A protectionist president will not make America great again

Donald Trump, the new president elect of America
Donald Trump, the new president elect of America
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So Hillary didn’t win the crown, which probably tells us more about America than anything else.

Why did the voters in this all-important country not follow the trend in the rest of the world for female leaders, if you consider how many other countries have elected women for the top job with the UK leading the way with three others in each of our provinces?

Sandra Chapman

Sandra Chapman

Up to early afternoon on Tuesday, I believed Hillary Clinton would get there.

Around 11pm when I had decided to sit up for the count because America’s first female president was surely something worth watching, my instinct suddenly kicked in and told me she would lose.

No point then in losing a night’s sleep, so I retired to bed to brace myself for the dreaded morning news.

I’ll remember to my dying day hearing the news about the assassination of President Kennedy and I’ll also never forget my television screen on Wednesday morning filled with the odious misogynist Donald Trump telling how he would make America great again. We all know it is not leaders who make a country great, it’s the long suffering people who’ve no choice but to accept what they are given since going to war with a leader is not an option.

Past American presidents have made that `I will make America great again’ promise and failed miserably. Not even its first black incumbent in the White House, President Obama, could do it.

We still have an America where racial injustice is rife and where police shoot first and argue later.

Slavery ended in America 150 years ago and the wild west was tamed even earlier but still no American today feels safe without a gun.

In fact the country is laden down with lead and people die every day through accidental and non-accidental shootings.

The next president is a fan of the gun lobby so there will be no change there then. Would Hillary have made a difference? I believe she may have but the opportunity is now lost, probably for another eight years at least.

Shortly, our Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is to embark on a four-day visit to the United States to meet potential and existing investors.

We do a lot of business with the States – they account for almost 21 per cent of our exports according to Mr McGuinness – so what will he face when he gets there? I suspect he will meet business people who fear for the economic future of their country now that a political novice will soon be in charge.

America was a great country. My father’s three sisters went there as teenagers and all prospered. In fact without America, Ireland, after the famine years and in the early 1900s, would have been impoverished.

The young left here in emigrant ships and were able to send money home to keep families going.

I remember how my three aunts sent home parcels of clothing and gifts to us in the 1950s.

Many Irish families depended on this kind of generosity because there was little work for local men after the end of the Second World War.

Today it is much harder for young people to get into America to work because the USA has a protectionist attitude, a policy I’m certain does not particularly benefit its own people. Donald Trump is a highly successful businessman unlike any former president.

He doesn’t speak kindly of migrants or refugees which suggests he too is a protectionist, in which case America may never be great again under his leadership.

Hillary’s defeat though ends dynasty-politics and for that alone I’m glad.