Everyone in Britain has an opinion on Donald Trump, and it's pretty much universally the same one. I realised this a few months ago, when a damp and depressing Tuesday inspired me to switch on The Wright Stuff.
For once, the panel weren't discussing whether it's wrong for people to chastise a mother for sending her son to nursery with a takeaway packed lunch, or if good singers should be banned from ruining karaoke for others, but rather whether or not Trump should be stopped from entering the country for his controversial comments on women and Muslims. The consensus was: "Yes, he probably should." For the first time in history, tabloids, Twitter feeds and the country at large found itself nodding along to Matthew Wright's words in unison.
But surely in a country where the majority are more pissed off about Mary Berry's recipes being removed from BBC Good Food than millions having to eat from food banks, all opinions can't swing that way? There's got to be someone out there with a positive word to say about Trump?
I searched the streets and the internet for those people, and found three. Without chastising, butting in or any other Trump tricks from my side, I asked these three British fans of his to explain why they like him.
VICE: What is it you like about Donald Trump?
David: He calls it as he sees it. Almost all politicians say what they think their electorate want to hear, not what is right. Politicians – Margaret Thatcher aside – trade on the marginal voters and trim their arguments. They are also very afraid of single issue groups who mobilise campaigns to discredit them. The result of this approach is that difficult issues are avoided and open debate becomes impossible. For example, discussion of two extremely critical issues in Britain was avoided, despite needing to be addressed. These are the future of the NHS and immigration. Donald Trump has not avoided any difficult issues and says what he thinks when asked a question. This is in marked contrast to Hillary Clinton, who never gives an honest answer to anyone and changes her answers to suit the audience. For this, Trump is vilified by the media who look for anything to create controversy.
The media made his opinions on women controversial?
Trump has made some unfortunate remarks about women, but Hillary was complicit for almost 40 years in attacking women who went public and [alleged that] Bill Clinton sexually harassed them. You judge who women should support. Trump has an agenda to balance the budget and cut expenditure and to put US priorities first and stop interfering overseas when there is no sound reason to do this. It may not be to the Europeans' liking, since we will have to start looking after ourselves and pay for it. Hillary wants to continue deficit spending and engaging in foreign adventures. We – with Hillary in full flow – have ruined Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine for no clearly apparent reason. Time for someone to take a different approach.
Would you welcome him to the UK? And would you go to a rally of his?
Yes, he should come to the UK and speak his mind, and I would go and listen. Much of what he says can be applied to the UK. Trump also supports a free trade agreement with the UK, unlike Obama, who is trying to influence the UK to take a decision against our interests as a favour to the vile Cameron.
What's one reason why people should rethink their opinions of Trump?
You may be surprised to hear this, but the majority of the people I know agree with most of what he says. Nigel Farage may not be the toast of metro London, but outside he is very popular, and 4 million people voted for him. He is not as outspoken as Trump, but his popular appeal is the same. Farage and Trump are demonised by the left, who generally want to avoid the issues of having to earn what they want to spend, and believe that ordinary people should get out of the way to allow fashionable "progressive" views to take over. These people will never see Trump in a favourable light.
What's to like about Donald?
Ed: I'm a businessman, so I always respect successful businessmen, as I know that means they're driven, high energy individuals. Also, I'm opposed to increasing censorship on what can or can't be said, and Trump bucks the trend by calling out truths many people don't want to hear, and fake outrage about.
Would you welcome him to the UK? Would you go to a rally of his?
I'd welcome him to the UK and would attend a rally. I'd even go further and like to be involved. Trump has made other western leaders look extremely weak.
Would you vote for Trump if you could?
I'd vote for him, absolutely, because I'm concerned about the west becoming crippled by political correctness, that it will be exploited by those that wish us harm. I owe it to future generations not to allow Islamisation to go any further; it's a culture at odds with western values and needs repelling. Only Trump has the strength of character to do that in the Western Hemisphere.
What is it you like about Donald Trump, and why would you like to see him become president?
Karl: Look, I'm not saying I'd want him as a dinner guest, but he's a human, not a political animal, and I'm an anti-establishmentarian, sick to my teeth of crooks like Blair and Bush, Cameron and Obama. They lie. I think Trump will just tell it as it is and not be swayed by the CIA, IMF or UN policy, or all the other dark influences politicians without genuine conviction hide behind.
Why should people rethink their opinions on Trump?
One, the truth will probably be spurted out on numerous occasions because he talks from the heart before the backroom spin doctors turn the truth into lies. Two, he'll out the truth about Saudi Arabia. He's not as stupid as his hairdo implies. He knows Saudi has been sheltered for 45 years since Nixon and King Saud made their Petro dollar pact. Trump knows the people hate what's going on with Saudi-backed terrorism causing misery worldwide. Obama treats the people like fools. Trump is a working businessman; he is the only potential world leader who will break that protection of state-sponsored terrorism and bring a little bit of peace to the world.
Three, I've actually been in the hotel business and know a lot about Trump – he makes big noises, then slowly backs down to what he really wants and expects. Like asking for a billion dollars for Aston Villa, knowing it's only worth £75. So he says, "I want every Muslim vetted before they set foot in America." With all respect, that's what happens anyway. I think he means properly vetted, as it's very easy to buy anything in every Muslim country in the world: you want a passport saying you're 19? Here it is. You want paperwork to say you're a dentist? Here it is. I think he'll deter a few radical Islamists by tightening up embassy staff and diplomatic immunity scams but not stop more than about 50 Muslims entering the US but I think he'll tighten up immigration of the unskilled and the trafficked from Central America.
Would you vote for him and why?
I'd vote for him for sure. He is "Small Government" with a capital S. He is as sick as we normal lower middle classes are of the thieves in local and national government on huge salaries, huge pensions and always on the sick. His tax plan is simple and adds up! It has passed scrutiny by major accountants and it will benefit the poor, bring more people out of poverty encourage more employment on higher earnings so lower hours and be so much easier to administer. I don't see a backlash there and the simplification of company tax will bring back on-shore a lot of companies and stop a lot more going off-shore.
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