed offshore windfarm off of the coast of his new golf course. By this time myself and many others were fed up of his antics, and were glad to see the back of him. But now he has come back with a vengeance.
Since the beginning Trump’s presidential campaign has been marked by controversy and conflict. In December 2015 he called for a “total and complete shutdown” of US borders to Muslims, sparking worldwide condemnation. His statements about Mexican immigrants were also concerning, as he called them “criminals” and claimed that he would build a “great wall” between the US and Mexico if elected.
If a British politician was caught saying the same things that Trump has said in his speeches, then they would be guaranteed to lose their job – but Trump just rides the wave of publicity. Despite these downright scary views on immigration, his contentious comments have seemed to make him more popular than ever among groups of voters who agree with him. So Trump’s views aren’t just problematic – they’re also dangerous.
Even if some voters agree with him, other politicians are not so supportive. The other presidential candidates on both sides, Republican and Democrat, have been desperate to distance themselves from Trump and his opinions. But they are cautious as well. The more that they criticise Trump, the more that this feeds into his publicity machine. His campaign has turned into a vicious circle of more media coverage which has led to more support.
But it’s not just US politicians feeling the effect of ‘The Donald’. In January 2016 MPs debated banning Trump from the UK due to his hateful rhetoric after a petition gained 575,000 signatures, calling him a “buffoon” and a “wazzock”. Former First Minister Alex Salmond has branded him “three times a loser”. This name-calling aside, it is hard to see Donald Trump standing beside such global leaders as David Cameron and Vladimir Putin. But, for the moment at least, it remains a distinct possibility.
Donald Trump claims that if elected as President, he will make life better for Americans. But this isn’t just about America. A Trump presidency would affect everyone on the planet – they don’t call the US President the most important man in the world for nothing.
But it’s obvious that a man so focused on division between people is not the right man for such an important job. In these troubled times, the people of the world need to stand together, not apart. So I’m praying that a man who was described by author J.K. Rowling as worse than Voldemort does not get elected as the next President of the United States.