I read an article in the Washington Post by Nancy Gibbs about how to respond to former Trump-loving friends. So I have been reflecting on my dogmatic views about Trump and his supporters, and I haven't moved from those views much, if at all. In fact, if anything, as each day passes, my thoughts on Trump have hardened still further, which I thought was ni impossible. Trump demonstrates, nearly daily that he is a clear and present danger to the democracy of the United States of America; however, there will be some who have moved from their support of Trump - and to them, I say - "welcome".
We on this side of the pond do not have Trump, but our own, ironically, American born, British version, Borris Johnson, who, like Trump who rules with the Stephen Millers of this world, has his own British version in the shape of Dominic Cummings.
Hopefully, Americans and the world will be rid of Trump on 3rd November and altogether during January 2021. Alas, we in the UK are stuck with Johnson for longer - years, unless something untoward occurs.
Johnson is on his own crusade against the norms of life. He seems determined to end our relationship with the EU on as bad a terms as he can manage. The EU may well not be as forthcoming as our Government had hoped, but then, why should they be?
Now, ministers get into namecalling, which is undignified and certainly unhelpful. Our Government are frantically trying to make trade deals with our antipodean cousins, Japan and many others. But it all appears chaotic and unthought out, lurching from one muddle to another, altering course with the frequency of a child's first pencil drawing. It would seem no clear thought has gone into Government policy on anything - not even COVID 19.
Whether a supporter of Johnson or not, he did not expect or ask for the COVID pandemic. But how he and his team have dealt with these crises has been intermittent at best. There does not seem to be any strategic thinking - and when they do lay out a plan - they then reverse course and about turn days later, sowing even more confusion and doubt in the population at large. And Nicola Sturgeon, Scotlands First Minister, despite media reports to the contrary, is not much better.
The UK is now carrying the largest debt in its history. It is in recession with unemployment rising and has refused any EU extension to Brexit negotiations. So it very much looks like either the UK will be on World Trade terms from January or Johnson will make a deal and claim some kind of pyrrhic victory. Most likely a face-saving deal that was on offer all the time.
The overall feeling in the UK is that we are all living on thin ice. We are not just in uncertain times but drifting, in a negative direction and with no apparent leadership or plan.
Strong, effective leadership almost always boils down to trust. Johnson has lied, exaggerated and flip-flopped on policy so many times - of course, he is not trusted, why would he be? He has demonstrated he is not good with details. He prefers sweeping generalisations and avoidance of any nitty-gritty or specifics.
The leadership of the UK feels fragile as if we are being led by sixth formers and wishing the grown-ups would return and take over. We are in desperate need of a pair of safe hands on the column, and we all want a safe landing, but for many, the fear is we are going to crash and burn. We need an experienced Captain to fly the UK to a safer, brighter and kinder future.
They say that 95% of the things we worry about, we never have to. It does not feel like that right now.
Rick - Suffolk - UK - 6th September 2020