Yesterday Donald Trump “swept to victory” in the five US States he was contesting in his race to become the Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. The previous day he was in my town, at the university, preaching to his followers and proselytizing to others. I didn’t attend but a friend made a passing visit and said it was an unbearable atmosphere.
Over the last few months The Donald has managed to rile up a nation, spouting negativity and hatred for his fellow human beings in a way that we haven’t seen since the rallies of the National Socialists in post-Great War Germany. And worryingly he seems to go from strength to strength. We are living in frightening times and I shudder at the consequences for the nation and the entire World should we, as a people, be hoodwinked into falling into this self-obsessed, narcissistic trap, like angry wasps lured to a sticky end by a honey-filled mason jar. No good can come of anything that is so driven by unthinking hate and lack of long term vision.
The same day I was reminded by another friend, of Ukrainian descent, that this week is the 30th anniversary of the appalling Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Dreadful as this event was – its effects are still being felt today – it was also a time of unbelievable acts of self-sacrifice for the bigger cause. Although there were many, many stories and images of great heroics, the one that stood out to me was the story of Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov and Boris Baranov. These three heroes volunteered to undertake a suicide mission in order to dive into radioactive water and open a stuck valve thus preventing an explosion and escape of radioactive steam which would have affected millions of people and a huge swathe of countryside. They all died excruciating deaths within a few days and their bodies were so toxic they were buried in lead coffins that were soldered shut.
It is stories of such selfless bravery and heroism, of individuals faced with dire decisions that have no personal upside that give me hope for humanity, where self-preservation is cast aside for the good of fellow humankind.
As I struggle to comprehend a time of insane, spittle-filled rhetoric and bombastic sound-bites from the person who wants to rule over me I make but one comment:
He is not worthy to represent The People.