The Donald Trump Effect

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I have always found American politics fascinating. It’s like theatre on a giant stage. This time around though the world has watched in wonder as the American election has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. Perhaps the best way to describe it is like a Shakespearean tragic comedy. It can be classed as neither because it has huge elements of both. In the beginning I think we all viewed Donald Trump as an amusing caricature with bad hair who would be entertaining to watch for a while. After all the election process goes on for so long why not get some amusement out of it. No one really believed that he would still be in the race at this point, let alone be in with a real chance of winning the Republican nomination but alas it really is happening.

As the weeks rolled on the jokes got less funny and the threats got more real. In the course of his candidacy Trump has managed to offend Women, Mexicans, People with disabilities and Muslims to name a few. Everyday the list seems to get longer. His rallies have become a breeding ground for violent and racist behavior.  This has of course brought him more attention in the media and has in turn made him very popular. It also helps that the other Republican nominees aren’t very credible. There is no doubt that it’s a fascinating circus and people seem to be enjoying the show but at what point do we all have to get serious about the business of electing a real president? Continue reading

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A Different Response to Terrorism

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Ever since the attacks in Paris on November 13th I, like many others have been frightened. Every time we turn on the TV there seems to be something else to fear, another threat to watch out for. After spending days looking at images of Paris in the wake of such a terrible tragedy it turned out that the horror may not even be over. The shock had barely worn off when more threats were issued. It was now Belgium’s turn to fear an attack. Brussels went into lock down and still remains on high alert as a result of these attacks. Every city it seemed was looking over its shoulder.

It is impossible to know what to do in these situations. Do we stay in our homes and close the curtains? Do we stop traveling to other countries? Do we respond with violence or by shutting others out? Do we look for people or religions to blame? These seem to be the options that are offered when we listen to the news. I don’t know about you but none of these are very appealing to me. If we do these things it feels like these people have already won. It is hard not to feel desperate and hopeless when we see the damage that was caused by these terrible acts of violence. How do we respond to something that is so difficult to understand in the first place? These are the kinds of questions that have been swirling around in my head and earlier this week I finally got my answer. Continue reading