Why Trump’s first decision is clearly wrong

Donald Trump’s ban on Muslims from specific countries to enter the USA is a rash decision, which will not reduce the risk of terrorism any more than the Mexican border wall will prevent illegal immigration. But he has made a point and woken up a world in which democracy is failing.

Peter Fieldman

In his first weeks of office the new president acted like the proverbial bull in a china shop creating havoc across the United States and around the world signing executive orders; Theresa May wants to dictate her terms for Brexit; Angela Merkel invited millions of migrants to Western Europe and the Eurocrats in Brussels demand that every member state takes in thousands of migrants under a quota system. So where are the parliaments and more important, the people, in this decision making process?

donald-trump-con-theresa-may-600x337 Why Trump's first decision is clearly wrong
Donald Trump recibe a Theresa May

For years the hopes and aspirations of the vast majority of the population have been ignored. Politicians and their parties have become too isolated. Instead of fulfilling their role of looking after the well-being of the country and the people they have become TV personalities, more interested in their personal power and privileges and making money from their memoirs and speech making or looking after the interests of the elite.

Corruption, considered to be limited to African dictators, is rife in every Western nation, prevalent in politics, business and sport. The media has dumbed down to a daily diet of TV reality shows and tabloid scandals. This loss of morality and ethics has been slowly eating away at the fabric of our society. This is why the populist parties are gaining support. Maybe not because they are fascist, racist, anti- gay, anti-immigrant etc, but because our western nations face economic and social changes and the major political parties are failing to address the issues.

Globalization and internet technology have by-passed Governments, which have lost control over their economies and their borders. The privatization of vital public services – utilities, railways, motorways and public transport – has simply allowed boardroom bosses and shareholders to benefit at the expense of the people. Rampant capitalism and financial speculation, which led to the economic crisis of 2007, coupled with the growth of tax havens and massive tax evasion, have allowed inequality to grow to unacceptable proportions.

This has not only affected the rich countries subjected to austerity measures, but specifically the developing nations where hundreds of millions of people face poverty and internal conflicts due to institutionalized corruption and exploitation of resources. The result has been millions attempting to seek a better life by crossing borders in total disregard to the laws of the countries concerned. We have forgotten that migration should be a legal process. At the same time the rich nations cannot ignore the millions living in poverty and there has to be a concerted effort with the U N to end conflicts and corruption and improve the living standards of the population in the developing nations to reduce the desire to leave.

The asylum system was aimed at individuals whose lives were at risk, not whole populations displaced from their own countries. Migration has turned into a lucrative criminal industry and so long as the western nations do little or nothing to end the people trafficking there will be no end to the plight of desperate people risking their lives.

Centro para refugiados detenidos en Vial, Grecia. Foto: blackblog

This does not mean abandoning rescue missions at sea or refusing humanitarian aid to those in need escaping from conflicts, but it should not be a means to obtain an automatic right to remain in another country. With the world’s population reaching seven billion people the western nations, still suffering from the effects of the economic crisis with millions unemployed or in low paid jobs, can no longer cope with the arrival of millions of people from other continents.

The ban on Muslims not only raises the issue of how to deal with the terrorist threat but the relationship between our secular Western societies and Islam. There is a need for clear guidelines on how people from different cultures and religions should adapt to the western culture and way of life where religion tends to be a private matter and not flaunted on the street.

Nobody knows what the Trump effect will have on the world. My message to the US President is that to eliminate terrorism there has to be an end to military intervention and more dialogue and cooperation with the Islamic states to understand and respect each other. To reduce illegal immigration there has to be more dialogue and collaboration with Mexico and the developing nations. And to reduce inequality and the desire to seek a better life on the other side of the world, there has to be a fairer distribution of economic wealth without which there can be no peace or prosperity.

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