Donald Trumps visit to the UK and Ireland (sort of) has sparked furious debate across social media on whether people should protest the American President or not. On one hand Trump is a narcissistic racist who wants to separate children from their parents and we should show our disdain for the individual for the world to see. On the other, does that just give him the attention he craves? Trump pretty much won his campaign by saying controversial things without any actual evidence. This of course divided people and caused a significant rift among both democrats and republicans. However, more than anything it got people talking and put his face in the papers on a daily basis. What he lacked in cohesive planning and policy, he more than made up for in pure fame.
You could argue that a giant protest will only draw further attention to the orangutan in a suit. For nearly every protester there’s a sympathiser who thinks that Trump is this radical leader who pisses off ‘whining liberals’ and is going to drain the swamp (hows that going by the way Donald surely Devos is the definition of that swamp dwelling, purely financially motivated creature Trump wanted to get rid of?). Is simply ignoring his visit the best way to dump the Trump? Afterall these state visits are essentially for PR and to extend media coverage. We can’t stop newspapers and news stations from reporting, but we can limit the coverage by ignoring his visit.
However, could this passive approach or apathy be seen as an acceptance of what he stands for. Surely as nations that vye to stand for Equality and Justice we should make our feelings heard and show a sense of solidarity with the people that are suffering under his presidency. Sure, any protest will make front page news, but let’s make his visit about the protest, rather than about Trump. Lets show him up to be the ignorant buffoon he really is. Let’s show him that his bigotry is not welcome here. For centuries Protests have been used as a force for good. People Power has lead to a more equal, compassionate Ireland and it can and will end the Trump era.