America – it’s up to you

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

By the time we wake up tomorrow, the world will have a new President-Elect.

There are those who will say that I, not being a US citizen, should keep my British nose out of America politics. That what happens over there is none of my business. I suppose that would be a not unreasonable assumption, were it not for the fact that, in the worlds of the old saying, “America sneezes and Britain catches a cold. That’s as true for economics and poltics as it is for the weather. Just look at the problms that Wolseley faced in its America businesses at the height of the financial crisis and the knock-on effect it had over here.

US politics is a very different beast to UK politics, I’ll admit that. There’s a lot I don’t understand about it, how it operates and what some of the more complicated issues are. I don’t understand the thing about the emails, nor what it is that Hillary has done that is so heinous and, according to her opponent, criminal. I do know that US polictics is run by money, by big, big money, in a way that makes our eections look like a primrty school cake sale.

I also know that as a member of the general public I see election campaigns through the prism of the media and how the various moguls would like us to vote.  And yes, I’m aware of the ironjy of writing that in a column which is asking people to vote in a particular way.

That said, I cannot see any way in which a vote for Trump is going to make the world better place. A man who wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico, who wanted to ban Muslims from travelling to America and for whom the idea of respecting womean as human beings is laughable, is not a man I want as Leader Of The Free World. How, exactly, does the idea of banning people you don’t like from your country square with the quote at the top of this piece? The quote that has sat at Ellis Island in New York Harbour, welcoming immigrants from all over the world for over 100 years?

On the other hand, a woman who has dedicated her adult life to political life, who has fought for the rights of women and children, and who has experience of politics at the top level, that’s someone I can happily contemplate in the White House.

One of the best quotes I heard about this whole election came, rather oddly, from Lady Gaga. She declined to give a straight answer to the question of for whom she would vote, saying instead “Loo at the candidates. One sees this as a battle and wants to win at all costs. One wants to be President and help to build a better world.”

C’mon America. Do the right thing. #I’mwithher #TeamHillary

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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