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A concern for all who cherish freedom

See no evil, hear no evil: Donald Trump’s unpredictability in the Oval Office, combined with the constant upheaval, is becoming unnerving (Photograph by Alex Gallardo/AP)

A deeply troubling political trend is unfolding in America as many people in that country, and indeed globally, are pondering how a powerful nation that is meant to be seen as the leader of the free world is spiralling out of control. Directionless. This while kowtowing to a president who continues to confuse over whether he is genuinely interested in overseeing a strong society where truth, respect, justice and freedom are held as the highest ideals.

Somehow, Donald Trump has been unable to convince most Americans, including a number of those within his Republican Party, that he is committed to moving the country forward while preserving values that were crucial in the long struggle against racial and political division and which nearly destroyed a country that is now considered the major power in the world.

While the President has had to battle wave after wave of issues that continue to threaten his presidency, it would seem confidence in the Oval Office has crumbled considerably. There have been allegations of collusion with Russia, internal conflict in his administration, a number of key people quitting, and an alleged affair involving a porn star — you just couldn’t make it up.

At stake is the reputation of America as a country willing to climb over bridges of gross injustice that once led to a deadly civil war, with thousands of lives lost.

Many veteran political observers have expressed a view that the President has not been able to fully grasp the highly complex responsibility of representing all of America, instead of doing and saying things to keep his support base intact no matter what.

There is little doubt that Trump has followers who see him as their gateway to economic success, and in their eyes he can do no wrong. As unpleasant as it may be, it is a part of the democratic process where, right or wrong, free expression remains a key principle to those who cherish freedom. However it is one thing to have that right, but quite another when it is used to demean or tear down those with opposing views.

When Trump has praise for China, which has abolished term limits for presidents — slamming the door shut on democratic principles — and claims he was only jokingly wondering whether America should consider such a move, one has to wonder whether dictatorial authority is lurking in the shadows of his agenda. In other words, could democracy as we know it in America be under threat.

It is no secret that the President is not a fan of the free press, and the first move by a leader seeking unquestionable authority is to destroy the free press. When any leader places themselves above the law, it is a danger sign for preservation of democratic principles.

Major financial institutions globally constantly monitor stability in various governments, aware that much of what they do could affect what happens on the market of trading and other areas of business transaction. No need to be an expert to know that instability by any large administration can be troubling to those who depend on solid international relations to promote further growth in various economies.

Those of us who know a little about the game of cricket can testify that a captain with erratic behaviour and little respect from players is usually in a losing position even before taking to the field. On the other hand, a captain willing to display a positive attitude in leadership, with respect from players, is usually a winner before taking to the field.

A good political leader is someone who never takes their eye off the ball when it comes to protecting sound values, even at the expense of having to make unpopular decisions. The ultimate objective of a leader should always be what is best for the people and not what is beneficial in the political arena.

History has shown that many leaders enjoyed fanatic followers until discovering that what appeared as a gate to paradise was in fact an invitation to despair and disappointment.

America is still a great country, with promise for those who believe in what true democracy has to offer, and there are many who yearn for success in doing what is right to move the nation in the direction of principles that helped to create a diverse and free society.

No president will be successful without embracing truth, justice and respect for laws that protect against negative elements that threaten peace and freedom worldwide.

In Bermuda, we are not without problems, and our leaders know that what they say and do is of supreme importance in promoting values we hope to pass on to the next generation.

With good, positive leadership and respect for values, we can look to the future with greater confidence as we try to build a better Bermuda.