Trump is finally in power, I have deliberately avoided watching his inauguration, the last time I felt this bleak about our global future was when Bush came to power. His premiership was dire with 9/11, the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the intractable mess in the middle east.
My first thought is when will the next war be? That is a pessimistic prognosis, but Trump, if anything, does not sound conciliatory. During his inauguration people waged protests around the world, not that he cared. Moscow was celebrating and Europe was shaken as far-right movements became emboldened and ebullient. What will happen now in Germany (Afd) and France (Marie Le Pen), a shift in power towards the right is certain, we just don't know how much exactly.
Image of the Bosnian war, (collage, ink, pastel, 1993)
'America first' was Trump's emphatic slogan as if America was the king of the world. Such a facile slogan sounds a bit like Brexit supporters screaming Britain first. Well what Trump seems to be saying is putting the interests of white America first is his priority. Except this is not the 1950s, the voice of minorities counts and it is strong. Whether Trump and other far-right racist groups want to believe it or not, the white man is a dying breed, demographics don't lie, so if they don't embrace diversity and difference and the fact that they have to trade and get on with their Latin American, Asian and African neighbours he's living in another era that is just gone - finished.
As for climate change Trump will take America backwards, and the villagers in Bangladesh and other coastal areas will suffer when their carbon footprint is negligible. Our forests and precious animals are already on the brink of destruction, but I don't think Trump cares much for the bigger picture, because only America's interests count.
All of us must do our bit for the environment whether it is just recycling, using the tumble dryer less, walking more, eschewing the car, turning off the lights and power sockets, all these little gestures will make an impact, including regulating your use of Wi-Fi too, not upgrading to the next phone or computer and not throwing your batteries in the bin. Or grow stuff you can eat, it could be just herbs, even plant a tree in a forest if you are able to. Just do something. Don't sit back and wait for governments to act.
Hillary got more votes, but she is not in power, Trump is. More than ever women have to engage in politics, not the protectionist, insular, uninspiring brand of Theresa May, but an expansive, engaging, open politics.
Get involved in the causes your feel passionately and care about and champion them with all your heart, engage in the voluntary sector and work for free.
Campaign for a universal wage for all our citizens since job security is becoming more precarious especially for our young, if everyone has a financial buffer we will see a reduction in homelessness, overall poverty and people just struggling to make ends meet. The western nations are still rich enough to implement this, a universal wage of 500 quid a month (a trial is being rolled out in Finland with 2000 citizens) would be cheaper than the current benefits system that we have. It's not a panacea, but it's worth a try.
Communities cannot rely on government and I am not using that vile term: big society that is so redundant. It could simply be engaging more, inviting neighbours for cups of tea, helping out with the childcare of a friend who is sick, doing the shopping for an elderly friend.
If we, as a global society, reach out to one another and show we care for our planet and the future of our children whatever Trump throws at us will just be noise. We cannot be afraid of such a buffoon; I find him more ridiculous than scary. Yes he has the nuclear codes, if he decides to use them it's game over, I would like think he's not stupid enough to entertain the prospect.
We have the most uninspiring leaders at the moment, and it's not just Trump who is cause for concern, there is of course Putin and the rest. Our world is very divided and polarised, but I would like to believe that there are more good, sensible and kind people than bad, and that there are more people who care for the issues that we all do: health, education, jobs, culture, security and the environment.
Let's not get down in the dumps, let's all do something, the little man can wage his own insurrection, get campaigning, get out there and instigate change. I am passionate about mental health and I would like to see a global Mental Health 4 All helpline that is free and accessible via WhatsApp. Now, more than ever, we need to teach mental health to our kids and our global citizens. I don't think Trump mentioned mental health in his address, there are those that say the man is mentally ill himself, or at least veering onto a sociopath.
I am not afraid of Trump and his cronies, if I met Trump tomorrow I would say to his face who I am, that I was Muslim and proud, a British citizen, an educated woman, an artist, a mental health campaigner and that I don't just care about the interests of Britain, I care about people all over the world and finally my surname is Islam and I wouldn't change it for the world even if I face a gang of Islamophobic morons making erroneous assumptions, I would just laugh at them.
Have no fear, have courage, Trump is a risible figure who shrewdly manipulated social media and duped the willing disaffected masses, he's not going to solve America's problems, he will probably exacerbate them, make the rich significantly richer and leave a trail of mess in his wake. We must do all that we can to stop him now.